Professor Lumumba was asked in an interview, “what type of impression do you get about young people’s approach to the fight against corruption in Africa?”
….and he replied: You know, there was a time when I believed, naively of course, that the next generation would be a generation that would be slightly better than my generation but, all things being constant, the younger generation, in my view, is even more dangerous to Africa. This is so because they have learned from the older generation and remember the old saying that when mother cow is chewing cord, the baby cow is watching very keenly.
The next generation of Africans are watching very keenly to have the opportunity to steal. A recent survey in Kenya demonstrated that over 40% of young people think that there is nothing wrong with corruption. In fact, the only thing that they think is wrong is to be arrested and the only thing that you must do is to avoid being arrested. And I’m quite certain that if a survey is conducted today among Nigerian youths, many young Nigerians would love to be in a situation where they can steal. So some people condemn corruption some times not because they hate it but because they are yet to have the opportunity to be corrupt.
It is not going to be easy except we go back and ask ourselves as Africans what indeed we must do.What we must do is to create a new African, an African who has integrity, that is honest and that can only be done if we are focused on the fight against corruption.
Some people who could not be jailed in their own countries are being kept in prison in Europe. There are cases of some politicians in Kenya whose properties have been confiscated in the United Kingdom but nothing happened to them in Kenya. In other words, there is a sense in which we in Africa condone and encourage thieves; and in any event, in many African countries, most of those who are elected into public office are thieves. And when you elect thieves into public office, then you can rest assured that nothing would happen when they get to public office!!! ~ Professor Lumumba