They gathered in Ethiopia last week.
Africa’s Ministers of Justice and Legal Affairs and Attorneys General, who are responsible for upholding the law on the continent, met over two days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last week.
These are men and women, who give legal advice to their presidents and Heads of State; people who map national laws and the very same ones who are expected to uphold the rule of law on our continent.
These are the custodians of Africa’s laws and are responsible for keeping the law among Africa’s 1.1 billion inhabitants.
According to an African Union Commission press release, participants included African Ministers of Justice/Attorneys General, Ministers responsible for issues such as human rights, constitutionalism and rule of Law, Legal Experts from AU Member States, Representatives from the African Court on Human and Human and Peoples’ Rights.
It was a big indaba indeed!
The African Union has 14 objectives, three of which are “to promote peace, security, and stability on the continent” (6), “to promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance” (7) “and to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments”.
But this gathering of law experts had varied agendas last week.
‘With a mission to develop instruments that reflect the collective shared values of the AU Member States’, the meeting was set to consider, among others, draft agendas ranging from Cross-Border Cooperation, Cyber-Security, to Protocol on the Establishment of the African Monetary Fund. They even intended to debate what they called “a draft of African Model Law on Biosafety”.
It, therefore, remains a mystery as to how these learned men and women ended up not only discussing but demanding immunity for “sitting African leaders for their part in genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity”.
It is of concern why all of Africa’s leaders want this.
I am not in a position to chronicle atrocities committed by leaders of other countries outside Africa. My concern right now is why a group of legal experts from all of Africa’s countries, and with the blessing of the African Union, gather to demand immunity for crimes committed or to be committed.
African leaders have, to date, shown regrettable attitudes towards the lives of their citizens. They have become more of security risks to their own people than terrorists are.
What really is wrong with African leaders? How do they corrupt men and women who slave for decades to achieve international status as law experts but who then willingly fight to defeat the legal machinery for which they worked so hard to be part of?
Is this terrorism of a sort that is now coming from Africa’s legal wing?
Now African leaders want immunity, not only over what crimes they have already committed but for crimes they intend to commit in the future.
If they are going to kill us all, they will have to do it without our consent or permission.
The heart of the matter is thatAfrica’s leaders are collectively responsible for the deterioration of our continent and the deaths of more of our compatriots than those we lost during colonial times.
However they became our leaders, African presidents should neither ask nor be granted a blank cheque to continue with the abuse, murder and freedom to abuse public funds. It took us so long to be where we are.
Africa first suffered under colonial rule. Why, God, why do Africans have to suffer worse under their own?
How much can the African people take; how much can we forgive when our leaders kill our children and destroy our schools, industry and livelihoods?
We have a backlog of African leaders to prosecute over issues of political murders and abuse of power and we are not in a position to offer them further leeway to continue and do worse under a legal framework.
As Al Bashir prepares to stone a woman to death for being Christian, Mugabe is starving people at a transit camp. A cursory look across Africa will show how shallow but deadly African leaders are.
We are at their mercy. If we elected them, why are they abusing the nations?
As we progress as nations, as a people, we leave marks. We leave trails like snails and can never run away from ourselves.
But we cannot give our signatures to permit a group of idiotic self-serving leaders to do as they please with us. Laws are meant to curtail our excesses; laws give us boundaries to enjoy freedom without taking away from others.
Laws tell us about all the freedom we deserve from our country and the protection we expect from our governments and how to use them.
Laws keep us equal and for the African Union to be part to such despicable motives is unacceptable.
We want democracy in Africa. We want to be left alone to care for our families. We want our governments to protect us as we go about doing these things for the betterment of our families and for the strengthening of our countries.
Why do African leaders want immunity?
Why do they want to do anything that demands of them to seek immunity? What are they up to? They are doing diabolically bad enough as it is. And they are doing it without anyone’s permission.
I can be persuaded to understand that there is always a seed that falls on rocks or bad soil; that there will always be a sperm that cannot swim. I maybe persuaded that there is always a rotten apple or tomato that spoils the whole bunch but I will be damned if I am persuaded to grant all of Africa’s leaders immunity to kill our defenseless people at will without consequences.
This is an absolute outrage.
These Presidents and Heads of State seek their own authority and protection for themselves from the same courts we would, without choice, be compelled to approach to seek recourse after abuse by these same leaders.
The African Union is a shameful organization. Those who are interested in promoting the retardation of Africa should applaud and congratulate the African Union because no colonial power, president or king has destroyed Africa more than the African Union.
In Zimbabwe, Mugabe has done us wrong. We complain to the world. To the AU. To SADC.
Mugabe has killed our people and continues to destroy our country.
But we cannot cry to the African Union because it was created for the purpose of protecting evil African leaders. And they are doing a good job of it.
We cannot cry to SADC because it was created for the same purpose of abusing people, of killing people through their inactivity and of keeping quiet when atrocities are being committed against innocent people.
Meanwhile, the AU and SADC congratulate themselves every timeflawed elections are held in Africa. The behavior of these organisations vindicates Botswana President Ian Khama in taking a lone stand against his fellow presidents. Why would anyone want to be associated with this kind of disregard to common decency perpetrated by organisations and presidents who are supposed to be protecting and caring for the people?
African leaders seem to have genocide in their DNA. Why else would this exclusive group of people be collectively seeking our permission to continue killing us?
We cannot appeal to anyone in Africa. And this takes us back to the foreigners.
African voters lucky enough to vote better start taking their votes seriously!