PLO Lumumba Quotes


THE QUOTABLES

Prof.. PLO – LUMUMBA

compiled

by

Luis Franceschi

Accountability

  • “As for accusations even the divine Jesus of Nazareth was accused of many things; even Martin Luther King Junior was accused of many things; even Mahatma Gandhi was accused of many things. But it is our duty to prove our detractors wrong by our actions.”
    -Statement made on 13 th October, 2001 in an interview after taking the oath of office as Secretary to the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission..
  • I am happy to join what I consider to be a very good team and look forward to working together with you and produce a good constitution. I can promise you that I will discharge my duties with the delicacy of sleep walker. I believe that we will work together – accommodate me, you fall for me, I fall for you and we call it a game; Chinua Achebe used to say; and so I say .
    -At the 25 th Plenary session of the CKRC after being introduced to Commissioners, 11/10/2001

Attitude

  • Third World is a state of the mind and until we change our attitude as Africans, if there is a fourth, fifth and even sixth world, we will be in it.
    -Forever Living Products Launch KICC, 21/1/2006

Business

  • Today, I must say the business of business is serious business.
    -Forever Living Products Launch KICC, 21/1/2006

Constitution Making

  • “It is when the boat approaches the shore that it capsizes; we must therefore tread with preternatural circumspection” in these last phases of the Constitution Review Process.
    -Statement made on the 21 st February, 2003 in an interview with the Media.
  • “The tree of change was watered by blood and sweat of men and women whose relentless crusade for constitutional change gave rise to formation of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission.”
    -Statement made on 21 st February, 2003 while commenting on the review process delay.
  • We must remember that Constitution making is not instant coffee, it is a marathon race. Let us therefore not lose sight of the antelope for the squirrel.
    -Remarks during an interview with KTN in 2002 in response to delays in the Review Process.
  • The Constitution making process was like a relay race. We ran our leg and in a manner of speaking were like Moses, we parted the Red Sea of political intrigues and internal sabotage, stood on the Mountains and beheld the Promised Land, but now we must hand over to Joshua who must take us to Canaan to confront the walls of Jericho.
    -In an interview with the Standard Newspaper in January, 2006.
  • I refuse to accept that another Commission should be created to deliver a new Constitution. What you need is a lean, mean team to complete the process. We must not climb trees to look for fish.
    -During an interview on the Review Process after the Referendum result in January, 2006
  • God has given us lemon, let us not ask for oranges. Let us make lemonade.
    -Statement made to Delegates of the National Constitutional Conference on the 19 th day of August, 2003.
  • In our quest for a new Constitution we have swam Oceans how can we now drown in ponds.
    -Statement made to delegates at the National Constitutional Conference on the 30 th day of May, 2003.

Corruption

  • Our country must morally re-arm. We cannot run a country where virtue is vice and vice is virtue. 13 We cannot live in a country where the looters of yester-years assume they have undergone a Pauline conversion because they are in opposition and oppose the Government of the day. 14 Some of our richest men and women are to be found in politics and their creed is, thou shall reap what thou hath not sown.
  • Behind most of our so called successful civil servants who have joined politics and business there is collapsed or collapsing public institution they once served.
    Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) Conference by Accounting Students Association 15 th March, 2002 speaking on the subject of Professionals and corruption.

Culture

  • Culture is the celebration of diversity. Let us therefore not deny our origin; but instead celebrate ours as a cultural mosaic not a tower of Babel , but a power of Babel ala Ali Mazrui.
    On the inaugural cultural day at Kabarak University , 30/7/2005 .

Democracy

  • “The tree of democracy must inevitably be watered with blood.” In this case I am prepared to be the sacrificial lamb.
    Statement made on 28 th September, 2002 at a Law Society of Kenya forum after the High Court issued an Order banning debate on the draft Constitution.
  • “When there is a conflict between a decision of a Court of Law and a decision in the Court of Public opinion, I will be guided by the latter. Jail, hospital or cemetery, I am ready for it, I would rather defy a dishonest Court Order than go against the Court of Public Opinion and public good.”
    -Statement made on 28 th September, 2002 at a Law Society of Kenya forum after the High Court issued an Order banning debate on the draft Constitution..
  • “At all times, it should be remembered that our nations are fragile and like an egg, must be dealt with carefully.”
    Statement made on 13 th September, 2002 while presenting a paper during a two-day media workshop in a Nairobi Hotel.

Development

  • We are the third world not because the sun rises on the West and sets in the East but because we have engaged the reverse gear and we are moving with jet like speed in the wrong direction -we must change this by rolling up our sleeves and working for the growth of our country.
    -Maseno University, Address to students, 2002.

Disability

  • Today to say, ‘disability is not inability’ is a politically correct cliché. But let me tell you; our level of development will be measured by how we treat our men and women with disability.
    On the occasion of the Law and Kenya Paraplegic organization’s Strategic Plan.

Ethnicity

  • I refuse to believe that this country must run on the wheels of negative ethnicity where ones ethnic extraction is the touchstone of ability; that is a veritable tower of Babel . But worry the least – I have a perfect recipe for national cohesion. Let us combine the energy of the Luhya with the entrepreneurship of the Kikuyu, with a little dose of the Wakamba and Miji Kenda humility, the Maasai’s zeal and zest and the Luo’s quest for perfection and the beautiful qualities of all Kenyan nations and what looks like the tower of Babel will become the power of Babel.
    -On the occasion of Dinner Talk on Ethnicity as a Threat to Democracy in Kenya on October 21, 2003 at New Stanley Hotel, Nairobi organized by the Kenya Human Rights Commission..

Famine

  • I believe we have something to learn from the Bible. Let us store in times of plenty to cater for lean times. Contributions like we have done today is mere tranquilizing, fire fighting which attacks symptoms while leaving causes untouched and unshaken.
    -10 th December, 1984 after donating money to the President of Kenya Daniel arap Moi on behalf of the University of Nairobi Students

General

  • We must pay attention to detail, paying regard to the tree to produce the forest. Tell me, can the forest exist inspite of trees?
    18 th March, 2006 during an address to Moi University Students.
  • In matters such as these we cannot but say that it is the dog that wags the tail and not vice versa
    -Responding to question from Journalists in 2002 on who controls the Constitution Review Process
  • Youth for KANU 92’s greatest contribution to Kenyan politics was the creation of a new national creed – thou shall reap what thou hath not sown.
    Commenting on Youth for KANU 92, Dec. 1992
  • While it is good to be both nice and right, in this case I prefer to be right rather than nice.
    -On 28/12/2005 during the CKRC’s Last Steering Committee Meeting. While opposing payment of Commissioners’ Leave and Transport Allowance.
  • In the utilization of public resources allocated to us we must emulate the Stoics and Spartans of old.
    11 th day of October, 2001 during the 36 th Plenary Session of the CRKC
  • Sometimes, and those times are many, wisdom demands that we remain silent. This is such a time.
    -Responding to Journalists in 2004 after the murder of Dr. Odhiambo Mbai.

Harambee

  • ‘Harambee’ may have had its positive aspects but today it has become the avenue via which looters of public funds sanitize their ill gotten wealth.
    -Comment on the Harambee Institution in Kenya , 2002.

Humility

  • “I can dine with Kings and eat with commoners alike.”
    -Statement made on 6 th January, 2002 .
  • “I felt I was tailor made for the job.”
    -Statement made on 6 th January, 2002 in an interview with the Kenyan Press.

Leadership

  • “Good leaders must be God-fearing because God is the Judge of all power”
    -Statement made on 8 th February, 2002 during a workshop on communication at JJ McCarthy Catholic Centre, Nairobi .
  • The Kenyan political party has no ideological foundation. It is a vehicle that opportunistic politicians use to travel to Parliament, nay, it is a mask that he wears to avoid recognition by the electorate.
    -At a workshop on challenges of leadership in Kenya organized by Twaweza Communication, at Holiday Inn, Nairobi , 8-9 August, 2005
  • I am always surprised when I hear our so called political leaders saying they want their tribesmen to enjoy the national cake; yet, I never hear then talking of baking the national cake. Even divine manna was exhausted.
    -At a workshop on challenges of leadership in Kenya organized by Twaweza Communication, at Holiday Inn, Nairobi , 8-9 August, 2005
  • Our Country must not have leaders whose greatest claim to fame is ill gotten wealth and bellicose speeches at funerals.
    -At Njiru in Nairobi on the occasion of Martin Luther King Jnr,. 16 th day of February, 2006.
  • Sometimes our leaders behave like hunters and gatherers. The only difference is that they gather money, land, houses and cars. This spiritual poverty must be cured through moral re-armament .
  • I am pained that those who as Government Ministers stood in the way of a new Constitution in 2002 now pretend to be its protagonists.
  • Take care, those who shout in support of a new Constitution may not mean it. They say with their mouths what they do not believe in their hearts.
    Former District Delegates Conference organized by Women’s Political Caucus on 2/2/2006 at Boulevard Hotel, Nairobi .
  • Women must protect their gains as prescribed in the Bomas Draft but within the context of a comprehensively sound Constitution. They must not seek a golden window in a house with a foundation of sand.

Non-Violent Leadership

  • “Peace has had flirtatious relationship with this University. I want to be the High Priest who will preside over the marriage between peace and this University.”
    -Statement made on 9 th December, 1984 at the Great Court while delivering a speech at the inaugural ceremony as Chairman of the students Organization of Nairobi University (SONU) of the University of Nairobi.

On God and Religion

  • The God I worship is not weak. He will not be shaken by the establishment of the Kadhi’s Courts. He fights for me, I do not fight for Him. At least that is what I learn from the experience of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan.
    -On the graduation day of Kenya Highlands Bible College , Kericho 31/1/2005
  • We must not use Christianity as a fig leaf to hide our moral nakedness. Let our words be wedded to our deeds.
    -On the graduation day of Kenya Highlands Bible College , Kericho 31/1/2005

Peace

  • Our political leaders are fond of saying Kenya is an island of peace in a sea of turmoil. I am not convinced. We are in a state the Portuguese call ‘nom
  • guerra – non paz'; no war and no peace. How can we be peaceful and brother is rising against brother in Rift Valley and Coast Province ? How can we be peaceful while hunger and want is decimating our men and women?
    Statement made to the Press in 1997 during the Ethnic Clashes.

Police

  • I am happy to join members of the Kenyan police who profess the Christian faith. Many Kenyans believe that being a police officer and a Christian are incompatible, very much like water and oil. But have we all not sinned and fallen short of the glory of both man and God and our perpetual cry should be mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
    -Speaking to members of Christian Police Association of Kenya on 10 th April, 2002 at Highridge Teachers College on the subject ‘Value and cost of Law Enforcement.’
  • Our policemen and women must be like Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. They must act with the firmness that opens eyes and not with the arrogance that inflames anger.
    -Speaking to members of Christian Police Association of Kenya on 10 th April, 2002 at Highridge Teachers College on the subject ‘Value and cost of Law Enforcement.’

Politics

  • But how can change be realized when our politicians suffer from amnesia and change political parties like they do their shirts. Kenya ‘s problem is tribal chieftaincy and opportunism.
    -Statement made on 23d March, 2001 following merger deal between Ufungamano and Parliamentary Select Committee.
  • “The road ahead is still tricky and will require a lot of patience, tolerance and level headedness. The people must be able to rise above divisions and do what is best for the country and not pander to partisan interests of certain individuals or sections of the society.” The country is bigger than individuals and must always be given its pride of place.
    -Statement made on 23d March, 2001 following merger deal between Ufungamano and Parliamentary Select Committee.
  • Our political leaders have no sense of occasion. They say at funerals what they ought to say at weddings and at weddings what they ought to say at funerals. Confusion galore is their stock in trade.
    -Address to Kabarak High School Students 3/3/2006

Press

  • “The press as a player in the field of democracy has a responsibility to convey truthful information about candidates and their policies to enable citizens make informed choices.”
    -Statement made on 13 th September, 2002 while presenting a paper during a two-day workshop in a Nairobi Hotel.
  • “I may not agree with Joseph Momoh of Sierra Leone on many things, but I do on one thing, that a Journalist with a pen in hand is like a soldier with a Kalashnikov in hand, he can use it to defend or to destroy.
    -Comment made during a press interview in December, 2002 in Nakuru.
  • The Journalist is the immediate successor of the town crier; he must not shout fire, in a crowded room when indeed there is no fire.

Prisons

  • The African Prison is a death chamber. Let us remember that people are taken to prison as a punishment not for punishment.
    -At the 7 th Conference for the Eastern, Southern and Central (CESCA), Heads of Correctional Services on ‘Penal Reform Initiatives in Africa” held between 8 th to 12 th August, 2005 at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

Self Esteem

  • If our young man and woman desire to compete with their counterparts from other countries, they must exorcise the ghost of self doubt and suckle from the breasts of knowledge. Knowledge is the potent antidote against underdevelopment.
    -On the occasion of Annual speech and Prize Giving Day at Pumwani Secondary School on 7/8/2003 speaking on the subject, ‘Self Esteem’.
  • If our country is to realize its full potential then the girl child must soar in education like the Eagle. It is not for nothing that we Africans say mother is supreme.
    -On the occasion of Parents Day at St. Angela’s Girls Secondary School , Kitui. 9th August, 2003
  • Parliamentarians must always remember that they are the people’s representatives. They must put themselves at the service of their Nation and not their Nation at their service as they often do.
    -Post election seminar for members of Parliament on 25/7/2003 , Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi , while speaking on the subject ‘The Legislature as an Institution.
  • Like gold passes through the furnace to gain its lustre, so must you pass through the furnace of schooling to realize your potential.
    24/6/2003 On the occasion of Speech Day at Maseno School .
  • Christians must be the salt of the earth, but before they combine their brigade with organs of the state to quell the billowing fires of socio-economic and political degradation that bedevil our country – they must agree on what will best quell the fire – the water of truth or the oil of political intrigue.
    Speaking on the subject of synchronism of Christianity and State on 4 th October, 2003 at the Invitation of Kenyatta University Christian Union.

Service

  • “The tiger does not shout about its tigritude, you see the skeleton of an antelope and you know that some tigritude has emanated.” Follow my footsteps and let history be my judge.
    -Statement made on 13 th October, 2001 in an interview after taking the oath of office as Secretary to the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission.
  • “When you serve your country, you sacrifice personal comfort. Like the man for whom I am named, I prefer to die with my head high above with indestructible faith and profound belief in the destiny of my country, than to live in humility and renounce the principles which I consider sacred.”
    -Statement made on 13 th October, 2001 in an interview after taking oath of office.
  • “Man may be a political animal but there comes a time in a person’s life when true service must be the ultimate goal.” In the history of our country this is the time.
    -Statement made on 13 th October, 2001 in an interview after taking the oath of office.

Success

  • There is no comparison between that which is lost by trying and that which is lost by not trying. We must therefore not burden God with minutiae. Praying without action is mere superstition. Faith must be accompanied by action.
  • Success is the verdict of history. You cannot claim success before History passes its objective verdict.
    -Address to Maseno University Staff and Students, 2002.
  • Success is failure turned inside out. If you want to graduate from a “Johny nobody” to a big “Kahuna” you must obey the divine Order to subdue the earth and have dominion over it; otherwise the earth will subdue you and have dominion over you.
    -At KICC Nairobi on the occasion of the Launch of Forever Living Products, 21/1/2006 .
  • That which ripens quickly rots quickly.
    -Statement made to the Press, 2002 in response to claims of delay in the Constitution Review Process.

Truth and Justice

  • “I will not embrace cheap heroism by pretending to be afire eating pseudo-revolutionary. I prefer to be called names but I will remain a servant of my conscience and a warrior for truth and justice.”
    -Address to fellow students in December, 1984 at the Great Court , University of Nairobi .
  • Emotions without the benefit of intellect will only generate heat without producing light.
    -Statement made on 26 th May, 2002 at an International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament in Nairobi .
  • “Where there is no truth, there is no peace.”
    -Statement made on 26 th May, 2002 at an International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament in Nairobi .

University

  • Our Universities must have umbilical cords with industry and society otherwise they will remain ivory towers where knowledge is pumped into the minds of our young men and women.
    -22 nd March, 2002 Egerton University
  • The so-called parallel degree may be based on noble ideals but it has also given birth to some students whose interest is the degree certificate without more.
    -Commenting on the introduction of parallel degree Programmes in Public Universities in 2002.

Women and Girls

  • Verily, Verily, I tell you; any society that does not pay regard to the girl and her education is built on a foundation of sand.
    -Prize giving day, Moi Girls school, Nairobi 23/9/2005
  • We can adore women as our mothers, cherish them as our daughters, love them as our wives and yet despise them as human beings. I cannot understand this paradox.
    -Statement made in November, 2002 on the occasion of the Women’s Political Caucus Election Manifesto at Hilton Hotel, Nairobi .

Youth

  • “A society that does not pay homage and respect to its youth is a society at adrift – a giant headed to the rocks, so said J. F Kennedy and so say I.”
    -The words of John F. Kennedy as quoted by him in an interview by the Standard Newspaper on the 13 th October, 2001 after taking the oath of office.
  • Kenya is to be great in fact and not in prospect then you young men and women must make a resolve today, that you are the young suckers that will take over when the old banana’s dies.
    -Prize giving day at St. Mary’s School, Nairobi , 2005
  • The youth are the true barometers of the political and economic climate of any country. Therefore take your pride of place; you are not leaders of tomorrow, start serving today.
    -19 th April, 2002 , at Grand Regency Hotel addressing Marketing Students Association on the subject of The Role of the Youth in Kenya ‘s Political and Economic Transition.
  • I know we are looking forward to the General Elections and metaphorically speaking, from the Egypt of KANU misrule to the Canaan of a new dispensation; but I have my doubts fellow countrymen and women that those who represent change today are graduates of the KANU school of politics whose curriculum has no Course on change.
    -Holy Family Basilica, 11 th May, 2002 Speaking on the National Catholic Youth Centre on the Subject 2002 General Elections and Years Beyond


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