Tracing back his college roots, Vice-President Dr Salous Klaus Chilima on Tuesday inspired University of Malawi students at Chancellor College in Zomba where he delivered a public lecture calling for an ethical society which results into individual reputation and economic gains of the country.
The public lecture tilted “Addressing moral decadence: towards an effective compliance and ethics programme” was organised by the Chancellor College’s Department of Philosophy and open to the students, the public and the media.
Chilima is an alumnus of Chancellor College having studied Bachelor of Social Sciences (Computer Science and Economics) from 1990-1994 and also Masters Of Arts Degree (Economics) from 2003-2005 at the college.
In his public lecture, Chilima begun by defining the terms; moral decadence, compliance, and ethics.
He defined moral decadence in society, including corruption, as behavior that shows a love of self-indulgence, pleasure and money, or the process of decline or decay in society’s ethical and moral traditions.
On the other hand, he said ethics is defined as moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity while compliance is defined as the act of obeying rule, order or request.
Chilima cautioned that moral decadence and unethical behaviour have serious social and economic effects on individuals and organisations leading to serious scandals in society.
In his presentation, Chilima bemoaned that there is a complete decline in ethical standards that society is supposed to uphold.
” A person without ethics is like a wild beast loose on this society….The cost of moral decadence is enormous to the affected and at times to those who pratice it,” he said.
He warned that unethical behaviour starts from small things such as hiding from a bus conductor in order to avoid paying bus fare and leading to major corporate and government scandals with huge cost on the economy and reputational risk.
The Veep cited a list of unethical behavious locally and globally that have lead to financial scandals, impacted society negatively and cost companies and organisations huge sums of money and a reputational risk.
” We need a set of values to govern our ethical behaviour and we need to liberate ourselves from unethical behaviour,” he emphasized.
Chilima also outlined several vices that lead to unethical behaviour such as elusionary shareholder sydrome where people do whatever pleases them with wanton abandon because they feel they have a stake in an organisation.
The other vice is leader-follower tragedy where followers give blind loyalty to a leader and flatter a leader and only tell him what pleases his ear other than the truth.
Chilima also said jelousy and envy is another serious vice where people are jelousy and envious of one’s achievemment and sucesss.
The veep also tackled what he termed ” absence of the we feeling” refering to an attitude where people do not want to take part in or detach themselves from solving society problems because they do not concern them.
” There is this feeling of its them not me or its none of my business” he said.
However, Chilima then recommended that universities such as Chancellor College should devise programs that help produce ethical graduates who should be agents of meaningful and real change in society.
” Economic value of ethics in society is enormous,” he said.
The veep also said to entrench ethical behaviour in society there is need to create an effiecient and effective judicial system and a culture where people desist from engaging in corruption and bribery.
He also said as a country Malawi should promote an ethical culture by rewarding ethical behaviour and also promote integrity by letting justice, truth and honesty thrive in society.
The Veep received a great applause and a standing ovation at the end of the lecture in the Great Hall.
Chilima, a devout Roman Catholic member, was born on 12th February 1972 and he is a Ngoni from Ntcheu.
Before becoming Vice President, Chilima served in a number of postions in the private sector with exceptional performance and brilliance.
Chilima was the first Malawian to head Airtel Malawi, the leading mobile telecommunications company.
He also held Senior Sales and Marketing positions at Leasing and Finance Company, Unilever Malawi, Cocacola and Calsberg Malawi.
During his college days, Chilima was among young men who played a role in championning multi-party democracy.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :