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Is African the waste bin of dysfunctional leaders?

12 Jul 2016 at 07:25hrs | Views
Each day that I watch international news, I become more and more disenchanted to be an African, as where else in the civilised world would one encounter a leader who brutalises his or her own people just because they dared stand up against his or her government's oppression and injustices?

Only in Africa!

Ever since the world recession of 2007/8 - which lead to several, mostly Western governments, implementing biting austerity measures - most people in those countries have been protesting the suffering that they have had to endure over these past years.

This has led to most people of Western countries calling upon their governments to step down -  something that has led to the rise of anti-austerity, and usually far-right, political parties in several European countries.

However, in all these protests, we have not witnessed the disturbing levels of brutality against the suffering people as we would have witnessed had it been in Africa.

These European leaders did not view the protesting suffering people as enemies of the state who should be crushed by any means, but rather viewed them as poor struggling people who deserve the government's compassion, protection and empathy - despite the fact that these protestors were calling for the same governments to step down.

These Western governments have tried, in spite of all odds, to revamp their economies, whilst at the same time, doing all that they could to cushion the suffering people from the painful effects of the recession and austerity.

Furthermore, free and fair elections have been taking place, and several governments have been ousted, and there has been remarkable peaceful and orderly transfer of power.

Even in the United Kingdom (UK), where Prime Minister David Cameron voluntarily stepped down after his bid to keep his county in the European Union (EU) was rejected in the June 23 'Brexit' referendum - there will be a very orderly peaceful transfer of power on Wednesday 13 July to the new premier Theresa May.

However, one needs to just cross the Mediterranean Sea to witness the vast differences in leadership style of African leaders.

On our continent, we have leaders who do not tolerate any opposition at all, no matter how justified.

This is the only continent where the highest concentration of dysfunctional leaders are found in the world.

A continent where leaders want to rule forever, and will crush anyone - without any remorse at all - who is perceived to be challenging or questioning their leadership.

African leaders are the ones more prone to amending their countries' constitutions just so that they can stay in power forever, or make room for their sons or wives to take over.

This is where democratically challenging a leader is perceived as a national security threat, such that the state intelligence agencies are roped in to silence any peaceful dissenters - where anyone who calls for, or engages in, peaceful protests is arrested, threatened, or beaten up and considered as an enemy of the state.

African leaders can massacre nearly a fifth of their countries' population and get away with it - whilst at the same time, move without any shame amongst other world leaders.

This is the continent where leaders can loot their countries' vast resources - which could have made African countries the richest in the world - for they own personal aggrandisement, without any sense of shame - whilst the vast majority of the population can not even afford more than one square meal a day.

Where leaders reside in mansions, or hotels - at the taxpayers' expense - in the midst of a population in abject poverty - and still feel justified to do so.

Yet, those same leaders expect those same suffering people to just keep quiet and act as if everything is alright - as if we are all one happy family.

Eventually, when those suffering and oppressed people say 'enough is enough we can not take this anymore', they are accused of being used by foreign powers.

So do Africans have no brains of their own to think for themselves?

Do African leaders seriously view their own people as brainless imbeciles who will just remain docile in their suffering and oppression, whilst they see their leaders living lavishly?

Even a dog will eventually bite the one who keeps ill-treating it.

So do our leaders seriously think we are more stupid than a dog - such that Black people can only stand up for their rights after being told what to do by a White man?

In fact, our erstwhile colonisers had more faith in the Black person's intellect than the our current Black leadership.

Our African leadership seems to be more of victims of a colonial mentality and brainwashing than they accuse us of.

African leaders seem, indeed, to be several levels below the evolutionary ladder - as how else can we describe such primitive behaviour.

How else would we describe a husband and father who spends all the family's money - let us say US$1000 a month - on food, drink and merrymaking with friends and lovers, whilst his family is hungry, his children do not go to school because of a lack of fees, and they go around town with tattered clothes and shoeless, as the father does not even bother buying them any?

Furthermore, when his wife and children eventually complain to him - even deciding to leave him - he beats the daylights out of them - resulting in the death of one of his sons.

If we were to read of such an incident in the newspapers, how would we react?

Would the whole nation not be aghast?

Would we not all be justified in rising up in arms with such a father and husband?

Would we not all be justified in calling that husband and father a primitive monster?

Would all those women and children's rights groups not be justified in having such a husband and father arrested and charged?

So, what is the difference between such a father/husband, and the African leaders that we have?

Are they not similar to the bone?

Therefore, why should such leaders be allowed to carry on as if nothing is wrong?

Why should such leaders walk with their heads high, as if they have anything to be proud of, when in fact, they have everything to be ashamed of?

The suffering people of the continent need not be cowered by such barbaric leaders anymore.

The time has come that every African citizen should claim their birthright and stand up with pride against any further oppression.

We do not have to be told by anyone that we deserve dignity, respect, and honour from our leaders - and that we need to demand it without any fear in a peaceful and democratic manner.

No violence is needed to stand up for one's rights and be heard - as those who live by the sword, will die by the sword.

Let those who think that the gun will protect them continue living in their delusions, as soon they will realise that there are powers mightier than the gun - people power.

People standing firmly together can conquer any weapon.

Let the people of Africa be resolute in their demands for what God - in all His infinite wisdom - gave them to enjoy, and yet has been perverted by a wayward leadership that only the suffering people of Africa can dismantle.

° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist and commentator, writer, and journalist. He writes in his own capacity, and welcomes feedback. Please WhatsApp/call: +263782283975, or email: Follow on Twitter: @Tendai_Mbofana

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Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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