REVEREND Suzanne Matale has rarely been in the news in the recent past. One would think she has not been following the developments that our country has been going through. But listening to her virtual public lecture on “Leadership challenges in times of disruption” under the auspices of the Levy Mwanawasa Foundation, we could tell that she has been closely following the political debates.
She observed that politicians have been using deceit to exploit poor and innocent citizens. Her conclusion is that the political system in Zambia only teaches people to value power, material wealth and individualism. Rev Matale goes further to explain that there is a difference between a leader and a politician, leaving everyone clear about what we have in Zambia.
We cannot say it better than Rev Matale did in her public lecture. Our job is now simply to spread her gospel, so that everyone can hear and know our leaders for what they are. Below are the highlights of Rev Matale’s views on the state that Zambia finds itself in today:
· I want to submit that leadership is not incidental.
· In fact, good leadership must manifest at its best in moments of crisis.
· God bequeaths leadership to human beings for the purpose of carrying out the crucial task of redeeming people from the battering of the world and to lead them to peace, justice, dignity and prosperity.
· It is very unlikely these days to have a leader like our late president Levy Mwanawasa.
· There’s a difference between leaders and politicians.
· Politicians think that once we elevate them to office, then we give up in our rights to life.
· A nation that always depends on other nations’ local and foreign business and other people to come to its rescue in moments of crisis should be worried.
· Politicians do not understand that their title of minister is derived from a Latin word called servant, assistant, attendant to the people.
· They say once in power, let us make hay while the sun shines; they do not even pretend or hide this fact and this is a sign of insecurity.
· For some reasons, some politicians are insecure.
· When leaders are insecure, they live in fear of the unknown and, in the process, alienate themselves from people.
· A secure leader’s first point of call will be to develop potential in others, motivate, train empower, groom people for service because you cannot lead alone.
· Many politician leaders claim to be Christians but they act contrary to the principles and values of Christianity.
· Sadly for the politicians, they assume that the poor people do not know what is good for them, but that is erroneous, and it is that attitude which has contributed to the ongoing impunity.
· Most politicians are comfortable with deceit, they effectively use this to exploit innocent people.
· Politicians say ‘give them a little here and there, and because they are just God’s simple people, they accept and they will be fine until the next elections’.
· Our politicians make the right noises when they campaign but when they are in the office, the only things that change, from one government to another, are office occupiers, everything else remains the same.
· We have a very huge challenge here in Zambia for the Church to get involved in the affairs of the country.
· The Church and the politicians have narrowed the gap; it is very difficult to see the divide between the government and the Church as it was before when the Church was strong.
· When the Church spoke, it was the moral conscience of the nation, but we don’t see that anymore.
· We are the ones with moral conscience, we must be the ones that must look and speak the truth to power.
Which right thinking Zambian can disagree with any of the points on leadership raised by Rev Matale above?