Zine El Abidine Ben with supporters Photo courtesy
AU has lost its relevance and credibility. I came to this conclusion after the conspiracy in Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal and Niger where rulers tampered with their countries’ respective constitutions to remain in power. Sadly though, they got away with it. with the stamp of AU.
AU messed in Kenya and Madagascar- not to mention Darfur in Sudan where it openly backs the butcher of Sudan Omar Hassan Bashir (a black slave that calls himself an Arab). AU’s recent nod to charade elections in Tunisia proves how more moribund, irrelevant this club for African leaders is. BBC quoted the head of the African Union observer delegation, Benjamin Boungolous as saying that this (abuse to democracy) was free and fair.
How can elections be free and fair when the ‘winner’ has been in power for over two decades? How can Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who came to power by means of a coup secure such a landslide- ninety per cent victory ?
This is Ben Ali’s fifth “win”! How can it be
free and fair as the opposition cry foul? This time the winning margin has gone down by five percent. Official figures say 84% of the country's voters turned out for the presidential and legislative polls.
While AU was extolling the elections, Ahmed Ibrahim of the Ettajdid (Renewal) Party, also a presidential candidate, was quoted as saying: "The government is preventing me from getting public platforms to speak to my supporters. The state TV changed my air time slot… they're trying to censor my election statement."
African dictators and winos in power have been fooling the world. Firstly, they convene elections themselves. Secondly, the so-called civilized world recognizes them just because their interests are protected by those potentates. This is the miracle by which dictators in Angola, Cameroon, DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda and elsewhere in Africa survive the wrath of the people.
While this macabre act was unfolding, another dictator in Niger, Mamadou Tandja ‘won’ elections which by AU’s standards were ‘free and fair.’ The same AU did not say anything when the son of a dictator, Ali Ben Bongo in Gabon was declared winner after fixed elections! Who would point a finger whilst almost all African potentates are the products of the same dirty game? If Mandela were still in power, he’d have said something.
Many thought Africa and AU would come of age especially in the 21st century. But nay! The same rudimentary methods former dictators used in the 60 and 70s used are still at work! Africa is sinking deeper as time goes by. The modern dictators spend much more money on their survival than the past ones thanks to the Non Governmental Organization and disgruntled population that give them a heck. Even butchering opposition has slightly dwindled thanks to globalization.
Apart from forming bigger governments consisting of their cronies, they spend big chunks of their budgetary money on private armies. To get away with it, the military budget in Africa is still a ‘top national security secret’ as they call it. The current arch foe-cum-threat for Africa is nothing but her gluttonous rulers and their cronies who steal more many than they offer to social services.
Given that dictatorship helps producing countries to do business, it has become difficult for democracy to thrive in Africa. The world is now blaming Hutus in Rwanda for committing genocide. But the same chameleon-like world does not blame Belgium racists who sired the seed of hatred between the Hutus and Tutsi. It does not want even to turn all stones so as to accuse the current regime that started the same!
Shamelessly, the same hate-planters are blaming Africans for being inhuman! What of missionaries, explorers, merchants, administrators with their hickory dickory dock when paving way for colonialism? Some Western self-declared experts on Africa are saying that we should forget attrocities inflicted upon us by foreigners. How can we do this without being redressed? If Jews can nary forget the holocaust, why should Africa easily and blindly forget her holocaust? Wasn’t slavery worse than the Jewish holocaust?
Africa is accused of tribal wars as if she espoused the whole concept of tribalism! Tribalism is all over the world. If you go to the real meaning of tribe, all those groups you see fighting today are tribes. Al-Qaeda is a tribe. Protestants and Anglicans in Ireland are tribes. So you can choose the way you translate this concept. But when it comes to Africa, it is used with bad connotation just like being black.
Going back to democracy, Africa is hampered by the tribe of dictators and their western allies. Donors and investors are a tribe. Look at how they shuffled a mule-like government in Kenya or a surrogate one in Zimbabwe after noting that their interests were endangered. This new tribe is destroying democracy in Africa. The winner and loser end up becoming winners and cobble a carbuncular government. It recently came to light that most of Kenyan’s ambassadors and high commissioners abroad are related to top government officials. In this feat-cum-nepotism, merit does not add up except blood and political connection. Everybody strives to have his people in power in order to do his show.
Source: The African Executive Magazine Nov. 11, 2009.