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Change wrong decisions, actions

Edgar Lungu says despite implications, he will not pull out on the decision over Konkola Copper Mine.

“I am saying this because people are complaining. It’s a political decision made, it’s an economic decision we made. We know the implications, but we will follow the due process of the law. We are not pulling out of our decision, no, we are going ahead. You say Lungu is contemptuous. If there is someone who respects the law in this country, I am number one because I am a lawyer myself. Those that are saying he is interfering with the courts are just wasting their time…” says Edgar.

Certainly, there are many factors that were not taken into account when Edgar made the decision to put KCM into liquidation. Those factors are now coming out. And some of them cannot be ignored.

If there are shortcomings in our decisions and actions, we should not be afraid to have them pointed out and criticised if our aim is to serve the Zambian people. Anyone, no matter who, may point out those shortcomings. If he is right, we should correct them. If what he proposes will benefit the people, we should act upon it, even if that means taking a big U-turn in our decisions and actions.

Edgar needs to learn that in politics, and life in general, one must not be too stiff-necked, too harsh and unyielding; it is sometimes necessary to yield to those moving towards us.

Yielding – changing one’s mind, reversing one’s decisions, U-turning – is legitimate and essential in two cases: when the yielder is convinced that those who are striving to make him yield are in the right, in which case, honest political leaders frankly and openly admit their mistakes, or when an irrational and harmful demand is yielded to in order to avert a greater evil.

Pride, little annoyances should not be allowed to stand in the way of a big pleasure, a little climbing down, a little embarrassment is better than a big, or even permanent, fall out with the people.

Kevin Michel said, “Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.”

Malcolm Gladwell said, “I feel I change my mind all the time. And I sort of feel that’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being – to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.”

And Abraham Lincoln said, “I may be wrong in regard to any or all of them; but holding it a sound maxim, that it is better to be only sometimes right, than at all times wrong, so soon as I discover my opinions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce them.”

A hardness to changing one’s mind, one’s understanding or one’s wrong decisions reveals a hardness of heart.

Is it wise to move along the path, hoping for what may never come or to go back and change your course for the likely?

Many things may become baggage, may become encumbrances if we cling to them blindly and uncritically.

Having made mistakes, you may feel that, come what may, you are saddled with them.

Taught by mistakes and setbacks, we have become wiser and handle our affairs better. It is hard for any political party or person to avoid mistakes, but we should make as few as possible. Once a mistake is made, we should correct it, and the more quickly and thoroughly the better.

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