Africa-Press – Zambia. We are told by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation that President Hakainde Hichilema will spend four days in Cape Town, South Africa attending the Africa Mining Indaba. The Head of State is due to address the gathering on Monday at 09:00 Hrs.
As someone one who attended the Indaba as Copperbelt Minister on a number of occasions, I wish to place it on record that having an entire President at the Indaba for four days is not particularly a good way of managing the President’s time.
The Indaba is a great event for portfolio Ministers and Directors and other technocrats. At the Indaba, it would be foolish for a President to commit to anything without subjecting the issue to a Cabinet resolution. President Hichilema should quickly learn that government does not operate quite like a limited Company. If he uses the Cape Town event to over promise (like he always does) his imperialist friends who are after our mining assets, he will find difficulties in implementing those promises because government operates on a different framework.
From my experience, As important as the Mining Indaba is to mining development in Africa and across the world, having a President at this event for four days which is meant for Ministers at best is demeaning the office Mr. Hichilema occupies.
For a man who campaigned heavily on prudent utilization of public resources, spending four days in a very expensive city does not show frugality. The key question should be, what will President Hichilema be left to do in Cape Town after he is done with his Key Note speech by mid day on Monday?
A bit of sight seeing on the Table Mountain? A tour of Robben Island perhaps? Cape Town is a hugely tempting City especially if one’s stay there is being paid for by the tax payer but we should point out that keeping the President and his entourage in the Mother City will cost the treasury a fortune.
For a man who recently took a near one week break from home to stay at his Kalomo farm, President Hichilema appears to be a man for the soft life. His laissez-afire attitude towards work is unmatched.
I am not sure Zambians voted for a President who will be going on vacations every two weeks with just 10 months into his administration. We call on President Hichilema to immediately cut his Cape Town vacation immediately he is done with his Key Note Address and return to Lusaka.
Here at home, President Hichilema has a mountain of problems requiring his full attention and sight seeing should not be a priority for a man who has not even delivered a single election campaign promise, 10 months into office.