Mubita Nawa Stands Tall on Pedestal of Integrity

Mubita Nawa
Mubita Nawa

Nawa Stands Tall on Pedestal of Integrity

By Benedict Tembo

Reformist Mubita Nawa’s candidacy for one of the world’s most prestigious police jobs is entering a critical stage as preliminary assessments are set for next week. Mr. Nawa is vying for the position of Secretary General of International Police (INTERPOL) and is facing competition from three candidates from the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

The Zambia Police Service director of administration is undaunted by competition and stands not only on the standard virtues of policing but also on the pedestal of reform so that INTERPOL reflects a true global image. The assistant commissioner of police is inspired by his passion for a world safe for everyone and one that presents opportunities to all. His candidature also seeks to reverse a trend that has excluded Africa for more than 100 years of INTERPOL’s existence as the position of Secretary General has only been held by representatives outside the continent. And that, Mr. Nawa says, should be the beginning of reform.

Should he go through, as he believes he will, reform will start from within the executive committee and secretariat which are seemingly a closed shop for Africa. His blueprint also details major changes even in the way projects are spread across the globe so that they reflect the global character of the organization. Preliminary assessments of the four candidates are set for April 22 to 26 while the final will be around June. Despite facing an obvious stiff competition, Mr. Nawa is unfazed as his confidence is full to the brim not only because of the reform agenda but his unparalleled curriculum vitae that clearly sets him apart. “I am very confident as I believe I have the right expertise, exposure, and experience for the job,” Mr. Nawa says. He has immense exposure and experience in international law enforcement from the Southern African Development Community, the United Nations, and Interpol.


Apart from endorsement of the Zambian government, Mr. Nawa boasts of support almost throughout Africa. The African Union at its recent summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia unanimously agreed to rally behind one African candidate which is Zambia. His strength so far includes exposure to a wide range of jurisdictions, different international organizations, having worked in several multi-cultural environments, and having worked at leadership positions in all these places.

Mr. Nawa has gained experience at operational and strategic level, especially the experience of the realities of the policing challenges, dynamics, and realities from the field having been Director of the Interpol regional bureau for Southern Africa. Being the only African candidate, Mr. Nawa also has the consensus of countries to implement change of the status quo. He sees the Executive Committee voting for the Secretary General and not the General Assembly as the only threat. “The Brazilian candidate is a member of the Executive Committee where he is vice president for the Americas region, which is responsible for the interviews and selection of the SG. The United Kingdom candidate Stephen Kavanagh is the Executive Director Police Service at Interpol headquarters, technically number two from the Secretary General. The fourth contestant is Faisal Shankah.

While Mr. Nawa is still struggling to raise resources for his campaign, the Brazilian candidate Valdery Urquiza and his UK counterpart can traverse the world directly meeting Heads of State and Government under the guise of their current positions while canvassing for support for their candidacy. He is also disadvantaged by not having direct access at certain levels which in some cases delays the campaign activities. “Direct access allows for proper briefings and putting the authorities in a clear perspective of the processes involved. Reporting through third parties creates information gaps,” Mr. Nawa says. He has engaged relevant offices to assist. “For instance, I have direct access to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation senior officials. We have been having physical and virtual meetings arranged by Foreign Affairs,” Mr. Nawa says.


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