- Voters can petition to pull out elected leaders if they fail to live up to the public expectations.
- Public pronouncements have to be measured, respectful and not in any way calculated to antagonise or offend others.
The Constitution spells out values and ethical standards required of national leaders and public officers. These include integrity, common decency, honesty and accountability.
Underlying these are self-restraint, personal discipline and trustworthiness. The upshot is that leaders must be moral standard bearers, paragons of virtue and beacons of hope. They have to lead by example.
However, this largely exists on paper. We have leaders who cannot pass muster. This is because the electoral process is, itself, deficient.
People who should not be anywhere near public office are allowed in through manipulation and deceit.
Hence, we have a crop of reckless and indisciplined leaders; those with the penchant for spewing vitriol and toxic utterances. Unfortunately, they thrive and even get support from undiscerning individuals.
In the past few days, we have been assaulted by insults and offensive utterances from some political leaders, bringing to shame the positions they hold and, subsequently, raising questions as to their suitability for the offices.
They become impudent when they take to the rostrum and throw caution to the wind as they churn out venom with reckless abandon.
Such leaders cause hatred, ethnic tensions and divisions and undermine national cohesion and integration.
Yet, when confronted, they turn around to blame the media for misreporting or quoting them out of context.