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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Obama right on good governance in Africa

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Published: August 28, 2009

ZIMBABWE – HARARE – Jonathan Moyo is at it again! In a rumbling article published in the Gideon Gono sponsored online, Moyo spews venom on Obama’s call for good governance in Africa.

What is even malicious is that Moyo tries to twist what Obama actually said in Accra so that he can attack, malign and impugn Obama’s achievements whilst at the same time trying to elevate himself to Mr-know-it- all.

The people of Zimbabwe, Africa and the world are not stupid and will not be swayed by a political confusionist like Jonathan Moyo who pretends that the title, “professor’ makes him the only fountain of knowledge in the world

I am not saying President Obama should not be criticized. President Obama is a mere mortal who can also make mistakes and therefore should not be above criticism.

That is why in recent months he has faced some of the harshest criticism in America since he became president in the explosive health care debate. However, its one thing to criticize a man for what he said than to invent lies so as to grab the limelight for criticizing President Obama

Moyo claims that President Obama wants to impose good governance on Africa. This is clearly not true for in his speech in Accra, President Obama was very clear and said, “Africa ‘s future is in the hands of Africans….

As I said in Cairo, each nation gives life to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own traditions. But history offers a clear verdict: governments that respect the will of their own people are more prosperous, more stable, and more successful than governments that do not.”

Thus President Obama never pretended that he wanted to force any African nation to adopt good governance but he only reiterated a simple fact that those African nations that are well governed has a higher chance to develop than those that are governed badly

He went on to give an example of Kenya which had a per capita higher than South Korea at independence but has been outpaced and also Zimbabwe where the economy virtually collapsed in the last decade.

It is a clear fact that countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe are very rich in natural resources but corruption, nepotism and tribalism which are all hallmarks of bad governance has destroyed Kenya and many African countries’ potential.

The so called Mount Kenya mafia, a tribalist clique has held Kenya to ransom, looting the nation’s resources for their own ends whilst the majority of Kenyans suffer in slums like Kibera which should be a scar on the conscience of every Kenyan leader.

It is this type of bad governance that lead a clique of so-called strongman to claim ownership of the country by clinging on to power even when they are rejected by the people in elections as happened in both Kenya and Zimbabwe

President Obama was very right because Africa is littered with failed states and poverty due to bad governance. Take for example countries like the DRC which is one of the richest in terms of resources from diamonds, platinum, copper, cobalt, gold, timber and many others. The huge Inga Dam can light the whole of Africa yet more than half of the DRC population have no access to electricity and the majority of the people live in abject poverty

Is it not because of bad governance that the DRC was reduced to a personal property by the late Mobutu Sese Seko as well as Laurent Kabila? Is it not a fact that Mobutu, like most African leaders Mugabe included , had palaces in the most expensive suburbs scattered across the world? So far only 6 billion dollars has been recovered in his personal accounts not forgetting that the vast sums of wealth were kept in 3rd party accounts. If that is not bad governance, then what is it? With this type of governance, how can Africa develop?

Moyo also made a scathing attack depicting President Obama as an ignoramus when he said, ‘ Social science literature on this matter is very clear and decided. It is therefore cheap, uninformed and unacceptable propaganda that in this day and age in the 21st century we have merchants of global confusion and their local mouthpieces in the MDC-T and among dubious NGOs who go around claiming that governance is the most critical issue facing Zimbabwe today.”

Moyo must know that President Obama is not an ignorant merchant of global confusion like he want to mislead the ever dwindling readers of his articles. In fact , since Moyo thinks that brilliance is only measured by the title, “ Professor”, he must be reminded that President Obama is also a Professor of Constitutional law although he does not move around calling himself Professor Obama because he knows that its not titles that are important but the conduct of the person with such a title.

President Obama is not a fool like Moyo’s master Mugabe who is moving around calling himself the, “ president, head of state and government as well as the commander-in-chief of the defense forces” because he knows that he is a thief. It is because of his simplicity that Obama has achieved and inspired the whole world in a way no any other leader has done.Moyo may hate Obama but this will never diminish his achievements

Moyo also makes the mischievous allegation that President Obama is living in the past when he said
“Obama and his advisors should be in a position to know better not to claim in 2009 of all times that governance is the key to development because American scholars such as the celebrated Harvard social scientist and author of the international bestseller entitled “The Clash of Civilisations” – Samuel P. Huntington – who died a few months ago, put paid to that false and ridiculous argument in a highly acclaimed and widely used edited book, “Understanding Political Development”, first published in 1987”

Such a statement is a veiled attack suggesting that President Obama is out of touch not only of events in 2009 but events in 1987 when Moyo claims the so-called book that shows that good governance does not lead to development was written. What a shame? Why do some of our so-called Professors celebrate their uselessness in society by exposing themselves as fools?

Firstly, who is living in the past, President Obama or Jonathan Moyo? It is Moyo who destroyed the media in Zimbabwe , closing independent newspapers, churning Hondo yeminda on radio and tv everyday in order to prop a failed regime and haunting Zimbabwe’s finest generation of media workers into exile. Contrast this with President Obama who has revolutionized politics in the world through the innovative use of the internet as a potent political mobilization and fundraising tool. A man who is showing the way in the world with the innovative use of the new media like the virtual town hall meetings he has pioneered. To say such a man lives in the past borders on the lunatic fringe and can only come from a grasshopper minded somnambulist who must shut up.

Moyo must know that it is only through good governance that development can be achieved. For with good governance comes the rule of law, freedom of the press, democracy, opportunity, economic growth, free and fair political competion.The opposite, which is bad government which Moyo supports will only lead to tyranny, dictatorship, corruption, economic collapse and poverty.

Moyo must not be jealous of President Obama’s achievements to the extend of trying to rubbish a man who has inspired and given hope to the whole world when Moyo has brought death, suffering, hate, political polarization, economic destruction and poverty during his term as minister of propaganda .

Garikai Chimuka is the Senior Political Analyst at GMRI Capital. He can be contacted at garikai@gmricapital.com

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