Sarah Imutowana Yeta II
A few years ago I went to a conference at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. After the conference, I flew to the United Kingdom. Two hours in the flight, a man who was seated next to me went to the refreshing or ablution room. When he came back, he was putting on a strong perfume. The moment the fragrance hit the tip of my nose, I felt like throwing up and I stood up and dashed to one of the rear ablution rooms of the plane. An alert female flight attendant followed me, and asked if I was fine. I told her that I am not fine. I related to her that I am sensitive to strong fragrances like one putting the man seated next to me. The flight attendant went back and found another seat for me.
After feeling better, I went to my new seat. As I was walking, I saw a man who resembled Hichilema seated in the economy class. I dismissed the whole idea that it was Hichilema in the economy class. When I got to my seat, I did not right away sit down because I wanted to ascertain if the man I saw was really Hichilema. While standing near my exit row seat with significantly greater legroom than standard seats, I pretended to be setting properly the collar for my jacket and made a gentle forty five degrees turn of my head towards the man who looked like Hichilema to see if it was Hichilema. I cautiously stared at him, and indeed it was Hichilema and I quickly sat down and said to myself, “what the hell is Hichilema doing here in the economy class?” I was shocked to the marrow, why such a rich man was in the lowest air travel class.
For about an hour, I engaged in a soliloquy; an act of speaking to myself on why a wealthy man who can afford to buy his own Airbus, would be flying in an economy class. It made me think of the ordinary Toyota Land Cruiser he uses when he can afford the Koenigsegg, the most expensive car in the world. I thought of the ordinary blue suit he was putting on, when he can afford the worlds’ most expensive Dormeuil Vanquish suits. I raced with a thought about his ordinary shoes succumbing to the shape of his feet, when he can afford the world’s most expensive Tom Ford shoes.
I said to myself, “he can afford anything that money can buy”, yet he lives a life of a commoner.
It is then that it dawned on me that Hichilema’s attitude towards riches is not what other rich people exhibit or ordinary people expect from him. As a rich man, he is expected to live big but not with Hichilema. The question therefore is, “why doesn’t Hichilema dress big, drive big, and fly big?
The answer is simple. He is a prudent rich man. He believes in spending money on the “right” things to ensure that he gets the best buy for his money. He foregoes instant gratification by picturing a better future and investing now to bring about that better future, explaining why he has a business empire. He has no problem in resisting self-defeating impulses we see in other rich people. Instead, he persists in beneficial activities, even if they lack instant appeal.
Put simply, it is prudence; his ability to manage and discipline himself by the use of reason that is behind his riches, a tested and proven formula to success.
This means that if Hichilema is voted into power, we will have a prudent president. His prudence will provide leadership that is reflective, thoughtful, and practical about national choices.Hate or like him, Hichilema is a paragon of prudence. He will use his reason to correctly discern what can help and what can hinder realising national development.
“Sara, how do you know all this?”, one may ask. It is easy to decode by merely looking at how Hichilema prudently lives his life.
Hichilema’s presidency would mean government getting ready for practical measures of fiscal discipline because he is a fiscal disciplinarian. The pervasive challenge of squandering public resource witnessed under Lungu that has contributed to the collapse of the economy, will come to an end.
There will be no buying of jets, no overpriced fire tenders, ambulances, road contracts, tollgates, and other extravagant spending. Many people are excited about the idea of Hichilema forming government, which is good, but the question is, “are we equally excited to be led by a fiscal disciplinarian?” As a prudent leader, he will maintain the level of fiscal reserves within set guidelines through prudent and efficient management. Once again, our country will have robust reserves to cater for our needs during difficult times. He will breathe new life into government departments and improve their efficiency, quality and cost-effectiveness to meet the needs of our country. As he has been telling the nation, Hichilema will ensure that government expenditure grows no faster than the economy over time. As a prudent person, it will be easy for him to consider competing demands for resources and determine priorities in a disciplined manner.
His prudent leadership style will help to maintain an effective, trouble-free, low and conventional tax regime. This will help to promote much needed investment and enterprise. He will improve the efficiency and user-friendliness of the revenue collection system and promote voluntary tax submission.
Once again, we will have sources of government finance by making major investments and cheaper loans in support of development to improve the country’s competitiveness and living environment.
In conclusion, his prudent leadership style will allow institutions such as law enforcement agencies; the police, drug enforcement, prosecution and anti-corruption agencies to play their supporting role in enforcing fiscal discipline. These agencies will fight financial crime and corruption, which is causing serious seepages in the system.
Given a chance to lead the country, Hichilema will create a framework within the ambit of the constitution to support prudence in the use of public resources, and ensure this goal is achieved.
Therefore, voting for Hichilema is voting for a prudent fiscal management path to national development.