Welcome to the AU where corruption has changed name
This is a great time to be an African. I know the enemies of the black race work hard at obfuscating and obliterating the historical evidence of our greatness and place as the origin of humankind and home of its civilization. Living on past glory alone we should hold our heads very high and pay no mind to Donald Trump.
I am proud to be African. It may be true that before Mungo Park, the people of Jebba had no clue that the Niger River flowed in their backyard. When Hanning Speke discovered a big lake in the southern part of Africa, he did not wait for the eighth day to name it Victoria Falls.
In 2018, 54 leaders of my continent have just completed a meeting of their union. All but three of them were decked in their national costume – suits and tie. While some people are making expeditions to the moon, somewhere in Africa people are snatching the corpse of an albino. They hope its body parts would bring them more wealth than Mark Zuckerberg could see in twelve lunar months and more influence than Bill Gates. Somewhere in a grotto in Southern Naija, babalawos keep a zoo of kidnapped humans convinced someone would want them slaughtered for power and wealth. In Mozambique being bald is not a badge of honour to be wantonly displayed; it could be a death sentence to those who feel that baldness hides wealth even when the wealthy are poor.
In spite of it all, the African Union has just put up a big show in Addis Ababa. Enemies of progress tried to digress by claiming that the new AU building, donated from the bottom of Chinese generosity was all the while, a Greek gift. They claim the Chinese rigged the building with hidden cameras and cables harvesting every slap of the buttocks of bureaucrats by randy Heads of State and officials. So, the officials hired a firm with Chinese equipment who declared it pure hogwash.
We are obviously not aware that the commies would buy information at any cost; they won’t bother us because we are trusted friends. They have no reason to harvest our secrets through the walls when they could get any classified information over cups of tea, wine or by passing over wads of dollars to the AU envoys seeking favour. They have direct access to our Heads of State that go to China cap in hand signing all sorts of contracts for what is left by European and American marauders.
Why spy when you are in control? The Chinese are in charge of technology, they control our roads and ports, our homes and its décor, the hair on the heads of our women, the clothes behind our backs, the toys our children and we their parents play with and the shingles over our heads. They have more claims to African landmass than we care to admit and make no claim to colonialism. We must be proud to have them as friends in Addis Ababa and from Cape Town to Timbouktu.
My pride stems from the fact that Africa has the AU the same way that Europe used to have the EU until Theresa May’s Brexit broke it down. Africa has the AU while Donald Trump is decimating North America’s NAFTA and UN agencies. Walk tall Africans, you have the AU.
Once in a while, we have the wanton display of opulence at these jamborees. We don’t have to worry about climate change as we drive some dignitaries in the fuelguzzling limousines while others display their I-pass-my-neighbour refurbished planes. We do all these in Ethiopia, a nation in the vice grip of a brutal dictatorship, which forbids its citizens from using text messages or social media, imprisons activists and randomly blocks the Internet.
We have the AU, ever proud to have dinosaurs like Muhamnadu Buhari selling the same anticorruption blueprint he pitched 30 years ago and got tossed under the bus to a hoodwinked continent. He is in good company with Paul Biya, has nothing new to teach Theodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. He is bound to envy Yoweri Museveni and the survival instinct of Idris Derby Itno. He is a buddy of the Moroccan King.
Africa is making progress in reverse gear. Paul Kagame the new helmsman is reputed for imprisoning a young woman who challenged his life presidency. One is disappointed that this allmale exclusive club did not once mention Robert Mugabe. They must have toasted to the silence coup of Emerson Mnangagwa and felt comfortable with Faure Gnassingbe and Joseph Kabila the democratic princes of Togo and Congo who succeeded their parents in power.
Comfortably chewing the khat of democratic adulation would have been the likes of Omar al-Bashir, deadbeat fugitive at large. Somewhere dozing would’ve been Abdelaziz Bouteflika whose modus vivendi is keeping his citizens guessing whether he is alive or dead. With Boko Haram and marauding herdsmen decimating West Africa, al-Shabab in Somalia making frequent incursions into Kenya, Joseph Kony still at large and Tuareg rebels wrecking havoc in the desert, while xenophobia thrives in South Africa, there is reason to adopt corruption as the greatest threat to a continent which parades the likes of Jacob Zuma as leader. If you won’t do anything about this cancer, at least admit it exists and the world would pay you attention and even a few dollars.