By Maurice Okore
The concept of citizenship is yet to take root in the post-colonial Africa, the former World Bank managing director, Dr. Mamphela Ramphele has observed.
Ramphele was speaking at the annual Joseph Mubiru Memorial Lecture in Kampala on Tuesday. Late Mubiru was a bank of Uganda governor and the lecture is held in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the financial and economic development of Uganda.
Rampele said citizens in most countries are treated as voting fodder for those in power to retain their positions regardless of their performance in government.
"The political process has turned into transactional relationships between citizens who are wooed to vote in exchange for some material good: food parcels, blankets, housing, promises of jobs and other patronage," Ramphele said.
Dr. Mamphela speaking at the Lecture. Looking on is BOU Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile
"These are the hallmarks of extractive politics. Even the vote is reduced to a tradable good rather than a tool for citizens to use to hold those in power accountable by rewarding and punishing governments on the basis of their performance in promoting prosperity for all."
She said citizens as shareholders of their nations have a responsibility not only to themselves and their interests, but to future generations who will inherit the institutions they build.
WHO IS DR. MAMPHELA RAMPHELE
Mamphela Aletta Ramphele (born 28 December 1947) is a South African politician, a former activist against apartheid, a medical doctor, an academic and businesswoman.
She is also a former Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town and a one-time Managing Director at the World Bank. Ramphele founded a political party Agang South Africa in February 2013 and withdrew from politics in July 2014.
Votes are now tradable goods - Dr. Ramphele