African Press International (API)

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Gbagbo Capture and his Failure Typical of African Leadership Dilemma

Posted by African Press International on April 13, 2011

That Cote d’Ivoire’s strongman Laurent Gbagbo is out of the African leadership is quite welcome. His capture by troops loyal to his rival who defeated him in November 2010 polls  Alassane Ouattara  supported by French and UN troops is quite a relief. Justice is fast catching up with Africa’s demagogues.

But there is something quite strange about African leadership. First let start with a body called African Union (AU). What does this morally deficient organization stand for? When crisis was looming in Cote d’Ivoire this spineless organization was busy sleeping and at some point cheered Laurent Gbagbo  on. At a point it was soothing Gbagbo and wielding stick on the polls winner Alassane Ouattara to form a power sharing government – a quite fast  fading fad in Africa.

I’m not sure of what use is AU in some other burning African countries like Libya where Colonel Gaddafi has so far shown the world that he values Libya as his personal property and that the death of his citizens is nothing but mere passage of cockroaches as he is adept at calling them. Africa has problems and her leadership is just comical and crazy. Recently African heads of states selected Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo to lead the AU as the rotating head. My goodness, this man is just a disaster! Equatorial Guinea with her vast resources has some of the wretched of the earth citizens. Life expectancy in that country is close to some of the endangered species animals, yet his favourite son has yatch and exclusive luxury mansions and a particular one called Malibu in a beach In USA.  The boy lives large at the expense of that country’s citizens and hopes to sometimes in future to occupy his father’s plum seat of power. These are the guys who are then to find solutions to sickly African problems such as those that have engulfed Cote d’Ivoire! It won’t happen – forget it!

Not atypical of African leaders Gbagbo felt that his country and he are the same, such that a defeat in polls was fathomless. Handing over power was a remote venom attack and that hopefully he would cling to it and at some date in future hand it over through sham elections to his favourite son, quite in style with other African types. Gbagbo’s CV itself looks funny. The guy had seen books and was a professor and a lecturer at some point. His rebellious streak has been legendary. A fighter for change is one of the highlights of his colourful CV. But his style of administration once in power was self and nation destructive.

Recently when Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga was picked by the colourless AU to mediate over the poll crisis Gbagbo cleverly borrowed from Kenya’s political charade. He opted for the divided attention in Nairobi. Some of the PNU operatives and politicians were said to openly support Gbagbo’s schemes in an attempt to frustrate and stab on the back the Prime Ministers efforts. Now the resultant outcome of the standoff in Cote d’Ivoire must have be a big shame for some in Kenya. After all most of the civilized world including the UN and European Union had no time for Gbagbo’s gimmick and tired excuses.

Africa surely has issues. In the final analysis the revolutions happening in the world such as in Middle East are fast catching up with African monstrosities. The bell is probably ringing in Zimbabwe, Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, obviously in Libya and many other countries littered with African leadership mess. The cheering brotherhood and sisterhood of AU will not be of much  help. As for Gbagbo, the faster he is forgotten from the memory of Cote d’Ivoire the better. A rendezvous with International Criminal Court (ICC) and the tough prosecutor called Moreno Ocampo looks the perfect and deserved destination for him. Hopefully ICC will ignore the cry by AU that it can try one of their own such as the elements of Gbagbo type.


By Harrison  Mwirigi  Ikunda, Nairobi-Kenya


The writer is a Consultant and a Researcher working for a Not for Profit organization in Kenya.

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