Friday, October 25, 2013

Surrendering to noisy negatives
By Editor
Tue 01 Oct. 2013, 14:00 CAT

The last few weeks must have been very difficult for Wynter Kabimba politically and otherwise.

It's not easy to sit in your house and watch on television people carrying a coffin with your name on it; people demanding your blood and threatening to kill you if you don't yield to their demands.

Over the last few weeks, Wynter has been a target of all sorts of accusations. He has been accused of not being close enough to the cadres, the grassroots. Wynter has also been accused of arrogance. One wonders how many people would remain in the Patriotic Front leadership if all were to be put on the scale and weighed on these two issues or charges!

We have members of parliament in the Patriotic Front who are totally disconnected with their constituencies and constituents. They are no longer wanted by the people who elected them as their members of parliament two years ago. If all these were to be expelled today as a result of popular demand from their constituents, how many of the Patriotic Front members of parliament would remain? For the Copperbelt, probably only Chishimba Kambwili would remain. The rest have serious challenges with their constituents. If demonstrations or protests against them were to be organised, very few of them would be able to go back and campaign in their constituencies.

If what is good for the goose is good for the gander, let every leader of the Patriotic Front be judged by the same standards and be weighed on the same scale.

There is a problem for the whole party when it comes to the issue of meeting the expectations of the electorate and of the party cadres. The party cadres need money in their pockets, they need jobs. The party is not able to put money in their pockets and to give them jobs. The secretary general of the party, whoever it may be, will not be able to put money in the pockets of these cadres unless he starts stealing public funds or he starts to engage in corrupt activities as the MMD and its government did. But there are consequences, because tomorrow they will have to account for that conduct when they leave government.

The MMD leaders gave their cadres a lot of things, but look where they are today - they are every day at court for corruption. And this includes their former party president Rupiah Banda himself.

It's better for the Patriotic Front to tell its cadres the truth; they should tell them truthfully what the party and its government can do for them and what it cannot do for them. Cheating these cadres with small bits of money to go and do this or that is not sustainable. And look at those who are giving PF cadres money! Where are they getting their money from? Most of these are just corrupt elements getting illegal commissions from all sorts of people. Is this the way to go?
If Wynter's bearings were not strong, he could have probably resigned his position as secretary general of the Patriotic Front and surrendered to noisy negatives.

Wynter's contribution to the electoral victory of the Patriotic Front has quickly been forgotten. The many risks that Wynter took as a result of the task that Michael Sata gave him doesn't seem to be an issue with some people in the Patriotic Front today.

It was sad to see people whose contributions to the success of the Patriotic Front are nowhere near that of Wynter go for him with such lack of civility and moderation. There is surely a better way to deal with a comrade who has lost favour. But that's life. However, in this life, nobody can ever make you feel average without your permission. Ingratitude and criticism are going to come; they are part of the price you pay for leaping past mediocrity.

Jesus himself, after healing ten lepers, was thanked by only one of them (Luke 17:11-19). We should all learn, Wynter included, to expect ingratitude.

It is said that if you move with God, you will be critiqued. The only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing and be nothing. Those who do things inevitably stir up criticism.

The Bible offers this great promise concerning criticism: the truth always outlives a lie. This fact is backed by Proverbs 12:19: "The leap of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment." Also, in Hebrews 13:6, we are told that we may boldly say,
"The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Never judge people by what is said about them by their enemies, opponents or adversaries. Kenneth Tynan has provided the best description of a critic we have ever heard: "A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car."

We are not called to respond to criticism; we are called to respond to God. Often, criticism will present the best platform from which to proclaim the truth.

Most of the time, people who are critical are either envious or uninformed. They usually say things that have no impact whatsoever upon truth. There is an anonymous saying that describes this situation perfectly: "It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion."

If what you say and do is of God, it will not make any difference if every other person on the face of the earth criticises you. Likewise, if what you are doing is not of God, nothing other people say will make it right Pay no attention to negative criticism. "Trust in the Lord, and do good" (Psalms 37:3), knowing that in the end what you do in the Lord will be rewarded.

And listening to what those calling on Michael Sata to repudiate and dismiss Wynter are saying, we are reminded of what Nelson Mandela said when he was asked to repudiate some of his comrades as a condition for him to be offered conditional freedom by the apartheid regime: "Which man of honour will desert a life-long friend at the insistence of a common opponent and still retain a measure of credibility with his people?" It is very easy to forget those who helped us, who were there for us when we were all alone, when those who are now saying we should repudiate those who helped us, those who were there with us when we were alone, were helping our enemies, our opponents, our adversaries and had very little or no belief in us triumphing. There has to be a vow of goodwill between comrades, friends, compatriots.

And as Mandela has put it: "We have to support our friends even if they have been deserted by the entire world." Truly, it is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences. Sometimes in life, we must accept the integrity of everyone and let bygones to be bygones.

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