It’s okay to be a jolly president
This week, the opposition came down hard on President Lungu, accusing him of being childish, after he was depicted swinging from monkey bars when commissioning new houses for police officers in Chelstone, Lusaka. I actually found it rather refreshing. Here is a president, who at the age of 59 is vital enough to have a go at a climbing frame for children, proving that none of his feet are close to slipping into the grave (both of them were in fact pointing into the air as the president went upside-down). This is reassuring after Zambia has lost two presidents in office. I also fail to see how the incident says anything about our president’s leadership capabilities – whatever one may think of them. It does say something about his leadership style, though, and here Lungu deserves some praise. His happy-go-lucky approach to ups and downs alike means he has been too busy enjoying himself to develop into a typical autocrat. Instead he has had to delegate more, making him a lot more approachable than his predecessor. The presidency traditionally generates great reverence, respect and even fear in Zambia. This is not how it is supposed to be!
Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly