Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Leadership crisis in Africa: Abuse of power to amass wealth

Narada Desk | May 17, 2016 4:00 pm Print
Africa has lagged behind in terms of development and growth and yet the leaders themselves have been busy making riches for themselves and devising means to remain in power.
africa development

Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola are some of the continent’s long serving presidents who have done everything within their powers to remain in power despite calls for them to cede power.The continent despite having vasts of natural resources is still behind in terms of economic development because of abuse of power, poor corporate governance and corruption.

President Dos Santos has been President of Angola since 1979, four years after the country attained its liberation.While being praised for his role in transforming the country’s oil sector, he’s been similarly criticized for leading one of the continent’s most corrupt regimes. While 70% of Angola’s population live on less than $2 a day, his daughter has, through her political connections is said to be one of the richest Africans and certainly the youngest billionaires.

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has been at the helm of Uganda’s government since the toppling of Idi Amin and Milton Obote in 1986. Despite leading Uganda to economic stability and running the continent’s most successful HIV/AIDS programmes  he has  fallen out favor with the general masses. However the Ugandan president has clinched to power and used everything at his disposal to ensure his continued stay in power. Restrictions on political pluralism and a 2005 referendum and constitution change scrapping limits on presidential terms, enabling extension of his rule, have attracted recent concern from domestic commentators and the international community.

Jacob Zuma of South Africa has also joined the bandwagon of corrupt African leaders with the latter facing over 800 charges of corruption. His indecisiveness and lack of good governance has seen the once strongest economy falling down drastically, from being the content’s best to the the third. Despite calls from the opposition and even disgruntled members of his party itself  for him to step down Jacob Zuma has defied all odds and will be the party’s  candidate in the coming elections. The country’s local currency has of recent fared very badly against the American dollar.

Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who has been in power since the Southern African country attained its independence 36 years ago also has done everything within his powers to remain in power. The economic situation in the country is deplorable with over 90% of the total population living in abject poverty and unemployed. Mugabe however claims he will never step down as this will be letting down the people who gave him the mandate to rule. Corruption and bad governance has been the order of the day with the arms of the state, the police and the army being unleashed to the masses who protest.

What could be the solution to the woes of the African continent, a continent rich with the natural resources and all the tourist attractions? Only a few of the continent’s countries are political stable with the leaders observing their constitutions. The poor continue to be poor while the ruling elite enrich themselves through abuse of offices.

Narada Desk