Daniel Mvula Shimunza, president of the Movement for National Transformation, says government must to stop issuing threats against citizens, especially students, lecturers, media and the opposition.
“We advise government, ministers and the President that national leadership requires a sense of sacred duty and a solemn responsibility towards the people who elected them into office since 2011. Issuing threats against citizens, especially students, lecturers, media and the opposition, must stop. It is a sign of gross insecurity, intolerance, and poor leadership. Consequently, when people from any section of society air out their grievances in a peaceful and respectful manner, they must be given attention. The source of tension in the country is the lack of listening, especially by the Minister for Higher Education, [Professor Nkandu Luo]. Shouting at lecturers, using threats is a great misconception of duty,” says Shimunza. “Responsibility is equal to maturity. Maturity determines capacity for leadership. Capacity determines performance, performance determines results and success. Insecurity in leadership thrives on threats and is blinded from the priority of human value and quality of life of all in the development agenda. Good governance, transparency, and accountability is the hallmark of democracy and justice.”
Edgar Lungu and his minions are drunk with power. Their language is full of arrogance, pomposity and threats. They don’t know how to engage others. Everything must be on their terms, their way. The views and feelings of others don’t count, don’t matter. They think they are Zambia and Zambia is them.
But what they are forgetting is that the power of the people is greater than the people in power.
We need to honestly ask ourselves ‘Do we really belief in democracy or not?’ If we believe in democracy as far as it brings those we like in power, that is not democracy. If you start using the same arguments a dictator used to use, you are probably not doing the right thing.
In the Roman Republic the power of public opinion was a constraint on the Roman Senate; according to Polybius, “The Senate stands in awe of the multitude, and cannot neglect the feelings of the people.”
Public opinion doesn’t mean anything to Edgar and his minions. What matters is who is in power – who controls the police, the courts and parliament.
They are even ready to change the Constitution, the supreme law of the country, single handedly.
But power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Therefore, the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self-limitation and modesty.
Leaders should raise their words, not voices. It is rain that grows crops, not thunder.
They say peaceful is the one who’s not concerned with having more or less.
Unbound by name and fame, he is free from sorrow from the world and mostly from himself.
We all need to participate in governance of our country. Leaving this country to Edgar and his minions to do as they please is dangerous and irresponsible.
Plato warned, “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors…The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men.”
And Socrates wrote: “The wise who refuse to rule should prepare to suffer the rule of the idiots.”
Goerge Orwell wrote, “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices ”
Edgar and his minions are ready to persecute those seen to be standing in their way. At the beginning of his presidency, Edgar made it very clear that he will crush like a tonne of bricks anyone standing in his way. And he has governed the country accordingly.
We cannot please all the people but we can be a blessing to many.
It is a persistent evil to persecute a person for simply not agreeing with you.
It is a calamity without remedy to hate critics and persecute them.
Any leader who persecutes his critics and political opponents must consider who tempted Jesus Christ, the persecution of the apostles and the Psalm 23 of David.
What is very worrying is the fact that Edgar and his minions don’t seem to learn from their mistakes.
A teachable spirit and a humbleness to admit their ignorance or their mistakes will save them a lot of pain. However, if they’re people who know it all, then they’ve got a lot of heavy-hearted experiences coming their way.
Why is every genuine or credible opposition leader seen as an enemy of Edgar and his minions?
Why, it is the story of every opposition leader with some credibility. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that is genuine opposition.
Under Edgar and his minions genuine opposition becomes an enemy, as light must have gnats. Those in the opposition shouldn’t bother about it; disdain. They should keep their minds serene as they keep their lives clear.
What Edgar doesn’t realise is that criticism, opposition strengthens him. People who purport to support him, cheer him weaken.
The more credible the criticism, opposition, the more it is persecuted by Edgar. As they say,
the greater the fruit a trees bears, the greater the number of stones thrown at it.
And Edgar has mobilised the whole state apparatus for the persecution of critics, opposition.
But Edgar must beware!
All these people he is using against his critics, opposition, are like chameleons for they can turn persecutors of his overnight.
But Edgar’s critics, opposition shouldn’t be afraid of persecution; the tallest trees are always confronted by the strongest winds.
Pope Francis’ guidance on persecution is very clear: “Jesus does not mince his words in this respect, when he says, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Hostility is always at the beginning of the persecution of Christians; because Jesus knows that the mission is opposed by the work of the evil one. Therefore, the worker of the Gospel strives to be free from human influences of every kind, carrying neither money bag, nor knapsack, nor sandals, as Jesus advises, instead relying solely on the power of the Cross of Christ. This means giving up all motives of personal pride, of careerism or hunger for power, and becoming humble instruments of salvation worked by Jesus’ own sacrifice.”
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged his disciples with these words, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:10). Jesus defines “persecution” as being reviled and having false things uttered about you.
The Corinthians were looking down on Paul’s persecutions as a sign that God’s blessing was not upon his ministry, and that he was not an apostle to be followed. Paul corrected their thinking, telling them “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).