Democracy Under Threat In Africa – Nevers Mumba
The subject of our discussion coming from the Institute of Multi-Democracy allows us to introduce who we are as a political party. MMD is the mother of multi-partism in this country. We introduced what we call the ability to freely participate in an organization to which you belong and to say what you believe needs to be said without being intimidated.
So we are the owners of this doctrine of multi-partism. That is why our name is very similar to the Netherlands Institute of Multi-Party Democracy. We share the name because we same share values, that multi-partism is the way to go.
But may I mention here today that this is important to us because Democracy is a useless ethos or practice in the absence of education. As a matter of fact, democracy is under threat on the continent of Africa because of lack of education on the part of our people we expect to vote.
Secondly, poverty is another threat to democracy because a lot of our people across this continent end up with people in office that have no capacity to deliver but the only capacity they have is to abuse our condition of being poor and uneducated. So they use our lack of education to prop themselves up to win elections. They know that if they come to my colleague and give him $1,000, he is not going to be asking the candidate whether the candidate has the capacity to deliver in the office he seeks; what is important for him is the $1,000 and the ‘stomach.’
In America when you see Donald Trump and the others campaigning, it is what you say, what you believe in, and your background and your historical background that makes you get elected. Africa is not there yet. Africa is about the stomach and you elect someone because he fills your stomach. That is why poverty in Africa has continued because we have not put a premium on the leaders we put in office.
The idea of democracy is a tremendous idea because it presupposes that the nation will elect a leader they want but in Africa this hardly happens.
Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba