Oracle: “What does any man with power want?”
Oracle: “More power.”
Sigh, another election in Africa has passed.
Once meant to be a democratic means by which the people chose their leader, elections are now merely a formality as the obvious victor gathers his band and prepares a celebratory fanfare. This usually drowns the resounding echo of the opposition’s chants of fraud, rigging and corruption long enough for a new scandal to distract the masses.
And so justly or unjustly, Hip-Hop legend and quarter-century incumbent, Yoweri Museveni a.k.a. Sevo is president of Uganda again.
No surprises there, really. The whole victory was so routine that I don’t even think it made the front page of the paper. He won by a ridiculous two-thirds majority and is now well on his way to joining the 30-30 Club: Presidents who’ve ruled their nations for over 30 years.
Another person soon to join the 30-30 Club is also celebrating his birthday today. Yes, indeed, Robert Mugabe a.k.a. Bob Mug, is turning 87 today. 87 is an interesting number because in 1987 he took the commanding seat of his nation and nearly 25 years later, he’s one of the better know presidents in the world for raising his middle finger to the west to the detriment of his people. Kinda like Idi Amin before him. Which, I guess, in some ways explains why the people(not the politicians) of Zimbabwe are not rebelling as violently as we’d expect to his rule. There seems to be some sort of a stigmatic fear that dethroning a snake will put a hydra in power, creating instability that they would not be able to recover from. Whatever the reason may be, a revolution has long been overdue in The Land Formally Known As Rhodesia but it has been kept at bay by the tyrannical octogenerian who today grows older and more powerful. The only thing that seems to be keeping him from clocking 30 years in the throne is his health.
One people that was not scared nor hesitant to dethrone its 30-30 Club Candidate was Tunisia. Ben Ali also came to the reins of that nation in 87 like Bob Mug but one day a man set himself on fire and sparked a revolution that would see 2 countries emancipated of their dictatorial leaders; Tunisia and Egypt. Both these leaders would also, quite ironically, end up in comas immediately after relinquishing their power.
The tale of Egypt is a particularly riveting one. No show of solidarity among a people can parallel the imagery of 2 million Egyptians of various races, creeds and backgrounds standing strong to speak out against oppression. Riveting stuff.
Meanwhile, just south of their borders a new Sudan was born. A Southern one. Yet again, remarkable consensus among the people with 99% of the masses voting for the secession. More surprising was that our good friend Om-Bash-Bash didn’t:
1. Crash their party
2. Stop their party.
Nope. He quickly nodded in support of the South’s secession in spit of Northerners bitching like they’d just lost their slaves and it was the 1600s again. Anyhow, around the same time he shows support for Southern Sudan, a few things came to light; conspicuously at the same time. First was just how much support the African Union had for Bashir. They didn’t bat an eyelid and immediately began flaunting his acceptance – which, frankly, was kinda mandatory – in front of the ICC while asking them to rescind his arrest warrants. That’s right. We want to forgive Bashir for Darfur because he let S.Sudan be. In fact, an ambassador at the UN went so far as to call him a ‘Hero of Peace’ and say that he warranted a ‘reward’ of some sort. Not to be too discrete in their support for the gun toting tyrannical fugitive and 30-30 candidate, the US began by taking Sudan off its terrorist list and lifting trade embargoes with them. Because it clearly seems that he not only has Africa’s support, but that that support will provide him enough camouflage that ICC charges may soon wither to frail crumbs. I halfway expect to see Bashir at Museveni’s swearing in or Mugabe’s birthday party to be honest.
You see, it’s a vicious circle-jerk cycle, this is. We the people of Africa select leaders as though we are selecting gladiators; we pick headstrong, resilient, determined, warmongering degenerates who will fight for our causes and then wonder why we can’t get them to calm down, focus and just chill when peace prevails. A wise friend once told me that ‘People only get the leaders they deserve’ and I sometimes find that hard to argue with. Because if we really had a problem with our leaderships, wouldn’t there be more Egypts and Tunisias and less Zimbabwes and Sudans? Wouldn’t we have revolutions and fair elections – counting years of peace instead of years of rule?
Instead, we sit here today no better than yesterday congratulating Museveni on yet another term, applauding Bashir for NOT killing people and wishing Bob Mug a Happy 87th Birthday and continued leadership while writing Get Well Soon cards to Ben Ali and Mubarak.
Ain’t life in Africa grand?