opinionBy Tunde Asaju
The world may have leaders, but Africa mostly has jesters as presidents. Does anyone remember that Ghana’s current president plagiarized speeches from here, there and everywhere to ginger his citizens at his inauguration? We tend to forget things like that. Both Burundi and Rwanda are led by Joseph Kony’s clone – men who believe they are God’s candidates. When you are God’s candidate, you cannot be wrong. Nkurunziza has butchered his citizens into submission, while claiming to be born again. His brother in Christ, Paul Kagame is so afraid of his own shadows that he imprisoned a 36-year old female opponent, Diane Rwigara, for attempting to run against him. Even old Uncle Bob was more kindly to Joyce Mujuru.
Emerson Mnangagwa ran away to South Africa after being fired as vice-president by his now deposed quondam come-raid. He did not have the liver to direct the military he engineered to make life unbearable for Mugabe. Asked when he would return even as toddlers kept vigil on the streets of Harare, he said he won’t come back until his safety is guaranteed.
Mugabe is gone but that is not the question. The big question is, how did Mnangagwa qualify as president when he was duly fired. His sack was ludicrous but was it lawful? How did he get to become president when he was fired? Nobody asks these questions in Zimbabwe’s unique coup that should make golden coup plotter, Ibrahim Babangida green with envy. The butcher of Bulawayo, aka the Crocodile was afraid of his own shadows having allegedly presided over the extermination of previous opposition leaders.
Once in office Mnangagwa’s declared Feb 21 as Mugabe Day just like Obasanjo unilaterally declared May 29 Naija’s democracy day. Then he signed off a $10 million pay out to an already enriched Mugabe along with the opulent mansion Zimbabweans built to house succeeding leaders. Only in Africa! I have seen Nostradamus in a vision and he says Mnangagwa is not the messiah and that in less than ten months, Zimbabweans would wish they had old Uncle Bob, the devil they knew.
Mnangagwa is a corruption fighter. What is an African president who is not fighting corruption by mouth? He has asked all those who joined him and Mugabe in looting Zimbabwe to death for three decades to pay back in 90 days. That’s just about enough time for them to get a visa to Switzerland or Bermuda and come back with trucks loaded with dollars. Let’s hope they return with American dollars since while some of them were looting, the Zimbabwean dollar was worth much less than orange peel. It would be convincing if Mnangagwa leads by example. The world waits to see how much he pays in restitution.
If you think Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa ends the joke, you are wrong. Naija’s rulers have been fighting corruption now for two years. But birds are whispering that there are no records of money recovered or their tangible use. Anyone surprised to hear that has not been monitoring Africa’s biggest joke.
Kenya has a brand new second hand president. His name is Uhuru Kenyatta and if you think you’ve heard it before, you’re probably right. He conducted one of the most expensive elections in Africa. Each vote costs the voter nearly $26. There were nearly 20 million voters at the first round before the country’s Supreme Court annulled it. But Kenyatta remained in office, exercising the full powers of president. Legally he ought to have resigned, but instead, he inaugurated the parliament where his party has the majority in full violation of the laws of his land. In the re-election, he ran against himself since his natural opponent, Raila Odinga refused to participate; and he won confirming that nobody loses an election against themselves.
Just like Naija’s Sai Baba, Kenyatta has announced visa at the port of entry for all Africans and anyone who is married to a Kenyan. This must be good news to the boys and girls at Oluwole marriage registry. Although Kenya is not fighting a direct insurgency, Somalia, it’s next-door neighbour, is fighting al-Shabab. They often carry out bloody raids on Kenyan towns and villages. With an open border, the war against terror is won.
Nobody knows what Kenyatta’s rival; Odinga has been smoking. But he says he’ll be sworn in on December 12, an announcement that makes a mockery of the late MKO Abiola’s famous Epetedo Declaration. Unlike Odinga, Abiola took part in the inconclusive 1993 general election that he is believed to have won. Ibrahim Babangida, his friend decided to empty the dregs of his last bag of tricks on the verdict robbing Abiola of his mandate and eventually his life. Again, only in Africa.
It is widely believed that you don’t need gumption to be president in Africa. This is why Gooseluck Jonathan believes he is the best thing that ever happened to Naija and that people actually miss his style of administration.