By Dr Given Mutinta
Even a chicken in Zambia knows that President Edgar Lungu’s mediocre leadership is the most serious evil this country is facing.
Lungu has no real-world action plan on how to address the free falling Kwacha, the high cost of living, and other socio-economic anguishes hounding the country. Besides, he does not care as he is paranoid about winning the next general election.
It is impossible for Zambia led by visionless, corrupt and self-centred leaders to win the war against the current socio-economic ills.
One question has been badgering me for some time now. Why are we consistent in voting into power visionless, corrupt, selfish and sick leaders?
As a nation, don’t we have a way out of this conundrum of being led by leaders not up to scratch?
Surely, we can unshackle ourselves from the fetters of Lungu’s mediocre leadership if we were to seriously reflect and act on the words of Confucius a Chinese philosopher.
Confucius ardently argued that to have order in a country, we must first put the family in order. To put the family in order, we must first nurture our personal lives, and to nurture our personal lives, we must first set our hearts in order.
The crux of Confucius’ contention is that our communities have levels of leadership constituents, and the basic is the family composed of individual members.
For this reason, to transform Zambia for the better, we must start by paying attention to individual persons in families. This would help organize and manage individual lives well and set our hearts in order.
Once people in families are well organized and disciplined, our government will consequentially be well organized, and we will have sanity in the country.
Elementary speaking, when our families are composed of honest individual lives, then the political leadership of the country will be honest. Similarly, if the reverse is the case, Zambia will have scallywags as its political leaders.
When such sordid characters take up political leadership, it is unrealistic to think that Zambia would be moving in the right direction.
It is unarguable that political leaders emanate from families. Hence thieves or corrupt elements or drunkards in their private lives remain as such in their public life and the other way around.
To me, this shows that our characters as individuals in families determine the character of the people in political leadership at each given time.
This is one reason I do not exclusively blame Lungu for his despicable leadership because most of our Zambian family leadership and individual citizens are mostly thieving, unreliable, dishonest, unpatriotic, greedy and corrupt.
The truth is that Lungu’s incompetent regime is made up people from our families. Tell me, did Lungu or Kambwili or Chama or Mumbi fly from a desert island into government? The answer is, no! They all came from among us.
When people say Lungu is visionless, sick, morally bleeding dry, corrupt, incompetent, and so on, they are talking about vices that are hounding our own families and society in Zambia today.
Where did Lungu learn to be corrupt, to be preoccupied with alcohol, to compromise his faculty of foresight, and other depravities if not from our society?
We all know that the weakest link in a chain is a measure of its strength, so Lungu’s abysmal leadership is a reflection of individual lives of the people in this country as a whole.
After Lungu and his wretched acquaintances have served their term, where will they return? Is it not to their families and followers?
Come next year another group of political leaders may emerge from the same sick families and take over the wheels of government.
What results should we expect? It is the same results, the same official and public incompetence, corruption and selfishness unless we the base of this country are ready to put right our individual characters in truth for the better.
If one draws three buckets of water from the water well and all the three buckets have impurities in them, does that not mean the water well itself is dirty? Unless the well is cleansed, no bucket of water drawn from the well will be free of impurities.
We Zambians, represent the dirty water well while the impure three buckets of water represent the three different political parties; the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and the Patriotic Front (PF) whose leaders have (mis)governed our country.
Even the Scriptures in the Gospel of Mathew 7:18 teach us that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. In short, the general rule requires the correspondence of external product to internal character.
If Lungu’s heart is good, why is he not providing good leadership? If good leadership is not seen in Lungu in spite of being accused to be “humble”, it is because of this real character. Bad political leadership cannot but spring from a visionless and worthless heart.
It therefore stands to reason that sick families establish sick governments while good families create good political leadership.
What is important to remember is that the political sovereignty of democracy in this country lies with us the masses, not with Lungu’s regime. Regrettably, the socio-economic responsibilities of our country are abused by Lungu and his sycophants because we, the hoi polloi, are largely rotten in character and personality.
It is common sense that leadership virtues can only be successfully indoctrinated in leaders when they are among their families not when they are already in State House or Nkwazi House.
We should not wait for Lungu to instil good values in our families and transform our society because we citizens form the government. Besides, Lungu and his confederates are already rotten in character and personality.
Good political leadership in Zambia will continue to evade us unless we start growing our individual lives in the practices of trust, honesty, temperament, peace, justice and respect for the rule of law that are severely deficient in our families.
At all levels, we must open new chapters in our private lives, and start now to teach our children the right values of life.
This is a sure way of developing our personal lives in the tradition of private and public accountability before the mantle of leadership falls on our shoulders.