American academician Dr Baraka Muganda says Africa needs a new breed of men of integrity.
Dr Muganda, the Washington Adventist University vice-president, says the most important virtue of leadership is to respect diversity and how other people think.
“Character and integrity are key values to success. Good leaders are those who respect and trust others,” says Dr Muganda, adding that those with integrity could not fool themselves in their course of duty.
Yes, we need a change in the attitudes and behaviours of our leaders and our people.
The sympathetic, humble and sensitive nature that can give cause for hope of a reversal of fortunes is blatantly missing. The arrogant “me first”, “I am the boss man and everyone should bow” attitude that today characterises our political leadership typified by Edgar Lungu and his minions must end.
Despite increasing poverty among the masses of our people, Edgar and his minions are increasingly becoming more and more rich. This is as if the poor and suffering Zambians owe them a certain standard of comfort, lifestyle and wealth.
The kind of leadership that Kenneth Kaunda, Mainza Chona, Reuben Kamanga, Grey Zulu, Mary Fulano, Sikota Wina and their comrades provided our people is missing in present day politicians. The sacrificial leadership that recognises that resources are scarce and should be handled prudently is absent in the current crop of leaders.
Edgar and his minions should not forget whom they are representing. Edgar travels at every given opportunity. A president definitely has to travel but must be prudent in which of the invitations to accept or reject. No wonder people are speculating that he travels for the sake of the per diem.
Our country is endowed with a lot of resources but we are very poor. It takes sound and prudent management to harness the limited resources available to us to ensure improvement in the standard of living of the masses of our people. When are we going to get tired of begging and living in poverty? If we are poor, let us all live as poor people; presidents, ministers, permanent secretaries, directors and so on and so forth.
God save us from these leeches that call themselves our leaders. What we need is a new breed of leaders. Men and women of integrity, who when they say yes, remains yes and no remains no. Men and women that will not seek political office to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses.
The emergence of a new breed of leadership armed with patriotism, integrity and sharp foresight is what we need for development. Zambians should insist on men and women of exemplary characters poised to contribute selflessly to the development of the country.
We need men and women who can lead the nation differently from what we have now.
Posterity will judge us all. We must be strongly willing to sacrifice for the good of Zambia. We need men and women who can sacrifice for our collective future and not those whose only discernible preoccupation is to acquire houses, cars, businesses and wealth in general.
How much influence can a person of integrity really have on others? If we look at the example of Moses, we discover that a little character can go a long way. As long as Moses was around, his influence was so profound and significant that it kept people from doing the wrong thing.
After Pharaoh allowed the Israelites to leave Egypt and God miraculously saved them from Pharaoh’s armies at the Red Sea, He began to lead them in a very clear and obvious way. During the day, He provided a cloud. When the cloud moved, they moved. When the cloud stopped, they stopped. At night, a pillar of fire led them in the same way. God provided for their physical needs as well. Every morning, there would be fresh manna waiting for them for breakfast. God faithfully provided it every day. All they had to do was gather it up and enjoy it.
The Israelites were surrounded by miracles and God’s supernatural leading, yet in a relatively short period of time, they turned to idolatry. Their problem came down to one thing: the shallowness and superficiality of their faith. It was as though their relationship with God depended on Moses’ presence. They never seemed to develop a relationship with God of their own. While this is a wonderful tribute to the influence of a godly man, it is also a criticism of their lack of personal faith. Their relationship with God depended upon Moses’ relationship with God, and that is never a spiritually healthy thing to do.
When Moses temporarily left the Israelites to go up to Mount Sinai and receive God’s commandments, everything fell apart. As soon as he was gone, they began looking for something to take his place. Hence, the plans for the golden calf began. This ultimately led to a pathetic scene of sexual immorality and full-tilt idol worship.
We can’t really blame Moses because, in his defense, it was his personal godliness and integrity that had kept them in check up to this point. That is pretty amazing when you consider that Moses was leading more than two million people. That is what Moses was. Imagine how hard it must have been for him. These people were filled with unbelief and constantly whined and complained. But through his personal integrity and godliness, he influenced them for good. How we need more people like him who will make a difference in the lives of those around them.
In Ezekiel 22:30, God said, ” ‘So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one’.”
We are still looking for men and women of integrity who will stand in the gap and serve as godly influences in this country.
God help us to have men and women of integrity as our leaders!