Jose Marti taught that, “It is necessary to make virtue fashionable”, and that “Liberty is the right of every man to be honest, to think and to speak without hypocrisy”.
And Senior Chief Mukuni says he has always advocated peace and harmony among political players.
“People have always held a notion that I hate President Edgar Lungu. Not at all. I only despise bad governance, corruption and theft. Anyone with these attributes will face my strong resentment. It is not who one is – it may be priest, a fellow traditional leader or even you as a journalist once you show me these colours don’t expect kind words. But for being open I have been hated by President Edgar Lungu like hell,” says Mukuni. “I was close to president Rupiah Banda. I loved Levy Mwanawasa’s good governance and went to the Livingstone airport for his farewell body display. Remember that he even evacuated Michael Sata to South Africa for medication. Can that happen now? I am on record telling GBM (Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba) at Lusaka Central Police cells that ‘if you come into power and go hunting for PF leaders such as Edgar Lungu, I will condemn you’. That was when he was HH’s (Hakainde Hichilema) number two. And my statement to say I will hold President Lungu responsible if anything happened to HH was based on those lines. We are in a campaign period. You don’t use the police to settle scores with your competitors. Mark the word competitor, not enemy. Let the people settle the scores between you as candidates using the ballot, not the police using bullets and tear gas.”
Mukuni is right. No matter what we do as a country, unless we despise – abhor – bad governance, corruption and theft, we are not going anywhere. These vices cannot ensure sustainable development in our country. The opposite will perpetually prevail – that is inequality, poverty, squalor and generally underdevelopment. With all these comes in patronage! But as they say, it’s better to confront the enemy’s sword without fear than to lie in bed while suffering a thousand deaths.
Mukuni’s courage and uprightness must be encouraged among our citizens. Let’s front virtue and not hypocrisy.
As Barack Obama once told Africa, “We have a responsibility to support those who act responsibly and to isolate those who don’t…Development depends on good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That’s the change that can unlock Africa’s potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.
Governments that respect the will of their own people, that govern by consent and not coercion, are more prosperous, they are more stable, and more successful than governments that do not.
This is about more than just holding elections. It’s also about what happens between elections. Repression can take many forms, and too many nations, even those that have elections, are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves…. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there. And now is the time for that style of governance to end. In the 21st century, capable, reliable, and transparent institutions are the key to success – strong parliaments; honest police forces; independent judges; an independent press; a vibrant private sector; a civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in people’s everyday lives.”
So every person living within our borders must hate bad governance, corruption and theft that have characterised those that rule and ruled over them.