What you need to know:
- White people seem to get the flack every time an African dictator is taken to task.
- African dictators beat you as you do your job to preserve democracy and the police chief justifies the beating.
I bet US President Donald Trump regrets calling African nations “shit hole” countries. Imagine the support he would have garnered among his peers of doddery African dictators? He would have had a chance to play golf to his heart’s content in 365-day African sunshine. He should have known the importance of keeping friends close and enemies closer.
Trump’s notoriety of trying to turn USA into a banana republic with his cataclysmic attempt at dictatorship doesn’t compare to African dictators’ brutal leadership. Leaders of banana republics need not try so hard to hang on to power.
Neither do they try to circumvent the law: They are the law. African dictators beat you as you do your job to preserve democracy and the police chief justifies the beating by claiming you were beaten for your self-protection (just ask Ugandan journalists)!
Trump must be kicking himself now for having been born in the wrong continent with a wrong skin. If he were African, he would still be a President. Damn USA!
What could go wrong by appropriating African dictatorship style by Western leaders? A lot, as Trump can attest to. For starters, Trump is not African; neither is USA an African country. Therefore, dictatorship was not going to work in America. It is one of the oldest democracies and guided by the rule of law, both anathema in Africa.
While Trump imagined rigging occurred in the recent US elections and even made threatening calls to officials to prove them, rigging goes hand in glove with most elections in Africa. Lights going out at the umpteenth hour, dead voters making the numbers and biometric voter kit tampering is rigging African style.
Kenya has had its fair share of this phenomenon. It is not surprising that it became the first African country to declare a presidential election null and void in 2017 for rigging.
That could only happen in a country with systems in place, imperfect as they seem. Many other African countries are not lucky to overturn rigged elections due to poor governance structures.
In a recent interview by a British television station, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni blamed all the white people in the West, (homosexuals included), except himself, for the violent campaigns.
“White people are putting ideas into the minds of the youth,” he was quoted as saying. African dictators have perfected the art of apportioning blame for mismanagement elsewhere but at their leadership desks.
White people seem to get the flack every time an African dictator is taken to task. Robert Mugabe died blaming whites for his country’s woes. Who ended up building gold toilets in a starving Zimbabwe but ‘Brother’ Bob Mugabe!
Blaming colonial power
A continent that keeps blaming a colony that left 60 years ago is one that is proving it can’t manage its affairs. Such a cycle can only be broken by decanting Africa of dictators. Initial results show Bobi Wine was losing . He was never going to win against a well-oiled corrupt machinery but has inspired African youth to dare to dream and save themselves from neocolonialism.
The white people in the West, who are blamed constantly, are not impacted upon by runaway impunity, ravaging the continent. It is the citizens in Africa who bear the brunt of corruption and poor leadership by their leaders. Africa can make the argument that corruption cuts both ways between Africa and the West but no gun was held to a president’s head to stash funds into Swiss, London or Cayman Island account.
African dictators plundered their countries’ resources and killed, raped and maimed to hang on to power. Resistance to the International Criminal Court is, therefore, convenient to the dictators.
The test for running transparent and fair elections is down to separation of powers between the various arms of government. Post-election violence in the US was unfathomable as it was unprecedented in a country that boasts of a strong democracy and independent institutions; hence, why Trump’s impeachment kicked in as soon as possible to salvage US democracy.
It is unthinkable that an African president could be charged for a crime let alone be impeached. South Africa is the only African country to impeach a president. That came after several lazy attempts at impeaching former President Jacob Zuma.
Trump’s impeachment will lead to him leaving office in ignominy. The impact on his family and businesses will be catastrophic. That couldn’t be said of African dictators. Where they fall, another is born within their families and inherits subjects impoverished by a ‘Daddy’ dictator.
To African dictators, rule of law is a beast to be fought, not tools used to govern justly. However, it is something that will someday come to the rescue of its citizens. Bobi Wine and his ilk of young opposition are opening doors to a peaceful and democratic Africa ruled by laws and not guns.
Trump’s impeachment may give us a kick in the backside to dare. But could incestuous and State-captured African parliaments impeach rogue presidents, really? You guessed it: Doubtful!