Africa has over the decades had to put up with leaders and governments whose core objectives are to amass wealth and commit hienous atrocities against their own subjects – slaughter, kill, maim and torture, punish dissenting voices and cripple the very liberty that they ostensibly fought for during the struggle for independence.
A few cases in point. Not long ago, Kenya was at war with itself because of election theft. We saw citizens chopping off fellow countrymen’s heads, burning their property and driving them out of their homes because they belonged to a different tribe. The effects of these, we still live with to this very day. Currently, Burundi is on fire. We have all seen gory images and heard unimaginable stories from the land of Nkurunzinza. People killing each other like they are animals. Draining their blood and dragging their dead bodies long distances in the open, then chopping off their body parts. Why? Because they are of a different political opinion. In Somalia, the blood of terrorism is the the water the quenches people’s thirst. It is no longer news for any number of innocent civilians to be killed by the warring Al Shabaab and their sub-factions. Recently in South Africa, which is supposed to be Africa’s most civilised nation – or so they say, we saw xenophobic nationals butchering innocent foreigners whose only crime was to visit and live in SA, legally. Southern Sudan, The Sudan, DRC… Damn! the list is too long, time beats me.
One thing worthy of noting is that the African culture is inherently a loving and peaceable culture. A comparative ethnography across Africa reveals striking similarities between cultural practices across the continent. I can state here with the audacity and authority of the African that I am, that not one African culture celebrates murder and advocates for killing, even through Juju, of innocent fellow humans.
What, then, is the genesis of the venom? Straight answer, vultures for leaders.
When you have people in positions of power and authority whose only interest is to be selfish, you will fail. And this has been Africa’s greatest undoing, the reason why scores of African countries are proudly failed states. But even more appalling, none of these leaders who perpetrate such horrific crimes against humanity has been brought to book either during or after their reign. Pierre Nkurunzinza is still a free man. Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and other co-accused persons are free, which brings me to the gist of this article.
Yesterday, The African Union adopted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Proposal to quit The International Criminal Court (ICC). This, they purport, is because the ICC is an imperialist court instituted to oppress Africans and strip them of their sovereignty. Really? Shamelessly, the heads of state attempting to compare Africa to the West and in sheer tomfoolery, stated that ICC has never opened any case against leaders of the West. They cited Ne-colonalism and all those kinds of nonsense to justify their dumb move. By the way, neo-colonialism is an argument of weak minds who can not stand up for themselves and reform systems from within. More critically, Neo-cololialism can as well be – and has been – perpetuated by our own presidents and leaders right here in Africa, so that argument flops.
I don’t hold brief for the West, but my candid question is, how many leaders in Europe and the Americas in the recent history have butchered, tortured and maimed their fellow countrymen for political dissent? How many have persecuted and killed us Africans when we go to study in their prestigious universities because of xenophobia? Instead, have they not generously given our sons and daughters scholarships and fellowships? We have countless cases of such in Africa and very scanty in the West. This makes me wonder just how skewed leaders of Africa, conglomerating in Addis Ababa could get in their rationale.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have much problems with this decision if we had credible judicial systems and processes in Africa. First at country level, the courts are flawed and marred with wanton corruption that is at best, hopeless. As I write this, the a Supreme Court Judge in Kenya is being investigated over a 2 million USD bribe to rule a case in favour of a powerful politician. Just in case you didn’t know, The Supreme Court is the highest judicial institution in Kenya. Secondly, at the continental level, all the atrocities that have been committed in African countries have happened in the full glare of the much hyped AU.
Was the decision made by African Heads of State in Addis Ababa representative of their citizens’ views back home? If Africa so quits the ICC, what is the alternative court? The AU is a toothless dog that can only bark the loudest but bite no meat, however soft. If Africa so quite ICC, ours will be a desperate case. Our greedy leaders will adopt impunity as a shared best practice in governance across the continent, for, who will be watching? Our courts are already flawed and notoriously corruptible, who else will be watching? Our religious leaders are conmen and women who do worse than the politicians, who else will be watching? Our human rights watchdogs operate within a very limited space which is continuously getting squeezed as they become complacent… Who will be watching as African leaders savage and ravage the continent?
Africa needs a Revolution. Whatever it takes, a revolution is all we need.
Thanks for reading!