Poverty of leadership in Africa

When African leaders die, their citizens not only mourn their demise, but also the fatal and final loss of stolen millions and billions subsequently lost in Swiss Forts. While they were still alive, progressives in their respective countries still hoped that one day, they would respect the collective conscience, by returning some of the looted funds.

The greatest African leader today lives in a bungalow in a  South African suburb; respected all over the world because he fought a life battle against oppression and injustice, served one term as his country’s president, emerged without stealing his country’s money. His name opens doors and gates of cities all over the world and his statue stands shoulder to shoulder at Parliament Square in London. His name is Nelson Mandela.

The other 99.9% of African leaders have stolen and are still stealing their country’s GDP’s created and produced for them by foreign experts, are refusing to spend the money within their countries, have not informed even their families about their Swiss PIN codes because they are too selfish, are ruling, “not serving”, their countries as life presidents and prime ministers, live in palaces while their people suffer, travel abroad to die because they believe it is prestigious to do so, and eventually abandon their loots in Swiss Forts.

The song since anyone could remember is about “potential Africa”, and how the “seven shaped” continent is endowed with unlimited natural resources. However, even till today every glow of development initiatives is always linked to foreign “experts”. Most African leaders have no time to reflect on what makes other continents powerful; from Europe to America and now Asia and China. No, they are more pre-occupied securing their loots, and behaving in ways that endear them and Africans to no one. Africans are the most despised, racially abused people outside their continent.

This is mainly derived from the way African leaders have behaved and projected Africa over time. African leaders land in foreign countries in presidential jets and limousines, when their countries cannot boast of producing the most simple of technological products. They sometimes land with their loots on board and with enormous cash in their luggage and “do you know who I am attitude”, all to enrich their already developed hosts, who sneer at their departure.

The present song from African leaders is about whom to trade with, Europe, America or China, without attempting to discover the basic fundamentals about why these continents and countries became powerful; and Africa has remained the perpetual subservient continent. These other continents’ have progressed because their leaders have remained altruistic, and developed their continents’ technological potentials. This is why even China has become an African coloniser today. It is as straight forward as that.

But yes, they will blame it on European colonialism. Though this was brutal and unkind on Africa, it is now the most potent weapon and excuse for African petty leaders to clean out African treasuries and treasures. How has Africa so degenerated that it is today being colonised by communist China?

Even the Mo Ibrahim award for Achievement in African Leadership, could not find a single African leader worthy of the award in 2009, and 2010. Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique won the award in 2007 for “his role in leading Mozambique from conflict to peace and democracy”, and former president Festus Mogae of Botswana won it in 2008 “for ensuring Botswana’s continued stability in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.” It is not clear why Pedro Pires won the award in 2011. These flashes of brilliance are good for the continent but definitely not enough. Africans deserve much better. The image of Africa, outside the continent reflects disease, squalor, underdevelopment, incompetence, human rights abuses, oppression, dictatorship, corruption, and very poor infrastructure.

Consequently, the deaths of African presidents Zenawi of Ethiopia, John Atta Mills of Ghana, and Bingu Mutharika of Malawi, all in one year are enough to prompt the living African leaders to reflect and realise the vanity of their stealing spree. Their greatest path to honour is to help their people to the best of their ability, stop the stealing, and attempt to copy Nelson Mandela. So who among African leaders has enough courage and grace to help Africa? “Someone has to tell the teacher that her son started the fire, but who will bell the cat”.

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Christian Voice