Democracy was given a test in the Bible.
A baying crowd was asked to choose between Barabbas and Jesus Christ.
Many explanations have been offered why Barabbas was chosen over Jesus Christ, one of them being that Barbbas was a well known freedom fighter who promised political emancipation to the people while Jesus Christ offered and demanded moral rectitude.
The story also shows the character of mob psychology which William Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar also captures.
He shows that people behave very differently when they are placed in a mob. All it requires is for one person to sway opinion. In this case Brutus convinced the people why Caesar had to be killed in the interest of Rome.
No soon had Brutus left the scene of crime that another character Anthony emerged to engagd the same crowd and convinced them that it was folly to kill ceasar. What had been a heroic deed was infact a vile crime. He recounted the good works of Caesar and why his death was unjustified.
In that instant Brutus the hero was turned into Brutus the villain. In the end Brutus took his own life. Such is the fickle character of humanity.
The moral of the story is that mob psychology will be swayed by oratory and manipulation than reason. That is why those who want to manipulate society work with mobs and crowds which will not examine the finer details of an argument but will respond to emotion and group psychology.
Those taking the Patriotic Front to the Congress have planned well. They are likely to get their result.
If we have appeared overly concerned with the wrangles in the Patriotic Front, it is because we are concerned that the outcome will ultimately affect the entire. If the same guile , subterfuge and trickery is employed in the elections to put a candidate in State House, it will be the country to suffer.
Zambians know the Patriotic Front and are alive to the dynamics that brought them to office. They will know that late President Michael Sata was held captive by a group of people who infiltrated the entire governance system. These are the people the President estranged when he distanced himself from them.
They have not given up their intense craving for power and the benefits it has provided them and will therefore do anything and everything to retain control by sponsoring a candidate they can manipulate.
They also know that Zambians wanted a break from these evil clutches. Zambians want a Government that will stand for integrity and good governance. They want a judiciary that is impartial, a police service that is professional and indeed systems of governance that will work without political influence and control.
If there is any lesson to be learnt from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, it is that wealth and power are the roots of all evil. People will kill for them.