Kenyan lawyer and PAN Africanist Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba has urged President Yoweri Museveni to look towards East African integration and drive the region’s agenda since he is the eldest in the region.
Prof. Lumumba said that unlike other regions in Africa like the SADC, the East African region remains largely unstable and it is time pick up the lessons left by the fallen Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli, and move into the right direction.
Prof. Lumumba made these remarks while appearing on NBS Frontline, Thursday evening.
“I hope this will be his last term and he begins looking towards East Africa using his experience to say, this is the time to integrate the market, this is the time to ensure that we are moving in the right direction and this is my legacy.”
Prof. Lumumba said that such an integration will also be in honour of the late former president of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli who has relied mainly on his country’s natural resources.
“It is time for President Museveni to take charge on the East African agenda and say, I am the eldest statesman and I want to take you into this direction, the beauty about it is that my president, Uhuru Kenyatta is now the chair and can tell President Museveni that ‘Magufuli has showed us that we can use our resources for personal benefit, you can use us (East African presidents) to move in the right direction,” Prof. Lumumba said.
Prof. Lumumba said that countries in Africa should not have an attachment to colonialists and should be seen to work towards achieving their own agendas because when we regained independence we cut the umbilical cord.
Prof. Lumumba said that with a clear vision, the region could start to see changes in a short time. He however noted that the problem with the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is that it largely remains a freedom fighting movement that is still trying to become a political party.
Professor Lumumba also urged President Museveni, and other African leaders to stop seeing their opposition as enemies, as this only derails peace and development.
“Democracy is a buffet of ideas. The problem is many African countries, if you have an alternative idea, you become an enemy, which is sad. It is political immaturity,” Prof. Lumumba said.
“Any administration needs a responsible opposition. It is up to the people of Uganda through their Constitution to create funds for the opposition.
In many African countries, it is as if the opposition is dealing with a different country, and the ruling party is also dealing with a different party.”