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Kenya's PLO Lumumba feted by State & Local Organizations in USA for Anti-Corruption Stance
PLO awarded in Lowell
PHOTO:Grand reception and citation in the General Assembly of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in honor of Professor P.L.O. Lumumba (center) and African Cultural Association of Greater Lowell represented by Ben Opara (2nd right), by Speaker DeLeo (3rd left), Wednesday 1/31/18. PIC BY COURTESY


Feb,01-2018 10:59:20
BOSTON__The Massachusetts House of Representatives, led by speaker Robert De Leo officially recognized the courageous work by Kenyan top lawyer, Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, popularly known as PLO Lumumba to raise awareness on how the scourge of corruption is weighing down on efforts to raise the standard of living in Kenya and across all African countries.

The recognition came in the form of a citation read on behalf other speaker and the entire House of Representatives by State Representative, Rady Mom of the 18th Middlesex District in Lowell Saturday during an event held by the African Cultural Association where Lumumba was also feted with the African Luminary of the year Award.

In addition, Lumumba also received another citation in recognition of his work from the city of Lowell presented by Mayor, Bill Samara.

The event took place at the Elks Lodge in Lowell with over 200 guests from various African communalities and American friends attending.

"Professor Lumumba, it's truly an honor to be in your presence. I know for sure through all what you have shared with us this evening that all you ever wanted is to realize how special Africa is. I am deeply touched by that," said Mom before presenting the citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives, recognizing Lumumba's "contributions in fighting corruption and selflessly working to promote Africa's empowerment."

Massachusetts State Representative, Rady Mom presents Kenya's top lawyer, PLO Lumumba with a citation to honor his ani-corruption efforts in the African continent during an awards ceremony in Lowell, MA. to the right is Rev. Rafu Najem, who hosted the event. AJABU PIC/DANIEL MAINA

Describing his own difficult journey to freedom when his father decided to ran away from genocide in Cambodia with his little children in a desperate effort to give them a second chance in life, Mom urged Lumumba and Africans present to never forget where they came from.

"I survived gencide in Cambidia. Now i am truly honored to live I the greatest country inn the world. I share this with you to remind you that it is true, we must never ever forget where we came from!," he emphasized.

Mom also presented the African Cultural Association with another citation from the House of Representatives in recognition of their "exceptional service to the African community in promoting opportunity and social empowerment".

Thanking Lumumba for his courageous work and his inspiring speech during the event, Lowell mayor, Bill Samaras said that he will live to remember the day.

"I would like to thank the African cultural Association for the invitation to be here to give this ward tonight. Professor Lumumba, what an inspiring speech. I will remember this forever," said the mayor.

He added that the city of Lowell decided to honor Lumumba, a distinguished professor of law and former director of the Kenya school of Law for his fight for human rights and the fight against corruption.

"When I researched and read more about you, I came to realize that your fight is not just about Kenyans and Africans, it's about all human beings. I think you believe everybody should be safe, have a good home, a good education and a good future. You have written so many books about this including a judicial review. We are all very proud of you," added the mayor before handing Lumumba the citation while accompanied by Lowell City councilors, John Leahy and Dave Conway.

L to R: PLO Lumumba, Lowell Mayor, Bill Samaras, African cultural Association vice president, Ben Opara, together with city councillors, John Leahy , 2nd right and and Dave Conway, extreme right during the African Luminary awards ceremony at elks Lodge in Lowell Saturday January 27th, 2018. AJABU MEDIA PIC/DANIEL MAINA. 

While recognizing the Kenyan professor with the African Luminary award for his exceptional work, Ben Opara, vice chairman of the African Cultural Association on behalf of the president, Levania Furusa who was out of the country for the burial of her mother, said that the ACA was extremely proud to honor Prof. Lumumba for his admirable work in Africa.

"The ACA and the board of directors voted unanimously to give this award, the very first of its kind to the distinguished professor of law, Prof. PLO Lumumba for your fight against corruption across the African continent," said Opara.

Giving a brief note of appreciations, Lumumba said he was very happy and encouraged by the recognition he received from fellow Africans and authorities in Massachusetts.

"Thank you very much for this recognition. The beauty of such recognition is that it serves to energize one to remind us that we must move with renewed enthusiasm as we struggle put Africa in its rightful place among the table of nations," he said.

However, before the award ceremony, Lumumba gave a keynote speech where he urged Africans in the Diaspora to rise up and take a leading role to transform Africa into a continent able to solver her own problems regardless of all injustices, factual or perceived--that that were wrought on the resource rich continent since the early civilization of man to the ugly slavery period and eventually debilitating colonialism.

"The continent now considered a dark continent was at one time the home of civilization. When the Europeans were in caves, Africans were building pyramids," lamented the professor.

Directors of the African Cultural Association, Zoe Arthur, center, Dr. Emile Tabea, 2nd right and Rev. Jeremiah Menyongai, right pose for a picture with PLO Lumumba, Lowell mayor and city councillors during the Awards night. AJABU MEDIA PIC/DANIEL MAINA.

He added that all injustices committed on Africa and her people by Arabs who started the slave trade in conjunction with Europeans and Americans, as well as the stain of colonization--may provide tantalizing historical lessons and valid excuses--but that dwelling on them will not help Africa solve her contemporary problems.

Lumumba revealed that the biggest threat to advancement of the African people at the moment is endemic corruption that has seeped into all sectors of life in many countries across the motherland.

He praised the African Union for dedicating 2018 as the year to fight corruption that has become a huge "headwind that has slowed down the growth since many of her countries attained independence over 50 years ago."

"The reason for this dedication by the African union is that Africa and Africans have recognized that Africa has to be at the dinner table among civilized nations as a diner, not a waiter. For far too long, Africa has continued to punch below her economic and political aims."

He said that for things to change, Africans must roll up their sleeves and do what is necessary so that Africa can solve her problems herself.

He urged Africans in the Diaspora and their friends of goodwill to unite and help come up with solutions to Africans current problems.

"We are all sojourners in these other lands. When I look at the men and women who are here tonight, I have no doubt that we can make Africa great again," Lumumba concluded to a standing ovation and loud applause.

Debating African issues at a Facebook Live interview with Ajabu Media last Saturday to be aired again soon, Lumumba said Africans need to stop referring to corruption by its name as it makes it feel official.

He instead suggested it be referred to as plain theft so as to make the public officials and masses alike think twice before they engage in corrupt transactions.

During the awards event, Irene Egan was also awarded with a Friend of Africa award for her financial and moral support she has extended to the African cultural Association year after year.

The event was moderated by Rev. Rafu Najem of the CCF church in Lowell.

Among the ACA board members present included Rev. Jeremiah Menyongai of the Jubilee International Christian Ministries, Zoe Arthur, Dr. Emile Tabea and Ms. Prudent Brighton.

The Special event coordinate coordinator for the ACA is Valerie Opara.

Rev. Dr. Karimi Mumbui of the PCEA Neema church and Bishop David Karaya, also of the CCF church Lowell also attended as well.

Following the colorful ceremony, Lumumba was also presented with keys to the city of Lowell by the mayor on Tuesday before addressing a city council meeting at Lowell City hall. He was scheduled to meet with Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker and House speaker, Robert De Leo Wednesday morning before ending his brief trip to Boston.