There are those who find President Edgar Lungu’s broadcasting and parading of his ailments to the world commendable and a sign of openness. We find it foolish.
The world is actually laughing at us. We are now known as the country of sick presidents. Lungu cannot claim to be an honest and open person. When he was filing his nomination for the presidency, he knew he was unfit. But did he say that?
Right now he can smile broadly and tell the world cameras about one of sicknesses, but he is doing that because he has no choice.
If, on the day he collapsed, he did so in private, say inside state house, would he have told us? Would he have proudly walked in to Milpark Hospital telling journalists that he is sick?
The problem is not that Lungu is sick. Everybody gets sick. The issue is that Lungu accepted to be president when he knew he was a ‘moving coffin’. Now that is not right. It is selfishness. It is putting self before others, the country.
Having a sick president is very expensive. Does anyone know how much the country has spent today just to get Lungu to Milpark Hospital? Do you have an idea how much the country would have spent by the time Lungu leaves that hospital? It is enough to build four district hospitals in Nyimba, Namwala, Luwingu and Ikelengi. So Lungu should not try to be a hero out of his costly sickness. He is depriving the nation of the much needed, meagre resources. The country will never know how much money the country wasted on treating Michael Sata when he could have simply stepped aside in national interest. National interest can and should include saving money.
There are people who think that it is okay to spend money on a sick president. Yet these are the people who complain most on poor service delivery.
You see, Lungu is sick and he has been flown to one of the best medical facilities in the world and the country is paying. So he can afford to smile all the way. He went by plane right? But if you get sick tomorrow, you will join the long queues at UTH. And if it is cancer of the gullet, you will probably never get treated.
If Lungu became sick while in office, we would have no quarrel with that. But Lungu knew he had one kidney and other impairments that would immediately make it difficult for him to work. Not only is the country spending money on him in hospital, the country is losing money because the chief executive is sick and unable to work. There can be an acting president but unless you are fool otherwise you would know that an acting president is powerless. He cannot do all the things a president can do.
How may of you, having your own company, would hire a person as managing director when you have seen on his file that he is sick? Would you be willing to start spending money treating a person just two months after employing him and allow him to go on indefinite sick leave?
And then you ask why everything seems to be wrong in Zambia.