THE current problem of Africa is not a lack of good policies or a lack of funding to implement those policies but a consistent carelessness in the choice of its leaders, says MMD president Nevers Mumba.
And Mumba, founder president of Victory ministries says Africans cannot just become analysts of their own doom but must find a way to turn their mess into a success story.
Addressing members of the Cross River State House of Assembly on Monday in Calabar, Nigeria, Mumba said Africa has continued to use flawed electoral processes that keep away the competent, disciplined and honourable candidates from ascending to positions of power.
“Until Africa places a premium on leadership, all the grand ideas of mitigating the challenges of the continent will only be a pipe dream. I am convinced that the equitable delivery of goods and services to any people depends on the morality and integrity of its leaders. Until we achieve this, our many good efforts shall continue to be in vain,” he said.
Mumba said the international community, African scholars and commentators had constantly reminded people of the hopeless state of the continent.
“They have painted the dark and gloomy picture of failure of leadership on the continent – the unprecedented corruption levels, the abuse of democratic tenets, including blatant rigging of elections, the absence of freedom of speech, assembly and association. They have rightly identified endemic poverty, disease and exploitation of the poor,” he said. “It is with shame that I concede that these observations are unfortunately true. But this is our continent, we cannot just become analysts of our own doom. We must find a way to turn our mess into a success story.”
Mumba said Africa had been abused and exploited.
He said it had been impoverished by both colonial powers and now, the ruling class, whom people have entrusted with power “to get us out of poverty.”
“In 2003, not only did I become the Leader of Government Business in Parliament but I was also the first Full Gospel Pastor to become Vice-President of Zambia. My ethos is that, ‘the equitable delivery of goods and services to any people depends on the morality and integrity of its leaders’,” he said.
Mumba said Africa shall become the world’s leader not far from now.
“We are already classified as the world’s richest continent and rightly so. We are already credited with the fastest growing church in the world. We are already credited with the fastest growing youth population. All the fundamental pillars that make a people to succeed are in place. The greatest deposits of minerals and precious stones are here in Africa. Africa has abundance of water, great landmass for agriculture and a vibrant workforce hungry for work. All this resource is surrounded by fauna, beauty and priceless tourism attractions,” he noted.
“Besides all these gifts from God, we have endured pain, depravation, hunger, poverty, disease and lack of equitable development. We have paid our price. The prison sentence of pain must now come to an end. Scripture says, ‘Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning’. Africa, our morning is at hand.”
Mumba said there was need for a new leadership.
He said Africa’s healing depends on the quality of leaders people choose for themselves.
He said there was no magic to the rising of the African continent.
“All the basics are in place, but we must now invest in a strong moral leadership. But I am also here to raise a serious objection to the assumption that the problems of Africa can be mitigated simply by asking African leaders to implement the right policies,” he said.
Mumba said the choice of leaders of morality and integrity was threatened by the alien system of choosing leaders in most nations.
He said democracy operates more effectively in an environment where the voters are educated and enlightened.
Mumba said in most of Africa, the electoral processes serve the interests of the powerful few who manipulate the outcome of elections using money and riding on both the poverty and ignorance of the electorate.
“I am of the view that in order for my continent to encourage leaders of morality and integrity to lead, we must interrogate and challenge the current electoral processes, which continue to bar those who wish to play by the rules. The question we must not be afraid to answer is whether democracy in its current shape is helping our quest for a moral leadership on the continent of Africa,” he said. “To make Africa great, we must invest in great leaders of morality and integrity. We must change the rules of electing our leaders and create new systems, which are not hostile to men and women of integrity. Most electoral systems in Africa favour the corrupt, who are morally bankrupt and have no passion nor heart for their nations. Such politicians forget that rigging elections is rigging the very future of their own children.”
Mumba said Africa was no longer a child.
“She has now matured at age sixty after birth at independence. We must now choose our own systems as opposed to those systems we inherited from our colonisers. We must be bold enough to choose our own clothes, food and type of education we give to our children. We must make our own laws away from those of the British Crown. We should not be carbon copies of the British,” he advised. “Some of the laws they left with us have caused us more harm than good, because they were meant to serve their interests only. In most former British colonies we have been left to deal with laws like the public order Act whose original intention was to stop Africans from gathering and plan their struggle for independence. Today, this piece of legislation has become the darling of Africa’s oppressive regimes. It is now used to deny the opposition permission to hold meetings. African dictators are using it more effectively than the colonisers themselves.”
Mumba said some practices of the colonisers could still linger on until the country found own paths.
“If we don’t mind the heat, at least we can change the colour of the wigs to reflect the colour of our hair. It is called growth. It is called maturity. It is called being weaned off the British breast. At sixty, I think we are ready to let go of the British breast. Time to beat our own path is here. We are looking to the African Parliament to deliver us from the shackles of post colonisation hang over,” he said. “But I must confess that Nigeria continues to make Africa proud in many ways. You wear your own clothes, you eat your own food, you watch your own movies and continue to lead the race of Pan-Africanism. Please do not relent.”
Mumba said the new selfless leadership of Africa must courageously undo the lie that Africa was a God forsaken continent whose future is doomed to persistent poverty and subjugation.
He said the new leadership must rebrand and renew Africa’s name.
“We must repaint the picture of Africa ourselves. Today’s picture of Africa demands that we depend on foreign powers to live our lives. We depend on Europe, the Americas and China to do for us, things we can do for ourselves. My message has nothing to do with minimising our role in the global community. We must participate in the global debate and economy. We however, must not only take from the global economy but we must contribute to it in real terms as equal partners,” he said.
Mumba said it was time that Africa took charge of her economy.
“We have vast reserves of gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt and emeralds of all shades. We must own these resources by adopting the unpopular policy of Donald Trump. Instead of America, we must say, AFRICA FIRST. This means that all our resources shall be managed by us. The London Metal Exchange has no business determining the cost of our minerals here in Africa. The United Kingdom does not even have a single copper mine. To put Africa first, we must be courageous enough to create a single economic market to determine how we value our products,” said Mumba. “It is time that Africa printed her own business cards. It is time that Africa sang her own songs, and I must add that it is time Africa paid her own bills. The new leadership shall demand a proper place for our continent. That is in front of the line of the continents of the world. The stories of overcoming all odds are painted across history. In a shocking upset, young David of the bible defeated Goliath. In the recent past, Liverpool football club stunned the world by beating Barcelona when all hope had been lost. Such is life. Africa’s looming upset of the status quo is at hand, but we must invest in a leadership of morality and integrity for this to happen.”