In human interaction, loyalty is regarded as part of the glue that holds relationships together. Families, friendships, marriages, clans, organisations, nations, regions and states – all depend, at least in part, on loyalty to remain stable in times of difficulty. Loyalty can induce and sustain cooperation.
Herbert Hoover once said, “There are things in the world that cannot be brought about. There are mistakes that cannot be repaired. But there is one thing sure – that loyalty and friendship are the most precious possessions a man can have.”
However, seldom do we see this loyalty sustained, especially in our politics.
And PF deputy national chairman Davis Chama says well-wishers have run away from the party, making it difficult to hold a general conference and elect a new president.
He says most of the external support the party enjoyed while in power has disappeared after suffering defeat in the August 12, 2021 Presidential and General Election.
“You know, loyalty sometimes… ati ameno mafupa, ayi (teeth are just bones, right)? Some people will say I love you, I love you; it’s when you have the instruments of power. They will support you because you have something either to offer them in return or they anticipate that you can support them back,” says Chama. “If we had a smart way or a cheaper way or an alternative route to choose a president, I would love to go through that route so that we choose a president as soon as possible. But just to organise a general conference I can tell you because we have organised one before, it takes a lot of organisation, logistics, resources to transport because you want to bring people. Then people cannot even be transported properly or cannot be fed; or they’ll be abandoned. You can bring people and abandon them because you don’t have the means to take them back. Then the people will rise against you again, so you would have created a problem. So, those people who are saying, ‘no, convention, convention’, but they are not even bringing anything on the table that ‘oh, I’ll put forward such and such resources’. But they’re just saying I want a convention, we want to go for a conference!’’
We understand and appreciate Davis’ lamentations and the predicament the Patriotic Front has found itself in after losing the elections.
Imagine ahead of the August polls, well-wishers of all shades and hues were dishing out money to PF. The party was the trending thing.
Remember that undeclared/undisclosed ‘well-wisher’ who paid millions on behalf of those ministers Edgar Lungu had hoodwinked – through his legal gymnastics – to remain in office illegally after dissolution of parliament in 2016?
Why can’t these characters come to the rescue of the mighty boat? Why are they jumping ship so soon leaving the PF like the dead sea?
Henri Frederic Amiel warns that, “He who floats with the current, who does not guide himself according to higher principles, who has no ideal, no convictions-such a man is a mere article of the world’s furniture-a thing moved, instead of a living and moving being-an echo, not a voice.”
Yes, when a political party is in power, we see a lot of corporate institutions and wealthy individuals associate with such a party. But once that party loses power, all these entities suddenly disappear in thin air – they no longer want to associate with that party.
We saw this with UNIP when it lost power in 1991. At least UNIP could sustain itself because it had assets – many assets indeed. MMD suffered the same predicament, and now it’s PF. We are certain that UPND too will suffer the same ostracism when they are out of power.
But this scenario should not be tolerated, it has to stop. We have had organisations and individuals that have had no shame in practicing political prostitution – they have taken it as a norm. We have had donations to the ruling party, including to the first lady, all because they want to receive business favours – nothing else. They have literally mastered the art of opportunism without shame. And this has been going on from the UNIP days to date.
It is therefore unbelievable to see some of the corporate institutions that paraded themselves before PF quickly switch and they are attempting to initiate certain economic programmes on behalf of the UPND which they never wanted to associate themselves with when it was in opposition. What nonsense is this? They come in all sorts of ways with concocted ideas and accents, which at the end of the day amount to nothing. Shame on them!
Loyalty is very important in all human society.
And empathy is what separates human beings from wild animals. But what we see in the political arena is disheartening. This untamed Africa mentality must come to an end!
There is no dignity is repeating the mantra that, “we work with the government of the day.” Rubbish!
Even in developed countries where politics are supposed to be more complicated there is loyalty to political parties. For example, in the United State, there are wealthy individuals and organisations that only donate resources to the Republican Party or the Democratic party. Whether that party is in power or in opposition, they will support it because they believe in its ideology or whatever. The same thing happens in the United Kingdom, Australia, India, South Africa, and other democracies.
It is shameful to have a bunch of business people, whatever they call themselves, to be prostituting with every other ruling party – throwing all virtues to the wind. What do they really believe in? Is it just business survival – selfishness?
In showing his appreciation for loyalty, Richard E Grant says, “I place an enormous premium on loyalty. If someone betrays me, I can forgive them rationally, but emotionally I have found it impossible to do so.”
And John Wooden warns that, “We can become great in the eyes of others, but we’ll never become successful when we compromise our character and show disloyalty toward friends or teammates. The reverse is also true: No individual or team will become great without loyalty.”