Self aggrandisement is a selfish act where a person does something to please himself/herself unmindful of what he/she does affects others. It is, on the whole, a primitive act, unacceptable in a modern society.
An example of this is when and where some people who are late to line up for certain discipline and decency demanding services crash into queues, pushing others to get into the middle or beginning of lines instead of joining rightful places at ends of lines. Such primitive behaviour is evident in such people at airports, railway stations, pier offices, bus stations, immigration offices, customs offices, canteens, banks, foreign exchange bureaus, ATM outlets, cinema houses, stadiums, hospitals and the like.
Lack of decency, even makes some people feel they are too important to queue for so long even when they are late. Some by pass the lines to be served first any time they arrive. They feel they are more equal than others. They are the kind of people who besides being well paid with good houses to live in, their occupational packages enabling them to drive to and from workplaces or are picked from homes by shuttles to workplaces and returned, take tea in workplaces and go for lunch or are served with lunch but on the contrary their juniors do not.
Their inhuman employment regulations exclude juniors from being entitled to such basics for the simple reason of being junior.
Yet without officially provided means of transport, the juniors are expected to keep time at workplaces without excuse. Their bosses’ selfishness makes them give a blind eye to the fact that as long as employees are not as well paid as they are, they are bound to live in cheap places, they can afford that normally are far away from the workplaces. And that as long as such employees are not provided with means of transport to and from workplaces, they are bound to walk long distances to and from work thus being late to arrive on some days.
Another reality is that such employees arrive too tired to be effective as they should at work. As if that is not enough, they are the same people required to run errands at workplaces on empty stomachs. In that way employers risk their juniors’ unfaithfulness, thefts and sabotage.
The same is presently reflected in the behaviour of some Heads of State in Africa who do not care how what they do affects others especially their people. All they mind is their stomach and being in power at all costs. For instance, we unbelievably witnessed the announcement of elections in one of the East African countries in December 2007 being delayed, the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission confessing not to know who actually won, implying he was denied access to actual election results to be able to announce them and yet he was the same person who announced one of the candidates who was the incumbent Head of State and his party to have won. In which case, he made the announcement against his will, implying the elections were rigged.
When the announcement was delayed in violation of the country’s Constitution that requires election results to be announced immediately and even after election results were awkwardly announced, there were clashes between members of the party that actually won and those of the party that did not win but rigged into power, causing hundreds of people to die, much property being lost, thousands of people being internally displaced and others fleeing to neighbouring countries as refugees. Yet the opposition leader who knew he and his party won was persuaded by some Heads of State in the region including a former UN Secretary General to accept forming ‘ a Government of National Unity’ with the incumbent Head of State ‘for the sake of peace’. Following which, ‘a Government of National Unity’ was formed with the then Head of State as still the Head of State and the opposition leader who won as the Prime Minister.
Otherwise the right thing to do should have been for the African Union (AU) and the United Nations General Assembly and or UN Security Council to insist that the votes be recounted to ascertain who actually won.
In case it was feared ballot boxes were tempered with before announcing election results, elections should alternatively have been repeated under stringent conditions to ensure they were free and fair.
Another example is the last election crisis in Zimbabwe where also ‘a Government of National Unity’ was formed after elections were rigged. The unresolved election crisis in Ivory Coast where the incumbent President has refused to concede defeat and step down for the opposition leader who won, is another case in point.
Those who read the Bible know that God requires us to “speak up for the rights of the poor and destitute” (Proverbs 31:8 – 9). He even says that “if a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered” (Proverbs 21:13). It is nothing but sheer self aggrandisement for Zimbabweans to have cried out about their plight the way they did and so did the media without the incumbent Head of State caring. All he wanted is continuing to be in power at all costs. It also took the international community unnecessarily too long to come to the rescue of the people of Zimbabwe.
The same leader has also recently, succeeded in influencing his party to nominate him to contest for Presidency of the country again in the upcoming elections. Chances are that he will ensure he wins at all costs since he has a wide knowledge and experience of ‘winning’.
Whereas it was Zimbabweans or Ivorians the other day, it could be us or you tomorrow. As a Christian, I find it helpful and decent of us all, irrespective of our different faith inclinations, to do to others what we would wish them to do to us if we were in their situation (Luke 6:31) and to love and care about others as we do to ourselves (Luke 10:27).