If there’s anything I really detest about our elections is how they individualize the presidency.
An individual adopted to be a presidential candidate is elevated above others and treated as a Samson, Macgyver, a know-it-all. Everything is about him or her. Elections are won or lost on his personal style, charm or oratory. The collective is almost lost.
The presidential candidate is marketed like a commodity – a perfume or a fizzy drink. I find this very dehumanising. This is not in tune with our socialist leadership style and ethics. But I have to endure it for our party to stand a chance of winning next year’s elections.
Our socialist leadership is based on a collective rather than an individual; it is characterized by collective wisdom, not individual wisdom – we are not looking for a single genius but a collective genius; it relies on collective decision making rather than individual decision making. We believe that the individual is meaningless without collective support. No leader should over-emphasize their own abilities. The leader needs to understand the relationship between themselves and the collective.
No leader should believe that they know everything or able to do everything. Nobody is perfect.
In a collective leadership, the relationship between the head and the common members is just like that between a flower and its green leaves. This is a mutually dependent relationship, whereby working together produces benefits for all.
Everyone needs the help of others. People may say the flower is attractive, but it still needs the support of its green leaves. As a saying goes in Bemba, two heads are better than one. Nobody is perfect. It would be ridiculous for somebody to say that they knew and were able to do anything like some god.
An excellent leader is able to take the wisdom of those he works with and use it to the fullest extent.
Garden Compound, Lusaka