You want to be dictator for life in Africa? Make everyone rich

Robert Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until he was finally ousted in November 2017. 

Photo credit: File | Afp

What you need to know:

  • People who have nothing will be happy to get an Sh500 bribe from a politician for their vote. But for the working-class voter, you have to fork out at least Sh5,000.
  • The flipside of this “poor people are easier to control” notion is that the better off and more educated ones are harder to crack.

For a long time, I was of the view that one of the many reasons Africa is the poorest continent (at least in material possessions) is because it is good politics for its rulers. It seemed like poor people were easier to control as they lacked the resources to expand their horizons. They couldn’t afford things like a radio or newspaper or travel and “see things for themselves”, as good Africans say.


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