By Given Mutinta
There is nothing in life more disgraceful and reprehensible than establishing one’s self on lies. President Michael Sata’s leadership is founded on lies. His lies are the most significantly destructive political acts that are destroying the moral fabric in our society.
Sata is implausibly far from being the character he made the people believe he was during the September 2011 election campaigns. People were deceived; they believed what is not true about Sata, and voted for an imposter and charlatan.
Sata campaigned on the basis of restoring the Barotseland Agreement after deadly clashes between Rupiya Banda’s regime and the people of Barotseland over the government’s refusal to restore the agreement.
Thus, Sata blatantly told the people of Barotseland that he would restore the Barotseland Agreement if they gave him their vote. Unfailingly, the people of Barotseland gave Sata their vote and today he is at State House as President of the Republic of Zambia. Therefore, the agreement between Sata and the people of Barotseland worked as the two parties envisioned it. Without fail, Sata should do his part by restoring the Barotseland Agreement.
What is appalling is that Sata brusquely rejected the recommendations from Dr. Rogers Chongwe’s Commission of Inquiry (COI) to restore the Barotseland Agreement. He failed to treat the recommendations with the seriousness and gravity they deserve. This is an indubitable indication of how deceptive Sata is. If the Patriotic Front government was serious about the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement, these recommendations would have paved an official and smooth road for Sata not only to honour his promise to the people of Barotseland but also to do justice to the recommendations. He has squandered an opportunity to be true to himself and the people of Barotseland.
It is Sata’s hesitancy to honour his promise that tempers are raging in Barotseland. It cannot be a surprise if the people of Barotseland were to engage in civil disobedience in protest against Sata’s fraudulent promise. Should we have a pandemonium in Barotseland, Sata should exclusively be held accountable.
The facts that the people of Barotseland have appointed a prime minister, designed their own currency, published their constitution and manifesto should make any contemptuous and sardonic leader think twice. It is not a ‘cloak-and-dagger’ issue that the people of Barotseland are now demanding Barotseland to be an independent State with their King, the Litunga, to be the head of the new state. Any visionary leader would sagaciously address straight on this important issue. A stitch in time may save nine, or should I say, an apology to one fraudulent campaign promise might lead to forgiveness for the many deceitful promises made to our people.
Without studying the Chongwe COI recommendations, Sata said that he is indisposed to restore the Barotseland Agreement. Sata’s reaction shows that he knew his position on the Barotseland Agreement even before the COI carried out its mandate. In spite of this, he went ahead to form a COI wasting taxpayer’s money.
It is clear that Sata formed the Chongwe COI to once more deceive people that he was concerned about the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement. Deep down in his heart Sata knew that he would not restore the Barotseland Agreement, a position he has held even when making campaign promises.
Now that people know that Sata is an interminable liar, the people Barotseland should not settle for anything less or more than what was agreed upon in the campaign promise. You may deceive all the people part of the time, and part of the people all the time, but not all the people all the time. The people Barotseland should make Sata pay for his lies.
This is one way of helping him to be truthful in his dealings with others. Why is Sata allergic to telling the truth? What are other things Sata is lying on that we do not know?
Trusting Sata is one thoughtless thing one can do today. Sata should be treated with the highest level of cynicism because of his never-ending drive to lie. He sees nothing wrong in lying on anything and everything. This is one of the ‘true colours’ of a leader we have at State House, a liar.
Sata’s lies have severely diminished the trust people had in him. If people in our society were to be liars in the same way as Michael Sata Chilufya, what kind of society can we have? Certainly, life would be extremely difficult, as nobody could be trusted. Is this the kind of society Sata is advocating for, a society of liars, perjurers, imposters, charlatans, and hypocrites?
Sata’s lie on the restoration of Barotseland treated the Lozi people as a means to get to State House. What a disgraceful method of getting to Sate House! Politicians who are abusive or treat people as a means to achieve their purposes should be rejected and indicted for abusing or manipulating the electorate.
His lies denied the people of people of Barotseland their right to make free and informed decision about who to vote for in the 2011 elections. Sata’s bogus promise induced the people of Barotseland to give him their vote.
The vote Sata got from the people of Barotseland, ‘no matter how small’, contributed to his triumph. He should therefore deliver on the ‘deal’ he made with the people of Barotseland.
More importantly, Sata should not be allowed to make the vice of lying into a national principle or culture. If lying is a virtue among the Bisa people, it is not among the people of Barotseland. Our country needs models for virtues and values, not vices and degeneracies.
Regardless of a person’s status, lying is fundamentally wrong. We need to develop a culture where charlatans pay for their lies. Unscrupulous people display vices explaining why they have unscrupulous behaviour. Thus, Sata’s deceptions are an indication of how devious or unscrupulous he is such that he does not deserve to be trusted.
It is disconcerting to have an old lying president. Our wisdom holds that, ‘akanwa kamwemfu takabepa’, or this adage no longer holds water! There is no doubt that Sata’s lies are a habit, and he is comfortable with lying.
Every time Sata opens his mouth, he misuses the asset of human communication. The asset of speech is meant to be accurately used to share constructive thoughts not lies.
When Sata promised to restore the Barotseland Agreement, he effectively ‘made a contract’ with the people of Barotseland. Unswervingly, let him honour his promise.
His treacherous campaign promise to restore the Barotseland Agreement has deprived the people of Barotseland control over their future as a state. Thus, any sensible person knows that the apprehension in Barotseland is a normal reaction of people who have been hoodwinked. In all honesty, what makes Sata think that the people of Barotseland are people who do not deserve to be told the truth, and should not react to his offensive lies?
The people of Barotseland should be supported in their quest to make Sata honour his promise. It is sad that Sata’s lies have made his long-term credibility at risk. The danger of his lies is that they will catch up with him soon or later. Our ancestors taught us that, ‘ubufi bulaya nokubwela’.
As a result of Sata’s lies, he is the least trusted president we have had so far. His lies have deeply injured the moral fabric of our society. Consequently, our society needs ‘repair’ from the evil effects of Sata’s lies. He has damaged the general level of truthfulness among people.
It is becoming harder for people; tribes and regions to trust each other. His lies have weakened social cohesion eventually no one will be able to believe anyone else and our society will breakdown.
If Sata had a good conscience, he would take time to ask himself how he would feel if he was on the receiving end of duplicitous campaign promises. He should learn to reason when planning to lie, that is, if his lies are not ‘neurotic’ or impulsive. Sata should take time to reflect whether there some truthful alternatives to use before he uses lies to deal with issues affecting our people.
He should also take time to reflect on what moral justifications are there for him to tell lies – and what counter-arguments can be raised against those justifications. So far, his campaign lies; job creation, more money in people’s pockets, equal distribution of wealth, reduce the size of cabinet, re-introduce windfall tax, restore the Barotseland Agreement, and others are unjustifiable and unpardonable.
Before he lies, Sata should ask himself what the public jury of reasonable people would say about his lies. As it is now, no sensible person can defend his lies and he will always be tagged a liar, fibber and hypocrite.
Sata should quickly and honestly engage the people of Barotseland to find ways of addressing the apprehension caused by his traitorous promises. Decisions should be made before we can have a pandemonium in Barotseland.