They talk like sheep with humility but act like wolves and lions, devouring their victims without mercy. Such are Africa's politicians. When they crave for power, they will say anything to get elected but alas! Once they get the power, they forget about the electorate. Politicians in respective African countries do not know what poverty is.
Politicians have hijacked and exercise full control over land, labour, and capital. Omar Bongo of Gabon and his circle of friends control all the oil money in
Like the Slave Masters of old, the politicians, their cronies, the business elite and the well connected determine and control everything in Africa. They determine which roads to be constructed; which village or town to be connected to the national electricity grid; which region to receive funding for projects, which community to receive water infrastructure; which town or community gets access to hospitals and sanitation facilities; who should get a job and who should get sacked. Have you heard that 420 army recruits in
Contractors often do substandard work, collect hundreds of millions of dollars, give politicians their share and that is all. So, a road whose life- span is twenty years has to be resurfaced after two years. For the past fifteen years, Accra-Kumasi road in
You cannot get a certificate to operate a business unless you grease the palm of a politician. You cannot get contract unless you know a politician in the ruling government. You are treated differently if you know the regional minister, the district commissioner, governor or the district chief executive (DCE). A French investigation into corruption at the former oil giant Elf Aquitaine revealed that Elf paid £40m a year to Bongo via Swiss bank accounts in exchange for permission to exploit his country’s reserves. Source: The Sunday Times, 2008.
As long as one knows a cabinet minister, he can do whatever he likes. Nobody dares question him. The poor and the have nots always get prosecuted and jailed while the politicians and their cronies who commit atrocious crimes live in their mansions to enjoy their booty and ill gotten wealth. If Mr. Bernard L. Madoff had come from any country in Africa, he would have been a free man by now as his political friends would have ensured he did not go to jail. The corruption case against Jacob Zuma is being dropped to allow him become president of
Big loans are contracted to build presidential palaces but the poor are made to pay for it. Despite receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in loans and grants from Europe, Japan, US, IMF and World Bank, there is nothing to show for it as poverty continues to swallow the people. These loans and grants do not see the light; they are stolen the very day they are released but the poor people are paying for them. This explains why many countries have applied for the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative. Corrupt Slave Masters and their associates are holding the people captive with their short sighted, ill-conceived, vote buying, and cosmetic economic policies and programmes thereby giving the people no chance to develop.
Politicians in Africa falsely adorn titles like Junior Jesus, Servants of the Poor, Friend of the Poor and King of Africa. None of them cares for the poor. That is why there is mass unemployment, no incomes, no savings and no shelter. That is why farmers continue to farm using hoes and cutlasses, rely on nature to plant their crops; and have no access to improved seeds, irrigation facilities and credit. That is why children go to school on an empty stomach and attend classes under trees while the politicians’ children receive education in Europe and
That is why Omar Bongo has at least 33 luxury properties in
That is why people have no access to water, health care and education while Citibank, UBS, Barclays Bank, Crédit Lyonnais, BNP, Credit Suisse, are full of stolen money from the continent. That is why there are power blackouts in Accra,
That is why majority of the people live in deplorable conditions in the slums of Nairobi,
Since they care only for their stomach, they allow mining and oil companies to destroy the environment and the livelihoods of the people. Shell, BP and other oil companies have polluted rivers, wells, streams, lakes, creeks and the soil in the Niger Delta region of
In the 50 years since oil was discovered in
In order to perpetuate their rule and enslavement of the people, they turn tribe against tribe and religion against religion as is seen in Kenya,
How is the following 2008 US Human Rights report on
“…limited ability of citizens to change their government; use of excessive force, including torture toward prisoners and detainees; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; an inefficient judiciary susceptible to government influence; restrictions on the right to privacy; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, association, and movement; harassment of refugees; widespread government corruption; violence and societal discrimination against women, persons with HIV/AIDS, and noncitizen Africans; trafficking in persons, particularly children; and forced labour and child labour.” Source: US Human Rights Report on Gabon 2008. Similar abuses are found in Zimbabwe,
Africans demanded independence from colonialism only to be recolonised and enslaved by African leaders. Africa is poor because of the incompetence of her leaders. The people are poor because they have been denied the opportunity to develop. There is no efficient transportation system; no major infrastructural development, no viable manufacturing sector and no major breakthrough in the universities. What will you say when people have no access to food, water, electricity, education, health facilities; rent, fees for their kid, jobs, savings, sanitation facilities and ability to democratically change their leaders? If these corrupt, power hungry and heartless men and women are not slave masters, vampires, parasites, blood suckers and draculars then who are they?
By Lord Aikins Adusei
Ghanaian based Consultant, Writer, Political Activist and Anti Corruption Campaigner