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Lungu seeks humane face for presidency

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu (right) speaks during the Hot FM Breakfast show at State House on Saturday,October 10,2015. On the left is HOT FM presenter Hope Chishala. PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE ©2015

PRESIDENT Lungu says he wants to be remembered as an ordinary person who brought humane characteristics to the presidency.
President Lungu said he would like to leave a legacy where the fathom on presidency is reduced to a human being occupying a leadership role on behalf of the people who have trusted him to be there for them.
“I have talked about the people’s power. People should be the leaders and that the person at the helm is just symbolic. I would like people to believe in themselves. My experience in this Office of the President has been that you are ring-fenced very quickly, isolated from people and they tell you what you want to hear and in the process you drift away, before long they are calling you names and you are out of office,” he said.
The President was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he featured on the Hot FM 10th anniversary special Breakfast Show.
President Lungu said he wants to be remembered as an ordinary person who became president and brought ordinary humane characteristics to the presidency unlike a situation where he thinks he is superhuman.
“I don’t want a situation where the president cannot go wrong; where the president is all powerful; where the president cannot fall ill or enjoy a game of soccer with friends. I want to meet as many people as possible, I want to hear them, I want them to also know that I appreciate their suffering and I am doing something about it.
“Some people don’t expect me to be a human being anymore because I am President. I want people to begin seeing the president as one of them but just privileged to be at the helm,” he said.
Commenting on whether the presidency has changed him, President Lungu noted that there are some protocols and traditional practices in place which make it easy for one to feel like a superhuman.
“There are some protocols that make it easy for one to slide into a super human being; to slide into the most wise, the most powerful, the most handsome, you name it, it’s a built-in mechanism but you have to maintain your humanity and break these barriers,” he said.
He said this is to ensure he reaches out to people and people begin to feel he is there for them and that he is no superhuman who cannot make a mistake.
“They can volunteer counsel and I can take it. I want to be remembered as a president who remained a human being. I am ordinary mortal, who can make mistakes and I can listen to voices out there,” President Lungu said.


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