Wednesday, 27 December 2017

EAC’s biggest problem is hypocrisy of its members

           When the unification of Africa failed, some African post-colonial leaders embarked on regional unification. Instead of scaring bejesus out of them, in 1967, for example, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda manned up, woke up and smelt the coffee and founded the East African Community (EAC I). However, in 1977 the EAC I collapsed thanks to mistrusts and sabotage.
            In 1993, three founders decided to give the kiss of life to the EAC.  However, since then, the EAC has never been lifey; and members are detached. There have been squabbles here and there resulting from competition among the members who were doubled to seven.  Refer to how Kenya and Tanzania battled it out over; and for Uganda’s East Africa Crude Oil pipeline not to mention the recent election of the speaker of the EAC.  One would think that there wouldn't have been any cutthroat competition provided that the project was to be carried out in the EAC. Again, the situation was much more different. In the end, Tanzania won the project so as to be much praised as it will pass through Tanzania. In Kenya, it is likely less much so after losing the bid to host Uganda’s oil pipeline.
            Apart individual country struggling over economic glut, there is a very central issue of mobility within the EAC. All countries except Tanzania would like to see ‘the East Africaners” moving free in the EAC.  Why Tanzania is becoming a stumbling block? The logic-cum-reason is so simple. It is only Tanzania that is bigger; and thus has small population based on its landmass; and thus land that any citizen from any country can come for. Coming to who has many resources minus people, Tanzania is almost the only one. Ironically, when countries with a bulk of landless people seeing Tanzania as an obstacle for not allowing its land to be taken advantage of, some countries still tolerate seeing their land grabbing and venal rulers sit on millions of hectares while the wananchi are landless. Kenya provides an ideal example. Kenya has a few elites sitting on immense tracts of land while the majority of those they rule are landless. Why should Tanzania welcome landless people while their rulers do not? While the land crisis goes on, the victims have not addressed population problem.  If you look at the population of the EAC, you wonder what will happen in next 50 years. Currently, the issue might be landlessness. Tomorrow, another problem will crop up in this jambalaya; the lack of other resources such as water, food and many more.
            Let’s look at population of the EAC. Burundi has 12m inhabitants living  on 27,834 km2, Kenya 49m  on 580, 367 km2, Rwanda  12m (26, 338km2 ) and Uganda 34m (241,038km2 ) which makes the total population to be 107m  living on 875,574km2  compared  to Tanzania with its population of 57m inhabitants ( 947303km2).  Mathematically, it is simple to know why Tanzania has always refused to be cobbled in the free movement. Some propagandists say that population is good for the market. This is not true; how come countries like Sweden with the population of just 10m with the total GDP of $517.440 billion is richer than the entire EAC put together with the total GDP of $448. 211 billion? The answer is simple. Sweden sells much abroad; and uses its resources wisely to make sure that they benefit its people. I think if the EAC will understand this, will not hesitate to unite and form one formidable country in which movement will be free. Currently in Tanzania, people can live anywhere. There has never been any suspicion about Zanzibaris simply because their country is a fracture of Tanzania simply because it is a single country that swallowed two countries one large and another tiny.
            Methinks; the big problem with the EAC is nothing but hypocrisy of talking about unification while everybody is behaving like a drum maker who stretches the skin to his own side. The difference however is; the drum is made and when it is used all hears it.  Such mentality-cum-tendencies have rendered the EAC irrelevant and moribund. There is no way we can retain our colonial identities namely the current nationalities and do something meaningful. What is stopping us from dissolving weak and vulnerable countries colonial masters created to weaken us and form a brand new country known as Afrika Mashariki to show the world that the spirit of reclaiming African organic configuration and setting are still alive in our hearts and mind? I am sure. The wananchi in all member states are ready to reunify and launch this brand new country. Again, what is the obstacle [s]?   The answer is so simple and straightforward; our presidents. They are not ready to relinquish their powers so as to allow the formation of such a brand new and strong country.

            In sum, provided that our heads are the ones doing the talks and shows, they still live in the world that colonial masters envisioned by dividing Africa into puny states for their disadvantage as opposed to the advantage of their cloners. They know this very well. However, their myopic interests have always blinded them so as to keep on believing that they were all created to become presidents. Their presidencies are more important than creating one gigantic country Afrika Mashariki that will swallow colonial-sired countries. Failure to actualise and realise this EAC becomes irrelevant and moribund.
Source: Citizen, Wed., today.

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