Who is Kenya’s anti graft Czar?

July 23, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Dr PLO Lumumba radiates the African version of an accomplished academic elite. He has distinguished himself as a brilliant constitutional lawyer, lecturer and a public speaker.

He received his LL.B and LL.M Degrees in Law at the University of Nairobi, followed by a PhD in the Laws of the Sea at the University of Ghent in Belgium.

A law lecturer for the country’s premier School of Law at the University of Nairobi for two decades and currently the Dean of the School of Law at the high-ranking private Kabarak University, few Kenyans can rival Dr Lumumba’s academic achievements.

He has also lectured at the United States International University, Nairobi, the University of Nairobi, Widener University (USA) Nairobi Summer Programs.

Dr Lumumba is an Advocate of the High Courts of Kenya and Tanzania.

PLO, as he is widely known, started his teaching career in 1987 at the Kenya College of Accountancy where he taught Law for Accountants. His 24-page Curriculum Vitae outlines various high ranking seminar attendances, papers and presentations that leave no doubt of his distinctions.

Born and raised in Nairobi, the young PLO lived in Eastlands and attended Pumwani Secondary School. Born Patrick Otieno, he is said to have adopted the name Lumumba after the death of Patrice Lumumba of DRC Congo. He is the first born in a family of four.

The public speaker who was a student leader in his university days, has also served in the Law Society of Kenya and has received recognition by the Law Society of Kenya and the International Commission of Jurists (Kenya Chapter) as a member in good standing.

His eloquence has earned him admirers and critics alike, but the 48-year-old is undoubtedly one of Kenya’s great orators. He is likened by many to American black revolutionary Martin Luther King. A former college mate once said that back in the days of University politics, Dr Lumumba had a collection of Dr King’s tapes that he would listen to and imitate.

His appointment as the country’s anti graft Czar, had been approached with a wait-and-see attitude by many. While his academic qualifications speak for him critics are apprehensive whether he can translate that into action to contend one of the greatest challenges of all time, corruption.

Dr Lumumba’s hardest task is probably to prove his critics wrong that he is all big words but no action. A blogger who has no apologies for disliking our version of Martin Luther says: “Lumumba’s high talk are usually full of big words and string of phrases that succeed in mesmerizing the wanainchi, but are totally meaningless.”

In Parliament a group of MPs contested his appointment on the basis of his short stint into politics in the last General election where he unsuccessfully contested the Kamukunji Parliamentary seat in 2007. He was the Chairman of the Chama Cha Umma, however it remains unclear whether he is still the chairman of the party.

His philanthropic and activism life has matched his academic life. He is the founder of several organisations including the P.L.O- Lumumba Foundation, a charitable organisation that has been in operation since 1990.

The Association of the Citizens Against Corruption (ACAC), Movement for Dialogue and Non- Violence (MODAN), The African Institute of Leaders and Leadership (AILL), a Trustee of Ufadhili Trust and a Director of Makini Schools. He is one of the Trustees and the Executive Director of the African Institute of Leaders and Leadership, Nairobi, Kenya.

He has been at the centre of the constitutional review process having served as the Secretary (Chief Executive) of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, the body that was mandated to collect Kenyans’ views and prepare a draft Constitution for deliberations at the National Constitutional Conference in the period between 2002- 2005. In the ongoing review he has participated in various civil society forums.

Dr Lumumba has attended several merit trainings including at the Afoul Wallenburg Institute at the University of Lund, in Sweden (Human Rights), Commonwealth Young Lawyers Course at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (University of London), International Committee of the Red Cross for University Teachers in Geneva (Humanitarian Law), The International Visitors Programmes in the United States of America among others.


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