I still dream of a day an African leader will voluntarily step down for failing to live up to his or her promise to the electorate, to the people. I dream of a day an African leader will resign for failing to to keep their promise to the people in their manifestos.
Sometimes I wonder whether it’s us, the people, the ones who vote, the problem or whether it’s by design that we’re always having bad leaders. Or maybe we should blame it on the miserable state of our democracy. An elected leader fails the electorate time and again but they’re still clinging on to power, and any attempt to impeach them leads to a bloody war with far-reaching consequences. Woe to you if you instigated the motion of impeachment, you would be blamed for more than just witch-hunt.
And you are wondering why as a continent we are still lagging behind in terms of development. How can we progress when we have these kind of leaders in office. How can we develop to the status of the famous Singapore, with all these graft cases — massive corruption carried out by the same people we entrusted with safeguarding and managing our resources.
In my country, Kenya, almost on weekly basis, we are waking up to new corruption scandals; the NYS scandal, the Kenya Railways scandal, the Kenya Power Ksh. 419 million scandal, the Kenya Pipeline Co. Ksh. 2 billion scandal, NHIF close to Ksh. 1 billion scandal, the Ksh. 21 billion scandal, just to name a few.
And so far zero conviction, and as a people we continue paying for huge loans borrowed by the government for various projects only to end up in the pockets of a few individuals. I hear the Chinese are threatening to seize the Mombasa Port, just like they did with the Zambian airport, and Uganda’s Lake Victoria waters, if the government doesn’t pay back their “Belt and Roads” loan.
Theresa May resigned merely for failing to negotiate the Brexit deal, and even goes ahead to shed tears for it during her resignation speech. To her, that was enough reason to step down and let someone capable take over the responsibility. Try imagining that in an African context.
We have a president who on a number with times has been on record for publicly admitting to his incapacity to tame the runaway corruption in the country, and is still the president serving his second term, even as his cronies and loyalists plan on messing with the constitution to get him the Prime minister post once he retires on the grounds he’s still too young — 57 years old — to go home.
“Munataka nifanye nini jameni?” President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Roughly translates to: What do you want me to do.
In Africa the only thing we lack is servant leaders, a leader willing to sacrifice self-interest for the sake of others, a leader whose primary motivation is a deep desire to help others, a leader who is willing to ‘aid honest harnessing of the continents vast resources’ and take the continent to the next level.
Instead, what we have is predators, filthy hyenas, praying on their own people. All we have in those worshiped offices are people whose only goal is to amass more and more wealth at the expense of the poor. All we have is a leadership vacuum, a leadership who is irresponsible, still leaving in tribal cocoons and always buck-passing like they’re hoping a messiah will miraculously fall from the sky to do what they were elected to do. I think servant leadership died with Nelson Mandela.
At this age we still have totalitarians in some African countries who would go to the extend of switching off the internet — which is almost everything in today’s world — if they have to, just to suppress something evil from the rest of the world, like it’s even possible.
I sincerely hope some African leader will pick something from Theresa May’s resignation and do the right thing. I will be the first to commend them.