Corruption

Guns, dirty money and French elite on trial

Could not resist posting this very juicy article. This only confirms my suspicion that all the wars and conflicts that have been ravaging Africa for the past 50 years all point to one thing: commercial interests of Western companies are the main culprit of the problem because if every government forced its businesses to follow the rules of U.N. arms embargo, I doubt civil wars would last more than a month, much less than decades. 

via Guns, dirty money and French elite on trial – Yahoo News.

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We’ve Made It!

Transparency International released its now-famous Corruption Perceptions Index, which concluded this year Somalia as the most corrupt country in the world. Hooray for us! But wait a minute. What? Somalia and corruption? Are these people insane? How do they define corruption? The last time I checked, in order for corruption to exist, a semblance of law and order has to exist in the environment in which the corruption prevails. I don’t know what these people were thinking but surely Somalia does NOT qualify for this award. I mean, I don’t intend to insinuate that Somalia is not corrupt, but when one thinks about corruption in the sense of political and economical manifestation, Somalia would have to be the last place on the planet to qualify for corrupt state. Somalia is a failed State. Only the gun rules. 

There is no government, courts, or police. It’s an extreme anarchy – Mad Max all-you-can-eat situation. Folks living in Mogadisho do not worry about who they will have to bribe to get a telephone line hooked. They worry whether they will get robbed (or shot more likely) on their way to the market or school (which is a very expensive private school at that). Unless of course Transparency International is referring to Somaliland, in which case an argument for corruption can be made (please don’t give me grieve on whether Somaliland is a country or not). Now I think about it, how did TI get their data in the first place? Did they go on the streets and asked, “how often do you pay bribe to get things done?” Furthermore, if Somalia is so corrupt, who’s demanding the corruption? The Warlord Thugs? I don’t know about TI’s philosophy, but I know for a fact that warlords do not demand bribe – they take whatever they want. 

More suspiciously, at least to my cynical eyes, is the conspicuous absence of my dear Kenya from the top ten list. For the past 7 years, Kenya has had the pleasure of being named as the top corrupt country in the world – and for a very good reason. But I’m not sure all that has changed overnight. As someone who has resided in both Somalia and Kenya, I know when it comes to corruption, Kenya is the grandaddy of all corruptness. You can’t leave your house without “bribe money” in Kenya, whereas Somalia you only get jacked if you have something of a value. Maybe I’m being overtly cynical about Kenya’s progress against corruption but I find it interesting that such an awfully corrupt country can jump from 30 spots within the span of two years.

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So They Say

Violence in Kenya has only gotten worst in the past few weeks, leaving many to describe the situation as “ethnic cleansing” and even some to use the dreaded term “genocide.” The last time I checked, the conservative estimate of the dead was hovering between 800 to 850; nonetheless, the disputing parties are not making any progress toward a concrete solutions.

Many former and current African leaders have been to Kenya to mediate the dispute to no avail. So far only Kofi Anan have made a “slight” progress in the talks between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, but really, who are they kidding? “Four points of agreement towards peace” is what they announced after a week of “intense” negotiation – all nonsense to the people of Kenya.

Let’s keep in mind that five years ago, Odinga and Kibaki had an “agreement of understanding” between them in which Odinga put his support behind Kibaki’s bid for the presidency against Daniel arap Moi and in return, Kibaki was supposed to create a Prime Minister post for Odinga when he’s elected. Well, in a true African style, Mwai Kibaki screwed Odinga and skipped on the agreement (both signed) of understanding.  And that is how the Democratic Orange Movement opposition in Kenya started – a loose coalition dedicated to getting rid of Mwai Kibaki.

If the previous screw off is any indication, Odinga is not going to back off from his demand for a new election, and certainly Kibaki will not want to allow a new election because he is as certain as his death that he will be crushed like a grape. So what is the moral of this sad story? Unless Kibaki allows for a new presidential election (which I seriously doubt he will- sadly) Kenya will just become another failed state in Africa – a club that includes its illustrious neighbor Somalia,  Sudan (Darfur), Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo and so on.

Regardless of what Kofi Anan has achieved in his talks with Kibaki and Odinga, which has been erroneously reported as the end of the violence in Kenya by the International media, Kenya’s only hope for return to stability is a new presidential election and redistribution of land, the cause of so many displacements and civil unrest. Unless the first (a new presidential election) happens, the second cannot happen, and if the second (land distribution) cannot happen, then a true civil war is inevitable.

Categories: Africa Related, Corruption, East Africa, Elections | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shame

It has been over a week since Kenya’s elections were held and Kenya is still burning. In my previous post, I worried that the infant violence at the time (Dec. 30) would last longer or even evolve into tribal or civil war. At this moment, part of my worry has largely become true – tribal war is now threatening Kenya’s statehood. Let me be clear: I was not predicting or expecting the violence to evolve into a full-blown tribal war and I am certainly not saying now ‘I told you so,’ but the fact is, Kenya is now more close to civil war than it had ever been.21307097.jpg21329471.jpg21329735.jpg21308443.jpg21305333.jpg21307069.jpg21307261.jpg21308613.jpg21329419.jpgNY Times/AP

Like so many third world countries, Kenya was never a “prosperous” democracy as The Associated Press erroneously refers to in its infinite dispatches. However, Kenya was one of the most stable countries in Africa, certainly in East Africa. And like so many countries in East Africa, tribal animosities is just below the surface. It is only matter of time before that acid filled bottle of tribal animosities blows up with vengeance. It has happened in Kenya’s neighbors like Somalia and Sudan – and will certainly happen in Ethiopia as the majority Oromo and Amhara are being oppressed by Meles Zenawi.

I fear Kenya has reached its boiling point on Dec. 30, 2007 when the Electorate Commission of Kenya deliberately and knowingly declared the losing candidate, Mr. Mwai Kibaki the winner instead of the guy who people chose. At the time, I really believed Kenyans would swallow another blatant robbery of their votes, and for the sake of their country, look the other way, but apparently not this time. This anger and outrage has come to a full circle and it took over forty years – much, much longer than its neighbors. Needless to say, the anger and hatred toward the ruling Kikuyi tribe is in full display ever since Dec. 30, 2007. And for that matter, the over 300 people killed, maimed, or burned so far have largely been poor Kikuyis, a la Rwanda 1994. It is beyond comprehension to see women and children being burned alive in a house of worship in 2008.21352353.jpg

21314627.jpg21315329.jpg21329197.jpg213291971.jpg21352699.jpg21330109.jpg04kenya01_600.jpg21352361.jpgNY Times/AP

Yesterday I saw a young man with a machete in Nairobi being interviewed on TV and when asked, “Why are you doing what you’re doing?,” he said, “We have had enough! Then he continued, “Now I’m willing to die for what I believe.” I just hope what he is willing to die for is a better, stable, prosperous and united Kenya – not killing his fellow Kenyans.21315467.jpg

Otherwise, it would be a shame to see this magnificent and beautiful country descend into civil war.

Categories: Africa Related, Corruption, East Africa, Elections | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Here We Ago Again

Kenya had it’s presidential and parliamentary election last Thursday. Raila Odinga, leader of the Democratic Orange Movement was challenging Mwai Kibaki, the current president. Before the election, every poll that was taken showed a clear lead for Odinga and his DOM party. Moreover, nearly every incumbent running on Kibaki’s party ticket was defeated, including his vice-president, twenty Kibaki ministers and three sons of former president Daniel arap Moi who were also running on the same party-ticket.

In fact, Odinga was consistently defeating Kibaki the first two days of the vote counting in the 180 out of 210 electoral constituency counted. Now, what is quite baffling is how all the sudden in the third day (Sunday), Kibaki comes out on top the day after vote counting was suspending amid all the pre-election indication and beat down of his party, not to mention being sworn in as the new president within ONE hour of the announcement. It’s like watching a Hollywood feel-good drama where the hero overcomes all obstacles and succeeds, despite the opposite indications all along.

I feel bad for the Kenyan population because once again, they are cheated by the corrupt, power-hungry dinosaurs who have been sucking the blood of this majestic country for over forty-years. But unlike other Africans, Kenyans have the sense to swallow this cheat and not let it lead to civil war or prolonged violence. At least that is my hope. There has already been clashes between Odinga’s Lou tribe and Kibaki’s Kikuyi tribe. I just hope this does not lead to a full-blown tribal wars, or worst, civil war.

Categories: Africa Related, Corruption, Elections | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

You Did It!

Transparency International released today its annual corruption report and guess what? Kenyan Police Force did it again! Big, big up to you Kenyan Police! I’m so proud of you for your lack of hard work, consistent extortion, and plain thievery. I can’t express enough how much proud I’m of you Kenya Police – you have once again proved critics wrong. They said you couldn’t it a record sixth straight year as the world’s finest corrupt police! Your only one year away from tying Lance Armstrong’s 7 Toure De France wins and I completely expect you to do it again next year!

Now don’t disappoint me.

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Another Enemy of the State


It has not even been a week since I wrote about Frederick Chiluba, the ex Zambian president who stole $46 million from Zambia’s public fund – the Zambian high court yesterday rejected Chiluba’s request to be given immunity due to his poor health; yeah right, asshole. I hope you suffer in jail for the rest of your poor life, dick.

Anyway, now an ex-Ugandan health minister has been charged with stealing nearly $4.3 million from the immunization fund, which was donated by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization charity. No wonder millions of African children die from diseases like malaria, smallpox, and so on, which can easily be prevented by immunizing children, but thanks to sons of bitches like Mr. Jim Muhwezi and his partners in crime Capt. Mike Mukula and Dr. Alex Kamugisha, millions of African toddlers will continue to parish. What a shame. By the way, why is an ex-army general in charge of the Health Ministry? That beats me.

But here’s the kicker: Mr. Muhwezi was in London last week for, guess what? Medical treatment! Just like Mr. Chiluba went to South African and England for his medical treatment. I feel nauseated right now. I mean, why is a former president going to another country for medical treatment? Couldn’t he get the best medical treatment in his country? And why would an EX health minister go to another country for medical treatment? This is beyond my head.

Perhaps it is time for Africans to flog and execute publicly their corrupt public officials when they’re found guilty of corruptions; otherwise future African leaders will continue to rob and dilapidate their countries until they run it into the toilet. No wonder why developed countries have less corruption and underdeveloped countries have a 100% corruption levels. I believe it is time the West to stop giving Africa handouts unless they place an effective enforcements policy to their handouts which they have never, ever done. This is not too much to ask and it is certainly doable. As I have always believed, Africa’s problems isn’t poverty, diseases, or famines, but rather corruption.

Unless the world (especially the World Bank, the IMF, and the U.N.) makes corruption in Africa’s its one number priority, Africa will always be poor, disease-riddled, war-ravaged, and famine-stricken. What Africa needs is a War on Corruption, not Blair’s good-intentioned War on Poverty or U2’s Bono’s War on Aids. Because at the end of the day, corruption is what is hindering Africa’s progress against poverty, diseases, wars, and famines.

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Enemy of the State

No, this is not about a Will Smith movie, but rather the real problem of Africa – Head of States: from small time agency manager to presidents, prime ministers, vice presidents, MPs, government ministers..and so on. For decades people (mainly Western scholars/intellectuals) have been trying to find the reasons why Africa’s still underdeveloped despite having the world’s most resources – from minerals to oils to diamonds,yet Africa is still the world’s poorest continent – why?

How can a continent with so much resources still be poorest and fu*&ed up? How can a continent that has fewer people and more resources than Asia is still poor and fu*&ed up? Well thank our African heads of states who have long stole Africa’s wealth and fattened their Swiss bank accounts. I’m not going to name names, so just use your imagination with the exception of Nelson Mandela.

I know many Africans would like to put the blame on the white men. But come on now – by now we can only blame ourselves and our heads of states. Case in point: Frederick Chiluba. The democratically elected president of Zambia for 10 years who have this year been found guilty of graft – directly stealing $46 million from Zambia’s public money in a daylight, and even worse, displaying the money he stole by only buying everything luxurious – clothes, shoes, suits, wine…while only eating at the finest restaurants in Europe and holidaying in the most expensive resorts and spas. More shocking, 73% of Zambians are the poorest in the world, living on less than $1 a day (U.N.)

So seeing the democratically elected head of states are stealing their country’s money, I can only imagine what the evil madmen dictators are doing. So in the spirit of fixing up Africa, I propose that only an aristocrat should be allowed to hold office because we’ve seen the guy who came from nothing to the top only end up stealing everything because he’s too f#%king greedy i.e. Chiluba, Sese Seko. Or any man/woman who wants to be head of state in Africa should spend no less than 27 years in prison. Or we can just let things be the way they are…*wink*wink*.

P.S. Check out the song in the studio lounge called “Corruption E Do So” by Daddy Saj. It’s in French/Creole, but quite wonderful nonetheless.

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Categories: Africa Related, Corruption | 3 Comments

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