By Sarah Imutowana Yeta II
A blockbusting author by the name of Jack Zenger posits that when you have a leader without tasks and unable to take ownership over the results of his or her tasks, then you have no leader but a playboy in the seat of leadership.
Put simply, there is no leadership without defined tasks and commitment to the successful completion of the tasks. Therefore, taking responsibility is the highest mark of a great leader.
Lungu is a typical playboy. Under his leadership we have seen the number of people at risk of facing starvation increasing to nearly 2.3 million, the debt stock rising to more than US$10.23 billion, the Kwacha reaching an all-time high of 14.23. In addition, corruption, disregard of the rule of law, poor design and inconsistent implementation of public policies, pitiable prioritisation of public programmes and economic mismanagement are now a way of life.
With all this mess the country is in, Lungu has openly refused to take responsibility. For each problem, he is either blaming global or weather conditions, or denies the existence of problems.
He is like a playboy who pursues sexual pleasure at all cost but once the girl is pregnant, he refuses to take responsibility pointing a finger at other boys who have done the same to justify his behaviour forgetting that dipping his big spoon into a jar of oily peanut butter goes in and comes out with responsibility.
It is only a playboy who thinks can be a president without taking responsibility of anything?
As president, Lungu is the chief executive officer of the country. Therefore, he cannot deflect, but should take responsibility for the problems facing the country and wrestle them to the ground because they have been caused by his low-grade leadership. Diminishing his responsibility will not get Lungu through the problems facing the country.
It is because of obfuscating his responsibilities that today he is understood to be the most useless president with no balls to take responsibility of his mess. Even his cronies are not ready to take responsibility because they have seen the president rather than rolling up his sleeves to solve the problems, he is refusing to take responsibility. This has made his cronies happy to follow his lead and cover their own asses.
It is failure to take responsibility that has made the country to be facing so many problems all at once. Some problems such as hunger and load-shedding could have been addressed much earlier, and prevented, if Lungu had balls to take responsibility.
His playboy mentality of eschewing responsibility for self-preservation has proven to be a destructive path for both the economy and him to travel. If he was not a playboy, he would know that he has only one choice, to take responsibility for the problems facing the country.
What father of the nation is he if he cannot take responsibility for national problems?
If Lungu thinks people are foolish not to spot his behaviour of deflecting blame, he is mistaken. Actually Zambians know that Lungu is the most untrustworthy president we have had who has in a playboy fashion put people in a dire economic situation and left them to fight for their survival.
People are not asking Lungu to coddle them. All they want from him is to provide leadership by taking responsibility of unemployment, high standards of living, poverty, corruption, load-shedding, and other challenges facing the country.
Instead of proving to the people that he is capable, competent, and up to the job of handling the current mess, he denies playing a role in stirring up the mess and refuses to own and put in place a plan to address the situation.
The fastest route a president can earn trust is choosing to own problems his country is facing. Taking responsibility is a shortcut to demonstrating one’s character as a leader. On the contrary, the swiftest and surest way to lose trust as we have seen under Lungu is failing to take responsibility, or worse, blaming global factors and the weather conditions.
No matter how many people contributed to the economic conundrum facing the country, and no matter how bad the situation is, real leaders claim responsibility and address the situation. As president, when you own the problems facing your country, you can own the solutions as well. Instead of spreading blame, spread accountability. By taking your share, you can easily inspire others to hold themselves accountable for the mess as well. This is one sure way leaders build long-lasting trust and set themselves on a road to success.
Regrettably, it is too far fetched to demand responsibility from a playboy in State House who has spent two terms in office refusing to own and tackle problems he has caused together with his cronies.
Never again, as a country, should we make a mistake of sending a playboy to State House because it is never in their manual of leadership to be accountable and fix problems caused by their mediocre leadership.