It is a very common practice for Presidents and their Press Aides to hold weekly press briefings. Characteristically, these press briefings are used to update the people on the state of the nation with regards to what is obtaining in the country and what steps and measures government is taking to address those issues. Such briefings helps the government to bring the people up to date about what it is doing with regards to specific issues but most importantly these press briefings are carefully crafted to help the government push it’s own narrative about the state of the nation.
Since President Lungu was elected in office, comrade Amos Chanda, the President’s mouthpiece has held a number of press briefings. What is worrying, is that instead of using these press briefings as a platform to update the people on the state of the nation and as a tool for him to push a narrative that his Government wants the people to hear and believe, he has turned these press conferences as launch pads to fire missiles and bitter savour at Hakainde Hichilema. Instead of putting the spot light on his boss and put a very positive glow on him, he always lamentably put the spotlight on HH, making him the subject of discussion at the expense of his own boss and his Government. Why should you be giving your “opponent” free publicity? That is bad strategy. You don’t help President Lungu by always discussing his opponent at every given opportunity, in fact you are doing him a disservice by highlighting his opponent. That is how Hillary and RB lost by focusing so much on the flaws of Trump and Sata respectively instead of crafting their own narrative and agenda as to why they should be voted into office and not why the other guy should not be voted into office. Your press briefings must be used to set your own tone and your agenda.
My humble advice to Comrade Amos Chanda and his boss is that they must realise that they are in power and thus people expect nothing but leadership from them. People are not really interested in hearing state house talking about HH or any opposition leader, they are interested in solutions; they want answers from their leaders; they don’t expect cheap politicking from their leaders. Spending too much time talking about HH, and forcing him to recognise President Lungu only makes the Government look unsure about themselves, it makes them appear to be frightened little men who are not really convinced of their own victory. It confirms HH’s narrative that they didn’t win the elections.
So in future let State House use its press briefings to update the people on the state of the nation and to push it’s on narrative instead of being fixated by HH.