Dr Kenneth Kaunda took the Zambian presidency to very high heights and Edgar Lungu has brought it down, down, down to the lowest levels.
And Harry Kalaba is very right when he says that Edgar Lungu has lowered the Office of President to unthinkable levels.
It seems like standards have been lowered just about everywhere in our society and it appears to be happening just when we need the highest standards ever. If any society is to compete in a global marketplace, and for that matter just on the global stage, that society must have standards that exceed average and expectations for performance that match the standards. But evidence persists that tells us that our standards have been lowered and along with those lower standards we expect less as well.
In what areas have we lowered our standards? We believe we have lowered our standards in a multitude of areas such as education, safety, product quality, efficiency, and morality. Some people might ask why Edgar Lungu has done this but we will tell you it’s not him that has lowered the standards; it is us – we the people! Our President cannot do anything unless we allow him to do so. We relinquish our responsibility as citizens and allow others to decide for us when less than half of the people who are eligible to vote actually vote in elections. Our elected officials should be important to each and every one of us but many Zambians have decided it is not worth their time to become informed and to voice their opinion. It is easier to complain about the politicians than it is to personally take responsibility for making the nation stronger and better.
Our standards have not been lowered by design; they have been lowered by default.
Nowhere in our society has the lowered standard had a greater impact than it has when we consider our nation’s morality. The fact that we now accept lying, cheating, stealing, and most-crass behaviours as being “everyday things” sets us on a path to destruction and we are not suggesting that “God will strike us down for our sins.” What we are saying is that as we allow our standards to be lowered, we allow our expectations to be lowered and this will result in poorer performance which will affect us in every possible negative way as a nation. When the standards slip, the discipline required to succeed will also slip and ultimately it is the lack of discipline that will do us in.
As a leader it is critical that you know what you value and believe in. It is essential that you hold yourself to a high standard and that you hold your people to a high standard as well. As soon as the standards are allowed to be lowered you will prove that your government cannot discipline itself to a point that will be needed for success.
If you expect less, you might as well say – let’s cheat!