Friday, April 20, 2007

The African leaders’ syndrome.

What is wrong with African leaders; they stick to their functions even when they have become unproductive. Some of them have sat to die on their chairs.
Hi everybody. I wasn’t surprised to see that the newspaper Mails and Guardians published on the 21st of April an article comparing Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to Mobutu Sese Seko the ex-president of Zaire as I did the previous week on my bog-post. It is obvious that these two leaders have many common-points. For example; they all know how to implement successfully strategies in order to delude their opposition. When in his time, Mobutu galvanised his population for what he called ‘national-unity’, today Mugabe’s political staying power lays on the appropriation of land.
These guys are very good in diplomacy and will succeed no matter what to turn any mediation in their advantage. However, many African leaders have been of a great input in the independence of their respective countries as they resisted to the colonial power and invested their first few years in power for the sovereignty cause. My point is that of trying to understand why they prefer to stick to their position even when political, economical and social indexes show their failure. Some of them are over seventies. For example Omar Bongo of Gabon (72), Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (79) and Robert Mugabe of Zim (83); and they are ruling their countries respectively for 40, 26 and 27 years.
Some of us think that they are scared of justice once their they leave they position. This may be through but not in all cases. They have got money and facts show that they have lost passion for their people. Why shouldn’t they leave now and give chance to younger?
I was upset when reading one of previous weeks Sunday Time’s articles that Manto Tshabalala-Msimang the South African Minister of health was willing to return to duty before June. This is an example of what I call ‘the African leaders’ syndrome’. It is very strange to see that 66 years, after being targeted early this year by the protest against government’s HIV-policy and undergo a major operation of a liver transplant; Manto rushes her way back on her chair. We would expect that she takes a long break and opts for another carrier less stressful. What is going-on with our leaders? We elect them for five years and they want to take hundred…


Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Adam, as citizens of Africa we have been given the life-long cross of governments that are completely disconnected from their respective citizenry. The problems plaguing our continent are too numerous to enumerate. But as Kuseni Dlamini stated in our session today, we need to start as individuals to mobilise, first from our own personal goals, turning them into valuable assets and resources.Only then can we contribute meaningfully to nation-building. As was pointed out in the course of our debates, we as citizens are failing in our responsibility to articulate our needs to government. Indeed we should be demanding certain basic infrastructural needs as our constitutional rights. Why is it with all the money generated through our vast natural resources, we lack basics such as water, electricity, shelter, health care, security,education, jobs, the list goes on. We must blame ourselves as individuals if we do not have a 'voice' in government. We should use the American model as an example. It is not full-proof but they have got some things right.

Susan Arthur said...

I thought this was a great post, and it really displays your knowledge about African politics.