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In Lungu’s politics, money speaks louder than morals

Nevers Mumba has urged Edgar Lungu to have a moral shyness that restrains him from showing his eagerness to remain in the presidency beyond 2021.

“My pastoral counsel to President Lungu is that he should avoid being seen to be pre-occupied with the position and power of the presidency. Let him have a moral shyness, which restrains him from showing his eagerness to remain in the presidency,” says Nevers. “Announcements by a president such as, ‘I will stand in 2021’ smacks of arrogance and a gross misunderstanding as to why the presidency exists. It is a service position. It exists in the hands of Zambians who have the right to give.”

Nevers is wasting his time making a moral appeal to Edgar. Nevers should look at the many wrong things Edgar has done that demand morality. Edgar has always discarded morality to fulfill his desires, to get what he wants. He manipulated the 2016 elections without scruples; he closed The Post, Muvi TV, Komboni Radio and Itezhi Tezhi radio without regard for any political morality at all! He removed Mutembo Nchito from the constitutionally protected position of Director of Public Prosecutions without any restraint or shame! The list is endless.

Edgar’s politics have no moral limits. And probably Niccolo Machiavelli was right when he said, “Politics have no relation to morals.”

In Edgar’s politics, money speaks louder than morals.

Morality does not come to our politics from some imaginary paradise. It rises from the neurons of mortal humans.

But if justice perishes, then it is no longer worthwhile for us to live in this country.

Crushing opponents like a tonne of bricks may be politically justified, for Edgar’s continued hold on power, but it won’t terminate dissent for long. Dissent and opposition would keep festering one way or another, until intolerance and abuse is eradicated from our politics. Until Edgar learns to scrutinise his most revered decisions and actions with the sharp tool of reasoning, dissent and opposition to his rule will continue. If one does not have the basic conscientious capacity to refute the primitive intolerance and abuses that demand one to crush others like a tonne of bricks for holding a different political outlook from one’s own, then he is no being of the civilised human society, he is merely a pest from the stone-age. No politics is greater than the human self. There shall be hope for harmony and peace in this country, only when intolerance and abuse are destroyed forever. Harmony is not a luxury, it is an existential necessity of a nation. And to achieve it, if intolerant and abusive politicians have to be dealt with, then be it. But for no political expediency can harmony be compromised.

The greed of power drowns our political morality, ethics.

Edgar should learn not to do certain things for the personal political and financial benefits they may bring. He should do things because they are right.

Only the shallowest person believes that they can attain true happiness by maximizing their power and wealth at any cost. In the absence of morality, ethics, and a sustainable philosophy to guide us in an ethical search for happiness, we will always perceive life’s random countervailing forces of adversity and unpleasantness as inflicting a great personal injustice upon us. Through application of a deeply embedded personal philosophy, we can push back against the negative implications of a life of suffering. We can use a philosophical stance to gain the perspective needed to say ‘yes’ to all of life, both its rosy path of ineffable joys and a blackened trail of tears. We must learn to accept life as it truly is and not waste precious time in wistfulness.

Every human being asks pertinent questions regarding how to live, what to believe in, and what we aspire to become. Throughout life, we question what desires and principles to value and prioritise. We make difficult decisions based upon what we trust constitutes ethical behaviour. We encounter both joyful and unpleasant physical experiences. As we age, we modify some of our youthful assumptions. We engage in formal and informal educational activities, which edifying foundation support modest or dramatic shifts in our instinctive and learned behaviour patterns, and alter our intellectual and emotional perspective. Each person aspires to live honorably and age gracefully despite encountering physical adversity, financial hardships, sickness, or injury.

Without morality, ethics, we fall to inhumanity. Morality, ethics determine our real value in this world and the hereafter.

What’s the point of having beliefs and values if we don’t stand up for the former and live by the latter?

Aristotle on the Megalopsychos wrote, “Without virtue, it is hard to bear the results of good fortune suitably. Those who lack virtue become arrogant and wantonly aggressive when they have these other goods. They think less of everyone else, and do whatever they please. They do this because they are imitating the magnanimous person though they are not really like him.”

Bobbing and weaving are methods and manoeuvres by which we bend ethics, water down morals, and parse down values to serve our agendas. The greatest moral, ethical test that we’re ever going to face is the treatment of those who are at our mercy. True morals are a priceless thing that possesses the highest value and can never be bought or sold at any cost. But when there is a lack of honor in leadership and politics, the morals of the whole people are poisoned.

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