Questions That Defy Answering
By Comrade Controversy
Is it possible that not every question has an answer? Or is it also the case that not every question should be asked? Being one of those passionate Africans, I have dedicated myself to the understanding of my leaders. This is proving to be a wild goose chase as there are so many things I cannot even begin to fathom. After reading this you could decide if I have a limited capacity for following everyday common sense. Your verdict in this respect would be much appreciated.
I persistently run into questions that make it impossible for me to understand our suffering and state of pity, given that Africa is rich, and a source of wealth for many nations abroad. No one is asking basic questions like why Africa cannot fix itself, for example. Why?
Why should it not be controversial that probably the richest continent is the poorest? Who, or what, is silencing the owners of these vast resources that are being transported by Africa in buckets full of holes? You may think that corruption is the reason that the resources ignominiously leave the continent, to benefit a few. That is assuming that the corrupt are either good Samaritans for the rest of the world, or they are on a crusade to auction the continent to the highest bidders. Could it be that the corrupt have no idea that they are selling the continent at insanely low prices?
If Africa’s resources are what they are reputed to be, at about 25% of the world’s natural resources, even selling them on the cheap would make the corrupt few multi-billionaires in dollar terms. How many corrupt billionaires are there in Africa? Don’t some of the corrupt politicians end up destitute and scrambling to make ends meet? Could it be then that there is more to corruption than meets the eye? Does anyone know?
With many African countries claiming to be democracies, the people have the power to install and remove leaders every five years or so. Why do the people not ask leaders what they have done with their resources? Why is it that at election time the voters genuinely seem to love the leaders they vote for? Why do African leaders, some of whom have liberation war histories and engage in anti-west rhetoric, keep their riches outside of the continent? What is wrong with creating sustainable institutions for storing their wealth in Africa? Do they have a private pact to aid former colonialists? If the colonialists robbed Africa, and the new nationalist leaders are also in a scramble to impoverish the continent, is there something bad about this continent they are not telling us? A secret message that is passed on when democracies dawn, perhaps?
Why is Africa a sitting duck for robbers? And why does it convert seemingly decent men and women into kleptomaniacs by day and slippery eels by night that cannot afford to answer direct questions? Should we the people not also start hating Africa just in case loving it is a dangerous romantic affair?
Ordinarily, without suggesting that Africa is ordinary, when things are moving in the wrong direction brakes would be applied and the whole self-depreciating process stopped. Why is the taming and castration of Africa not stopping, or slowing down? Why, if anything, is it gaining momentum? How come the African Union or any of the regional bodies is not stopping the bleeding? Would Africa die if it did not trade with the west and China for a year? It could, at the very least, cling on to its resources. So, who or what exactly is driving this runaway train to nowhere, and why? It is clear to see that African governments may not be in control of policies and economic events in their countries. Was political freedom awarded as a trade off at the expense of independent management of economic assets?
Finally, African governments are not known for their impressive track record on human rights. In fact, there have been several genocides on the continent. Thousands die each year of crime, poverty, and violence against women, children, the elderly and the infirm. The background of corruption and human rights abuses seems to paint a compelling picture that African states, on balance, do not care enough about their people. It is conventional parlance that political leaders have a pathological preoccupation with amassing personal wealth. With the Covid-19 pandemic set to cause untold suffering, why then, are so many African governments projecting themselves as dedicated caregivers and lifesavers? Not to be ungrateful, this is great. But why so suddenly? It is already becoming commonplace that basic human rights are being compromised by the state security apparatus in the name of saving lives. This is an unfolding story. Perhaps the coronavirus could be the catalyst needed for our leaders to finally fall in love with us. And this may lead to a stop of the destructive economic haemorrhage that seems second nature to Africans.
6 June 2020
Comrade Controversy writes in his personal capacity. Post comments below.