Africa suffering from kakistocracy, ruled by worst leaders – Prof. Lumumba

Patrick Lumumba, the Former director of Kenya’s anti-corruption commission, has bemoaned the leadership issues in Africa, stating that the continent is suffering from “kakistocracy” (a society governed by its least suitable or competent citizens).

Lumumba, while speaking at The Platform’s Independence Anniversary event on Monday, stated that Africans are usually attracted to ‘thieves and individuals who cannot serve.’

He said, “Africa is suffering because we do not have democracy, but kakistocracy, where our very worst govern us. This is what we have to deal with, and we must note who we elect into our public offices.

“When you allow Hyenas to take care of goats, why should you be surprised when the goats are eaten? Africa is only going to realise its potential in all areas when, by dint of choice, we enable and allow our best men and women to serve in different areas.

“Countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Japan made a conscious decision on the path of electing their leaders. We often talk about the leaders, but the followers elect them. Africans are somehow attracted to thieves and people who cannot serve, then act surprised when the people they elect behave like ‘thieves.’

He stressed the need for Africans to promptly deal with identity crises and define who they are. 

His words: “In 1996, Thabo Mbeki talked about an African. Who is an African? The Chinese, Indonesians, and Koreans defined themselves. We must define ourselves and begin to believe in our institutions.”