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DEVASTATING POWER OF GREED

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AFRICA is not a poor continent, though its people are struggling with issues of poverty. In his book ‘Why Africa is Poor’, Greg Mills declares that; “The main reason why Africa’s people are poor is because their leaders have made this choice.”

It is imperative for all African leaders in every sphere of life to begin to make choices that matter, choices that are pregnant with the potential of changing the economic, social and political landscape of African nations. African leaders must invest in empowering young people to build African economics and be future political leaders with high moral standards and integrity. We must be challenged and willing to think differently about developing the continent by formulating better policies for social and economic growth and prosperity. The first enemy we must deal with is greed. Greed is an anti-social vice that has the potential of sabotaging the progress of any nation. Greed is the seedbed of all forms of corruption.


Greed is one of the great hindrances to development and progress in the economical, political and social life of most African families, communities and nations. Some of our religious, social, political and business leaders are motivated by naked ambition and greed. Greed for money and power is an anti-social behaviour. Corporate greed is a recipe for national poverty. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines greed as a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than needed. It is actually an eager desire, especially for more material wealth than one needs.

Many African economies have been affected by leaders who are in it for power and wealth, and not to serve the nation. We also see the same trend among spiritual leaders who are in the ministry with a perverted ambition for wealth and fame. Jeremiah 6:13 says, in the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible, “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.”


Selfishness and greediness are anti-progress vices. Greed is actually a moral fault, which makes us indulge in degrading appetites, deviating us in a single respect or general, from right standards. Greed deprives us of natural character, resulting in harmful habits of corruption and bribery. Greed and selfishness will always offend the moral standards of a family, community and nation. Greed has its roots in selfishness.


Farlex’s dictionary defines selfishness as ‘the quality or state of being selfish; exclusive regard to one’s own interest or happiness, that supreme self-love or self-preference which leads a person to direct his purpose to the advancement of his own interest, power or happiness, without regarding those of others’. Greed and selfishness are wicked vices which make us so self-centred that we only become concerned chiefly or only with ourselves and our advantage to the exclusion of our families, communities and nation. Greed makes us opportunists, taking advantage of opportunities without regard for the consequences for others, or the nation at large.


The country is in need of men and women who are unselfish in their dealings, whether it be at family, community or national levels. Unselfishness is the quality of not putting ourselves first but being willing to give our money, time, energy and effort for the betterment of our families, communities and nation. Men and women of character will always disregard their own advantages and welfare over those of their families and communities. The scripture in Psalm 28:25 declares, “A greedy man stirs up strife….”


In other words, where you find greedy men or women, you will also find strife and lies about other people. Greedy people know how to fabricate lies about others in order to discredit them. It is usually said there is no smoke without fire but I have discovered that people can manufacture smoke without fire. Psalm 15:27 says, “Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live.”


Actions and attitudes of greed stir up trouble for families, communities and nations. This is because greed and selfishness have a way of distorting reality. Many spiritual or political decisions are made in the light of greed; ‘what is there in it for me’.


Greediness is lack of character and integrity. We cannot divorce family, social, political and economic progress from issues of integrity and character, they go together. Greedy people will easily compromise the standards of supreme laws that govern a progressive nation in exchange for monetary or power advantage. It is imperative for the nation to have men and women who are principled.

We must be loyal to the principles and laws that govern a growing nation; wisdom, truth, justice, judgement and equity. This must begin at family level to national level. As we all embrace truth, honesty, justice and equity, Swaziland will surely begin to take on the First World status and the standard of living for her people will be raised. 

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