GREGORY Chifire says Zambians should be a little patient with President Hakainde Hichilema because the desired changes cannot be obtained overnight.
He also says President Hichilema must avoid at all cost to be surrounded by praise singers and bootlickers because the cancer of bootlickers has destroyed many presidents.
“We do also get lessons from fools,” Chifire said.
In a statement yesterday, the Southern Africa Network Against Corruption director said the President should also resist superiority tendencies which some before him have fallen into.
He said it is undisputable that Zambians are in a hurry to see changes at different levels of government, firing and hiring of permanent secretaries, high commissioners and ambassadors, public office bearers and the Civil Service in general.
“Many believe that these instant changes may lead to overnight economic transformation. These changes must follow procedure because there are contractual obligations, remunerations and as well as hand overs to be done. Things must be done orderly,” he said.
Chifire, in exile, warned that rushing the President into making radical changes for the sake of changing personnel may not be beneficial in the long run.
“Yes, historically, change of government entailed instant change in personnel and radical policy shift without proper hand overs which led to loss in institutional memory and breakdown in government programmes,” he said.
Chifire said with everyone’s support and a good team of advisors, President Hichilema is poised to succeed.
However, he urged the President that he must endeavour to avoid falling into the trap of being shielded from reality as has been the case with his predecessors.
Chifire warned that power has a common tendency of blinding leaders, especially politicians, from reality.
“He is the President for every Zambian. Unfortunately for him he has come into office at a time when expectations from the people are extremely high. He and his team will need to be at their best. The key for him to deliver lies in having a right team around him and as well as listening to the people. The moment he is going to detach himself from the people that will create challenges to his leadership,” he said. “Power belongs to the people. He should at all times resist the temptation that his predecessor failed into of thinking that the President owns the power and the citizens owned nothing. The truth is that the Presidency holds power in trust on behalf of the citizens who may demand it back whenever they felt like.”
Chifire said the President should by all means possible accommodate divergent views.
He urged him to never be dismissive of criticism, but take positives from critics.
“We do also get lessons from fools. He must avoid at all cost to be surrounded by praise singers and bootlickers. The cancer of bootlickers has destroyed many presidents. He needs to create a mechanism to cross check every information he is given by his lieutenants. For those that surround the President must tell him that truth as it is,” he said.
Chifire said the success of the President is the success for the entire nation.
“Elections are behind us. We must put our political differences aside and pursue a common agenda, which is development,” said Chifire.