Remember Professor Laurent Gbagbo former president of Ivory Coast currently caged in The Hague? What of his wife Dr. Simone Ehivet Gbagbo? The Gbagbos painted a grim picture as far as African elites are concerned. Gbagbo, the professor of History, made a bad history for not understanding history. He mindlessly clung unto power so as to cause many deaths and many casualties.
Gbagbo’s saga is a test to our educational integrity and worth for us as a society. Many’d think. Such highly educated person’d know basic things such as Human Rights, freedom and rule of law so as to uphold democracy especially elections. But nay, the guy thought though wrongly he’s but a king.
After Gbagbo’s unceremoniously dragooned out it came to light that his wife, Dr Simone, also the historian, harshly and greedily used him to tighten his grip on power and terrorize the country by ignoring all rules in the book.
In this dirty business of dirty politics Gbagbo’s not alone. Who knew that a professor of law like Abdulaye Wade (Senegal) would tamper the constitution and extend his term in office on top of grooming his son, Karim, to inherit his presidency?
Who’d risk thinking that a hyper academician like Robert Mugabe’d mess the way he’s always been doing by being hoodwinked by an illiterate like his wife, Grace Marufu so as to abuse the powers vested on him?
The sage’s it that when you want to tame a bull you’d know where its strength and weakness lie. For African big men their strength-cum-weakness is in the bedroom. So who occupies and controls their bedrooms control everything including them and their powers.
This can be seen in, among others, Simone, former political activist, was able to make or affect whatever decision Gbagbo made. She’s like president especially acting as an adviser to the president. Many who know her believe: Gbagbo’s decision not to cede power to a constitutionally elected president, Alasane Ouattara’s the result of Simone’s advice.
When the world found that Gbagbo’d lost his sense of reasoning, it intervened to see to it that he’s booted out. Interestingly, UN and Ivorian former colonial master, France, took a lead in getting rid of the tyrant.
The Gbagbos were humiliatingly bundled before the media after being dug out of the bunker in which they spent over two weeks hiding. Indeed, Gbagbo once again, proved the sage that education sometimes doesn’t emancipate the bearer if he’s unable to read the signs of times. So too, was his educated son, Michel, who’s severely beaten before the TV cameras. It’s a shame of its own magnitude for the former president and his family to be treated just like common criminals. All this happened just recently. But did our venal rulers make any note of it?
Today’s analysis is based on hidden presidents namely the first ladies and members of the families of the presidents. Simone’s described by many media outlets as the lady that’s feared more than the president himself. Moreover, she’s implicated in many scandals among which’s the disappearance of her husband’s rivals prominent one being French-Canadian journalist Guy-André Kieffer. Kieffer’s believed to have been hijacked under the instructions of Simone in 2004. Since then Kieffer’s nary been seen anywhere.
What’s unveiled in Ivory Coast’s just a typical replica of what’s, for long, been going on in many African countries as far as power greed is concerned. 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’s 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 hidden 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 Simones or presidents behind the curtains” are going on with business as usual.
In Uganda, Yoweri museveni’s wife Janet, the first lady and minister’s still a legendary when it comes to tame the man. It is alleged that her clan and kids are all benefiting from the government of the day and nobody’s blotting this nepotism.
In Equatorial Guinea the tyrant Theodore Obiang Nguema allowed his namesake son to scoop from the treasury as much money as he deems fit. This tinny country with the population of a half a million of which over 50 is living under a dollar a day is like Nguema’s private estate. The son of president who also is a minister in his father’s government owns mansions and beaches worth millions of dollars in Malibu and a personal jet worth over $ 30,000,000 is untouchable. To add more flavour, the son of the tyrant spends a million bucks in every trip he makes to the US. Why is the US gagged? Wherever there is trouble, just drop 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 small population with where 50% lives under a dollar a day, the same country’s 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 Kenya, Unga (Flour) scandal left Lucy Kibaki morally injured though it was put to rest just like Anglo-Leasing scam.
In Ethiopia the wife of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Azeb Mesfin’s known as Queen of Mega thanks to being alleged to have an upper hand in mega corruption.
The last but not least player’s none other than Mugabe’s sweetheart Grace aka Gucchi. This lady’s renowned for over spending especially at the time Zimbabweans are dying in thousands thanks to poverty and mismanagement. Grace stole thunder when she’s 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’s ever gone wrong in their convenient marriage despite the leak. Gono’s still the governor of RBZ and Grace first lady. This can show you how president behind the curtains are more powerful than those you see on the rostra.
Going back where we started, what’s unearthed in Simone Gbagbo sheds light on a true but grimmer picture of what’s been going on in Africa where presidents behind the curtains have inflicted a great deal of sufferings to our people and our economies. Think about that and evaluate your ruler. Anyway, I was trying to think like president or one of his majordomos. “Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and all for the same reason,” José Maria de Eça de Queiroz.
Source: Business Times Feb., 7, 2014.