By Hama Tuma
President Museveni of Uganda justified his clinging to power by illegally amending the Ugandan Constitution with the argument: I have stayed long in government and I am now an expert on governance and thus the better placed to rule Uganda. It is a kind of a vicious circle argument more in the line of lawyers defending the indefensible. And the AU built on the ruins of the most notorious Ethiopian prison, the Kerchielle, where thousands have perished and suffered, its new HQ. It is very appropriate in my view as the thieves and embezzlers and killers who are gathered within this useless body should sit on chairs on top of a former dungeon and hanging ground.
What is more sad is to observe some Ethiopian opposition figures (apparently they have no burning issues to fight for) fuming against the AU for not erecting a monument to former Emperor Haile Sellasie next to that of Nkrumah at the site of the new AU headquarter. I can imagine how horribly Nkrumah would have felt if he were alive at the fate of the African Union he had strongly called for and for the fact that those who have sold out Africa to the West and China have dared erect his statue. In Africa, the art of the irrelevance still dominates. The fundamental problem of the AU was not lack of space or the need for a bigger HQ. The Chinese spent 200 million dollars to build the new HQ—it was obviously no philanthropic gesture on their part. As the new invader or colonizer of Africa, China is robbing Africa blind and paving the way to what may turn out to be settler colonialism and the least it can do to dupe the so called African leaders is to build them an unnecessary new building in which they can gather and pompously declare their nonsense and hail their impotence.. The AU has proved to be a deader version of the OAU; its troops in Somalia are but soldiers for non African powers. Mention the presidents that are part of it and the list does read like that of the top tyrants of the world. Some of them are even Franc Masons, a semi secret sect or lodge linked to colonial France or Britain. Francois Bozize of the Central African Republic, Paul Biya of Cameroon, Ali Bongo of Gabon, Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso, Idris Deby of Chad, Mamadou Tanja of Niger, Robert Guei (former head of Cote d’Ivoire), and John Kuffuor of Ghana are all Franc Masons with their first loyalty to the sect or lodge rather than to their countries and Africa. Meles Zenawi, a nauseating “tribalist” who has sold himself and the whole country to foreigners, has reportedly applied. The new AU building, standing on a ground that should have been a museum for Ethiopians and their suffering, is just a hollow building, a big showcase of Africa’s failure to redeem or regain its honor and independence. Ali Bongo succeeded his corrupt father Omar Bongo who robbed Gabon ten times blind and amassed at least a 3 billion dollars fortune (Meles and his corrupt wife are catching up!). In 2008, Omar Bongo owned 33 properties in France, including a US $30 million mansion in Paris. Gabon’s oil reserves also allowed him to spend lavishly at the official level, with an US $800 million presidential palace back home in Gabon. Omar Bongo and other Francophone African presidents contributed large amount of money to French political parties and presidents and any national who wanted to have an important post had to be a member of the local Franc Mason first. The web of subservience to the West is so tightly woven that quite a few of the sold out presidents are now sending their nationals into war spots following the order (not of their national interest) but of the West.
A recent report in a Kenyan newspaper revealed that in Nyeri, Kenya, husbands have become victims of domestic violence with wives and women beating up the men. No Kenyan man was heard declaring “this is poetic justice” but it pushes one to wonder if women takeover power in Africa things could change. Alas no.The female president of Sierra Leone is a disappointment, Kibaki’s wife is a notorious slapper of men and Kibaki, who is rumored to have a mistress, often denies the fact and declares his loyalty to his wife. The wife of Meles Zenawi is the Queen of Corruption and many Ethiopians hope she would one day slap her husband in public and humiliate him to no end. More tidbits are informative. An Ethiopian impregnates the daughter of the South Sudan president and marries her publicly but threats against him have forced the coupe to move quietly out of corruption plagued Juba and to live in Nairobi. The man who has bled Chad dry, Idris Deby, married a 21 years old beauty, the daughter of the chief of the notorious Janjawid militia (Omar Beshir attended the wedding ceremony), after paying a $26 million dowry plus $1 million spent on the young lady for jewels of all kinds. Chad is one of the poorest countries that can ill afford a 27 million dollar dowry to please an ageing tyrant who already has four or five wives and more than a dozen children. And yet, Idris Deby is a respected member of the AU. As is Senegal’s Wade, in his late eighties and in full political senility, who is trying to be president for life and in the process dragging Senegal into the usual African pit of conflict and chaos.
On another level, the sale of Africa is brisk. It is an all year discount jamboree. If Mobutu senior was a kleptomaniac his son Joseph is worse. Meles Zenawi has sold off the land of Ethiopia to Arabs, Indians, and Chinese etc and permitted the use of pernicious fertilizers and chemicals on the land itself— money rules. Forced conscription, forced villagization, forced contribution are all in progress. Zambian copper, Sudanese oil, Gabon’s uranium and oil, Congo’s gold and Coltan, Sierra Leone’s diamonds, Ethiopia’s fertile land and more are all being robbed and taken out. It is not really important or crucial whose monument stands outside of the AU. If Haile Sellasie was ignored so are Nasser and Ben Bella to mention but two. No big deal. Africa’s real heroes are actually almost always unsung and dead— Um Nyobe, Machel, Cabral, Lumumba, and many more—while their killers were and are all members of the AU. A redressing of History is called for in the first place. The irrelevance of the AU is obvious for all to see. One yearns for the good old days when the likes of Tubman of Liberia told the Liberian people openly: “I know Tubman is not the president you want; I know Tubman is not the president you deserve but Tubman is the president you got!” Take it or leave it—no pretension, no duplicity, the Emperor is naked and go deal with it. The hullabaloo on the new AU HQ is desperately trying to cover up the stink of the organization that has turned into a zombie manipulated by old and new colonialists. The legendary bread to be cut is but the corruption money to be handed over and as soon as is this is done the puppets start to swing before even the ropes are pulled. Bwana, Master of all of us all, your command is our duty; we shall sell you the country, the continent. The AU is the centre of the despots who have sold out the whole continent. That is the truth and essence of it all. It is perhaps Kaddafi’s confused yearning for a more effective AU and united Africa that precipitated his downfall as much as the oil wealth of his country.
After all is said, and said again and again, the hard fact remains: Africa has been re colonized. The richest countries of the continent are most hard hit but dirt poor ones like Djibouti, Niger, Mali and Ethiopia have not been spared either. In the coming two decades more than 350 million Chinese are expected to live and work in Africa. Hundreds of thousands of Portuguese are streaming back to Angola and Mozambique to search for work. Thousands of French live in West Africa the life of the Pasha. The land grab is spreading at a shocking pace. Foreigners aside, ethnic politics prevailing, members of the ruling ethnic group and party do dance on our heads all over Africa. The more it changes, the more it stays the same. The fight for Africa, for national and continental liberation is calling on all of us. Given this dire and drastic situation the question of the AU headquarter and whose statue is erected there is more than irrelevant.