by Anthony Stewart, PhD
Manuals are made by the manufacturers of products to give instructions about how they (products) work.
But how many of us read these manuals? Most people have smart phones but have not read the manuals. Instead we depend on younger students who themselves have not read the manuals. All they have done and can do, they learn by Trial and Error, fiddling with the device to see what works. As a consequence, we miss out on features that may prove useful for our undertakings. We need to prove that we are the wise ones by knowing the contents of the manuals and using them to make our lives and livelihoods better.
Our manual for living is the Bible. It tells us that we must work and not be idle, that we must rest periodically. It tells us what is best for us to eat. One instruction is that we must avoid fat and blood. It describes how we should live amicably with each other, putting guidelines encoded in the Ten Commandments. In summary, we are to Love God with all our heart and our neighbour as ourselves.
The manual by which our country operates is our Constitution. Our Parliamentarians, Judiciary, and Executive are all subject to the Constitution. Our manual for Parliamentarians constrains their operations but depends on Speakers to ensure fairness. In this regard a rogue Government can be brought down by a vote of no confidence. This feature is our chosen path rather than armed insurrection.
The Judiciary operates according to the Laws of our country. No one is above the law and those purporting to be above the law need to understand this. Thus, the statement that “you can go to whatever court you want to but you must come back to Papa,” needs to be withdrawn unequivocally.
The manual guiding our finances require that our accounts balance and should be transparent. Thus, the Accountant General should be empowered to provide the information so that the Auditor General can present audited accounts for the previous year. In this way no 100 million will be “missing.” Further rules guiding how monies are to be spent and accounted for would be followed to avoid past mistakes.
The Civil Service would be appointed by merit and be allowed to do their work, striving to be as efficient as the Private Sector. They must carry on the business of Government in a timely fashion. The Police need to exercise their independence in investigating and prosecuting law breakers. They need the requisite training and must be ahead of the criminals and be proactive in deterring crimes. Teachers too need to be empowered to equip their students with knowledge and skills to enable them to live and make a living.
Community Organizations too, have manuals by which they operate to ensure that they deliver the service they set out to do. Churches also have manuals to guide their operations.
Whether we are trying to make cassava bread, assemble a bicycle, do our own car repairs, function as a worker in Government or the Private Sector, or as a volunteer in a group or church, manuals are indispensable. They keep us on track, will help settle disputes and make for the right outcome. We can no longer rely on the ignorant persons trying to lead us by Trial and Error.