Chaotic thoughts of a crippled bong

The Palaver Hut

Africa is home to some of the most remarkable wonders in the world. When I say ‘wonders’; I mean some really strange stuff going on there.

What really got me thinking was the fact that political culture of dynasties is very much alive in Africa even where there are no kingdoms.

A couple of years ago, I joined a group on Facebook whose primary aim was to unite all African countries into ‘United States of Africa’, a reminiscent of ‘United States of America’ to curb all these dictatorial and dynastical problems in order to bring real democracy to Africa as a whole. And to have periodic elections of Presidents of Africa and that kind of thing.

I’m not making this up, honestly. It was called CTPOA- ‘Change The Perception On Africa’ and I was made the ‘Director of Legal and Human rights issues’.

But unfortunately, the ‘African Union’- AU rejected our application and refused to recognise CTPOA’s dream of a ‘United States of Africa’.

And so CTPOA collapsed miserably, despite my apparent belief that the U-S of A could happen.

Hey! don’t get me wrong people; before you all start shouting ‘liar, liar’ at me, I know asking all African countries to come together under the banner of one nation would be like saying the birds should fly with no wings at all.

Realistically, I don’t see the primary aim of that group come to fruition in my lifetime. And if it does, I’ll cut my tongue and donate it to charity, I swear!

In Uganda for example, as we speak, there have been some kind of outcry from the masses against the president’s habit of putting his relatives in strategic positions, and making the Ugandan presidency monarchical by clearly anointing his son to succeed him, after promoting his son to a strategic position that has powers of any commander-in-Chief of the country.

Apparently though, the Uganda president’s wife is the minister for Karamoja region, her nephew is her husband’s private secretary for legal affairs, while one of her relatives is the finance secretary at Ugandan State House.

The president’s stepbrother is also the senior presidential advisor on defence, his brother-in-law is the foreign affairs minister, and the daughter is his father and mother’s private secretary.

In Senegal, the president placed his son, who is already in charge of several government portfolios, as ‘Energy Minister’. The move has added to speculation that the president is grooming his son, as his successor.

In Liberia, the president’s son, who is already officially listed as a ‘Senior Adviser’ and closest confidante of his president mother on many other issues outside of his terms of reference, including concessions and investments is now said to have been quietly appointed to National Oil Company Board of Liberia.

Swaziland, Lesotho and Morocco have apparently made monarchical rule, as a permanent de facto form of governing their countries.

And other African countries are gradually following the path of breeding a class of ‘Republican kingdoms’, where the ordinary African masses would have no say about how their country should be run. Whatever the ruling family says goes, whether good or bad, humane or inhumane.

But now, there seems to be some kind of new development going on with leadership succession issues in Africa. It’s as though if what happened in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya continues to spread across African countries, I might soon find my cut-off tongue on a plate for charity probably in the next couple of decades or so. Wow!

In Egypt for example, ex President Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years presidential reign is now history following a successful street uprising protest early this year. Apparently, Mubarak was said to be grooming his son to succeed him through some obvious series of events.

In Libya, as we speak, the one party rule seems to be running its country like a dynastic power sharing that it is, where the son of Muammar Gaddafi now has the power to order the attack of anti-government protesters.

In Botswana, Gabon, Togo, Republic of the Congo, etc, the current presidents replaced their fathers’ long serving autocratic leadership.

However, all these should not come as a surprise since history tells us that our African leaders aged further, but kept clinging to power. They seem to have developed a corruptible penchant for appointing their kinsmen to high office to succeed them. No wonder they all ganged up to cripple CTPOA dream before it even had a chance to get its pants on.

By Joseph Spencer