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Comment: President Lungu musn’t entertain an extravagant inauguration

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President Lungu

President Lungu

When I published an article the other day encouraging HH to pause and do a self-introspection; I provoked the ire of some diehard UPND cadres that quickly concluded I had swallowed mouthwatering bait from PF for me to spew out such claptrap! Well…….this time, I expect the same to come from PF zealots who’ll no doubt accuse me of having been paid by HH or GBM to discredit the ruling party!

The problem we have in this country is that many of us are quickly developing a “cadre mentality.” We’d rather fall over the place and sing praises in order to be noticed by the appointing authority than use our intellect too interrogate issues.

Anyway, I beg to digress. I once attended a funeral of a patriarch in one of Kitwe’s shanty compounds. On the eve of the burial, some elders of the clan called a few of us aside to plan for the burial. The person leading the discussion, equally a septuagenarian briefed us on how much had been collected so far. He suggested that we needed to hire some buses and light trucks to ferry mourners to Chamboli cemetery. “We should also get some chickens to feed the mourners after burial,” he said in measured tones.

“With due respect, I don’t think that would be a wise thing to do……” I raised my voice, reverentially. “The man we are mourning has left a lot of children and grandchildren behind. I think we should minimize the expenses so that the family may be left with some money to use after the funeral…..”

“For God’s sake, this an old man we’re talking about!” the man was getting agitated. “He deserves a dignified send off.”
What followed there after? Well…….all those that had made pledges to support the family in one way or the other vanished afterwards. The younger children have ended up on the streets while the girls have turned to the oldest profession on earth!

Why am I numbing your minds with this?

Cabinet office has sent invitations asking people to attend the inauguration ceremony at the National Heroes Stadium on Tuesday, next week. Hundreds of gallons of fuel will be burnt as people make their way to the stadium from the width and breadth of this nation; enormous amounts of alcoholic beverages will be consumed and sumptuous cuisines will be devoured as people toast victory! Obviously, this comes at great cost to the treasury. Some of that money can be saved to address various socio-economic challenges the nation may be grappling with.

Whoever is advising the President isn’t doing a better job! Imagine the allowances to be paid to government officials that will turn up for the occasion. In keeping with his image as a humble man, this should have been a low key affair at the precincts of our courts as per tradition.

When Sata became President after the fall of the much despised Rupiah Banda regime, some overzealous individuals came up with grandiose ideas to create monuments in his honour. Being a simplistic man that he tended to be, Sata never gave a nod to such schemes. His sixth sense probably told him that if he probably happened to fall out of favour with the masses, they would grab sledge hammers and desecrate them in record time as has been witnessed in certain parts of the world.

President Lungu mustn’t entertain an extravagant inauguration ceremony. This is not the time for merrymaking! The President has a gigantic task ahead of him to deliver on his promises.

Expectations amongst the people will obviously be sky high. The youth will be waiting in queues for employment. The sick will be eager to see hospitals filled with drugs. Students will be keen to be paid their meal allowances on time. Farmers will be yearning for affordable farming inputs. Civil servants will be hopeful for improved salaries. And households will be waiting for reduced power cuts.

I rest my case.

Look out for: BA KANDILE – POLITICS DEVOID OF IDEOLOGIES!

Bill M. Kaping’a
Political analyst/social activist

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31