Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Africa Tired of Re-Cycled Rulers



I am an environmentalist by choice and force. When I go to the convenience store, I always go for re-cycled items. I’m even teaching this to my kids. But when it comes to ideas, nay, I am not and I’d never urge any person to become one.

The two stalemates in Kenya and Zimbabwe forced me to do something about re-cycled rulers that are everywhere in Africa. Africa needs to come of age and shy away from archaic and re-cycled rulers. Who are these? All rulers above 60 are. All rulers under 60 who have been in power over two terms or eight to ten years are. All whose raison d’etre regarding their legitimacy depends on rigging or such like are re-cycled. How many does Africa have? Several!

Many African countries are ruled under re-cycled constitutions. Besides South Africa, Ghana and Senegal, all African countries have re-cycled constitutions made by their rulers or their parties to see to it they stay in power.

Many African countries have even re-cycled armies. Take Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, to mention but a few. They are all under the former rebels and those we used to refer to as terrorists!

I am puzzled and annoyed. When I look at injustices and flapdoodle going on in Africa, I sometimes feel worried. Tell me. What proves that rulers who have been in power for over two terms can contribute as in-puts to the making of the countries they have already ruined? What can they add up to Africa with their frozen and backward looking ideas? To know what I mean, consider leaders like Yoweri Museveni and Muammar Gadaffi who always refer to their revolutions decades ago in lieu of what Africa needs now.

Show me an African country free of cheap enemies like hunger, diseases, ignorance and lack of human rights. When the citizenry are dying of such treatable diseases and languishing in penury, their leaders are living like kings amidst chattels!

The other day I was following the scam-laden regime in Tanzania that has been in power for three years. I discovered that Africa suffers more from corruption and tawdry politics than natural calamities.

Mwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania once said: "If you ask me the grave yards of your money, I will show empty schools and hospitals and other national projects to which your money went to."

Well, Nyerere had infrastructures to show. What can current African rulers show us? Their private armies which keep them in power? Their Saudi-King-like motorcades and overexpenditure which have ruined the lives of the citizenry?

Going back to re-cycling, I can comfortably aver that even multi party politics is another aspect of re-cycling. If anything, when multi party politics were introduced in Africa, we thought it would emancipate us. True, they have achieved nothing but stopping coup d’etats. But too, they have introduced another type of coup in that the ruling parties are using them to illegally to stay in power through masquerade known as elections they rig and organise. Wherever they proved to work is a coincidence altogether.

Whenever anything goes wrong, the said parties run to Europe or America to seek remedy in lieu of going to the voters whose votes are always abused and stolen to enhance dictators and other freebooters cling unto power. In many countries, even the names and emblems of the parties are borrowed from foreign countries. Can such dwarfs in thinking do anything meaningful for Africa?

The other day I saw the speaker of Tanzania parliament being led into the house behind a golden staff and donning a gold necklace. Others go as far as donning on artificial white hairs to look like the speaker of the House of Commons! Can such faint-hearted beings have any in-puts to the development of their countries? Aren’t they lazy at thinking?

Aren’t all those aspects above signifying how re-cycled Africa has been and remained ever since the make-believe independence that has grown bigger and bigger in dependence? Without Africa doing away with re-cycled ideas and rulers, indeed, she will remain doomed. Something needs to be done to do away with these ballyhoos.


By Nkwazi Mhango
Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He is a Journalist, Teacher, Human Rights activist and member of the Writers' Alliance of New Foundland and Labrador (WANL)

Source: The African Executive Magazine

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