Power and Politics

Presidency tackles Patriotic Front over comments on Hichilema’s visit to his farms


President Hakainde Hichilema prefers to spend productive hours at his farms unlike indulging in leisure activities such as drinking expensive whiskey, the Presidency says.

State House Chief Communications Specialist, Clayson Hamasaka, said it was irresponsible for the Edgar Lungu-led Patriotic Front (PF) acting Secretary-General Raphael Nakachinda to suggest that the President was on holiday.

Hamasaka was responding to Nakacinda’s claims that Hichilema was on holiday at the farm in Southern Province during this Easter.

He stated that State House however, understood Nakachinda’s perspective might be shaped by his experiences with what were considered presidential holidays in the past.

“Lavish excursions involving wining and dining in national parks and foreign capitals, accompanied by individuals of dubious reputation, all funded with public money borrowed by the country characterised the past regime,” Hamasaka noted.

He said Nakachinda, who claimed to come from a culture deeply rooted in agriculture, should know better.

Hamasaka stated that the assertion ignored the fact that visiting a farm was not akin to leisure activities like playing snooker or nsolo.

“President Hichilema’s trip to his farm is for the purpose of furthering work that contributes to national economic productivity,” he added.

Hamasaka argued that generally, farms were not destinations for holidays but places where one engaged in physical labour to generate livelihoods.

He stated that Nakachinda and his United Kwacha Alliance should recognise that the country had shifted towards more responsible behaviour.

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“The focus is no longer on endless partying but on continuous hard work aimed at achieving economic recovery,” Hamasaka said.

Hamasaka said although there would be time for holidays, now was not the moment for leisure but for hard work.

“Observing neighboring countries like Botswana, where cities nearly empty during holidays or weekends as citizens engage in farming and other productive activities, serves as a model,” he stated.

Hamasaka noted that no one criticizes them for retreating to their farms, saying Botswana’s progress was attributed to such hard work.

He said to become a successful nation, there was need to shift the work ethic but that unfortunately, individuals like Nakachinda were not suitable role models for this change.

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