Over the last couple of decades there has been a great lack of good honest African leaders throughout the continent of Africa. This is reflected in the overall picture of Africa today in poverty, unemployment, various genocides, sickness, collapsing infrastructure and general lawlessness to name but a few of the problems on our continent.
Africa is a continent richly blessed in natural resources, people, generally good climate to mention but a few. I doubt whether there is a mineral anywhere in the world that you cannot find on our continent. We have all the precious minerals, base minerals and oil in abundance.
The colonial powers that came to Africa have been blamed for a lot of the problems that beset our continent of Africa. The trend at the moment seems to seek to obliterate everything that the colonialists brought to Africa. No distinction is made by people as to whether these things are good or bad. Above all the colonialists brought development, infrastructure and some form of methodology to the various countries that they occupied. The colonialists did plunder a lot of Africa often with the help of the local inhabitants. I certainly do not condone this plundering. The African leaders who took over from the colonial powers, in most cases, took over countries with a good developed and functional infrastructure. In a lot of cases they have succeeded in trashing this infrastructure to the detriment of their countries and their people.
Africa has also been” blessed” with a plethora of cruel, tyrannical dictators who have not done Africa any favours. Most of them are guilty of crimes against humanity. Once in power they have become the ultimate megalomaniacs who entertain no dissent amongst their followers. They entrench themselves in these positions by surrounding themselves with followers who have been suitably rewarded for their loyalty. Everything is centered on themselves with the consequence that the inhabitants of these countries have very little to be cheerful about.
The following is a list of some of these leaders with a very brief detail of what they got up to during their tenure in power. Some have passed on while others are still in positions of power. They are in no particular order but I believe that we need to reflect on what has happened and what could have been.
Idi Amin came to power in 1971 through a coup. Various human rights organizations credit him with the death of 500000 people. He methodically killed people in opposition to him. It was also rumoured that he was involved in cannibalism. He was also responsible for the expelling of 50000 to 70000 to Asians from Uganda. This resulted in the collapse of the manufacturing and farming industry. He and his cohorts were involved in widespread corruption. Idi Amin spent 8 years in power.
Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir seized power in the Sudan in 1978 after the staging of a military coup. There is a warrant for his arrest issued by the International Court for various crimes. He is evidently guilty of the death of between 200000 to 400000 people in the Darfur region. This includes a large amount of women and children. He has banned political parties’ independent newspapers, imprisoned political figures, and journalists as well executing people in the military who are suspected of trying to oust him.
Robert Mugabe became president of Zimbabwe in 1987 and is still currently in power. The Gukurahundi has been connected to Robert Mugabe. This was the slaughtering of between 10000 and 80000 Ndebele in Matabeleland. This was carried out by the Fifth Brigade. Mugabe is a Shona and has no love for the Ndebele people.
The twenty eight plus years that Mugabe has been in power has seen the systematic decline of a once prosperous country into a non functional state. Unemployment is at 80% and many of the inhabitants are starving. Mugabe has expropriated land from productive white farmers to give to his friends. This has resulted in the country being a net exporter of surplus agriculture products to a country which is requesting food aid for the starving masses. The manufacturing industry has come to a near standstill. The currency of Zimbabwe is totally worthless. 1US Dollar is equal to 361,900.00 ZIM Dollars. Zimbabwe now uses the US Dollar and the South African Rand as their currency. I cannot really comprehend how this works.
Mobutu, was the military dictator of Zaire (DRC) from 1967 to 1997.This was one rather unpleasant individual. He was the self declared supreme power in his country after establishing a one party state. He was guilty of numerous human rights violations, corruption and nepotism. He amassed a personal fortune of between US $4 to $15 billion dollars.
Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma was elected president of South Africa in 2009 and re-elected in 2014. I am including him in this as I live in South Africa. He has been involved in many scandals and controversies during his term so far. These include allegations of corruption and graft. He has 783 counts of fraud that he still has to answer to. Members of his family have greatly enriched themselves as well as many of his friends. Corruption is costing South Africa about R35 billion Rand per year. WE have one of the highest murder and rape statistics in the world. The country is slowly becoming dysfunctional. He also stands accused of engineering the state capture scenario that is currently in all the headlines in South Africa. He and his cronies have been found guilty by the Constitutional Court of failing to uphold our constitution.
In addition to the above the following people have been labeled as dictators. Most of them came to power by staging coups. Although some of the countries that they lead have elections they are in most cases a big farce.
The following website makes interesting reading:- https://planetrulers.com/category/dictators/
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea
Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti
Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of Congo (Brazzaville)
Faustin Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic
Nouri Abusahmain, President of Libya
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, President of Egypt
Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria
Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan
Mswati III, King of Swaziland Mswati III
Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda
Mohamed Ould Abd AZIZ, President of Mauritania
Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Isaias Afwerki, President of Eritrea
Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Paul Biya, President of Cameroon
Pierre Nkurunziza, President of Burundi
Mr. Jose Eduardo dos Santos, President of Angola
Africa consists of 48 independent states. It has about a thousand ethnic groups. Most of them have their own particular dialects that they communicate in. Most of them do not actually like each other which in itself are a recipe for conflict.
The ills of Africa are continually laid at the door of the colonial powers. I believe this is a diversionary tactic to get the heat off them. This is not fair as most of them have been “free” for close on sixty years. The problems they have are in most cases caused by their own ineptitude. The much maligned first world countries channel vast amounts of aid to the African countries. When disease and famine overtake these countries it is normally the western world who rushes to assist them.
There is a very serious question that has to be asked and that is why Africa finds itself in this state. I believe the main reason is a word “leadership”. Our present crop of leaders is a bunch of thieves. Most of them are hell bent on entrenching themselves in the positions that they are in. They are cruel and despotic and in most cases have lost their humanity along the way. They methodically set about enriching themselves, their families and their loyal cronies. They are in many cases extremely cruel and guilty of gross human rights atrocities.
Africa has 48 different states with a total of 1.1 billion people. Why can we not find 48 honest leaders with a love for their people. Where does the problem lie? Is it perhaps embedded in the psyche of the inhabitants of Africa? Do they need to be subjugated to some all controlling ogre.