Working in the presidency is challenging – Amos

AMOS Chanda says ministers welcoming a lifestyle audit are frustrated. And Chanda advised his yet to be named successor to develop a thick skin to manage the Presidency. Responding to a question on whether he was ready for a lifestyle audit, at State House when he announced his resignation as President Edgar Lungu’s press aide on Thursday, Chanda said a lifestyle audit was a way of telling people to surrender what they owned until they are proven innocent.

He warned that a lifestyle audit witch-hunt would destroy the country.

“I have no problem with a lifestyle audit but let me tell you this, you are not going to institutionalise a witch-hunt. We are very good in picking up high-sounding terminologies and putting them across,” he said. “What’s the lifestyle audit? It’s to say that [neck] tie you are wearing in my judgement its K90,000, so prove to me that it’s not K90,000 but you will have to say it’s not K90,000 but we will have to send police so that you give a statement on oath that it’s not K90,000. What sort of country are we developing? I have heard Honourable [Stephen] Kampyongo, Honourable [Dr Brian] Mushimba, [Jean] Kapata… Let’s give it a thought, and these people are frustrated. That’s why they are telling you we welcome it. These people look guilty until proven innocent…that’s my position.”

And Chanda advised his successor to develop a thick skin to manage the Presidency.

He said working in the presidency was challenging and one needed more ‘Vaseline’ on their skin to make it.

“My advice is that with the advent of social media and the outbreak of reckless speech in the political space, my successor probably needs a thicker skin than mine. They must be prepared to take a lot of abuse and still resist the temptation to pour state power against critics. It’s challenging,” said Chanda.

“I can tell you that the balance of society, society is held on the balance of freedom and order and these two are in constant conflict. Freedom without order will almost be in doubt. This is the experience I have had from the highest office I have had until today (Thursday). Freedom without order will definitely lead to explosion in society, no doubt about it. It undermines national security, threatens the unity of families, religious conflict. Order without freedom will cause an implosion in society because society will be crushed from above, so there needs to be a clear balancing act.”


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