By Bowman Lusambo
By convention, governments communicates through a Chief Government Spokesperson, Line Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and in rare circumstances through Directors.
So whenever you see a State House or the Presidency taking a lead role in communicating matters of policy, just know that such a government is facing a serious case of crisis of communication.
The dysfunctional nature of the Hichilema presidency has reduced Ministers to mere bystanders. Their aloofness is clearly seen in Parliament when delivering vague Ministerial Statements. Unfortunately, this sad reality has also extended to the Vice President’s Question Time where Her Honour is failing to answer questions adequately because she has to constantly check with the Head of State.
Even on matters that squarely sit under their jurisdiction, Ministers are failing to articulate policy positions until they check with President Hichilema.
This void has been observed and it is therefore not surprising that today, for the very first time in our history, an entire President will be subjected to a two hour long radio programme to respond to people’s concerns.
For his team at State House, this may appear to be a big Out of the Box innovation but for some of us who understand how governments functions, this confirms that there is a big communication crisis in the Hichilema government.
If the President can spend two hours which he ordinarily shouldn’t have due to the nature of his office on radio talking, what will the Chief Government Spokesperson be doing then?
What we expect from President Hichilema is to get down to work. We don’t need anymore talk shows. Those close to him should tell him that time for campaign talk shows ended and now is time to work. Farmers just want empty bags and inputs distributed. Students want loans credited in their accounts and widow just wants mealie meal prices reduced. No Zambian is interested in two hours of speeches.
The Zambians only want a Progress Report and you don’t need to hours to give them one.
President Hichilema should be told that if his government is failing to communicate adequately, maybe he should concentrate on filling up empty positions in his government than sitting in a studio wasting time he doesn’t even have.