- Corruption – Most of the potential UPND ministers have been in opposition for a very long time and are very broke. They’ll see their appointment to cabinet as their time to eat. Within months, they might be in deep scandals. The same scandals that made people to vote the PF out. President HH will need to handle this very carefully.
- CADRES – The assertion by President HH that cadres will continue to be banned from markets and bus stations is well and good, but he will need to quickly find an income earner for these youths who are very expectant, having fought running battles against the PF for years. If President HH fails to accommodate his youths into some kind of income generating activity while he himself is busy taking selfie’s in State House, it will lead to his quick downfall. Cadres are a potent force in our political dispensation regardless of what President HH thinks.
- Tribalism – The official language of Zambia is English and the two major languages are Nyanja and Bemba. This is a well established fact that cannot be easily changed. If President HH tries to use the opportunity of his having been elected President to try and impose a third national language on the people, he might be met with resistance and it might lead to his eventual downfall within a short period of time. Already, the language of performance of songs during inauguration was not representative of the nation.
- Fight Against Corruption – When it comes to the fight against corruption, President Hichilema is between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, the youths that largely voted him into office expect him to go on a crusade against former members of the PF Government including former President Lungu. However, he needs to tread carefully here. Firstly, given Lungu’s peaceful handover of power, most right thinking Zambians would not support a Spanish Inquisition against him. As to his lieutenants, my view is that those who engaged in blatant corruption where there is clear evidence should be prosecuted without question. However President HH should not get carried away with the corruption crusade otherwise he might be seen to be on a mission to decimate the Bembas and Easterners, who were the major beneficiaries during Adada’s administration. Such a perception cannot be good for President HH’s future political fortunes.
- Economic Turnaround – When it comes to turning around our economy, again l see President HH as being between a rock and a hard place. However, in as much as he is faced with several pitfalls, l think he has several opportunities too. The only question is whether he will be able to assemble an economic management team that can be able to identify and exploit the opportunities while managing the pitfalls at the same time. For starters I hope the President does not appoint any of his party people to economic management positions just so as to reward them for their contribution to the struggle. So far l don’t see anyone who can properly manage the Minister of Finance portfolio. So my take is that he should look outside of his inner circle and try to identify a seasoned economic manager. Again, him being an economist, he should desist from micro-managing MoF. I am also hopeful that he will not put the country on an IMF Program. The conditionalities that are often imposed by the IMF naturally bring about a lot of hardships on common citizens, and the Zambian people have already gone through a lot of hardships already and would not be patient enough to go through another round of hardships, all in the name of the IMF. My take is that President HH’s trump card will be how he manages the mining sector. Here am not talking about long term mining policy, no. Am talking about the immediate issues facing the sector, as in Mopani and KCM. My take here is that he should consider proceeding with the Mopani shareholder buyout deal because it will definitely benefit the nation given the general direction in which copper prices are headed, with the advent of electric cars. However on the KCM issue, the PF Government made a mistake to go with the liquidation route because it is untenable, both from a moral and legal point of view. I know for a fact that Vedanta had been misbehaving for a long time and truth be told, they don’t deserve to operate in Zambia, but we went about the job of kicking them out the wrong way. My take is that we should’ve revoked their mining license on the basis of their pollution of the Kafue river, which was well established by the London Court. That way we would’ve had sympathy from the international community. But that liquidation route makes our Government look and sound like an Al Capone outfit. Anyway, since we are here, l feel that the right thing to do right now is to give KCM back to Vedanta so that we don’t scare the hell out of other potential mining investors. If they mess up, we can always get it back in a proper way. A legally sound way.