Edgar Lungu last week warned of chaos in Zambia if Constitutional Court judges try to emulate the Kenyan courts and stop his bid for a third term in 2021.
“People are saying Zambian courts should be very brave and make decisions like the Kenyan courts, saying Zambian courts should be brave and make decisions which are in the interest of the people. But look at what is happening in Kenya right now! I’m saying the courts of law in Zambia should also see what is happening; they should not behave as though they are not part of our African continent. The most important thing I can say right now is that in 2021, I’m available to stand if my party decides that I contest,” said Edgar. “But to our friends who are in the court system, I’m saying do not plunge this country into chaos by imitating or emulating Kenya, or any other court system for that matter, which does not care about the interests of the people. I’m saying this in front of you people, there are cameras in front of me and there are Zambians who are writing and recording because I have heard some judges say ‘why don’t we emulate the Kenyan courts? They are very brave with what they have done.’ I don’t think that is right. We should preserve peace, we should listen to the voice of the people, we should reflect the will of the people in the Constitution. Whether I am eligible to stand or not in 2021 should not be dependent on imitating Kenya.”
Now his language has somewhat changed and he is saying: “l am going up to 2021 unless otherwise.” What is the meaning of this? Does it mean that “…unless I die in office before 2021?”
Why this unclear twist? Why can’t he make himself clear and simple on this issue?
In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon wrote, “Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.”
Clearly, it’s not Edgar’s intention to make people understand his intentions. Last week when he wanted to be understood, he was very clear in his message and warnings to the Constitutional Court judges not to stand in his way for a third term of office in 2021. It would seem that now his intention is to mislead the Zambian people into thinking he has climbed down from his position of last week, which did not go well with right thinking Zambians.
Edgar is being deceptive. We don’t think his intentions for 2021 have changed. He is still working to manipulate the process and ensure that he stands in 2021. But for now, he wants to kill the damaging discourse over his threats to the judges of the Constitutional Court.
There can’t be “unless otherwise ” because when his term of office ends in 2021, he will not qualify to stand even if the Patriotic Front adopted him as its presidential candidate.
In desperation for a third term of office, Edgar is saying things he shouldn’t be saying – alesabaila! He needs to be careful with his words because once they are said, they can be only forgiven, not forgotten.
There’s need to think twice before he speaks, because his words will plant the seed of how he is seen by the Zambian people.
The moment one begins to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in him, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into his soul. It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. Maturity is the ability to think, speak and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. The measure of one’s sensibleness is how spiritual one becomes during the midst of his frustrations.
It is said, ‘Speak when you are angry – and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.’ What Edgar needs to learn is that he is master of what he says until he utters it, once he delivers it, he is its captive. One word could bring disgrace and the termination of a bliss. Life isn’t about just talking, it’s about thinking too. A fool is made more of a fool when their mouth is more open than their mind. First, understand the meaning and implications of what you want to say, and then speak. Be impeccable with your word. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the words to speak against yourself or to belittle others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth. Lies or half truths don’t pay.
From the time you are young, you are constantly reminded by your elders to stop and think. They have told you to consider what you say, how you say it and judge its propriety in each individual situation.
In 2 Peter 2:18 we are told, “…they speak great swelling words of emptiness…” And Plato wrote, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”