KENYAN Professor of Law Patrick Lumumba says it will take great leadership to manage citizens when they become impatient over the delivery of campaign promises.
And Prof Lumumba has proposed that government should rename Livingstone City and the Victoria Falls to reflect their indigenous heritage.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Mulambo Haimbe urged citizens to keep the UPND government in check.
During an Eden University-organised public lecture at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Saturday, Prof Lumumba said great leadership will have to be shown when citizens become impatient on the issue of campaign promises.
“These are the issues that I think are going to be very important and this administration comes at a very difficult time when it has promised jobs and its not going to be easy to create jobs, at a time when the tax base is growing thinner, what are you going to do. Very quickly, as I said at the outset, the population is going to become impatient. You may have promised free education when you begin to grope, the honourable minister is here, when you begin to look in the books, you will discover that what you desire in your hearts of hearts may not be achievable within the time that you have and the opposition is not going to wait to say ‘no, it’s COVID-19’,” he said.
“They are going to say ‘we told you, they can’t do it, they are just populist’, and they are going to say that sooner rather than later if they are not saying it already. These are realities that you are going to have to grapple with and it’s going to take great leadership in fact, this is the moment when great leadership is going to be evident and hang on how you leverage on this.”
And Prof Lumumba said he hoped President Hakainde Hichilema would change names such as Victoria Falls to their indigenous names.
“They named our countries as they willed and even rivers that sustained our ancestors, they gave names so that even today when I traverse the land of Zambia and indeed other parts of Africa, I still find lakes called Victoria in honour of a British monarch. I still find a fall called Victoria Falls, not Mosi-oa-Tunya, I still find a town called Livingstone. I look forward to the day, I hope it will be during the administration of Hakainde Hichilema that those names will be changed,” Prof Lumumba said.
He also urged Afaricans to do away with globalization if it comes at the expense of their humanity.
“Fellow Africans, the time has come that we must exorcise the ghosts of low self-esteem. I know the world is a global village but if globalisation means we’re dehumanized, then to hell with globalisation. If globalisation means that the Chinese must come into Africa and take everything, then to hell with globalisation. If globalisation means that Americans must come here and tell us the difference between our left and our right, then to hell with globalisation. We know what our left hand is and we know what our right hand is. We can conduct our affairs and we need not prove anything to anybody,” he said.
On democracy, Prof Lumumba urged African countries not to match their democratic processes to those of the Western world but ensure they determine their processes based on their individual realities.
“The term democracy, in my understanding, means the creation of a governmental system in which the people are involved in determining who are going to run their affairs. If that is what democracy means, it cannot be true that there is a one size fits all democracy. The west has told us that in order to have a democratic dispensation, you must have something called the political party, and in the west, they talk of one being on the left or one being on the right, I know many countries including my own where some individuals within a space of 10 years have belonged to 12 political parties. Now, if you talk about the parties being on the left or the right, that one tells me that those fellows simply create these bodies which are called political parties for the purpose of gaining office,” Prof Lumumba said.
“I believe, that as long as the litmus test is people participation, periodic process where you can determine who your leaders are, it is possible to have democratic processes, we do not hate western practices, as to how that will happen, each country and each unit must determine that on the basis of its own realities.”
He said leadership required remaining resolute despite having to upset some people.
“Allow me a little imagination. I can imagine that your administration, your party has this blueprint and it’s all good, you possibly want to have a lean government but somebody emerges from somewhere saying no, we have been in thing together you have only 26 ministries, add another one, he says which one, he says Ministry of Science and Technology, he says let’s slice technology and we give it to somebody else then before you know it, you have 50 ministries because you want to please people. So it requires resoluteness, you will annoy some, you will harm some and all is in the best interest of the country…we will all make mistakes but we must not persist in our stupidity,” he said.
Prof Lumumba said as history has shown, everyone is susceptible to abusing power.
“I listened to President HH speaking at the UN, that rhetoric must now be matched with action, and if it is, then in addition to prayers, not prayers alone but in addition, if we just pray then it will not happen and all of us, this idea that our leaders are some kind of WWE wrestler somewhere in a ring with development and the economy and they are battling and we are watching whether roads will be delivered and hospitals will be delivered, no, that will not happen. History has demonstrated, not one, not twice all of us are susceptible to abuse power, all of us. And therefore, democracy is guarded by eternal vigilance. I can imagine the current president,” said Prof Lumumba.
Meanwhile, giving the vote of thanks, Haimbe said urged citizens to keep the UPND government in check.
“I would like us to go away with the question that was asked; when you become a Cabinet minister, do you become an instant billionaire? I think the answer in the new dawn government is no, we want to be the epitome of servant leadership and so in giving this vote of thanks, I will ask all of you the citizenry of Zambia to hold us accountable…to make sure that we are indeed servant leaders. Like President Hakainde Hichilema has made it clear, so it must be for us who serve in public offices in one sort or the other,” said Haimbe.