Is The African Union Degenerating Into An Oppressive Tool Of The Ruling Class?

Pan-Africanism as a matter of urgency in the process of African governance and social developement was passed from the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to the current African Union (AU). This was out of need for structural and social adjustments to achieve political and social modernisation for the countries of Africa and its people from within and in the diaspora.

An adjustment that was ideally bound to go beyond war against colonialism, neocolonialism and imperialism down to the core pillars of democracy and good governance in Africa. Success of African Union must therefore not be limited to exguisite blaming of Neo-colonialism and imperialism,but must be total committiment to reinforcement of politics of social inclusivity in Africa.

Sadly, this is what the African Union has been considerably nonchalant to. Currently, the African Union scores poorly on matters of gender , democracy,native langauges, cultural identity, local xenophobia, governance ,enviroment, term of presidetncy, trial of political crimes ,management of civil strives,developement agendas,rule of law and respect for human and women rights as political and social experiences in Africa.

A few examples picked from recent political experinces in Africa will be able to put the above claims in the justifiable stations.Perhaps we start by citting an example from Kenya where the Deputy President had was in early april 2016 acquitted by the International criminal court.He was facing the charges of crimes against humanity,forceful migration of the massess, rape, destruction of property and murder, these crimes were committed as a reaction to the botched presidential results during the general elections of 2007 in Kenya.The facts are that more that two thousand people were killed within three days, properties vandalized and communities forcefully moved.The victims have never been compensated.But when the matter was before the International Criminal Court, the African Union became the enemy to this as it was held hostage by the ruling class in africa. The African Union became a senseless political platform for harrassing the International Criminal Court to discontinue the case for no any other reason other than the suspects being the political class.The African Union harassed the International Criminal court with threats of pulling African states out of the Rome statute agreements.It did all these on the bacdrop of total blindness to the problems of the victims of the post election violence and the ICC witnessess to this case like the one Meshack Yebei and Investigative Journalists like the one John Kitui that were killed while others being brutally hunted to killed by the state machinery in Kenya.

Kenya is not the only country whose people have been basically violated by politics of the day without option nor opportuinity for redress, it is in this station with several otheer countries in Africa.Uganda, Burundi,Ethiopia,Southern Sudan,Somalia,South Africa,Central Africa Republic, Rwanda, Congo and Nigeria are among the cases in the station state stiffled democracy where citizens right are suppressed beyond hope and anticipations . In Uganda president Museven uses state supported violence to terrorize the people in order to repress decisions and choices that come through electoral processes . This is the same situation in Burundi as well as other African countries. Inspite of all these we all succumb but to the public chagrin that the African Union has never showed a reliable future action plan against such political malefeasance that have always suffocated the democratic spirit of the people of africa.No promise of the African Union Court , prosecution and justice machinery that ca be used to counter such vices of political selfishness.

Africans are dominand among the illegal immigrants swarming into europe and other parts of the Western world.The motivation for migration is hope for economic opportunity and social inclusivity in the country of destiny, the cause of the migration is substantial absence of the same social virtues in the African home countries.These are the vices that can be fought throught domestic agitation as well as formulation and implementation of policy frameworks through regional intergrations , unions, and commisions.The duties which the African Union has ignored with immense measure.Africa needs economic freedom , freedom from poverty, starvation, disease,dirty water,dirty soils,joblessness,anxiety and fear of tomorrow.This is a social duty and a buck that only stops at the table of the African Union.

What of promoting of African literature,African art,culture, languages and african Alphabets as well as orthographies.Are these values not includable into the purview of African Union. Is there need for an African Union to have an organ in charge of culture and art, so that African society of artists stop dependening on the UNESCO for direction.Contrastingly, the European union and the United States of America have a structural framework and policy layout in respect of their literatures, art and linguistic civilisation.The Unesco has influnced the world calendar to to recognize the month of april as the month of poetry.This is in respect of nothing else, but a forge for global recognition of April 23rd a day on which Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare died.Such cultural maneauvres by the Western civilisations should not only be condemned by the ex-colonized world as cultural imperialism, but instead they have be to treated as a benchmark and a carry over for developement African cultural calendar.This idea verges on the wisom that is not wrong to learn from the master for personal purposes.And indeed this is some of the ways that Africa can adopt to manage a neocolonial vice of cultural Darwinism.I mean eventualities like celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Okot P Biteks Song of Lawino and Ngugi’s Weep not Child in Uganda and Kenya respectively, was not supposed to be driven by pitfallen sentimental nationalisms as it has been, but instead it was supposed to be a Pan-African cultural affair orchestrated by the culture organs of the African Union.

What about corruption in Kenya,Uganda,Burundi,Sudan and so forth ?What about presidents who refuse to quit even if electoral decisions dictate that they have to quit ? Is Pan-Africanism going to be possible on the social sub-structure of political corruption,dictatorship and life presidency, political clanism and brtherism? Where is and what is the future strategy of the African Union against corruption and dictatorship in Africa given the justification that it is an instituion with powers for meta-governance deriving its strength from the moral cleaniliness in the components of its net-worked governance syste? The fact is that the African Union is duty bound to go beyond its burgeosie bounded rationality and group think psychologies to begin fighting corruption and dictatorship out of Africa as Thomas Isidore Sankare once did for the Burkinabe society.

Gender is not featuring anywhere in the regular African Union Summits that often occur in Ethiopia and other places.No one has ever mentioned rights of the Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual,Transgendered,Intersexed and collective rights of the queer society during the recent African union summits.Can gender rights be assured through domestic legislations in Africa when Uganda is already ahead in punishing homosexuality as a capital offence ? The post modern social consciousness dictates that gender governance must be a social matter that call for interstate concern.For Africa’s case it is only the African Union that is enjoying a good position to protect gender rights of the African societies and set pace for collective civilisation and socialisation towards engendering of the present African political thought.

Looking at the imperative governance challanges before African states provokes feelings of condumely against the African Union. Mind-boggling experiences like Al Shabab, Boko-Haram,Poaching, Negative Climate Chage,desertification,drying up of the rivers,Natural resource based conflicts,mushrooming of slums, water pollutions, disappearance of fauna and flora species,self-enslavement into the Arab emirates, child prositutes in Mombasa and child soldiers in west Africa as well as the absence of judicial service to those poor Africans that are often politically violated ultimately pushes all logical minds to go syllogistic by premising that is the African Union degenerating into an oppressive force of ruling class against the common man in Africa ?

Alexander Khamala Opicho
(From Lodwar,Keny)

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Articles by Alexander Opicho