Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Leaders on their own cannot deliver
By Editor
Fri 05 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

We are all responsible for what is going on in this country; none of us is just its victim: we are all the co-creators of what is happening in this country.

Why do we say this? It will be very unreasonable to understand the failures by our successive governments and their leaders to deliver on their promises as something alien, which was imposed on us. On the contrary, we have to accept all the failures of this country as sins we have committed against ourselves.

If we accept things as such, we will understand that it's up to us all, and up to us only, to do something about what is not going well, what is wrong in this country. We cannot blame our rulers, our leaders for everything that has gone wrong or is not going well in our country, not only because it would be untrue but also because it could blunt the duty that each of us faces today to make things work.

Let us not be mistaken: the best government, the best president, the best ministers, the best members of parliament, the best councillors, the best chiefs, cannot achieve much on their own. And it would also be wrong to expect a general remedy from them only. Citizenship and democracy include participation and, therefore, responsibility from us all.

And Reverend Penias Mbewe of the Reformed Church of Zambia, Chilenje Congregation is right when he says that "It is up to us, the Zambians, to help the government fulfil its promises. Every Zambian has a role to play in the development of the country. We also know that each and every citizen expects so much from the government but we should also work hard and contribute to the economic development of the country. As Zambians, we need to continue praying, supporting and encouraging our leaders. We should also try all possible means to offer solutions to the many problems that people are facing". If we realise what Reverend Mbewe is saying, hope will return to our hearts and things will cease to appear so terrible.
Those in leadership or power, on their own and without our support, cannot deliver on their promises and on our expectations. Similarly, on our own, without leadership, we cannot deliver. An authority is needed to guide the energies of all towards the common good, towards the desired results or outcomes of the efforts going on in this country. And government, at all levels, is the instrument by which people cooperate together in order to achieve the common good.
As citizens, we must be conscious of our specific and proper roles in the political community, in the governance of our country.
Let us not allow the legitimate expectations and desires of our people for a better life to be lost through our becoming entangled in the jungle of skirmishes for power. Let us not allow the desire to serve oneself to bloom once again under the fair mask of the desire to serve the common good.
We should cooperate, we should collect together, we should coordinate so that everyone can contribute and everyone can benefit, everyone has responsibilities, everyone has rights. That is how we can make the leaders deliver on their promises and on our expectations and desires. That is how we can make the weak strong, that is how we can lift the needy, that is how we can make the sick whole, that is how we can give talent the chance to flourish, that is how we can turn the unemployed into the working contributor.
No matter how entertaining, how fulfilling to short-term egos, one can't play politics with people's lives and future. Our politicians and ourselves cannot continue to be in orbit around the realities of our nation.
There is a yearning for new hope among the people. But the mistake is that for most of the time, they are spectators waiting to see what the leaders will do for them.
Our leaders will lead us where we deserve to be led. Leaders lead, the people govern.
The wealth of society is created by its people - the workers, working intellectuals and peasants. If they take their destiny into their own hands and take an active attitude in solving the problems of society instead of evading them, there will be no difficulty in this world which they cannot overcome.
And it is said that "a free man, when he fails, blames nobody". It is also true for us as citizens of this country who, finally, must take responsibility for the fate of the society in which we ourselves have chosen to live. In the end, we get a country and a life we deserve.


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