“Our detractors have reduced this nation to such low levels of bickering that if the Republican President receives even a chicken as a gift, they expect it to be declared. So here today, I want to declare that I have received a copy of the Holy Bible as a gift from the United Church of Zambia, Chikondano sub-congregation in Chilanga,” said Edgar Lungu in apparent reference to the ongoing revelations of his deals in eSwatini.
What type of nonsense is this? Why this arrogance? If Edgar has nothing sensible to say on his ‘gift’ of land in eSwatini, he should just shut up. How can he compare his land ‘gift’ in eSwatini to a chicken? Is it how rich he has now become that he thinks such a high value ‘gift’ of land in eSwatini is nothing?
Who has asked him or wants him to declare his gift of a Bible? Who does Edgar think he is mocking or fooling?
There’s a saying that sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. Indeed, Edgar has nothing sensible to say on his eSwatini land ‘gift’ and should have just remained silent. Sometimes, the smartest thing to say is nothing at all. It’s better to keep one’s mouth shut if one doesn’t have anything sensible to say.
Careless talk can be very costly. Sometimes, a simple slip of the tongue can set one back and destroy all one has achieved.
They say silence is awkward and as a result, people often rush to fill it.
You never have to fill a silence, especially when you don’t have anything useful to fill it with. As a lawyer, Edgar should be very familiar with the phrase: “Everything you say may well in fact be used against you.”
When arrogance or pride take him over, maybe Edgar could be better off zipping it.
We think the first virtue is to restrain the tongue.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
And Muhammad Ali said, “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”
But Edgar’s arrogant and desperate utterances are understandable; it is not easy to keep silent when one’s silence is a lie.
Pythagoras once remarked: “A fool is known by his speech; and a wise man by silence…Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence. Silence is better than unmeaning words.”
When you have nothing to say, say nothing.
It’s better not to say anything if you have nothing nice to say. Mark Twain said, “Noise proves nothing. Often, a hen which has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid.”
It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it. They say blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact. In Proverbs 18:7 we are told, “Saying foolish things is like setting a trap to destroy yourself.”
What is being talked about here is not noble gifts of a Bible or a chicken. It’s about more extravagant gifts to ensure there was no impression of impropriety. In political culture, perception becomes reality. And it doesn’t look good to have the president accept something that is flashy or of very high value like land from a foreign leader.
And moreover, there are revelations of a complicated corruption syndicate that is emerging around this ‘gift’ eSwatini land involving Inyatsi Properties Limited. There’s prima facie evidence of corruption in this land deal that in nations that are serious about corruption and accountability, Edgar would have to answer. It’s not about a gift of chicken or a Bible as Edgar wants to revitalise it; it’s about clear grand corruption.
This doesn’t seem to be an isolated simple land ‘gift’.