Election or by-election time always bring forth the best or worst part of our political discourse. I will not deal with the senseless violence which our police service seems incapable of preventing but deal with the issue of political deception.According to Merriam-Webster deception is “the act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid” or as Hugo Grotius ( On The Law of War and Peace) put it, saying something completely false either to make others laugh or to mislead them.

There is no doubt that apart from a few political actors like Tayali who may say things that are completely false for amusement, deception especially by the ruling elite is used for political expediency

There is no doubt that apart from a few political actors like Tayali who may say things that are completely false for amusement, deception especially by the ruling elite is used for political expediency and carefully crafted for the maintenance of political power and stability for as long as possible. The late former Vice President Kunda once said the MMD would be in power for 100 years. Similarly some PF leaders have said PF will be in power for eternity! Of course this is not true but is said anyway because in their belief voters have “infant-like response to lies and if they say something often enough people will believe it” (Machiavelli).

Listening to the PF Director of Media, Sunday Chanda’s incessant propaganda one cannot but see deception by omission, deception by saturation and deception by spin at work as elaborated by Carlo Kopp ( Considerations on Deception Techniques used in Political and Product Marketing).”

All these techniques are designed to create a misperception of reality by either excluding unpalatable facts or encouraging the (reader or listener) to devalue or disregard the unpalatable facts by accepting the spin on the issue”. For example, the outbursts against Prime TV by PF Secretary General Davies Mwila are explained as a “simple misunderstanding” and that the “PF and its government have championed freedom of the press and the right for journalists to practice without fear or favour”!

According to Kopp, deception by omission or concealment seeks to create a misperception of reality favourable to the presenter by trying to induce the public to form a picture of reality based only upon what the attacker presents. This may explain why successive governments have been at great pains to push through the Access to Information Bill because of fear that adverse policy outcomes or reports are not disclosed to the public.

Deception by saturation seeks to inundate the public with messages, most of them redundant or irrelevant ( like “under the wise leadership of His Excellency, The Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces”) so that the public cannot gather information which might contradict the attacker’s message. Deception by saturation also seeks to hide information behind a deluge of messages which have little or no information content.Is it any wonder that the public readership of the “public” press has drastically gone down not to mention the loss of interest by many in ZNBC news where the first 20 mins is predictable!

Deception by spin is a form of subversion attack which presents an unpalatable or other acknowledged or accepted fact by encouraging the public to assess that fact from a perspective which is less damaging to the attacker. Consider the spin over the “Ubomba Mwibala” or the “6/10 criminals are Bemba”.

It appears to me quite obvious that the focus of the so-called political media institutions has shifted from truthful and factual information to the public to lying and deception for the maintenance of political power. In “When Presidents Lie – A History of Official Deception and And Its Consequences” Eric Alterman argues that deception invariably exacts a price later and that that even though it may appear that “the ability to lie convincingly had come to be regarded as almost being a qualification for holding public office”, honesty in government is in fact the best policy.

By G Soneka

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21 COMMENTS

    • Oh! What a brilliant piece of information;exactly what Zambia needs to see through PF S lies.

      Even an illiterate Zambian knows that PF is bunch of liars and thugs.

      This writing has made my day.

      Lies has short legs so I have told PF so many times.

      Lungu and PF are toothless dogs and they must go ASAP by force or by fire.

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    • G Soneka
      Let me educate you a little bit.
      Politics and lies or deception walk hand in hand world over. I guess people call it charisma. The winds of lies blows rally audiences like c.r.a.z.y. Double h lies, CK lies, You lie, FTJ lied, Kunda lied, etc. They lie all the damn time. If you go to a politician and expect truth outa mouths, you’re the most luck fellow on earth. The moment a politician tried to tell us truth in my favourite political figure the Gen. Brig. Miyanda, he got out with single digit number at the polls. When MCS promised to deliver in 90 days, we got excited and quickly secured him a bed at plot 1. Come back to earth and appreciate a politician. Lies is truth depending on the eyes of a beholder.

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  1. A good piece Soneka, succinct and captures the circumstances in full thrall! One wishes that those in holding high office who in essence are an apology of leadership can appreciate the content in the article and make drastic adjustments in the way they conduct business and manage national resources. How did we get where we are????

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  2. Soneka, where are people like you? Yours is one article which is a must-read for all Zambians; straight to the point and no waffling. But then again, who am I in this era where deception and spin of words and facts are designed to subliminally influence opinions the Goebbels way?

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  3. Standing ovation while whistling.
    Clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap!
    Ba G Soneka come paja pa Simoson whiskey or whatever you will fancy is on me. Just tell the bar man you’re G Soneka, I’ve already made reservations in your name?

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  4. That’s an intelligent article that I’ve ever read on LT, no insults but the truth. I never realized how my brain missed intelligent articles until I’ve read this one. I never skipped a line, I read every word. Bravo

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  5. Isn’t there deception in the words of those in opposition. Or politics of deception is only for the ruling class? Article glossed over politics of deception from the opposition. Sata utilised this very well. Ok and team promised heaven on earth. TRUMP talked about making America great again. Just wondering!

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  6. When Zambia experienced the worst loadshedding due to poor rains, HH and UPND party embarked on lying to the public that ZESCO had bought and replaced the turbines at Kariba with fake ones from China. He lied in the jope that he may be sympathised and get to plot one. Today, the same “fake” turbines are continuously running producing the electricity we are enjoying and the liar is mute. Sad indeed.

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    • Most of them are cheats except for the CICOTAFS, POTROZ ECL, KK and Gen Miyanda in most cases.
      Mutati and I tell little lies.
      Sinkamba is a bit truthful
      CK is big liar. E.g he lied to escape jail.
      The entire UPNDEAD grouping is a lie, a deception. Why? Well, because 1)in their heart of hearts only a tonga can rule the grouping, 2)Zambia has been sold to China, 3) The economy is dead, Govt has to borrow to pay civil servants, 4) the POTROZ will be impeached, 5) Zaffico and ZNBC belong to the Chinese. 6) double h did not privatise our Mines with FTJ. All lies lies lies. These illiterates, awe sure. Deceptionists. The writer of this article is no exception.

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  7. The name itself “G.Soneka” confirms that the guy is a Kainde follower!!!This man has to give a balanced opinion about both (ruling and opposition politics).It is a fact that in Zambia,the public media such as ZNBC,Times of Zambia,Zambia Daily Mail,etc are pro ruling party while some private media such as Prime TV,The Mast,Zambiawatchdog,The news Diggers,etc are pro opposition parties.This is the sad reality.In western world,the media are neutral and only report the truth and not bending facts.Unfortunately,in Zambia it never like that.Our media are divided on political lines!!!

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  8. You call that a master piece? Just a trib.al article written by a trib.al and praised by a group of trib.als on LT. You really have to be a trib.al to praise Soneka, only a trib.al can think that ru.bbish can ever be a form of brilliance.

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  9. Tries too hard to sound intellectual. Ends up with a poorly written thesis that’s uploaded by only those that feel there is a desperate need for someone to counter Sunday Chanda . the writer eben goes on a tries to deceive readers by omission of the deception from the UPND side

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  10. Dude Gunduzani, that’s why they say if you want to hide something from a black man put it in a book. The man has quoted several ancient principles which are true to this day practiced many political parties present and past, so don’t think this is only about PF. That’s one issue about the current party in power, you guys cannot handle healthy criticism and are very intolerant. Read for yourself and research the things mentioned in the article and not just believe everything ZNBC, Times of Zambia and the rest of the papers spit out, you will realize somehow the write is correct. The writer for a fact is not tonga or all those misconceptions you guys come up with. It’s just an honest factual article which focuses on reality than fallacies.

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