Matembe: youth bought off by greedy African leaders

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Miria Matembe

Former Ethics and Integrity minister Miria Matembe has called upon African leaders to reflect on their original goals of saving and strengthening the people of the continent.

She was Tuesday speaking at the “Africa Now” summit co-chaired by President Museveni alongside other Heads of State and key business leaders on the continent at Commonwealth Resort hotel in Munyonyo.

The inaugural Africa Now Summit is set to tackle four thematic areas; Leadership – Youth, finding an Africa that works for the African youth – Finding African solutions to African problems – Achieving partnerships across Africa.

“By the time I went into politics, we were coming from the lost decades and we thought it was a new dawn for Africa,” Matembe said.

She said they talked of a new brand of African leaders who they thought would take them to a new step, leaders who would serve the people, and hoped that they would mentor others to follow in their footsteps.

“There is need to step back and reflect on this. I was chased from the cabinet ministry because I spoke the truth. We did debate, played our role but those in power diverted and went different ways.”

“Where is the integrity of young people? They have been bought off, they are as bad as we are, maybe we (old people) are to be blamed because we led the way with corruption and greed.”

She went on: “Who will give young people time? Rights are taken, they are never given, young people should rise up.”

Matembe said she doesn’t want to be pessimistic but doesn’t expect much out of this conference, noting that what lacks in Africa is action.

“I want a leadership that is people-centred and service oriented. The current political leadership in Africa is bad.”

Speaking at the same event, Betty Byanyima, the Team Leader and Facilitator of The Global Leadership Summit in Uganda, said Uganda has 78% of population below the age of 30.

“And if we are going to influence leadership in this country, we need to start with the youth.”

“At The Global Leadership Summit we in mentorship and intergenerational dialogue,” she noted.

She went on: “The young people should be given their space but there is room for us to hold conversations with them to understand how we can impact each other.”

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