A Kenyan professor of Public law has questioned how many people in Africa rush into politics without first working to establish themselves in various fields of endeavor.
According to Professor Patrick Lumumba, almost all the people who move into politics in Africa do so with ill-intents to loot the coffers of the state and perpetuate their stay in office.
Speaking at the 11th series of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial lectures at the University of Cape Coast, asked Ghanaians to question the behaviour and the motives of politicians in order to expose the ones with questionable traits.
“Some of you may be aspiring to leadership in the political arena but the question is why do you want to lead. In Africa, the shortest route to ill-gotten wealth is political leadership," he noted.
"If you want to get wealth without working for it at all join African politics; that is the truth everywhere in Africa except for a few places. The only place that stands out now in that regard is Tanzania with President John Magofuli. The rest in Africa, I do not know…. Excuse me, I am a visitor,” the law professor said.
He bemoaned how many political leaders suddenly become rich after a short stay in office. According to him, it is outrageous for people to claim to provide service to the people only to turn into ‘vampires’ that suck the blood of the people.
“Our political leaders hunt and gather buildings and cars and money and that is why African leadership does not attract our best men and women. And the African electorate also responds to money,” he said.
Professor Lumumba pressed the blame button not only on the politician but also on the electorate that puts such ‘bad leaders’ in office.
“The African electorate also expects to be bribed so that they can vote. And until the day that we are able to exorcise the ghost of corruption in Africa, Africa will not get good leaders.”, he added.
The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial lecture series will end on Wednesday at the University of Cape Coast.