Edgar Lungu says, “… if I fail the buck stops at me, not even my cabinet ministers will be part of it. I heard somebody say that in a football match if the team is not doing very well you fire the coach, but this team is still playing up to 2021 and beyond, because we expect another term. And we have already scored two goals, the other team hasn’t scored and we are at half time. So we just want to hold on to our strategy and continue scoring goals.”
Edgar is clearly reacting to a recent editorial comment of ours in which we stated that the buck stops at him.
But he has somehow missed the point. Coaches or managers are often fired before the end of their contracts. There’s a difference between firing someone and not renewing their contract.
Even in politics there are many politicians who have been fired before the end of their terms of office. Dr Kenneth Kaunda had his presidency cut short by two years. Dr Kaunda was fired by the Zambian people. It was not simply a question of not getting one’s contract renewed.
Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe left office before the end of their terms of office – they were fired.
Many coaches are fired before the end of the league season, with many games still to play. Last season we saw how Manchester United sacked their coach Jose Mourinho less than 48 hours after his team lost to Liverpool. Mourinho’s exit brought an end to one of the unhappiest arrangements in English football – a manager out of ideas and a club out of patience.
In the same season, but this time Spain, Real Madrid had three managers in one season. It appointed Julen Lopetegui on June 14, 2018 but was fired on October 29, 2018. He was succeeded by Santiago Solari who reigned from October 30 until March 11, 2019 when Zinedine Zidane took over.
So, even Edgar can be fired in a similar manner.
And Edgar’s bragging about an assured third term of office is careless talk which may bring him unnecessary problems.
Where is this confidence coming from? Is it from the assured manipulation of the political and electoral system?
This is someone who ‘won’ the last elections with a very narrow margin! Has his governance record become better? Can anyone honestly say that Edgar’s popularity has increased since the 2016 elections?
“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness,” reads 2 Corinthians 11:30.
It seems Edgar’s insatiable need for self-aggrandizement is growing at a quickening pace.
He is really running himself into the trap of being self-consumed with his ‘successes’. The worst form of this is when he denies he is wrapping his comments in false humility – boasting in success and then giving glory to God!
Why deliberately provoke conflict, jealousy, envy and unhealthy competition? For what? Isn’t his success satisfying enough?
Boasting incessantly about yourself and then wonder why you have haters!
The lyrics to a classic song by The O’Jays rings true for many: “They smile in your face, all the time they want to take your place, the backstabbers!” In this life, you will have life-long backers and supporters. You will also face those that may not be fond of you — for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are out of your control. But, for that which is in your wheelhouse, why provoke people to not like you? It’s as if our success is measured solely on how many haters we claim we have. Our successes and blessings should be measured on how we love, not how much hate surrounds us.
In 2 Corinthians 11:30, the Apostle Paul makes it plain – boast in your weakness. Paul was embarrassed by a late night escape from Damascus in a basket, but he shared it. In 2 Corinthians Chapter 12, he speaks of the the “thorn in his flesh” but how God’s grace is sufficient; in his weakness, God is strong.
Imagine if we would be so bold to boast in our weakness. Our sharing would not strive to “bleed on” others for the sake of sympathy, but sharing for the purpose of glorifying God and His strength. The Apostle Paul’s example of boasting in his weakness showed his strength. Rather than taking credit for his great exploits, he gave all glory to God. The record is clear — Paul is a major hero in the New Testament Scriptures. But, his heroism was not marked solely by his missionary resume; it was and is demonstrated in his humanity.