Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Africa’s new crop of deadly clowns

It started with Zimbabwe’s dictator, Bob Mugabe. After ruling Zim since independence in 1980 Mzee Bob got a taste of power, loved it and decided to keep it.

Over decades the people of Zim got tired if him. They voted him out. But since he controlled the instruments of power and state muscle (army, police and party thugs) Mzee Bob decided to stay put. He thumbed his nose at his people and millions of Zimbabweans have now voted with their feet and fled the country.

Zimbabwe is run by Mzee Terror, his wife and cronies company limited. Ironically the people of Zimbabwe fought and died for freedom and independence in the chimurenga war of liberation. The liberators have turned into a terrorists.

Mzee Bob has been forced into a hated power-sharing form of government with opposition leader Morgan Tvangirai. This wa after the mzee clearly lost the elections. But he would have none of it

Enter Mwai Kibaki of Kenya. He too, had a taste of power and decided that no one else looked pretty being president of Kenya, except himself. So when the Kenyans voted him out, he decided that they were out of their minds. So he fiddled with the figures and crudely stole the elections. This was with a lot of help from the Kenyan electoral bodies appointed by Mzee Mwai himself.

The Kenyans told him to stuff it and decided to fight. More than 1500 Kenyan souls died in the mayhem until Mzee Kibaki agreed to common sense. He was forced o share power with the real winner, Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). And Kenya now even has a new constitution.

Just when we are about to relax we hear there is another clown in Cote D’Ivoire. Monsieur Laurent Gbagbo, who has been ruling have the country for the past 10 years, has also taken a taste for power. Last week he got soundly clobbered by his opponent, Alassane Ouattara. Now war drums are sounding out all over the country. There is a smell of blood all over.

I was just wondering – is that it? Is this a new trend in our continent? In the post-independence 60s Africa had crude and brutal coups and a way to change power. Lately we have decided butchering each other as a way of sustaining power is too crude for almost everybody. Now we are having the blatant stealing of polls.

If you lose? Well, you stick around forcefully. You are wearing the guns. You have the murderous thugs on your payroll. You have the muscles. That, in common language, is called dictatorship. Is that the new trend in Africa?

Do people have to be pushed around until, in desperation, they decide to go for their pangas and stones and butcher each other? Because one can see it coming. Former President of Sausi, Thabo Mbeki has tried to talk sense to the two Ivorian leaders, but both sides seem to be adamant. Both have appointed and sworn-in their governments.

Looking at all those instances and you will find no noble ideal for the good of their people. In all cases it is all because of naked greed in all the three cases I have mentioned above. It is all about who does the eating.

One wonders – is Bongo next? Is that the shape of things to come or are we also going to opt for governments of ‘national reconciliation? I can see it being experimented in Zenj. Will it work?

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