Politics without morals

Lusaka youth Dillon Mayangwa says politics of service are long gone; most politicians now are just looking at personal benefits.

He adds that for most politicians, it’s not about removing bad governance but joining those they can personally benefit from.

“Today, politics of service seems long gone with that crop of first generation of politicians. It seems now it’s politics of benefits; no morals, no will to serve the people or to bring about real change; just the desire to have power, governance and get rich,” notes Mayangwa. “It’s a source of income now and a corridor for multimillion dollar contracts. It is very sad that no politician is giving the ordinary voter real hope. Should we as youths now just peg a price for our votes? Should we charge and eat the politicians’ money while we are able to during elections and wait for another five years?”

These are serious observations – lamentations.

As early as 1969 Dr Kenneth Kaunda noted that, “Selfishness and, in some cases, complete lack of understanding of our responsibilities and obligations – both as leaders and followers have bedeviled our efforts to build greater unity among Zambians. Parochialism among certain sections of our community has been on the increase and has tended to throw dust into the eyes of our leaders and followers alike.”

We understand Dillon’s lamentation and sympathise with him. Indeed, people with morals should distinguish between wisdom and foolishness. Political defections we are witnessing today are not about who is not doing what to serve the public. They are about who is offering what to respective individuals.

And speaking of morals in Zambian politics, it has now become a farfetched phenomenon.

Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist Vladimir Lenin warns us that, “There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”

We seem to have one too many scoundrels!

It is therefore not surprising that even those who stood on anthills calling Edgar Lungu and his team a corrupt people, have today gone back to feast from the same table.

And tomorrow such scoundrels should ask for our votes!

Again, 13th Century Italian Renaissance political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli warns us that, “Politics have no relation to morals.”

The same man adds that, “It is not titles that honour men, but men that honour titles.”

So, expecting morals from of our current crop of politicians is like trying to squeeze juice from a stone. In fact, titles such as ‘honourable’ do not befit some of these people.

Even when titles have tried to honour them, they simply can’t live up to that. Truly, we are under a dispensation of politics without morals where riff-raffs have invaded the political arena.

However, we should not lose hope at all. According to the balance of nature, these characters will be weeded out as they expose themselves. Zambian voters are so wise that they are able to distinguish between morality and sheer opportunism. As we go towards the general elections, more defections are expected as politicians try to position themselves. The good news is that voters have the final say over the affairs of this nation. So, they will definitely put an end to this and confine some of these scoundrels to the country’s political dustbins.

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