A society against itself – implications of misdeeds

A society against itself – implications of misdeeds

scottBy Lucky Mulusa, MP.

On 30 March, 2013, it was widely reported that “Ceremonial vice President Guy Scott says the Patriotic Front (PF) has eaten up the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) to a point that the former ruling party is virtually dead”. I was left wondering – why are we enemies of ourselves? How does the demise of the MMD assist the PF? UNIP existed alone for close to twenty years. Did that underwrite their hold on power forever? Where is UNIP today? Then there was the Editorial of the Post Newspaper of Friday, 29th March 2013, entitled Rupiah and the diplomats in which the Post editor made desperate attempts to condemn RB, the high commissioner, President Zuma, and South Africa generally. Again I was left wondering – Do the people behind the chaotic lifting of RB’s immunity understand the implications of what they have done?

Where are we going when people like Dr Guy Scott who we expect to be a thinker sinks so low as to make pronouncements that are supposed to be made by those who do not appreciate the meaning of multiparty democracy, nor complexity theory and systems thinking? Three characteristics about ourselves provide a strange unifying theme: hypocrisy; sadistic disposition; and lack of appreciation of society’s complexity and systematic existence. The Zambian society like any other is divided into three layers. The first comprises thinkers. The next level comprises opinion leaders who decipher the thoughts of thinkers and package messages for the larger group of followers who look up to opinion leaders for direction. Leaders must come from amongst thinkers or at the least, from amongst opinion leaders.

When leaders come from amongst thinkers, that particular society progresses because, thinkers appreciate and respect society’s complexity and systematic nature of existence. They tend to understand the implication of their decisions on society and beyond. Wisdom is usually their most powerful tool. They think through issues and their decisions undergo mature deliberations. Leaders from amongst thinkers are guided by professional ethics if they are educated and they are guided by respect and fear for systems if not educated.  As such, such leaders will never claim that they can change society’s fortunes in ninety (90) days because they know that development, job creation, and poverty alleviation are products of a complex web of inter-linked decisions, strategies, programmes and activities which for a nation of 14 million people cannot be achieved in ninety (90) days.  There is a reason why the term of Office is five (5) years and not 90 days.

When leaders come from people who ordinarily are supposed to be led, they are a danger to society. They have no appreciation of complexity theory and systems thinking.  They behave like a delinquent child in a house who does not realise that the house they live in took several man hours and resources to build and the furniture they use cost money and that somebody thought to arrange the furniture the way it is arranged for the family’s convenience.  The delinquent child does not realise that the food on the table, the clothes and all the assets in the house take somebody’s sweat to be made available. Such a delinquent child for the price of a match stick, can burn down the whole house in a matter of seconds.

In our midst, we have such a delinquent child – the PF.  The PF is blessed with some thinkers but, in the presence of pirates who have hijacked the soul of the PF’s struggle to emancipate Zambians, the party’s thinkers have been rendered impotent. The PF is unaware of the importance of the complex interconnectedness of the various elements in governance.  But that is not where my worry lies.  My worry lies with thinkers such as Dr. Guy Scott, who have not necessarily been rendered impotent but are clamouring to be cheer leaders for the pirates.  His claim in Lukulu West two days ago that PF has eaten up the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) to a point that the former ruling party is virtually dead, is a victory cry for the pirates whose only sole purpose of joining the PF very recently was to inflict the worst possible pain on the MMD for the past conflicts with them. Dr Guy Scott belongs to the group that originally formed PF promising to take Zambians to another level by doing what MMD was doing, but doing it differently.  What Zambians expect from him is a report back that the PF has delivered development, created employment, and has alleviated poverty amongst Zambians. That was the mandate for which PF was supported.

When you fail to understand the implication of your actions, you get confused. Life does not have a linear formula. Its formula, if there is any, is not even exponential either. It is an outcome of a multitude of events, decisions of people, institutions, societies, events, and conditions an individual or a group of them can hardly influence. In the Editorial of the Post Newspaper of Friday, 29th March 2013, entitled Rupiah and the diplomats, the editor asked several questions the most relevant of which were, “Where is the problem? What is South Africa’s concern?” This is proof enough that you can only trigger an event, after that the implications are beyond your control.South Africa’s foreign policy is entitled “Building a Better World: The Diplomacy of Ubuntu”. The Policy states that, “In terms of South Africa’s liberation history, its evolving international engagement is based on two central tenets, namely: Pan-Africanism and South-South solidarity. South Africa recognises itself as an integral part of the African continent and therefore understands its national interest as being intrinsically linked to Africa’s stability, unity, and prosperity. South Africa strives to promote its national interest in a complex and fast-changing world. The impact of these complexities and changes must be factored into the nation’s work to achieve a better life for its people both at home and in a regional and continental context.” When a country starts degenerating into a state of polarisation, when democracy starts being abused, when a handful start abusing state machinery to settle personal scores, then a country starts sliding into a state of chaos and the South African foreign policy kicks in. Mr Editor, this is where the problem is and this is what concerns South Africa. When South Africa’s Foreign Policy states that, “The Department of International Relations and Cooperation therefore undertakes to conduct its business of managing South Africa’s international relations ever mindful of its responsibility to the people it represents, even beyond the nation’s borders”, it means the workers in South Africa, the business community and the workers and South African investors in Zambia – hence RB’s invitation to the embassy.Back to Dr Guy Scott, it is shameful that the celebrations of the outcomes of the goal of the pirates in PF which is to destroy the MMD is being hijacked by the clueless Guy Scott who does not know that, that was never one of the PF’s outcomes at the formation of the PF in 2001.  Reading through David Reed’s book entitled ‘Economic Change, Governance and Natural Resource Wealth’ to which Dr Guy Scott eloquently contributed chapter three, I find it strange that he can abandon his comfortable position of a thinker and choose to be a cheerleader of the pirates.  Mr vice President, the PF has not eaten up the MMD to a point that the former ruling party is virtually dead. Rather, your misplaced victory claim shows that the PF’s original ideals have been hijacked to a point of the PF being rendered the single worst political failure in Zambia’s history.  My advice to the original PF members is that team up with the Kola Foundation to remove the pirates from having an influential hold over your party. Otherwise, you will be ashamed to claim that you were once PF members for you have failed to be useful and protect the ideals for which the PF earned the mandate to govern.

Lucky Mulusa, MP.

Solwezi Central Constituency.

April 1, 2013


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