Friday, June 15, 2012
By The Post
Fri 15 June 2012, 13:25 CAT
OF all the properties which belong to honourable men, not one is so highly prized as that of honesty, of character. Reason and judgement are the qualities of a leader. A shortage of these qualities makes one a bad and troubled leader.
Hakainde Hichilema is in trouble today because of lacking honesty, reason and judgement. And yesterday, Hakainde was at the Police because of a statement he had made that has become difficult for him to prove.
Hakainde claimed that the PF government was training youths as militias in Sudan. Hakainde doesn't seem to be able to prove his claim. Hakainde must have gotten this information from somewhere because he hasn't been to Sudan to witness this for himself.
But whoever Hakainde got this from told him a lie, something he cannot prove. But why this desperation on Hakainde's part? Why can't he take his time to think through issues carefully and verify the truthfulness of things he is told, especially those that can be said to be sensitive matters?
Depending on unreliable people in situations like these is like trying to chew with a loose tooth or walk with a crippled foot. Sensible people always think before they speak or act, but stupid people are so eager to advertise or display their ignorance. It is said that "a careless talker destroys himself" (Proverbs 13:3).
Smart leaders believe only half of what they hear. And discerning leaders know which half to believe. But Hakainde seems to be in a rush to display every little negative thing that he hears about people he perceives to be enemies. He is too much in a hurry to hurt and humiliate others.
And as such, he doesn't even take time to digest what he has been told, what he has heard and see if it makes sense or not. Hakainde acts like someone suffering from diarrhoea of the mouth and constipation of the brain. This is not a recipe for leading well. Today, Hakainde is being exhibited as a liar. And it is true he has lied about the government training militias in Sudan.
It is a lie that an honest person should feel ashamed for and simply apologise without any reservations. But Hakainde is not that type of person to apologise and say he was misled by his informers. He is too arrogant, too proud to admit his mistakes. But we are advised: "Admit when you are wrong, and you will avoid embarrassment" (Sirach 20:3).
Hakainde should learn something from this and realise that lying is an ugly blot on a person's character. But ignorant people do it all the time. It is said that a thief is better than a habitual liar, but both are headed for ruin. A liar has no honour. He lives in constant disgrace. A slip of the tongue is worse than a slip on the pavement; the wicked will go to ruin just as suddenly as a person slips and falls.
If you try to be honest, you can be, and it will improve your character as handsome clothing improves your appearance. It is said that birds come to roost with those of their own kind, and the habit of being honest comes to those who try to be honest. Respected people don't tell lies, and fools have nothing worthwhile to say.
There is no need for Hakainde to continue posturing over this issue. The truth is he got things wrong, he was probably misled by those around him. But whose fault is that? Look at the type of people Hakainde surrounds himself with! Hakainde is surrounded by many good-for-nothings, people who all the time try to make him feel very important.
Of course, this sits very well with his unbridled ego. But look at what trouble and disgrace he is in today! Tomorrow he will be blaming others for the trouble that he has caused unto himself through his lies. There is no society that can tolerate such reckless and harmful utterances from a person who is in a position to know what is true and what isn't.
But the problem with Hakainde is that anything about his political opponents or enemies goes undigested. He can't reason when it comes to such matters. But we all know that quite often, a dishonest man, a wicked man is trapped by his own words. Stupid people always think they are right. Wise people listen to advice. When a fool is annoyed, he quickly lets it be known. Smart people will ignore an insult.
When you tell the truth, justice is done, but lies lead to injustice. And thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal.
It is said that a lie has a short life, but truth lives on forever. Hakainde's lie about Zambia training militias in Sudan had a very short life; its life has come to an end, leaving Hakainde in grief and shame.
Dishonest people, liars bring about their own downfall by their lies and other evil deeds, but good people are protected by their integrity. When wise people speak, they make knowledge attractive, but stupid people spout nonsense. Who can be so stupid to start training militias in Sudan? What for? Is Zambia at war? This is why we are questioning Hakainde's reason and judgement. Any reasonable person can easily see that there is something seriously wrong with Hakainde's claim. He is not making sense.
But of course, "a fool does not care whether he understands a thing or not; all he wants to do is show how smart he is" (Proverbs 18:2); "When a fool speaks, he is ruining himself; he gets caught in the trap of his own words" (Proverbs 18:7). And "You will have to live with the consequences of everything you say" (Proverbs 18:20).
Some people ruin themselves by their own careless utterances and stupid actions and then they blame others for it. Sometimes it takes painful experiences to make us change our ways. Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later.
Anyway, telling lies has its consequences. For liars, causing trouble is all they ever think about; every time they open their mouths, it is with the intention of hurting someone.
And "the most stupid fool is better off than someone who thinks he is wise when he is not" (Proverbs 26:12); "You will have to hate someone to want to hurt him with lies. Insincere talk brings nothing but ruin" (Proverbs 26:28); and "The weight of stone and sand is nothing compared to the trouble that stupid people can cause" (Proverbs 27:3).
We understand Hakainde's frustrations and bitterness. It is all self-created, but he will always blame it on others. Hakainde must learn to discipline his disappointments. It is not what happens to us, it is what we choose to do about what happens that makes the difference in how our lives turn out. Your attitude is an expression of your values, beliefs and expectations. Whatever you believe with emotion becomes your reality. You always act in a manner consistent with your innermost beliefs and convictions.
We can only hope that this Sudan militia training lie has taught Hakainde something about integrity, truthfulness and respect. Integrity is the foundation upon which all other values are built. Telling lies shows that one seriously lacks integrity. Truthfulness is the main element of character. Deal honestly and objectively with others and with yourself.
Honesty is the hallmark of great character. And confidence on the outside begins by living with integrity on the inside. Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. If he has to make a mark, Hakainde needs to improve greatly on this.
And there is no need for him to resort to gymnastics of all sorts, he should simply apologise to the nation for the false information he disseminated. But this requires humility, modesty and self-respect and respect for others.
Does Hakainde possess that? We highly doubt it! And this is why Hakainde is today caught in his own web of lies. Oh what a web we weave for ourselves when we first practice to deceive!