Former Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has slammed what he called the character assassination campaign launched against Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema (HH) saying the trolls were showing their fear of his country “doing better than us”.

Hichilema has been facing an unprecedented level of attacks from Zanu-PF officials since the time he assumed the leadership of Zambia in August 2021. He rose from being an opposition leader under the United Party for National Development (UPND) to be the country’s 7th President.

This appeared to anger the ruling Zanu-PF party leading to several attacks on Hichilema who has been branded a western puppet.

With several arrests of politicians in Zambia, Hichilema’s critics are now accusing him of being a dictator. Due to the trolls that are especially dominating social media, Hichilema’s most popular propagandist Joseph Kalimbwe recently threatened to dump his leader.

Mliswa, an outspoken Zimbabwean politician, believes that Hichilema is being targeted by Zimbabweans who are afraid or jealous that Zambia is doing well.

“There seems so much appetite from this side of the country to celebrate and even contrive to create a perception that Hichilema has gone rogue. The level of a dogged character assassination plot betrays an underlying fear of Zambia doing better than us. It’s sad,” Mliswa said.

“Truth be told, HH has done well in the short time that he has been in office. Zambia was already in a bad state prior to him. For starters we have not seen corruption flourishing there. It’s a benefit of selecting a leader who isn’t out to make money. He is monied already.

“He wants order in that country and has generally handled the many traps set for him very well. He is a leader with a good reputation and can’t just throw it away as some would like to frame it. His credentials as a leader are impeccable too.

“As it is, Zambia is far better than most African countries. Having a corporate guru as President will do them good. Only a few rogue elements who seek to fleece a country in connivance with its leaders are angry at his thrift conduct.”

Mliswa was responding to one Dereck Goto who posted that, under Hichilema, human rights abuses and economic challenges were gripping Zambia.

Goto cited the recent arrests of politicians Fred M’membe, the leader of the Socialist Party (SP), Given Lubinda, the vice-president of the Patriotic Front (PF); Mr. Chilufya Tayali, leader of the Economic and Equity Party (EEP) and Raphael Nakacinda, a PF member and Zambia’s former Permanent Representative to the African Union, Ambassador Emmanuel Mwamba.

“Zambians are increasingly vexed by the insufferable state of their economy, which has rendered the lives of ordinary citizens exceedingly challenging in terms of sustenance.