MMD president Nevers Mumba says it seems money, crookedness and corruption are the qualifications for someone to win an election in Africa.
Delivering a memorial public lecture in honour of late senator Gbene Cyrus Nunieh in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria last Wednesday, Mumba, a former Republican vice-president, said the celebrated lawyer and businessman demonstrated that for Africa to excel, those who seek to lead must be a carefully chosen lot whose values and integrity were unquestioned.
He said Nunieh fully qualified to be considered amongst Africa’s finest minds, whose legacy transcends many benchmarks set by some of Africa’s greatest.
“God blessed the celebrated Senator Cyrus Nunieh with long life. But it’s not the longevity of life we celebrate today, but the content of his life,” Mumba said.
“Reading through his life story and his distinguished service to mankind triggers confidence that Africa indeed is the birthplace of not only humanity but great minds that have changed the world. A legacy built over a period of 90 years cannot be eulogised in a single day, but I choose to make a comment on one aspect of the late Senator’s passion. Governance and service to his country.”
Mumba said Nunieh’s life identified more with that aspect than any other, as he demonstrated that “for Africa to excel, those who seek to lead must be a carefully chosen lot whose values and integrity is unquestioned”.
He said Nunieh demonstrated that “we should not be careless or lazy in the choice of political leaders.”
Mumba said in his political journey, his ethos was that the equitable delivery of goods and services to any people depends on the morality and integrity of its leaders.
“Shamefully, Africa has surrendered its right to insist that those chosen to lead us have the moral gravitas to steer our continent to greatness. It seems that the qualification for someone to win an election in Africa is money, crookedness and corruption,” he observed. “For most of Africa, electoral systems favour the corrupt and punish those who play by the rules. Having been a legal mind, Senator Nunieh understood that there is no prosperity in the absence of practical legal frameworks. Africa needs to create lasting institutions that support civility and loyalty to our nations.”
Mumba said he was returning to Zambia having been inspired by Nunieh’s selfless life, which was lived for others.
He noted that Nunieh’s life was sacrificed so much in pioneering a new path for those who have followed behind.
“Africa is in desperate need of leaders of morality and integrity. Africa must change the faulty electoral systems and create new ones which will permit leaders of morality and integrity to win elections,” Mumba urged.
And Mumba said the ultimate goal of any African leader must be to empower citizens with opportunities that would translate in both personal and national prosperity.
“The model of overly rich leaders presiding over poor citizens is the basic definition of apartheid, a system both Nigeria and Zambia fought relentlessly until it crumbled in South Africa,” he said. “Several African leaders, unfortunately, have picked up the evil and demonic system of oppression of the underprivileged, apartheid. The rising of Africa does not lie in a few rich leaders but in the prosperity of the broader population. I am confident that Africa is about to overtake all other continents in prosperity. The only delay lingers in the halls of power, in the hands of a privileged few.”
The Victory Ministries International founder said for citizens to thrive and prosper, African governments must create systems of integrity that reward those playing by the rules and punish those who abuse their way to the top.
He said African governments must concentrate on creating opportunities for their people.
“Africans should stop looking for handouts as a matter of policy. Africans are a hardworking people. They are the strongest people on earth going by what they have endured over the decades. They survive circumstances other people groups cannot survive. That is why we were the chosen race for slavery,” Mumba said.
“Finally if the late senator Cyrus Nunieh were to be given a vacation back to earth by the Lord, he would wish to find a mature continent with a mature and domesticated electoral system. He would wish to find leaders of morality and integrity in charge of nations. He would wish to find Africa ahead of the other continents.”
Mumba said Africa belongs at the top and she was thirsty for a new brand of leaders that shall take her there.