In his book “Zambia Must Prosper” Kelvin Bwalya Fube (KBF) expresses shock that politicians who are famously known for corruption are in charge of our country and their careers are not affected in any way. He doesn’t seem to understand how Zambians expect people with questionable character to change and become angels once they are voted into power.
We are surprised with the shock being expressed by Mr KBF, of all people, that Zambians are tolerating low levels of integrity from its leaders. We are even more surprised that the PF election strategist is now wondering how dishonest people confidently contest elections in Zambia and win. But before we proceed with our opinion, here are a few excerpts from the book – for the benefit of those who have not had a chance to see it. KBF writes:
“For a Christian Nation, Zambia is shockingly a country that seems to tolerate low levels of integrity from its leaders. The shocking part is, in Zambia you can have a leader with blatantly questionable character confidently contesting and winning elections without losing sleep over it.
We have morally questionable brothers and sisters presiding over churches, and life goes on in Zambia. In America and other western countries, your political career is basically over should your integrity be brought into question. The principle is that people of compromised character are almost guaranteed to be compromised in their handling of national affairs and public resources. Frankly speaking, there are no two ways about it.
In our country, which is supposed to be a Christian nation, it is shocking that these are non-issues. In Zambia, a politician can be known to be corrupt and dishonest but his or her political career will not be affected in any way. Zambians don’t seem to mind, but it is time we understand that this has negative consequences of great nature on the nation. We don’t expect every person in Zambia to be perfect, but we expect people in leadership to be held to a higher standard for the benefit of our nation. There is no single perfect person alive today, but there is a distinction between moments of weakness, a few lapses in judgment and habitual moral delinquency. It is high time we began to examine the background of those who want to run for political office in our country to ensure we give custody of our public resources only to people of proven integrity.
It is folly of the highest order to expect people who have no integrity, who abuse their workers and spouses, are dishonest and do not display the fear of God, to become angels once we vote them into power. Zambians need to wake up from this deception and neglect in responsibility towards the wellbeing of our nation. Imagine a wolf convincing you that he will be the best custodian to take care of your sheep! But that is the extent to which we gamble with our country when we entrust public leadership to individuals of questionable character.”
Well, the irony of society is that foolish people know not, the degree of their foolishness. In politics, this is even worse because, not only do our leaders doubt their stupidity, but also, they have multitudes of people around them who impart imaginary intelligence in their brains.
More than 75 per cent of our politicians in Zambia live a lie. They are not who they are, they don’t have the leadership qualities they think they possess and most importantly, they neither have a vision for the country nor an economic emancipation plan for the people. But they keep henchman around, whose job is to convince them that they have it. This is where corrupt politicians with questionable characters draw confidence that they can lead a country.
If Zambia is being governed by criminals today, it is not because citizens did not examine the background of those who were seeking political office, as Mr KBF is suggesting. It is rather because citizens made misinformed choices. They were fooled by political pundits hired to launder the character of a presidential aspirant, for example.
So we agree with Mr KBF when he says Zambians need to wake up from this deception. That is why we are here to tell him that he actually owes Zambians an explanation; if he can’t be kind enough to apologise. The timing of this book tells us that Mr KBF has seen something terribly wrong with the way our country is being governed. But we also know that without his electioneering skills rendered to the Patriotic Front, Zambia may not have had this current regime in power.
We have observed that that Mr KBF has made fruitless efforts to reach out to the dishonest people he helped put in power for dialogue. We have witnessed his attempts to reason with these people who have questionable character that they should climb down and hear the concerns of those who voted in their favour, but his voice is nothing less than the nuisance of a buzzing fly over food.
The trouble that Mr KBF has is that if he does not see his own role in the calamity that has befallen Zambia, citizens will judge him as a hypocrite. And just like foolish people, hypocrites also pretend not to know who they are until someone reminds them. His book is exemplary and his counsel contained therein is stately, but we feel Mr KBF must also answer to his own call for morality in politics.
We are convinced that this strategic PF member has chosen to side with the oppressed, but our concern is that his book is too small to hide his face. His past must answer the questions that his future is seeking. Whatever political step he decides to take after this, he must remember his own counsel that there is no single perfect person alive, but there is a distinction between a few lapses in judgement and habitual moral delinquency. Mr KBF’s failure to declare his lapses in judging the character of those he campaigned for, will demonstrate a habitual moral delinquency on his part.