Sean Tembo says Edgar Lungu is Zambia’s scoundrel number one.
And he defines a scoundrel as a dishonest person.
Is he right? Yes, he is.
The pleasure of being a scoundrel can be adequately savoured in silence.
Abu’l-Ala-Al-Ma’arri was right when he remarked, “Make not, when you work a deed of shame, The scoundrel’s plea, ‘My forbears did the same’.”
But is the prison that Mr Scoundrel lives in at the end of his career a more uncomfortable place than the workhouse that Mr Honesty lives in at the end of his career?
Honest men cannot be expected to anticipate the actions of scoundrels.
A scoundrel is an evil heliotrope turning always in the direction of the most powerful.
It’s no wonder Blase Bonpane described politics as “the last resort of scoundrels”.
If he was living in Zambia today, he would agree that politics is often the first refuge for the scoundrel, thief and idler.
Zambians are enthusiastic about politics but don’t trust politicians in the slightest.
A few years ago, a poll showed that the media and civil society organisations are trusted much more than elected representatives.
There is, however, something horribly wrong about Zambian politics. It seems to corrupt the best of people and when a friend or relative joins politics, you feel they are doomed and damned.
For the most part, politics puts an end to a career of service and hard work. Put another way, how many former politicians have returned to civilian life and been successful in business or as professionals? Most of them are incapable of holding down a proper job, so after losing elections they try to hang around whoever is occupying State House, or wherever positions on irrelevant parastatal boards offer them allowances and travel away from the embarrassment of being a ‘nobody’ in the compound or village.
Zambia desperately needs an alternative. If the choice is either the Patriotic Front or UPND, most thinking citizens would say neither. This is the right moment to choose or opt for a third party and give Zambians real choice.
There are thousands of capable, decent people of integrity who must put country before self and save politics from politicians.
And as to the violence that today characterises our politics, we cite a quote from another stalwart, Isaac Asimov: “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent!”
And British writer George Orwell (1903 – 1950) summed it up very well: “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices.”
Albert Einstein said, “Force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels.”