Former Senegalese president, Professor of law Abdulaye Wade enters history books though controversially. Wade is renowned for attempting to break the law he’d swore to defend and promote by tampering with the constitution in order to stay in power longer than the constitution stipulates.
Wade recently added another feather in his cap as far as corruption is concerned. It came to light that Karim, his son and heir apparent, he once groomed and cladded to take over is now facing corruption charges. Authorities found that Karim is worth $1,400,000,000. To put it in the perspective, Karim is a billionaire by all standards. This humungous amount is over 30% of Senegal’s external debt of $ 4.22 bn as of 2012. Karim’s ill-gotten wealth is way prodigious to that of Andrew Banda’s that’s arrested in 2012 for just having $ 70,000 on his account. A-million-grand question is: what did he do to justifiably acquire or make such a fortune? Simple, he did one thing, to be the son of the president of Senegal.
Again, if one son can rip-off such ginormous amount, what of other children, wives, friends and courtiers and their families and friends? This tells you how Africa isn’t supposed to languish in begging, self-degrading and loaning had she had blameable, trustworthy and accountable leaders not thieves and their families.
What’s more, under his father’s regime, Karim, just like any neo-African prince, was untouchable. He was power in himself simply because he was the son of the most powerful man in the land. Just like Seif al Islam Gaddafi who fell from grace after his father was butchered, Karim was everything as far as power in Senegal was concerned. Differently from Gaddafi, Karim didn’t have many brothers to compete with.
According to the BBC, Karim’s been behind bars for over a year now. Karim’s days became numbered when president Macky Sall from opposition won presidency just the same Michael Satta did in Zambia. Africa needs opposition in power so that it can fry such sharks and spend their loot on providing social services.
Karim isn’t alone in this game-cum-duel of mugging the paupers using his father’s office. In South Africa, Duduzane Zuma rakes in much money thanks to his partnership with Gupta family. The Guptas and Duduzane preferentially receive many government lucrative tenders through which they print and mint millions simply because they have partnered with the son of president.
Another notable prince is Theodore Nguema Obiang Mangue of Equatorial Guinea. In 2012 the US department of Justice filed a suit asking to attack Mangue’s assets worth over $ 70,000,000. If this son of president owns such assets only in the US, how much is he worth?
Power in Africa is about prince and princes either in sons, wives or daughters of presidents. This is why 41-year- old Isabel Dos Santos of Angola, first African billionaire comes in. A billionaire by world standards, Isabel, the daughter of long time Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, isn't a poor girl. The Mail in early January last year wrote this about her, “Those stakes combined with other assets push her net worth over the $1 billion mark." According to Forbes Magazine 2013 Isabel is worth three billion dollars and her wedding ceremony did cost four million dollars.
Another prince in the list is Ridhiwan Kikwete the son of President Jakaya Kikwete who recently won his father’s constituency of Chalinze and became its new Member of Parliament. Though his wealth is not yet known, East Africa has its own Karim in Ridhiwan Kikwete, Ridhiwan, like, Duduzane and his sister Duduzile, is alleged to have many connections with business people who use him to win lucrative tenders from his father’s government.
Going back to Karim, how many Karim does Africa have? How much have such Karim stolen from government coffers or through their wheeler dealers? If a prince can cause such a damage to our coffers, how much “African kings and queens and their honchos” deprive us?
If anything, had Africa’d a compos mentis and trustworthy crop of leaders, obviously, she’d not languish in poverty she has always been forced to be in. where do we get such leaders? Just vote opposition so that those exiting scene would keep them in check and balance. For, once the long-time ruling parties keep on winning this means their hush-hush will always be kept and thus keep on robbing the hoi polloi in the continent. It is as simple as this. Vote opposition and instruct it to look into the past or vote for the status quo and suffer even more.
It’d be underscored. If African countries that are facing such stinking corruption involving the first families and their major-doms, need to vote the opposition in so that it can sweep the state house as it’s occurred in Senegal and Zambia.
Source: The African Executive Magazine April 23, 2014.