Institutions, Greed and Personal Agendas

The many institutions that any country has are established to further a particular objective. So while an institution may be private or public, it has an agenda, which agenda must never be confused with personal agendas of those that operate the institution. A pilot can never be employed to crash an aero plane into a wall but to fly it to an authorized destination.

Let’s take a simple example: A Chief Executive Officer of an institution may have a personal desire to buy more exotic suits. That is clearly, a personal agenda. Purchasing more exotic suits will never be the same as working in order that the institution in the example grows. Still with the example of the CEO above, an exam may be set up say in December of a particular year in London, just after a Board meeting scheduled for the same venue, London. In this example, it is possible for the CEO to strive for a win win outcome, wherein he or she travels and accomplishes both obligations without any loss occasioned to either.

He or she wins because she/he has taken the exam and has attended the Board meeting. The institution wins because its CEO arranged a meeting that has everything to do with its well being.

It will be a totally different thing if and when the CEO unilaterally elects to have the meeting in London, because it is convenient for him or her, purely for personal reasons that have nothing to do with the institution. In this scenario, it will mean that the institution will be bending to the personal desires of its CEO whether or not its finances permit.

In real life situations, it is this kind of controversial decision making that brings and breeds conflict. It is very possible for a Team member to push an agenda that seemingly supports the broader agenda of the institution, when in actual fact, it pushes a narrow personal agenda of becoming a multimillionaire, at the expense of those wallowing in poverty.

Greedy and the vice above is very common in partisan politics, where double dealing dubbed as double tobela by an advert is rampant. Because one wants to avoid the cost and inconvenience of the rough terrain of political engagement, if they are a Member of Parliament (MP) they will choose to hold on to their seat, until Parliament is dissolved. By doing so, they avoid a by-election and therefore benefit financially because of serving the full term. The morality of holding on to such a seat is a political question that is addressed by the laws of the country. From a legal point of view though, any person who is aggrieved by the action or actions of another is at liberty to move the Courts in search of an independent decision. This process which may be long, complex and probably frustrating demonstrates the power of civility as institutions are made to deal with issues in a rather objective manner.  What is ‘objective’ is hotly contested but I am not aware of a similar contest on what constitutes ‘reasonableness’.

It is a notorious fact that institutions are run by individuals, who may or may not form cartels or syndicates.  It is this consideration that attracts further and detailed commentary.  If an individual is greedy and if that individual is selfish either at the point of dealing or as in their past dealings, it goes without saying that the institution they are heading or part of cannot succeed.  It will have challenges which mirror a criminal mind.

If an institution or political party is lead by a white collar criminal or cartel, it should not surprise anybody if investigations, court appearances, police searches, battles with law enforcement officers, etc are the order of the day. One can choose or elect to be simplistic about this analogy by saying that one is innocent until proven guilty. Yes, that is the law and I have no quarrel with it. What I have a quarrel with is lawlessness as indicated last week. I wish to submit that it is almost impossible to defend or justify lawlessness, but as I have said before, literally anything can be justified. A murderer would be able to tell court what really transpired although a poor murderer is much likely to dance to the tune of the Law than a rich murderer or indeed plunderer.

Our media has recently been awash with reports of lawlessness. Now please get it clear: Lawlessness is not the same thing as illegality, but granted, the two are cousins! Incidents and forms of illegality are easier to respond to than a possible unfolding pattern of lawlessness as evidenced in the genocide that wrecked havoc in Rwanda and sadly, the scourge has been knocking hard on a neighboring country.

In a nutshell, Lawlessness and greedy are the center piece with the potential of unleashing a systemic and systematic pattern of destruction. Please do not shy away: Just look at how Zimbabwe was reduced to face major economic woes as a result of political preferences. (by largely alien forces collaborating with their local agents). Greedy, and its offshoots, at play: many other countries could be candidates for destruction and I maintain my view that the responsibility of keeping the peace – both security of person and security of property, is the sole responsibility of the government of the day. It is a delicate act, which nevertheless must be performed because, simply put, you do not want to end up with a Somalia situation. The fact that you now have millions of economic refugees leaving Africa, for greener pastures in Europe, should be worrying to all that care about the peace in Zambia!

A friend of mine once said and I believe him, Ngande, do not take these criticisms about you seriously. These guys, your friends, are just jealous of your achievements! Frankly, it was not until I committed to Jesus that I saw things differently. These, my friends, need more understanding, love and acceptance than anything else. Their behavior cannot change for the simple reason that another layer of selfish individuals keep feeding their large egos, with lies peddled by turncoats.

The turn coats who are plenty take after the hate propaganda of an American Senator Joseph McCarthy, who by commission dominated the US political climate in the early 1950s. He articulated a disturbing view point of “enemies from within”. He made claims which could not stand the test of truth, but nevertheless, damaged his opponents and freely leant his name to the term “McCathyism’ (used to describe its disciples and practice)

Lies, threats, innuendos and many forms of intimidation, and some terms not mentioned here, go to form a large pattern of lawlessness. Those who seek to survive at all costs, suddenly become merchants, agents and architects of greed. Some will believe that in order to be as powerful as the force of gravity, they must take to utilizing each and every avenue in a game where the means justify the end. If it means drinking blood, that act will be done. If it means killing a person; that act will be done. If it means destroying a society, that act will be done and the disturbing list of evil goes on.

The only legitimate force that may be employed in dealing with such a monster is state power that is properly and legally employed. Who are the holders of state power? And, is this a call for the blanket use of brute force? Nay. Not at all. It is simply an admission that the law of proportionality is not limited to narrow situations, such as quelling of a riot by police.  It is a choice between Zambia the country of many and another variation fashioned in a cause that requires accommodation. That notwithstanding, a choice must be made.

The choice is simply to keep the peace or allow for anarchy bearing in mind that some of the troublesome pieces of legislation, have survived decades of self rule – meaning there has been an opportunity to make amends in order to be at peace with self.

Law reform, as it is called, has not taken place as expected, so we have to contend with what we have and hope that stakeholders will see reason to discuss real issues and not import controversy at every corner. In addition to the laws that we have, we must also begin to interrogate some of our actions, such as the pattern of borrowing the Julius Malema fever, without seeking to either understand or appreciate its dynamics.  Lets talk next week.

Comments: and Mobile 0977776191 and 0955776191