Sunday, July 14, 2024

A $60,000 birthday gift from a broke government

It hurts very much when I read about the abuse of African nations at the hands of African presidents.

In full world view, the suffering of the African people is engineered, sustained and executed by these same people who always claim that they are the true patriots and anyone who disagrees with them is a “sell out”.

They use hate and vengefulness to set citizens against each other and teach family members to vanquish and even kill their own relatives.

American presidents are given a maximum of eight years to suggest and implement their policies for the nation but they are asked to seek another term at the 4-year interval after which they are permanently barred from seeking the presidency ever again.

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is 93 years old and is in his 38th year as the destructive president of Zimbabwe but he is already on the campaign trail for another 5-year term. He, of course, fidgeted with the constitution.

In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has been the slave driver there since January 29, 1986 and, despite prepping his son to take over after he retires, has also fiddled with the constitution and is still nibbling on it, trying to amend Article 102 of the Ugandan Constitution ÔÇô which deals with presidential age limit ÔÇô something that directly benefits his dictatorial self.

Africa’s ‘third term’ disease has afflicted many, including presidents of both Congos, at a cost of many lives ÔÇô foreign and domestic.

The ‘third term’ illness afflicts many African countries, including Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and others.

We have noticed that a nation as large as the United States can be turned around in four years after which American voters are called upon to, once again, either deny or give their sitting president another four years to serve as their president.

In other words, the first four years can sink a presidency or can justify an extension from the voters for another four years and then that is it.

It is appalling to see what is happening in Africa. It is sad to see how African presidents behave but at the expense of the poor nations they govern.

Just look at South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and DR Congo – and many more others.

If the checks and balances we see at play in the United States existed in Africa, I do believe that it would make a difference for Africa’s citizens who suffer, not because their countries do not have enough but because their leaders steal and abuse them more than the colonialists ever did.

In addition to the desire that the greed for power lasts for a long, long time, there also exists the mistaken belief among African leaders that the wealth of the country is their personal wealth.

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma did not think twice to use millions of taxpayer dollars to “upgrade” his home and then start shouting at people who wanted the money to be refunded because it was not the responsibility of the taxpayer to improve that homestead.

People got to be allowed to keep some of their earnings.

African presidents have no sense of responsibility and believe that they are not answerable to anyone.

This is how the likes of dos Santos of Angola accumulated such wealth that his daughter has become one of the richest women in the world.

Nepotism, favoritism and ‘presidential decrees’ over business deals or the muscling out of business competitors are the preserve of African presidents ÔÇô so I thought – until I saw it popping up in the United States too.

For years, we have berated African presidents for these retrogressive practices and now it is happening in America itself.

Ah, well, back to Africa.

We all know the difficulties Zimbabwe is going through but no one knows more about Zimbabwe’s political and economic distress than Botswana and South Africa ÔÇô the two countries that are continuously burdened with Mugabe’s misrule.

Zimbabwe has riches but does not have money because whatever it gets from tobacco and gold exports is channeled to the personal use of Mugabe and his family.

Investigative reporting by Zimbabwe’s Daily News has revealed that Mugabe and his government used “more than $14 million on foreign and domestic travel in the first three months of the year (2017)”.

Obviously, Mugabe does more travelling abroad than he and his cabinet ministers do domestically.

Let us look at the figures: the Consolidated Revenue Fund told the Daily News that, on foreign trips alone, the government “blew $4 588 990 in January, $ 4 250 630 in February and $4 119 638 in March”, adding that these travel expenses “related mostly to the Office of the President and Cabinet”.

Yes, money is being spent on unnecessary issues while the people are starving, roads are continuing to deteriorate, exports are declining and while companies continue to close down.

Unemployment is now pegged at 80% but that does not slow down Mugabe’s spending. He is literally riding on the backs of the few people who work in Zimbabwe and the only one thing he can count on is the remittances from Zimbabweans abroad.

Where is the money going? Why are the companies closing and where are the companies going?

Why are investors shunning Zimbabwe?

The answers are very clear and Mugabe’s government has made it clear to all and sundry.

The money is being used for endless trips that are of a personal nature on the part of Mugabe himself.

The money is being pocketed by the Mugabe family who see state coffers as a family wallet.

Mugabe and his lass Grace have always publicly insulted Zimbabweans with their extravagancies. The millions spent on their misbehaving children are talked about. The misbehaving boys are allegedly causing a lot of behavioral problems for their tenants in South Africa after the elder one was reportedly kicked out of Dubai and joined up with his younger brother in South Africa.

A video that is being circulated on social media shows the two brothers jumping on cars in a parking lot believed to be at their place of residence, making summersaults on car bonnets and jumping from atop one car to another while laughing into the camera. It ended up with police at the scene.

All this costs a lot of money from the few Zimbabweans who still claim to be employed although the banks do not have their money to dispense.

Meanwhile, many corrupt business deals are uncovered only after services have failed to be delivered. Friends, cronies and relatives of the Mugabes are playing with the nation.

Above it all, though, Mugabe and his wife Grace had the audacity to give a birthday gift of $60,000 to their nanny, one Junior Gumbochuma, to celebrate her 60th birthday.

Junior Gumbochuma is, as you might already have guessed, Grace Mugabe’s elder sister who could not possibly be left out of the gravy train, proving that Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank is the Mugabe’s personal ATM.

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