Young African voters Should Reject Sons, Daughters and Beneficiaries of African Dictators

By Alexander Opicho

Dear Young African voters, don’t vote for; Sons, Daughters and Beneficiaries of Dictators

Most of the voters in Africa are teenagers. Born around two decades ago. Most of them are not aware of the past dictatorships in African. This is a social weakness that need to be corrected through mainstream media, education, public fora and social media. The gist of the matter is that Africa is now threatened with rebirth of dictatorship and continued re-nourishment of political brutality through the sons, daughters and cronies as well as the beneficiaries of former dictatorships re-packaging themselves for top political offices like presidency in some African countries.

The main device used by the beneficiaries of former dictatorships is money, they often use their cash to buy the loyalty of youthful African voters. It is thus the time to teach the young voters in Africa that we don’t need political leaders who only give out money during the campaign time. But instead, we need leaders that are focused on building strong institutions, leaders who can fight tribalism and corruption to boost quality of life and dignity of African citizens. It is so unfortunate for us to elect into top political offices the commonplace political opportunists that are in most cases beneficiaries and family members of formers dictators, such political choices will not get us what we want as voters. This is so because a politician who has a tradition of cronyism to dictatorship and as well a politician who has blood and kinship relationship to dictatorship cannot not guarantee good governance.

What I mean is any man or woman or even gender-fluid person in Africa has a constitutional right to seek an electoral position. But, cronies and family members of former dictators don’t have moral right to be elected into powerful political positions, because the money they are using in politics is not from their sweat but an inheritance from the corruption, looting and blundering plunders by the past dictatorships. Thus, young African voters must be wary, firm and apprehensive of such like political opportunism by not voting for people from the families like those of Olusegun Obasanjo, Omar Bongo, Paul Kagame( for killing media freedom in Rwanda) Yoweri Museveni, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Daniel Moi, Mobutu Seseko, San Abacha, EliJah Mwangale (Moi’s crony), Nicholas Biwot (moi’s crony), Ngugi wa Thiong’o (for dis-honest intellectual leadership),Leopold Sedar Senghor( for double- speaking and spying on behalf of France) William Ruto (Moi’s Crony), Francis Atwoli ( for double speaking, monkey-wrenching trade unionism, labour struggle and Luhyia politics in Kenya) Salva Kiir and his friend Marchar, Ali Mazrui family (for being slave traders and land grabbers) Nabongo Mumia ( for being slave traders) Kabaka Mutesa( for monarchical tribalism), Idi Amin Dada, John Bombe Magufuli, Yahya Jahmwe, and all the families with the apartheid perpetrating ancestry in south Africa and as well as any other hegemonic family as facts of history will define.

Let me use an example from Kenya to explain the rationale of my argument. There is a man called Gideon Moi, he is the son of Daniel Moi. The East African Standard on July 13th 2019 reported in a lead story that this man Gideon Moi has begun saying that he wants to be the ‘President of Kenya’ in the early future, as early as 2022. Any adult Kenyan with some knowledge of facts about history of Kenya’s politics is able to deduce that the reasons why Gideon Moi wants to be the President of Kenya are as follows; It is because his father was the President of Kenya for twenty-four years; he has inherited from his father more money and business empires than his age mates; he is not ashamed of his family’s hand in Kenya’s experience of dark times, and lastly his father has instructed him to try to become a President of some sort . Otherwise, Gideon Moi does not have any thing in him to be a leader. He has never served his country in any capacity, he has never been a teacher, a policeman, a school head-boy, class monitor at school, a community worker nor anything. His qualification for politics is hinged on monarchical and dynastic sentimentality that because he is a son of the former President therefore he must be a President.

I am not totally opposed to the social mystery of a President siring a President. There are very many good cases for successive politics in such hereditary politics of father-to-son or father-to-daughter Presidencies. Beautiful testimonies abound in the historiographies of Nehru, Rajiv and Sonia, John and Quincy Adams, Bush senior and Bush junior, Jomo and Uhuru Kenyatta, Laureant and Joseph Kbaila.The list is long. But, if you my dear teenager reader, are not ready to read Karl Marx’s 18TH Brumaire in which it is observed that, first, history comes as a farce but if it repeats itself, it comes as a tragedy, then read the Holy Bible in which it is written, ‘like son like father’.

Ergo, I will then urge you to stay informed that Gideon is the son of Moi, Moi who ruled Kenya for twenty-four years. During his reign, there were no tarmacked roads, no mobile phones, to functional parliament, there was maximum police brutality, tribal clashes were ceaseless, mysterious-cum-cold blooded killing of the dissident politicians was common, there was detention without trial, there was compulsory membership to one political party, over 70% of professors and university lecturers one in detention or in exile hence the universities were managed by the KANU chairman who was also an illiterate old man known has Ezekiel Barngetuny, poverty was off-the-graph, there was overwhelming level of patriarchy, corruption was glorified, over 80% of policemen, district commissioners, provincial commissioners and significant civil servants were not academically qualified and to make it worse they all came from one tribe, starvation was ever hoovering family tables , factories collapsed,Kanu youth-wingers were as brutal as Hitler’s SS the black shirts. Failure for a school head teacher to organize a salutary choir for the visiting President was a special crime, failure to shout a KANU slogan Jogoo! Jogoo! Nyayo! Nyayo! Kanu Juuuu! could make you to sleep in police cells, and worst of all, any form of liberal intellectual exercise used to end up in Nyayo Torture Chambers at Nyayo House in Nairobi after which there was an open ended term at Kamiti Maximum prison. If you my dear reader, are doubting me, then go and ask your parents about a school teacher who was forcefully shaved his beards in public through an order of the passing District Commissioner, if your parents don’t know of it then make an effort to read Achile Mbembe’s On Post Colony, there is very beautiful and evidential documentation of the unfortunate incident forceful public shaving of the Kenyan teacher in the book.

Fortunately, my dear young reader, I want you to be informed that African history is also full of exemplary good leaders. Leaders that sacrificed themselves for the benefit of freedom and good governance in Africa, some of them are Amilcar Cabral, Thomas Isidore Sankare,Muhamar Gadaffi, Julius Nyerere, Nelson Mandela, Barrack Obama, Masinde Muliro,Walter Rodney( for honest intellectual leadership), Aime Ceasaire ( for honest intellectual leadership), Frantz Fanon (for honest intellectual leadership), Abubakar Abudulsalami ( for anit-millitary Juntaism), Jonathan GoodLuck, Wole Soyinka(for honest intellectual leadership), Wangari Mathai, Markhan Singh, Herman Andiba Toivo ya Toivo, Walter Sisulu, Emmanuel Karisa Maitha,Alexander Kipsang Muge, Kipruto arap Kirwa, Manu Chandaria, Gama Pinto, and very many others as particular facts of history will dictate.

Alexander Opicho writes from, Lodwar, Kenya [email protected]

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