AU on Madagascar: Why Double Standards ?
Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni once called AU, then OAU, a club of dictators- though he later became one of them. This monumental amalgamation of African countries now headed by Muammar Gadaffi (Libya) is currently engrossed in tussle with the new regime in Madagascar under the pretext that it came to power by means of coup d’Etat! AU also argues that the recently sworn-in president, Andy Rajoelina, is too young to become president thanks to the Madagascan carbuncular constitution that states that one must be forty years old and above to become president!
Ridiculously, for African leaders, age hampers and matters only when the person assuming power isn’t the son of a president or his protégé. When Joseph Kabila (who has not hit 40) and Faure Essozimna Eyadema (that took power shortly before hitting forty) were sworn-in to replace their fathers, it wasn’t an issue!
|Andy Rajoelina Photo:Courtesy|
Essentially, age is nothing but numbers. If old men like Robert Mugabe or the late Joseph Mobutu would behave like boys, what is the essence of age limit? If old men like Mwai Kibaki, Hosni Mubarak and other centurions can rule even though they’ve nothing to offer, what of an energetic young man? Corruption and ineptness does not consider age but one’s probity. If age were a factor to shy away from stupidity, many African rulers wouldn’t behave irresponsibly as they have done.
Rajoelina is mentally and politically older than many African dictators and thieves in power. He has the support of the people. While these leaders take this as a pretext to ban Madagascar, they don’t apply the same to King Makhosetive Mswati III (Swaziland)!
If people want a baby to rule them, so be it! Tell me. How many dictators and coup makers does AU have? It’s headed by the guy that came to power by the means of a coup (four decades ago) they’re castigating. What hypocrisy, myopia and double standard!
Let us look at coup makers making AU among others.Yoweri Museveni, Theodor Obiang Nguema, Dennis Sassou Ngweso, Yahya Jammeh and Meles Zenawi came to power by the same means. Others are: Paul Kagame, Francois Bozize, Abdelaziz Bouteflika Foure Eyadema, Zine El-Abdine and Ben Ali.
Others like Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania), a former chair of AU, came to power by stealing billions of shillings from the Central bank to bribe voters. True, this has destroyed the economy of Tanzania. Robert Mugabe came in under the banner of liberation but ended up becoming despotic and corrupt. Mwai Kibaki in Kenya allegedly rigged elections' causing chaos. Albert Omar Bongo of Gabon has been in power for almost four decades. Another is Paul Biya of Cameroon who is renowned for using the central bank as his private estate. Swahili sages have it that the chimp does not see its bum. This literally means that someone can commit evil but laugh at another one committing the same evil.
The people of Madagascar ousted the corrupt regime that was in power to self-serve instead of the people. This is not the first time it happened in Madagascar. The deposed president, Mac Ravalomanana knows too well how the same Malagasy weakened Didier Ratsraka so as to lose elections.
Under his youth movement, Tanora malaGasy Vonona (TGV) or Determined Malagasy Youth, Rajoelina's set a precedent for other African youth to follow shall they deserve to live worthy lives. What appalls is the fact that this movement is looked down upon while former terrorist groups like Museveni’s NRA and Kagame’s RPF are highly regarded so as to avoid being indicted for crimes against humanity!
You can not equate TGV with CCM (Tanzania), KANU (Kenya) and such. Though these outfits are registered as per the law of the land, what they’ve done to their countries is as good as terrorism.
What happened in Madagascar is a new method by which Africa can get rid of corrupt and tired regimes it has had for over five decades. If comparison is rightly made between how dictators like Museveni, Kagame and Zenawi came to power after killing thousands of innocent people, what happened in Madagascar is noble and peaceful mass revolts.
I know why African dictators and filches are taking this hard line towards the new regime in Madagascar. They’re afraid. The wind of change may sweep the whole continent. And this endangers their all-time thievish regimes. They fear the ambers of this fire can pull down their family empires we wrongly call countries. They know too well. They committed many sacrilegious crimes against humanity not to mention betrayal of the people that supported and enhanced them to reach where they’re now.
Most of African king presidents live like oil-rich-Gulf states kings. They’ve ruined the economies of their countries and turned the lives of their people into miseries. Under current crop of rulers, Africans are endangered creatures.
AU is playing games and double standard just like the west when Hamas won elections in Palestine. The west financed the elections hoping Palestinians would goof and voter for their stooge. When they found that their choice was rejected, they turned tables against Hamas branding it a terrorist group! AU does not specify which coup it favors and which one it abhors.
AU has no teeth to bite as it is a beggar just like any other African countries. Its ban can’t hinder any country. How can a club of beggars and thieves curtail anybody’s ambitions to serve his people? Sadly though, to them, a good president is one that looks like or comes from them. They’ve turned their countries into their private estates for which their wives, kids, cronies and them to ruin and plunder. This time is over. Africa needs new blood with new ideas and goals.
Dum excusare credis, accusas – When you believe you are excusing yourself, you are accusing yourself. (St. Jerome).
By Nkwazi Mhango
Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He is a Journalist, Teacher, Human Rights activist and member of the Writers' Association of New Foundland and Labrador (WANL)
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