Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Accountability: Africa’s lesson from Pakistan

Image result for nawaz sharriff and his children photos
            When Pakistan is mentioned many think about exporting illegal immigrants to Africa, terrorism, negative ethnicity, radicalism and Abbottabad where the former renegade head of Al Qaeda, an international fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group, Osama bin Laden was gunned down. To the contrary, what recently transpired there shows that Pakistan still has something significant to offer and teach for Africa. News that the High Court, in its unanimous decision, removed Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharriff from office after being implicated in corruption unveiled by the 2016 Panama papers leak.
            According to the Al Jazeera Pakistan (28 July 2017), Sharriff came under fire after the Panama papers leak indicated that his three children Hussain, Hasan and Maryam  owned at least three off-shore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands. To make matters worse, documents supported allegations against Sharriff indicating that his children were involved “in a $13.2m mortgage involving the London properties as collateral, the first time the Sharif family’s ownership of the apartments was proven on paper.”
             How does Sharriff’s sack chime with Africa? Firstly, some African presidents such as Jacob Zuma (South Africa) represented by his nephew Khulubuse Zuma, and Joseph Kabila whose twin sister Janet Kabila Kyungu was implicated, were mentioned. We actually don’t know if Kyungu’s business has anything to do with president Kabila. However, if we look at how Sharriff was implicated under the strength of the participation of his children, chances of dragging Kabila’s name in the scandal are high.
            Provided that two African heads of state have been touched on; not to mention others who are not implicated even though in their countries their corruption is clearly known, Africa can still learn from Pakistan where whenever the name of the prime minister is dragged into any scandal, he or she has to be accountable. Again, is there any African court that can remove the president from office like it is occurred in Pakistan?  No way; how if at all African rulers are above the constitutions of their countries for them to abuses and misuses as they deem fit? This means. If we craft our constitutions skillfully, we are likely to use them to fight graft scientifically and quickly. Therefore, the first thing to do is pull down all demigods from being above the constitution. It doesn’t cross any mind to allow a mortal to be above the constitution and expect him or her to do justice or be accountable. Absolute power corrupt absolutely chiefly when one has it knows he or she is totally unrebukable. This is the nature of all mortals. Putting a mortal above the law abuses and belittles the law. So, too, allowing a mortal to be above the law is nothing but offering a carte blanche for such a corporeal to abuse the law. For, such a mortal knows that at the end of the day he or she will never been required to be accountable for whatever criminality committed under his or her watch. It is sad that this has sadly been the case in many African countries where power has become a family business if not a private estate.
            Due to this ruse, politics has become a very booming business whose competition, in some countries, warrants the elimination of the opponents or whoever deemed to be a stumbling block to that seeking–let say–presidency. This is why Africa has many dictators in power who don’t want to vacate power for the fear of losing such a booming business. The mess doesn’t end up with the top thieves. Their families and their partners and friends too, are like mini-presidents. Pakistan decided to say no to family presidency something Africa needs to learn quickly so as to save many countries from the hands of thieves, their families, consigliore and partners.
            What makes the situation hard for corrupt fat cats in Pakistan is the fact that the constitution is foolproof which is different from Africa where we recently evidenced some potentates tamper with the constitutions of their countries to remain in power illegally. This is the lesson Pakistan can offer to Africa.
Source: Citizen Wed., today.

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