The row in the ruling Patriotic Front is both baffling and educative.
Baffling in that what appeared to be a clear and straight forward matter of leadership has been extended to more than one month of acrimonious debate.
The matter has been allowed to drift and assume all manner of proportions while the leadership remains mute, insular and certainly acquiescent. The factions were allowed to squabble and even threaten violence without the slightest hint of reaction from the leadership.
When it came, even the final step was a characteristic damp squib that was understandably met with considerable skepticism because it did not pacify the situation but only served to provide a hesitant and tentative way forward that still left the factions to slug it out.
There was no hint of principle, direction or indeed guidance.
Not even the highest structure, the central committee appeared capable of reigning in the bloodletting to allow for a more reflective and deliberative occasion to resolve what is clearly a hiatus in the organisation. The squabbling delivered serious body blows that ate away from the trust and integrity of the party.
The wound has been left festering to the detriment of all those concerned, especially those who mistakenly assumed to have authority endorsed by the highest authority.
There is no doubt that a lot more acrimony will pass before the matter is finally resolved at a district conference if and when this is held.
The whole episode has been educative and illuminating, providing some insight into the manner matters of state have been handled. They have been characterised by the big drift.
Controversy in the Judiciary, misplacement in the criminal justice system and complaints about the lack of balance in a appointments in diplomatic and public office have all fallen on unresponsive and totally insular administration. While drift may be a form of administration, it has a very high cost because it undermines confidence and therefore eats at institutional integrity.
Drift is by its nature insidious and is therefore highly inadvisable in any working and dynamic environment where predictability and institutional integrity are vital.
Citizens and investors prefer policy certainty. They want to be assured that given a set of circumstances the outcome will be the same at all times. They want to be assured that laws and economic policies will not be influenced by political or personal exigencies.
While it is important to recognise and appreciate the role and place of leadership, it must be realised that governance involves the interaction of immutable realities that form the premise of policy. Leaving room for speculation, some of it negative, destroys the image of important institutions of governance, including in our case the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land whose standing has reached the lowest ebb ever.