Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Senegal: Is Wade Waiting for a Revolution ?


When I heard octegenerian Senegalese president, Professor Abdulaye Wade, saying that he wants to stand in the coming elections for the third time in order to complete his “projects”, I got confused and appalled. My first question was: Whose projects, between president and taxpayers, are they? I was simply confused due to the fact that it's become a norm for presidents to use same words conmen and women use to dupe their clients when it comes to fortunes.

Let's face it. Ironically, the man who wants to complete his “preojects” is but a beggar in an expensive suit as it is for the case of other African rulers! Another question was: Does it mean that Senegal is Wade and family’s personal estate? Interestingly, rumours are rife that Wade is even older than his official age of 86. What can such an old man do differently? If anything, Wade and Robert Mugabe are likely to enter the Guiness book of wonders for striving to die in power. It is even disgusting to learn that such educated oldmen behave goonlier than illiterates. Such a cabal of rulers has become another blow to our continent. Here we are talking of the oldmen who behave like boys. There are those who still believe that without them being in power nobody else can rule their countries. We have the likes of Yoweri Museveni, Meles Zenawi, Theodoro Nguema, Denis Sassou-Ngwesso, and many more who think that they were created to rule.

The far-fetched to-cling-unto- power- to- finish- unknown- and- dubious –projects reason has become another moniker of democracy many dictators use to get away with it. Do these selfseekers spend their personal fortunes on the so-called their projects or use the said projects to swindle people’s money? Developing infrastructure? Who told him that others cannot develop infrastructure? Others go as far as saying that they want to remain in power to see to it that their revolutions are not tarnished or being booted down as it has always been the case in Uganda. But for how long will Africa remain a captive of hungry individuals in power?

Analysits agree that Wade was grooming his son Karim to inherit his presidency as it was the projects in Libya and Egypt before Jasmeen revolution shattered such dreams. Moreover, when Senegalese openly opposed this plus what happened in Libya and Egypt, Wade decided to bite the bullet and stand himself to save his face. Given that he had not prepared anybody except his son to succeed him, Wade found himself caught between a rock and hard place. So with this vaccum, Wade decided to succeed himself by standing for a third time. Interestingly, Wade was able to manipulate the judiciary and get away with it. Once again, this exposed the weakness of judiciary made of presidential appointees instead of vetted judges as it is in Kenya and South Africa.

Wade has maintained that he wants to remain in power in order to advance his agenda of development. Many Senegalese do not subscribe to this given that when Wade came to power promised democratic and transparent changes that he did not do. He still maintains that he needs time to change the system. Again, Jonathan Jansen in his book Knowledge in the blood said, “The master’s tool can never demolish master’s house.” Therefore, it is an open secret that Wade still wants to take Senegalese for a ride once again. Will he succeed under all this pressure? Will he end up like Bakili Muluzi (Malawi) and the late Fredrick Chiluba (Zambia) that were stopped by the people or triumph just like Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Paul Biya (Cameroun) who got away with it after manipulating their constitutions and electoral bodies?

After being democratically propelled to power in 2007, Wade promised Senegalese that he won’t appoint anybody minister who did not win elections. His son Karim lost mayoral elections. This forced Wade to lick his vomitese to appoint his son a powerful minister jaggling from ministry to another from State for International Cooperation, Urban and Regional Planning, Air Transport to Infrastructure!

The guy is approaching ninenty. Many people say that he faked his age in order to cling unto power. Suppose his “projects” are not completed in his third term in office when he actually will e approaching a hundred year, will he run for the fourth term in order to do the same business of project completing? Does this make sense really?
Ironically, Wade a professor of Law does not honor the law he taught for many years. It becomes even murky to note that Wade came to power under the banner of democracy as it was in the case of Muluzi, Chiluba and many others who ended up becoming even more despotic than those they unseated. If anything, this has become another obstacle for Africa’s democratic transition. A few academics enter politics to end up creating more shame than even the less educated they unseated. We will discuss this next time in the need of signing a new social contract in Africa. Suffices to sum up asking Mr Wade: Is Senegal your private estate mr president?

Source: The African Executive Magazine Feb., 8, 2012.

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