“If a ruler listens to falsehood all his officials will be wicked” (Proverbs 29:12) (ESV). This scripture could be the one that sums up all our national problems in Zimbabwe. While aiming at a national leader, this could be cascaded to other areas of leadership, including churches and family units. The person in authority must lead by seeking the truth in all matters that come before him.
There are those who are quite convinced that President Mugabe is an intentional dictator. However, I have reasons to doubt that this may accurately describe him? My view is that he has survived this long in Zimbabwe’s leadership, because most people revere him, as a likable person, including Christians.
On interacting with some of his staunchest supporters, I have heard statements like, “Our President is not corrupt, but the problem is that he is surrounded by corrupt officials.” This may be true, or not true, but quite telling. I suppose such statements may be soothing to the President himself?
I have never had the privilege of personally interacting with the man. However, I personally have doubts that our president could be likened to the known hardcore dictators that have docked the world.
If anyone has succeeded in cheating people into believing that our president is not a dictator when he would, actually, be one inwardly, I may be one of the cheated ones. But no-one can take away the fact that in his tenure, there has not been a single year that president Mugabe avoided elections, when due.
However, when considering that the president is also human, I suppose I cannot be cheated into believing that he is an angel, either. There could be many unknowns in his character. We leave the rest to God, and deal with what is observable.
The question that should be attended to should be: Why then are we having problems, like the embedded corruption in government institutions? My own analysis reveals that all our problems may emanate from his potent violation of Proverbs 29:12.
Sadly, the President, and most of the functional leaders in our country may not even be aware of the existence of this scripture? But it is certainly impossible to have corruption and other misdemeanors, if leaders were guided by the principle of this scripture.
The person in authority must lead by seeking the truth in all matters that come before him, if righteousness could prevail. Foolishness is in deciding matters, based on initial reports or only one side of a dispute, even if sounding right. A leader should not act before taking the time and the effort to discover independently whether matters are as they have been presented.
If a leader takes this prudent path, those under him will soon learn that it does not pay to tell falsehoods that will be found out, leading to their ouster. In an atmosphere of truth, corruption finds it much harder to gain a foothold, and everyone under such an administration of integrity has a greater opportunity to be satisfied.
Well, I suppose there are leaders who find it profitable to be supported by corrupt leaders, who, in turn protect them on their own wrongs? But such would be a mafia type of leadership, ensconced in what can be labeled as Satanism. While ours may be a corrupt system, it may be due to unintentional violation of Proverbs 29:12.
Having been hardened in being criticized during the war, it may be understandable that a war-hardened leader interprets any criticism as being peddled by enemies. He/she therefore finds comfort in hearing only what makes him/her feel good. This is where his/her corrupt subordinates take advantage of him/her.
While such praise singers ought to be interpreted as his/her worst enemies, the leader finds comfort in being surrounded by them, where everyone else is branded as enemy. But, what goes unnoticed by that leader would be the blame tag on him/her, rather than his/her corrupt officials. Whether they like it or not, such leaders carry the brand of presiding over a failed organization.
As outlined, this problem can be found across the strata of leadership functions in the corporate world, culturally imbedded, as to influence everyone. Whether true or not, I have heard of rumors that most Indian business people’s management style is making each of their employees the secret police, against the other employees?
This would be presumed as being another way of preventing pilferage in the organization. However, the person telling me the story also revealed that in such cases the employees soon discover the scheme, thereby cooperating with each other in stealing. Because of falsehood in its structure, that type of management style is obviously self-defeating.
I suppose, one of the worst enemies of humanity is inability to comprehend between the significance of truthfulness and falsehood. The book of Proverbs reveals that a corrupt system develops where a leader is accustomed with lies, instead of truth. This is like taking comfort in sewage water, instead of fresh water.
Not many people are willing to absorb the truth in their lives. The crucifixion of Jesus can be another revelation of a symptom of not being comfortable with the truth. The Jews were not comfortable with the truth that Jesus exuded. [See “Truth is outside religion and philosophy”]
Obviously, those Jews took comfort in believing that they were not murderers; yet they murdered Jesus. But the real cause for not being at home with the truth is pride, which is hidden, but virtually, carried by most humans. The majority of people pretend to be what they are not, for the sole reason of being accepted, or even adored by other people.
Most of those people we see in our surroundings are not projecting who they really are. They project the goodness that they desire people to view them as. Employment seekers can be good at such pretences. The same may apply with those seeking for life partners in marriage. In the corporate world, profitable deals can be clinched through projecting falsehood than what would be the reality.
Jesus Christ contended more with hypocrites than potent sinners, who did not cause His death. To condemn hypocrisy, Jesus used very strong, but unacceptable terms to denigrate those hypocrites. The whole chapter of Matthew 23 can be described as crudely lambasting the so-called leaders of that time.
Why did Jesus not use His presence on earth, to lambast sinful behaviors, like murders, swindling, homosexuals and the like? Were not those sins just as bad? To Jesus, the hypocrites were the worst sinners, as justifying the source of all sinfulness.
There is nothing wrong with showing abhorrence to adultery, for instance. But the most important thing is to attend to the cause of adultery, rather than just the effect. Punishing the adulterers is attending to the effect, without addressing the cause.
The only two things that need to be identified as distinguishing one against the other are truth and falsehood. Blessed are those who are able to distinguish between the two. But I suppose more blessed are those, willing to discard falsehood, even at the expense of what would have given them esteem in all their lives. [Are we not perishing for lack of knowledge?]
Blaming rulers can make the one blaming feel comfortable; pointing a finger at the source of that country’s problems. But there would be another truth that the person would be avoiding. All human beings were bestowed with leadership responsibility, at creation. If created in God’s image, why would the person avoid responsibility?
Where were the responsible people, expected to sacrifice their comfort zones to confront the degeneration of morals in Zimbabwe? Truthful people would actually not point fingers at the powers that be, but to themselves.
I have often been astonished by the weaklings who lampoon Morgan Tsvangirayi more than they criticize themselves. Why focus on the weaknesses of a man who, at least, has confronted the hegemony of ZANU (PF) more than anyone else, since independence? Is it not true that ZANU (PF), as the ruling entity, deserves being confronted, politically?
Tsvangirayi’s critics feel very good and intelligent, pointing at the faults of the person of Morgan Tsvangirayi, not the degeneration of the state of our country. They cannot question themselves of what they have done, that can be considered as better than the person they regard as being stupid.
The underlying fact is that, to most people, truth is not acceptable. Such people are fond of selling their responsibility for what gives them temporary comfort. However, whatever it would be that gives them comfort is what would soon haunt them, if not disgracefully being discovered by their immediate future generations.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com for $6.99