Something has gone grossly wrong with the rulers in the African continent, while most of these rulers have established the crudest form of dictatorship and fascism. We are hearing the stories of Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angola’s former dictator Eduard dos Santos, who had used her father’s power in becoming one of the richest women in the world. While Isabel was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars towards buying luxury and attending glamorous programs, including Canes Film Festival, her countrymen – the Angolans were enduring extreme sufferings due to acute poverty – were becoming poorer from poor. A tiny team of ruling elites had captured almost all the national wealth in Angola, which had far exceeded what was seen under the Portuguese rule.
In Zimbabwe, we have seen how a cruel dictator like Robert Mugabe had looted the nation’s wealth thus stuffing his ill-gotten fortune in various secret bank accounts abroad. While Zimbabweans were starving, Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe was spending tons of money on luxury items.
In South Africa, its president is now one of the country’s richest individuals – something no one has seen under the apartheid. His brother-in-law, Patrice Motsepe is the country’s wealthiest colored man. Another brother-in-law, Jeff Radebe is married to Bridget Radebe (also known under her maiden name, Bridget Motsepe), the richest black woman in South Africa.
In the African nations, they have a functioning plutocracy. There is no such thing as a poor Cabinet minister and as were seen in both Durban and Joburg, even ANC mayors get very rich these days. Nothing like this was seen under apartheid – none of the National Party leaders were rich and there was never such a concentration of wealth within one extended family at the top of the state. A ruling family, in other words. Again, this regressive development occurs behind a facade of socialist rhetoric.
The same thing has been happening in Mozambique. This country has long fitted this pattern in fact. In power, Frelimo Party began by such radical measures that all the small shops were nationalized and people were forbidden even to celebrate Christmas. But soon such nonsense was reversed simply because the inner circle of Frelimo was mainly looking for becoming filthily rich and that aim was not fostered by nationalizing small shops or putting a ban on Christmas celebrations.
By the time we got to the era of Wikileaks, it was no surprise to read a cable from the US ambassador in Maputo to his superiors in Washington warning that all financial flows into Mozambique, whether aid, investment, trade or loans were effectively creamed off to the benefit of just a few leading members of the Frelimo party. Graca Machel was specifically mentioned. Given that the US is Mozambique’s biggest aid donor one assumes he knew what he was talking about.
Mozambique’s incumbent president Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, who is in the office for the second term was produced in an election that received many accusations of rigging, similar to previous elections, and this resulted in some pushback from the international community.
According to media reports, Nyusi is involved in the illegal debts that sank the economy of Mozambique, although he has not been convicted yet. This is because the judicial system of Mozambique is used as a tool to target political adversaries of the president, while not investigating crimes committed by Nyusi or individuals close to him. Moreover, Nyusi was mentioned in the United States District Court of Eastern District Of New York on 20 November 2019 as having received at least 2 million dollars in bribes in the context of these illegal debts.
In a document submitted to The High Court of Justice in London in the context of these illegal debts, Credit Suisse admits adding Filipe Nyusi to the lawsuit as a defendant. His presidency has been marked by extensive abuse of power, assassinations of leaders of opposition parties, journalists, and academics, and escalation of the war in the central and northern regions of the country.
With functioning plutocracy in the African nations, radical Islamic terrorism is gradually expanding and we are aware of the notorious activities of Boko Haram or Al Shabaab – which have declared allegiance with Al Qaeda and Islamic State respectively. These jihadist outfits are continuously escalating violence, execution of civilians, abduction, rape and numerous forms of terrorist activities compelling the masses to express obedience – if not support.
Almost a similar pattern of rogue governance and stealing of public wealth is continuing in most of the Caribbean island nations. In Dominica, for example, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is making hundreds of millions of dollars by selling citizenship and even diplomatic positions. He is even granting citizenship to the members of notorious crime rackets and even radical Islamic militancy groups.
It is high time that the international community immediately intervene in these issues – both in the African continent and the Caribbean island nations.