lessons learnt from PF govt

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There are lessons to be learnt from the way our brothers and sisters in the Patriotic Front government conducted themselves and indeed ended.

They were very pompous and heartless. They were very cruel to others, especially political opponents. They behaved like they were going to be in power forever.

They never realised that their hold on political power was very temporal and such a small thing.

I have always said that the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self limitation and modesty.

But it seems politicians and their supporters don’t learn – they have very short memories. They keep on repeating the same mistakes.

It’s very clear that a governing party must have the self-confidence to want power and to believe that its exercise of it can tilt the country in the right direction. But it should also have the humility to recognise on any likely projection of the past, its power will come to an end, probably in about five years, may be a bit more, but not more than ten years.

The test of its statesmanship in the context of history will not therefore be how many trees it pulls up by the roots but how it fits into a continuous process of adaptation in which leadership is combined with sensitivity to national mood.

Fred M’membe

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