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PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema’s “clique of thieves” remarks cannot unify the country but unnecessarily fire up the anger of many citizens, says New Heritage Party president, Chishala Kateka.
Ms Kateka said there was need for President Hichilema to not only tone down but to guard his tongue.
She said that emotions must not be President Hichilema’s way of leadership.
Ms Kateka was reacting to President Hichilema’s comments on arrival from Glasgow at the weekend where he was attending a summit on climate change.
Ms Kateka said in a statement while the President may have meant something else, most people believed that he meant past presidents were a clique of thieves.
“The President should, as much as possible, avoid statements that are subject to different interpretations as is the case now.
“The statement was not one that will unify the country. In our opinion, the statement was instinctive, unmeasured and emotional – unnecessarily firing up the anger of many,” Ms Kateka said.
She said the damage control statement, issued by State House, added very little value to people’s understanding of the issue at hand.
“We would advise the President to not only tone down but to guard his heart. Emotions must not be his way of leadership,” she said.
Ms Kateka also said that the seemingly unending finger pointing to failed past leadership whilst self-praising by Mr Hichilema was becoming most irritating.
She said Zambians wanted to see maturity, results and not self-praise.
She said political leaders must not focus on appeasing people but doing the right thing.
Ms Kateka observed that Zambia had moved from a camera-shy President to an extremely camera-happy President who unfortunately was making reckless statements.
She warned that reckless or careless statements would not easily be forgotten by the people hence the need for caution in the manner the President was making public statements.
Ms Kateka said Zambia was looking for a President who would be seen as bringing unity to the country – in other words, a unifier.

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