Ndola PF secretary Jones Kaliati has advised fellow party members that lies will not speak for them in elections.
Kaliati says he has been longing for a rebirth of honest leaders that would communicate the truth to the party’s hierarchy. “…deceiving ourselves with lies will not speak for us in any by-elections peradventure or in 2021 rematch,” says Kaliati.
How big is the problem of lies in the Patriotic Front? And who is lying to who? We ask these questions because Kaliati is not the first person in the Patriotic Front to talk about lies in the party – many others have done so before. A political party that is dominated by lies is in very serious trouble. Lies are not a recipe for progress. Honesty is the cornerstone of all progress, without which confidence and ability to make progress shall cease to exist. Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for progress in life – in all areas of human endeavour. And anyone can develop both honesty and integrity. Life comes down to honesty and doing what’s right. That’s what’s most important. And that is why it’s said that the greatest truth is honesty, and the greatest falsehood is dishonesty.
It is also said that honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. William Shakespeare wrote, “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” John Lyly wrote, “He that loseth his honesty hath nothing else to lose.” This is true because honesty prospers in every condition of life; it will never break you. And confidence thrives on honesty. Without honesty, there can be no confidence. And although honesty does not always bring a response of love, it is absolutely essential to it.
Honesty is the single most important factor having a direct bearing on the real progress of a politician or political party. Honesty is as much saying everything as it is saying what is true. And it is something you can’t wear out. Benjamin Franklin said, “Honesty is the best policy.” But this near trite saying has met with the just criticism that honesty is not policy. The real honest man is honest from conviction of what is right, not from policy.
For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth. Amilcar Cabral said, “Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories…” It is discouraging how many people in the Patriotic Front seem to be angered by truth, don’t want to hear truth and are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.
When you follow the social media, it’s not difficult to discern that the Patriotic Front has hired hordes of people to shamelessly defend it and attack its opponents or critics with all sorts lies and inaccuracies. And inaccuracy is the twin brother of dishonesty; accuracy, of honesty. There are many people in the Patriotic Front who don’t seem to care about truth at all. They have no problem telling lies even where it’s not harmful or detrimental at all to tell the truth. What they don’t seem to realise is that you should set an example by doing your job with honesty and faithfulness. Trust starts with trustworthy leadership.
One should never be afraid to speak one’s mind on relevant issues; good leaders stand for relevance and they are never afraid to face the facts head on. Bad leaders see the problems, close their eyes and do something else! There’s no need to be anxious about maintaining the position one occupies. One needs to be anxious about maintaining one’s good character and in that way, one will never lose one’s leadership influence. It’s said that the real hallmark and a great measure of a great leader is not necessarily what happens now but, what happens later. The noble works of a true and a great leader stand the test of time and never vanish with time.
True leaders inspire by the influence of their characters. Leadership is defined by the virtues of one’s behaviour. And contrary to popular opinion, leadership is not a reserved position for a particular group of people who were elected or appointed, ordained or enthroned. Leadership is self-made, self-retained, self-inculcated and then exposed through a faithful, sincere and exemplary life.
Nelson Mandela said, “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself…Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” Lies don’t pay; they come back to haunt you. And reality denied comes back to haunt. It’s a waste of time to engage in self-deception that all is well or as it should be when it is not.
A mask can hide you from others, but not from yourself. Plato said, “The worst of all deceptions is self-deception.”
And Leonardo da Vinci said, “The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” You see what you want to see. Fooling oneself is the easiest thing of all. There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling a human being to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he or she wants to believe.
Avoidance of self-deception is a matter of integrity, not comfort. One who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect, he ceases to love. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “I’m not upset that you lied to me; I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
Lao Tzu advised: “Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.”