CONGO- NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST KEYNOTE ADDRESS
- Posted on November 19, 2019
- Posted in SPEECHES
NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST KEY NOTE ADDRESS BY H.E STEPHEN KALONZO MUSYOKA ON THE SUBJECT IN THE BOOK OF PROVERBS 14:34: RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH A NATION: BUT SIN IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE.
Your Excellency the President, Felix Tshisekedi, Speakers of Both Houses of Parliament, Honorable members of Parliament, Members of the diplomatic corp, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honor to be speaking to you this day in your annual National Prayer Breakfast here in Kinshasa on the subject “Righteousness Exalts a Nation”. It is always a matter of great pleasure for me to return to this scenic and beautiful city of Kinshasa, founded on the great Congo River. My delegation and I have continued to sample the hospitality of the Congolese.
- The Republic of Congo is a country that upon its mention the first thing that comes to mind are the rich and exotic minerals it has and also the second largest rainforest in the world, after the Amazon forest. We also cannot forget the pop culture of music that has also shaped music around the region of sub-Sahara Africa and beyond. In fact, Lingala music symbolizes the vibrant nature of the Congolese. There is a joke that says; when God was distributing resources around Africa, when he got to Congo, He got tired and dropped everything here!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is impossible to provide leadership and grow the economy if we are the drivers of ethnic division and facilitators of violence. Peace must be paramount whatever the circumstance and you as leaders need to safeguard this one important thing. Peace brings stability to an economy and creates an atmosphere of soberness for correct leadership to prevail. Where there is no peace, there is every evil work including exploitation of resources by strangers. Leadership comes from God and there is no greater honor than to serve God in our capacities as stewards of this great and wonderful nation. It is important and undoubtedly true as history has shown, that where righteousness abides, the nation prospers and peace prevails upon the land. For very many years, war, greed for resources and ethnic division has threatened the livelihoods of African people, bringing them nothing but grief, sorrow and hardship. We must rise above these sins that easily entangle us as leaders by becoming examples to those who look up to us as we look up to Jesus whose teachings in the Bible are a resource for us leaders to fulfill God’s purpose in our nations. Accordingly, I will be speaking to you on three areas that our Lord Jesus attributed as righteousness in leadership. These are:-
I will begin with Humility.
Ladies and gentlemen assuredly I say to you this morning that if you are a leader and you do not have or cultivate a heart of humility, it is difficult to be a follower of Jesus. Ideally as a leader it is important to appreciate that you are a servant called to leadership. However, I wish this were the case. In nearly all African countries, the reality is that the measure for you to be chosen for leadership is dependent on how heavy/big ones pockets are. On a serious note, a servant leader is one who is willing to serve and not be served. This means that we must run away from the temptations of the ‘big man syndrome’ and instead change our attitudes by adding value to others through service. I know that as Africans the past of our ancestors haunts us and that without the “BIG MAN” we seem to be in some kind of vacuum created by our own ignorance. We must display the true standards and value of leadership and be that city upon a hill that cannot be hidden. In the book of John 13:5; we see the standard of servant leadership when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and Simon Peter was initially completely flabbergasted at the idea that His Master, the Lord of the universe could stoop so low so as to wash his feet and dry them with a piece of garment torn from his Master’s clothes. I am convinced that Peter must have also been suffering the same feelings that we
Africans suffer from, he could imagine how could the “BIG MAN” can do such a thing? Servant Leadership is therefore not about the office you occupy or ability you have. It is about the state of your heart and the attitude towards serving others. As leaders, we should desire to serve the people whole heartedly and not out of obligation. People are drawn towards those who surrender wholeheartedly for them because your service to them adds value to their lives. Our servant-hood and whole-hearted attitude to leadership shall exalt us as leaders and indeed exalt the nation!
Allow me to applaud the recent example of Pope Francis, when he recently did the incredible thing of kissing the feet of the leaders of South Sudan, namely; President
Salva Kiir and his Vice President turned fierce opponent, Dr Riek Machar as well as Vice President Taban Deng and Madam Rebecca Garang, widow of the Late Dr. John Garang. Since 2016, the Republic of South Sudan has been on the brink of collapse following the fighting between rival groups at the statehouse in the capital city of Juba. The world watched in disbelief as the Pope in act of great servant leadership emulated the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Faithfulness to God prospers a nation. As the Bible says in the book of Psalms 89:11; All wealth comes from God as the earth and everything in it was founded by Him. It is true to say that the Democratic Republic of Congo has the potential to be a first world nation but where is your faithfulness?
Please remember that righteousness and justice exalt a Nation but sin and corruption, are a reproach to any people. I wish to applaud the many African Heads of
State, who have declared war on corruption, my own President, Uhuru Kenyatta has decided to take the bull of corruption by the horns and those of us, in opposition; have declared total support to him, as he struggles to rid Kenya of corruption. Accountability and prudent use of Government resources is not only a physical obligation but also a spiritual one. According to the corruption index on most corrupt countries in the world.
As leaders, we can cultivate righteousness by doing things in the fear God. In whatever we do we should work with all our heart as unto God and not unto men. Indeed the integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their greed.
Lastly a nation is not complete without Love.
Ethnic division and hatred of your own countryman is the one thing that hurts a nation and hinders growth and development. Love as we all know conquereth all and is fundamental in the construction of any social fabric of a nation. Ethnic differences that inform our political alignments has been a common placed challenge across the continent especially in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the book of Mark 3:25 a nation that is divided against itself cannot stand. How do we expect to grow our countries in leaps and bounds if we cannot see eye to eye? We should love one another as brothers and sisters and as leaders always chose to make peace. Inflammatory statements and remarks can easily heighten tension that leads to violence. Stand for peace at all times regardless of the circumstance. Be the drivers of national healing and promote initiatives that will further cohesiveness and integration of the various ethnic communities. We are encouraged as followers of
Jesus Christ to live peacefully with one another (Romans 12:18) “If it is possible as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men”. We must not also forget justice which is a byproduct of peace. In law we usually debate that there cannot be peace without justice. Where there is love there is peace and justice. From a scriptural point of view, justice means loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. Love that brings peace in a nation is therefore a necessary ingredient in nation building.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The very theme and wording of this national prayer breakfast is not complete without the word prayer. The scripture (1 Timothy 2:1-2) exhorts us to intercede and pray for those who are in the highest authority of leadership. As this nation takes on a trajectory of nation building and national healing, President Felix and his government will need your prayers. In doing this we are investing in our lives as the scripture continues; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honour.
As I conclude, allow me to urge President Tshisekedi to continue with the spirit of inclusive government.
Following a bitter contest in Kenya, between President
Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime minister, Raila Odinga (whom I supported as his running mate in 2017). Both decided to go for a hand shake and this act of forgiveness has translated to peace in Kenya. I strongly suggested the spirit of handshake in the whole of Africa. This will consolidate democracy, the African way. This approach will bring about silencing of guns across the African continent, and then the African lion will arise like the Asian tigers.
The moment for African is now!
In the meantime East Africa looks forward to welcoming the DRC to the membership of the East Africa Community.
H.E. HON. DR. STEPHEN KALONZO MUSYOKA,
KENYA’S SPECIAL ENVOY TO SOUTH SUDAN,
VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA (2008 – 2013)
AND LEADER, WIPER DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT – KENYA