Elections in Zimbabwe

Futility in Africa

By —— Bio and Archives--March 29, 2008

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Today citizens of Zimbabwe will go to the polls and reelect 84-year old Robert Mugabe for yet another term as President For Life.  Perhaps reelect is the wrong term, as it implies that there was actually an open and honest election.  More apropos might be that Mugabe reappoints himself President for Life following today’s election.

Long before voters actually went to the polls Mugabe’s opponents charged voter fraud and election irregularities, as Mr. Mugabe was handing out pre-election goodies (a free car to each and every doctor) and making exorbitant promises of better times ahead.  But then with an annual inflation rate of 100,000% it’s difficult imagining things in Zimbabwe getting worse.  But worse they will get, even if Robert Mugabe were ousted from his position as President for Life and replaced by another President for Life, because history has shown that African governments tend to be driven largely by greed and self-interest.

It isn’t because Africans are incompetent.  On the contrary, it takes a great deal of competence to take a nation like Zimbabwe, which under its former name of Rhodesia was one of the wealthiest nations in all of Africa, and through theft turn it into an abject economic cesspool and then manage to convince the citizens that the country has declined because of sanctions imposed by white people in other countries.

Zimbabwe could serve as the poster child for most of the rest of Africa, which shares that country’s experiences in one form or another.  How is it that an entire continent and the majority of governments within that continent can be kleptocracies?  Last week it was revealed that the central bank of Ethiopia had millions in fake gold in its vaults, with the real stuff having disappeared long ago.  Nigeria has earned the reputation as being the fraud capital of the universe with the infamous Internet scams that originate there. 

But Nigerian corruption doesn’t just include crimes against hapless and greedy foreigners who get sucked in through Internet scams that promise easy money just for helping to move an inheritance or part of the illegally obtained national treasury.  In fact, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission estimates that Nigerian leaders have managed to steal in excess of $400 billion USD during the last decade of the 20th Century.  That’s six times the amount of the Marshall Plan, which was all the reconstruction aid the US gave to Europe following World War II.

And daily we are urged to donate more to Africa to help fight poverty, ignorance, starvation and AIDS.  It would appear that western liberals believe the West is responsible for all of the world’s evils and maintain that only massive cash infusions from the West will solve Africa’s problems. 

The idea that the only way to solve Africa’s problems is by western nations sending bales of cash is an insult to the people of Africa.  It is a form of racism every bit as bad as that of the colonials’.  This patronizing attitude has long been the staple of Western liberals, whose core belief is that native peoples are similar to helpless children and as such need the resources of the industrialized West to solve their problems.

What Africa really needs is for its people to demand more from their governments and to hold their leaders accountable for the health and wealth of their nations.  It really doesn’t need any more money, as a sizable share of the money donated over the past half century has found its way into numbered accounts in many of the world’s various tax havens.  To continue to throw money at African poverty might assuage the guilt of our self-loathing wealthy liberals, but it will do little to improve the lot of Africa’s people.

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Klaus Rohrich -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Klaus Rohrich is senior columnist for Canada Free Press. Klaus also writes topical articles for numerous magazines. He has a regular column on RetirementHomes and is currently working on his first book dealing with the toxicity of liberalism.  His work has been featured on the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, among others.  He lives and works in a small town outside of Toronto.

Older articles by Klaus Rohrich

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