Latest update May 31st, 2023 3:04 PM
May 26, 2023 Features / Columnists, Peeping Tom
Kaieteur News – Guyanese will be in for a treat tomorrow at 1.00pm when one of Africa’s most charismatic advocates appears on the Glenn Lall Show. He will appear virtually in an event that no person in Guyana should miss.
Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba is a renowned Kenyan lawyer and public intellectual. He continues to captivate audiences with his charisma, brilliance, his eloquence with his message. He has been one of the most vocal voices on issues that are germane to Africa’s development and its governance. And speak he can. He is said to be the best orator on the African continent. Anyone who has heard his speak will find it difficult to dispute this fact.
He is eminently qualified to speak and advocate on the issues dear to his heart. He has studied law right up to the PHD level and has acquired extensive legal knowledge and understanding of the socio-political history of Africa.
Lumumba has been described as a pan-Africanist. He subscribes to the belief that Africans need to embrace more their diverse cultures, history and languages while seeking greater unity. Like others before him, he described Africa, like others before him, as the cradle of mankind. But he also admits that Africa for which much is expected, continues to punch below its weight.
Like the late Dr. Walter Rodney of Guyana, Lumumba feels that Africa’s past injustice, including the trans-atlantic slave trade, colonization and exploitation must be understood to appreciate Africa’s underdevelopment. For him foreign interference in African started with slavery and graduated into colonization. As a pan Africanist, he is said to advocate strongly for cooperation among African leaders to address the challenges of poverty, conflict and underdevelopment.
But he is not an apologist for African nationalism. He makes it clear that corruption and lack of transparency and accountability can hinder Africa’s progress. He has spearheaded efforts to bring an end to corruption in Kenya and has consistently pointed out the dangers which corruption poses.
Lumumba has been particular vocal against leaders who seek personal gain over the well-being of their citizens. He not been restrained in saying that there are leaders that have failed Africa and that the people should demand better leadership. He once said, “Parliamentarians must always remember that they are the people’s representatives. They must put themselves at the service of their Nation and not their Nation at their service as they often do.”
According to Lumumba, “The rank of many political leaders in Africa are thieves. Let’s call them by their names. They are thieves. They are individuals who are not interested in the interests of their countries.” He went on to add, “As long as we continue electing such individuals into positions of power, they are going to be manipulated. What then is the responsibility of the citizenry? It’s to make demands,” he said.
Lumumba wants to see more equitable distribution of Africa’s wealth. In the Tiro Memorial lecture he called for a “fair deal” for Africa. He has made it clear that Africa is rich in natural resources but has been the victim of mismanagement and exploitation. And it is these processes which accounts for the paradox that a continent so rich in resources should have such high and deep levels of poverty. Lumumba has been unsparing in his condemnation of the exploitation of continent’s vast resources by foreign entities in cahoots with the political elites. This exploitation he says is responsible for the cycle of poverty and under development.
Like the publisher of this newspaper, he has accused foreign multinational corporations of extracting Africa’s resources without providing equitable benefits to communities or contributing to sustainable development. This champion of justice has highlighted to gaping discrepancy between what is taken out by foreign companies and the alarming levels of poverty in Africa. This year he warned that there is a new scramble for Africa. Guyanese will find his views on ethnic voting most interesting. He once said, “You know one of the things that I find painful is for anybody to tell me to vote an individual because he is from my ethnic group. It is the greatest insult. Why did I go to school?” As Guyanese, led by Glenn Lall, continue the struggle for a better deal from the oil companies, Lumumba’s appearance on the Glenn Lall show should be an education for all. He should help us better understand what we need to do in the struggle for oil justice. No one should miss this programme tomorrow at 1 pm. It promises to be riveting.
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