Africa must reject corrupt dictators Sept02
The final Johannesburg
declaration emphasises the need to fight corruption and promote democracy
and the rule of law, yet it has again failed to make this a condition of
Most sub-Saharan African
countries are poorer today than when they achieved their independence.
Billions of dollars of aid from the West has not reduced the misery,
poverty and the high death rate that these people are forced to accept as
their fate. Whilst the donor agencies have failed to identify and solve
the problems of the poor, the crooked, corrupt and merciless dictators
continue to deprive, loot and kill their people.
Why do we accept this situation?
Why do our leaders continue to do “business”, including the sale of
arms, with such corrupt dictators who continue to terrorise their own
people? Why do we help sustain their rule when about 25,000 Africans die
every day as innocent victims of hunger, disease and war?
A third of Swaziland's population
suffers from HIV and AIDs, hundreds of thousands are starving and have no
access to the basic needs of life yet, Swaziland’s King Mswati, wishes
to buy a £29m private jet for his personal use. How can such an
outrageous waste of limited resources be justified?
The World Bank is locked in
negotiation with Tanzania for a £28m “grant” to purchase an aircraft
for the exclusive use of its President Mkapa. How can the millions of poor
people in rural Tanzania accept such waste when most of them lack the
basic needs of life?
South Africa, with millions of
its people suffering from HIV/AIDS and other fatal diseases, is awaiting
the delivery of a £33m private jet for its President Mbeki whilst its
citizens die every day because they cannot afford the medication for
treatment. How can President Mbeki claim the mantle of Mr Mandela if he
forgets that politics should be about public service not self-indulgence?
I hope that the people of Africa
will reject and remove the dictators who deprive and disgrace them.
Altruistic pledges of more aid will be wasted until all of us in Europe
and beyond have the courage to help Africa in achieving this aim.