What transpired in Tunisia recently, sadly though, unearthed a great rot in upper echelons of power in Africa. The strength in this, albeit, is the fact that this domino effect did affect Egypt and Yemen where every eye is on to see what will happen. And thereof, maybe, many casualties will follow.
After Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was dragooned out it came to light that his wife, Leila Trebelsi harshly used him to rob the country. This former saloon girl was able to make her ten siblings filthy tycoons simply because she was sharing a bed with president. Mark my words, this was done in the fraction of a second and it was left just-so till the tyrant was impelled to hit the road.
News has it that she fled with bullion worth $60,000,000. If this is the case, how many billions of dollars are on her account? What of her husband and brothers? Mind you, this money was scooped from the treasury of the people that can not afford to buy a loaf of bread for two days.
More on Leila, the Imelda Marcos of Arab world, she made the clan of billionaires. One of her brothers, Belhassen Trebelsi who is currently giving Canadian authorities a heck, was rich enough to own his own bank. Other brothers had immense business from owning shares in National Carrier, internet, auto and what not businesses. All these are attributed to Leila’s sharing bed with the big man.
What was unveiled in Tunisia is just a typical replica of what has been going on in many African countries for long. It is more a tip of iceberg. Sadly though, when all this sacrilege is going on, those who oil the cog are encouraged to produce more as they slink to stinking poverty.
Presidency in corruption rampant Africa is the means to opulence not only for the holder of it but also his or her family, friends in other cases even the tribe. The capital so much used by hidden African presidents, is nothing but sharing bed with the big man plus being able to manipulate him. In today’s analysis we shall try to explore incidents where the “hidden Leilas or president behind the curtains” are going on with business as usual.
In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni’s wife Janet, the first lady and minister, is still a legendary when it comes to tame the man. Her clan and kids are all benefiting befittingly and otherwise from the government of the day and nobody is blotting this nepotism.
In Guinea Bissau, the tyrant Theodore Obiang Nguema allowed his namesake son to scoop from the treasury as he deems fit. This tiny country with the population of over 50% living under a dollar a day, has the son of president who owns mansions and beaches worth millions of dollars in Malibu and a personal jet worth over $30,000,000? To add more flavour, the sons of the tyrant spends a million bucks in every trip he makes to the US. Why is the US gagged? Wherever there is trouble, penetrate a coin.
Not far from Equatorial Guinea, there is Congo Brazzaville where the son of the tyrant, Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso, has all it takes even to stop IMF and WB from probing any malpractice involving public funds. Just like Nguema, the boy can spend any huge amount of money without raising any alarm! Remember this is the country of just 4,012,809. The irony is, despite having a small population where 50% lives under a dollar a day, the same has the income of $3,000,000,000 annually from oil. Where does the money go? Ask the tyrant, his son and cohorts. Anyway, this is Africa.
In Tanzania, the son of President Jakaya Kikwete, Ridhiwani and the president’s wife, Salma, are occupying senior positions in the ruling party to which Kikwete is chairman. To add more flavour, Salma runs an NGO that mints and prints millions of shillings without auditing report or anything near!
In Kenya, Unga (Flour) scandal that left Lucy Kibaki morally nude, is still reverberating even though it was put to rest just like Anglo-Leasing scam.
In Ethiopia the wife of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Azeb Mesfin is known as “Queen of Mega”, thanks to being alleged to have an upper hand in mega corruption.
The last but not least player is none other than Robert Mugabe’s sweetheart, Grace Gucchi Mugabe. This lady is renowned for over spending, especially at the time Zimbabweans are dying in thousands thanks to poverty and mismanagement. Grace stole thunder when she was linked with Bloody Diamond by Wikeleaks recently, before the media uncovered her coveted love with governor of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), Gideon Gono. Thanks to her ability to muzzle Mugabe, nothing has ever gone wrong in their convenient marriage despite the leak. Gono is still the governor of RBZ and Grace is still first lady. This can show you how presidents behind the curtains are more powerful than those you see on the arena.
Going back where we started, what was unearthed in Leila’s Tunisia can give you a true picture of what has been going on in Africa where presidents behind the curtains have wrecked havoc to our economies.
Think about that and evaluate your ruler.
Source: Afro Spear (Toronto-based Think Tank) Feb. 9, 2011.