Friday 5 August 2011


Part PF Candidates leaked to Zambia Insights


Chawama – Edgar Lungu (lawyer)

Kabwata – Given Lubinda (incumbent)

Kanyama- Col Gerry Chanda (incumbent)

Munali- Prof Nkandu Luo

Lusaka Central- Guy Scott (incumbent may change)

Mandevu – Jean Kapata (incumbent)

Matero- Miles Sampa (ex banker)

Chilanga – on hold

Chongwe – Silvia Masebo (incumbent)

Luangwa – Pastor Gent

Kafue – Mr Mwaliteta (former Mayor)


Nchanga – Wilbur Simuusa (incumbent)

Chingola – Dr Katema (incumbent)

Chililabombwe – Esther Banda (incumbent)

Wusakile – Mr Musukwa (ex MUZ chairman)

Chimwemwe – Mwenya Musenge (ex Nkana MP. Nsanda did no re-apply)

Nkana – Laxon Kazabu (former Kitwe Mayor)

Bwana Mkubwa – Emmanuel Chenda

Kwacha – Bonny Mutale

Kalulushi – Edmond Mbulu (ex-MUZ vice Chairman)

Chifubu – Susan Kawandami

Ndola Central- Fackson Shamenda (ex ZCTU President)

Kabushi – Elizabeth Kazunga

Lufwanyama-Rev Chimena

Kafulafuta – Patrick Mwanawasa

Masaiti – Steady Mwale

Roan- Chishimba Kambwili

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Multinational Corporations:The New Colonizers in Africa

Multinational Corporations:The New Colonizers in Africa

Before the end of the first colonialism African nations were properties of their colonial masters who did what they could to rape the continent of whatever resource they deem good for the development of their counties and citizens in Europe. Out of nowhere and without any consultation with the people in the continent the Europeans met and divided the continent amongst themselves in what has been termed the scramble for Africa.

Through the scramble France, Britain, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy all went on a looting spree raping Africa of her resources without putting any of the proceeds back for the development of the continent.

When US President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Gambia on January 13th 1943 he was so appalled by the conditions of Gambians so much so that he made this lamentation,

"It's the most horrible thing I have ever seen in my life..... The natives are five thousand years back of us....The British have been there for two hundred years - for every dollar that the British have put into Gambia, they have taken out ten. It's just plain exploitation of those people".

"I must tell Churchill what I found out about his British Gambia today". "This morning, at about eight-thirty, we drove through Bathurst to the airfield." "The natives were just getting to work. In rags…glum-looking.…They told us the natives would look happier around noontime, when the sun should have burned off the dew and the chill. I was told the prevailing wages for these men was one and nine. One shilling nine pence. Less than fifty cents." "An hour?" Elliott asked. "A day! Fifty cents a day! Besides which, they’re given a half-cup of rice. Dirt. Disease. Very high mortality rate. I asked. Life expectancy—you’d never guess what it is. Twenty-six years. Those people are treated worse than the livestock. Their cattle live longer!" US President Franklin D. Roosevelt 1943. Source: The American Heritage.

And the exploitation was not peculiar to only Gambia. Gold Coast (now Ghana), Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Zaire (now DRC), Namibia, South Africa, Congo and Angola all suffered from the same colonial exploitation and underinvestment.

For almost three hundred years the Europeans who were supposedly devout Christians and civilised, irresponsibly looted Africa’s resources and made slaves of the natives without developing the colonies. When the local population protested against the exploitation without a reciprocal investment they were brutally crashed as happened in Congo (now DRC) where King Leopold II of Belgium looted the resources, made slaves, and killed close to ten million of the Congolese.

In 1904 to 1907 the Germans led by Gen. Lotha Von Trotha also committed their first genocide of the 20th Century by killing 90% of the Herero and the Namaqua people of South West Africa (now Namibia) when the people protested against the exploitation of their resources. And the sad stories of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Namibia, Kenya and Angola where people were denied access to land, citizenship and basic rights and had to take up arms before they were granted independence are in many history books.

We know how Nelson Mandela (now a hero in Europe) and a number of freedom fighters endured long prison sentences, torture, exile and deaths in the hands of their devout Christians and civilised European colonisers. The prevailling idea in Europe was that through the scramble for Africa they had bought Africa and had power to do as they wish hence the rape, torture, genocide and the mass killings. While Europeans became richer Africans became poorer.

For example with the loot of Congo’s resources, enslavement, amputations of hands and 10 million deaths, Brussels which now doubles as the capital of the European Union and Belgium was built. When they were given their ‘freedom’ the independent fathers inherited nothing more than empty treasuries. They realised that after more than 300 hundred years of colonial rule their colonial masters have left them with nothing, no money and no infrastructure. This bad situation and their eagerness to improve the lives of their peoples forced them to turn to the IMF and World Bank for assistance and when they went lo and behold the colonial masters were there waiting for them.

The colonisers used their majority votes to dictate to the Bank and IMF on how these former colonies should be helped. (Of the 185 members that make up the IMF, six colonial masters and their allies made up of the United States, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Italy control 42% of the votes). The colonial masters dictated to the IMF and the Bank that for Africans to be helped, they must open their economies to allow European corporations in. This underscores the numerous conditionalities that are associated with loans from these institutions. The conditionalities are nothing more than a smokescreen designed to ensure that Europeans never loose their grip on the resources of the colonies. Some of the conditionalities include instituting secrets memorandums of agreement, subsidies to foreign corporations and massive tax concessions (such as income tax, usage fees, property tax) -the primary source of revenue for "export-oriented" developing countries.

The sad thing is that Africans thought independence would give them respite to develop but this was never to be as the colonial masters used their corporations and intelligence services to deliver vengeance against the people: encouraging and financing civil wars; unashamedly polluting rivers, wells and the soil through their oil and mineral activities; understating their profits and falsifying profit documents; undervaluing their goods, smuggling and theft; false invoicing and non-payment of taxes; kickback to public officials and bribery; over pricing of projects; providing save havens for the looted funds; promoting the sale of guns; overthrowing African leaders; supporting dictatorships; and assassinating those who disagree with them. We know those who instigated the overthrow of Dr. Nkrumah and the tragic assassination of Patrice Lumumba.And we know the support the West gave Mobutu and other tyrants in Africa.In addition to these, the corporations who were forced onto Africa by IMF the Bank, US and Europe have been implicated in a number of cases for corrupting African leaders and stealing trillions of dollars worth of resources.

Global Financial Integrity says, "$900-billion is secreted each year from underdeveloped economies, with an estimated $11.5 trillion currently stashed in havens. More than one quarter of these hubs belong to the UK, while Switzerland washes one-third of global capital flight". Out of this $900b that is secreted away yearly $150b comes from Africa.

"The idea that Switzerland has a clean economy is a joke; it is a dirt-driven economy," says Richard Murphy, director of Tax Research LLP. The Swiss Bankers Association claims that four-fifths of the nation supports banking secrecy, which reveals a society deeply embedded in a culture of impunity and exploitation.

The fact is that those who steal must find a way to hide their loot and Switzerland provide the ideal environment for such crimes to take place. And it is not Switzerland alone that does not have a clean economy. Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg can all be described as vampires.

In an article by Khadija Sharife entitled Capital Flight: Gingerbread Havens, Cannibalised Economies she wrote: "The IMF and World Bank tax policies towards the developing world is very lethal especially where the poor are now caught in tax brackets, courtesy of the IMF and World Bank’s structural adjustment programmes (SAP), instituting policies ranging from tax holidays to the privatisation of state services, carving out huge slices of natural capital at corporate auctions. Africa has collectively lost more than $600-billion in capital flight, excluding other mechanisms of flight such as ecological debt (globally estimated at a potential $1.8-trillion per annum), the cost of liberalised trade (just under $300-billion)". Source: Thus with the support and collusion of IMF and the Bank these corporations are paying close to nothing for the resources they take from Africa.

Africa has been labelled the world’s most corrupt region because multinational internal mispricing makes up 60% of capital outflow, with corporations declaring profits in tax havens, as opposed to the country of performance. Corporations declare about 40% of their profits in African countries where they operate and siphon the rest into their save havens accounts in order to avoid paying tax which could be used to eradicate poverty. And this is not the end of the corruption and the day light robbery story.

We know how Elf operated as an arm of the French state supporting dictators, looting the resources and establishing flush fund which was used to bribe African leaders so they will look the other way while Elf loot Africa’s oil and gas.

Nicholas Shaxson, author of Poisoned Wells, wrote of the subject: "Magistrates discovered the money from Elf’s African operations supplied bribes to support French commercial, military and diplomatic goals around the world. In exchange, French troops protected compliant African dictators." This explains why there are so many corrupt dictators in French-Speaking Africa than anywhere in Africa. Omar Bongo, Eyadema, Mobutu, Lansana Conte, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Blaise Campore, Sassou Nguesso and Iddriss Deby are some of the compliant leaders who were or have been protected by France.

And what happened to the non-compliant African leaders? Your guess is mine. Please find time to read more about Bob Denard, a French who made a career as a mercenary overthrowing African leaders. French author Jean Guisner says: "Denard did nothing that was contrary to French interests - and he allegedly acted in close cooperation with French Intelligence Services".

In the Elf corruption case Andre Tarallo the real boss of Elf-Afrique' "Told the court in June 2003 that annual cash transfers totalling about £10m were made to Omar Bongo, Gabon's president, while other huge sums were paid to leaders in Angola, Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville. The multi-million dollar payments were partly paid to ensure the African leaders' continued allegiance to France. In return for protection and sweeteners from Elf's coffers, France used Gabon as a base for military and espionage activities in West Africa". Source: Guardian, Nov. 2003.

The real deal is that Elf, Shell BP and their counterparts in Europe and America pay bribes to African leaders to induce them to look the other way while they plunder the resources. Ask any Gabonese or Congolese whether they have benefited from the oil and diamonds and the answer will be a big no. What is so tragic is that the people know they have oil, diamonds and see these companies processing them everyday yet do not know where it goes, who buys them and where the proceeds go.

In UK former Prime Minister Tony Blair was accused of selling a device with an ageing technology to Tanzania. "The UK sold a useless air traffic control system to Tanzania in 2001 in a scandalous and squalid deal, the House of Commons was told." Clare Short an MP said, "The deal was useless and hostile to the interests of Tanzania". She said, "Barclays Bank had colluded with the government by loaning Tanzania the money, but lying to the World Bank about the type and size of the loan." Ms Short said "Tanzania could have paid much less for the same equipment which cost them £28m". Shadow international development secretary Andrew Mitchell said "BAE had used ageing technology and said the system was not adequate and too expensive." Source: BBCNEWS, Wednesday, 31 January 2007.

And it all happened after they had bought Tanzania officials to look the other way while a device with an ageing technology was sold to the country. BAE colluded with Tony Blair and Barclays Bank to sell a useless commodity at exorbitant price to Tanzania. This is nothing but a continuation of the contempt and impunity in which Europeans have treated Africa before, during and after colonialism. BAE is indirectly saying that Africans do not deserve the latest technology even if they pay cat throat price. It is also a message to Africans that they must develop their own technology and not rely on the generosity of others.

It is no secrete that Shell Oil Company colluded with the corrupt Abacha regime to steal oil, pollute the rivers, wells, creeks and soil and render millions of famers and fishermen in the Niger Delta jobless. Shell "admitted that it inadvertently fed conflict, poverty and corruption through its oil activities in the country. Nigeria contributes to about 10% of Shell's global production and is home to some of its most promising reserves, yet the country is steeped in poverty and conflict". Source: bbcnews 18 June 2004. So Shell in addition to stealing Nigeria’s oil and polluting rivers, wells and soils also promote corruption, poverty and conflict.

In DRC about five million people have died in a war whose motive is to satisfy the West insatiable appetite for high quality but low price cell phones, laptop computers, play-stations, jewels, diamond and coltan. And who cares about five million deaths in Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, New York or Washington anyway? Why has the DRC war not ended? Who supplies the rebels their arms and for what and who buys the minerals they mine illegally? Why have Uganda and Rwanda forces crossed several times into DRC? And whose agenda are they pursuing? A report by the UN says it all.

The panel calls for financial restrictions to be levied on 54 individuals and 29 companies it said are involved in the plunder, including four Belgian diamond companies and the Belgian company George Forrest, which is partnered with the U.S.-based OM Group. The individuals named include Rwandan army Chief of Staff James Kabarebe, Congolese Minister of the Presidency Augustin Katumba Mwanke, Ugandan army Chief of Staff James Kazini and Zimbabwean Parliament Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, BBC Online reports (Oct. 21, 2002).

The report also accused 85 South African, European and U.S. multinational corporations – including Anglo American, Barclays Bank, Bayer, De Beers and Cabot Corporation of violating the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's ethical guidelines on conflict zones.

The guidelines they were accused of violating relate to arming Rwanda, Uganda and Congolese rebels and profiting from their illegal looting of Congo’s minerals as the following excerpt shows: "Despite the recent withdrawal of most foreign forces, the exploitation of Congo's resources continues, the report says, with elite networks and criminal groups tied to the military forces of Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe benefiting from micro-conflicts in the D.R.C." "The elite networks derive financial benefit through a variety of criminal activities, including theft, embezzlement, diversion of public funds, undervaluation of goods, smuggling, false invoicing, non-payment of taxes, kickback to public officials and bribery," and added that such pillaging is responsible for much of the death and malnutrition in eastern D.R.C." Source:

And so while millions die in Africa with the complicity of the corporations, Europe and North American citizens with all their hypocrisy enjoy lavish holidays. And when Africans try to reach Europe the citizens say rain in on them, Europe is full no more immigrants. Where do the queens and kings in Europe get the diamonds and gold that they use to show off? Is it not from the blood diamonds from Congo, Sierra Leone and conflict zones in Africa that are smuggled out and sold in Brussels, Zurich, London and New York?

And this is not their only crime. We know how Halliburton established $180m flush fund and bought Nigeria officials to secure a $10b oil contract. We know Acre International of Canada paid $260,000 to secure $8b dam contract in Lesotho. We know Swiss, British, German and French economies and banking institutions have made fortunes by providing save havens for funds looted by Sani Abacha, Mobutu, Omar Bongo, Lansana Conte, Arap Moi and the rest of the dictators in Africa. And it is no secrete Belgium is angry with DRC government for inviting China into the country because they are privy to and beneficiary of all the day light robberies going on in the resource rich but economically impoverished country.

Africans know that these corporations are making fortunes but see no benefits from these fortunes. Ghanaians know gold and diamond are being mined at Obuasi and Akwatia but they do not know where it goes, who buys them and where the proceeds go and the same is true of the oil in Nigeria, Gabon, Cameroon, Algeria, Angola and Equatorial Guinea and as for DRC a nation with one-third of world’s natural resources the little I say the better.

This corruption and day light robbery is what has been polished as globalisation which Europe, America, IMF and the Bank want Africa and the third world to join. My question is whose globalisation? Is it the globalisation that only those with blue eyes enjoy or what? If the answer is no then the IMF and the Bank should explain why the world is divided between the "whites haves and the coloured have-nots". Is this not the second colonialism dressed as globalisation?

Dr. Susan Hawley says it all: "Multinational corporations’ corrupt practices affect the South (i.e. Africa, Asia and Latin America) in many ways. They undermine development and exacerbate inequality and poverty. They disadvantage smaller domestic firms and transfer money that could be put towards poverty eradication into the hands of the rich. They distort decision-making in favour of projects that benefit the few rather than the many. They also increase debt that benefit the company, not the country; bypass local democratic processes; damage the environment; circumvent legislation; and promote weapons sales. Bribes put up the prices of projects. When these projects are paid for with money borrowed internationally, bribery adds to a country's external debt. Ordinary people end up paying this back through cuts in spending on health, education and public services. Often they also have to pay by shouldering the long-term burdens of projects that do not benefit them and which they never requested". Source: The Corner House, June 2000.

And in all these, the Western media have kept silence. They have not raise a voice against what their governments, intelligence services, corporations and businessmen are doing to Africans. They prefer instead to criticise China for courting the same African leaders Euro-Americans have been protecting for decades. A clear hypocrisy isn’t it? These are the same criticisms King Leopold II levelled against the Arabs who were competing with him for resources and slaves in Congo and we know what Leopold, the 19th century Hitler did in DRC in the name of Christianity and civilisation.

The meaning of their criticism is that with China as a fierce competitor, Africans now have a choice not to go to the World Bank and IMF for conditional loans. They also have a choice to either give their resources to Chinese companies or European and American cartels. It may be the beginning of the end of colonialism, slavery, instabilities, dictatorships, corruption and all the ills that Europeans and Americans have been exporting to Africa. It may be the beginning where Africa’s resources will be bought and payment made to the people and a new chapter that will usher in Africa’s development and close the poverty gap from five thousand years to perhaps one-hundred as observed by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

By Lord Aikins Adusei

The Author is a Political Activist and Anti-Corruption Campaigner.

Where are Africa's Political Role Models?

Where are Africa's Political Role Models?

Since Abraham Lincoln became the role model for President Barack Obama, I wonder which African politician President Obama could have picked as a role model if he had run as a candidate in any African country. Currently there are about 53 presidents and prime ministers whose countries form the Africa Union. It should therefore not be difficult to find role models among such a large contingent of leaders.

A google search for possible role model candidates led to Mobutu Sese Seku, Sani Abacha, Iddi Amin Dada, Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo, Samuel Doe of Liberia, Charles Taylor, Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa of Central Africa, Ibrahim Babangida, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Lansana Conte of Guinea, Museveni- Uganda, Milton Obote of Uganda, Bakili Muluzi, Laurent Kabila, Kwame Nkrumah, Jerry John Rawlings, Blaise Campore, Arap Moi, Hosni Mubarak, Omar Al Bashir, Gaddafi, Omar Bongo, Obiang Nguema, Sassou Nguesso, Eduardo dos Santos, Francois Bozize of Central Africa, Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, Iddriss Deby of Chad, Valentine Strasser of Sierra Leone, Mwai Kibaki, Mengistu Haile Mariam and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.

After a careful examination and analysis of their record President Obama may find it difficult to settle for any of the above. The reason is that almost all of them have been accused of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars belonging to their poor countries. Again all of them have demonstrated poor leadership, political immaturity, are insensitive to the plight of the people and have shown no understanding of issues affecting the people including fighting poverty.

Additionally, nearly all of them established one party dictatorship; killed, imprisoned or exiled their opponents; aggressively destroyed press freedom, freedom of speech and association; banned their opponents from contesting elections; kept their people in perpetual poverty while living opulence and extravagant lifestyles.

Furthermore, virtually all of them were or are dictators who have committed human rights abuses against their countrymen including murder, torture and force imprisonment.

Besides, almost all of them were or are military or rebel leaders who illegally ceased power through the barrel of the gun and subjected their people to inhuman treatment including torture, extrajudicial killings and murder. Those who came to power through the ballot box have become anti-democrats and the International Criminal Court is seeking to put a number of them on trial for human right abuses and war crimes.

Moreover, a good number of them have spent decades in power and are unwilling to relinquish it despite their huge failures seen in the form of poverty, diseases, homelessness and wars. Example Omar Bongo of Gabon has ruled for 42 years, Gaddafi of Libya 39 years; Dos Santos and Sassou Nguesso 30 years each; Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea and Robert Mugabe 28 years each, Hosni Mubarak 27 years, Paul Biya of Cameroon 26 years, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda 23 years, Omar Al Bashir of Sudan 20 years, Iddriss Derby of Chad 18 years, Yahya Jammeh of Gambia 14 years.

What is more, despite years in office none has been able to build a successful economy for their people. Despite receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in loans and grants from the IMF, the World Bank, USA, Japan, China and European nations; and also receiving trillions of dollars in revenue from oil, gas, gold, diamond, timber, copper, coltan not a single one of them was able or has been able to put their economies on the level equal to that of the Asia Tigers or even the smallest economy in the European Union. Out of the 53 countries making the Africa Union only one was invited to take part in the G20 Summit that ended in April 2009. Their failure to eradicate poverty has prompted questions as to whether Africans can ever build a prosperous society devoid of abject poverty, blatant official corruption, mismanagement and tyrannical rule.

The Who is Who of Africa's corruption ranking feature Mobutu at the top. He is followed closely by Sani Abacha of Nigeria, Omar Bongo, Eyadema, Hosni Mubarak, Denis Sassou Nguesso, Eduardo Dos Santos, Obiang Nguema, Lansana Conte, Arap Moi, Gaddafi, Ibrahim Babangida of Nigeria, Blaise Campore of Burkina Faso, Museveni of Uganda, Paul Biya of Cameroon, Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, Charles Taylor of Liberia, Iddriss Deby of Chad, Bakili Muluzi -Malawi, Frederick Chiluba of Zambia, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Jacob Zuma of South Africa. There are many whose corruption status has not yet been determined. Among them are Joseph Kabila, Paul Kagame, Robert Mugabe, Kenneth Kaunda, Francois Bozize, Yahya Jammeh of Gambia and a host of others.

Corruption, malfeasance, tyranny, mismanagement, nepotism, cronyism, human rights abuse, incompetence and media censorship run through almost all the countries in Africa.

Ghana became the first territory south of the Sahara to gain independence in 1957. In 1966 the army ousted Nkrumah who had ushered in a one party state and was on his way to become a dictator. Nkrumah introduced the Prevention Detention Act in which his political opponents were arrested, tortured and imprisoned without trial. Others were murdered and those who had the chance to flee sought asylum in foreign countries. One coup in 1979 and a second one in 1981 brought Jerry Rawlings to power who spared no effort to annihilate his perceived opponents. He ruled till 1992 when he changed his military uniform into civilian and ruled for another 8 years. Jerry Rawlings, the longest ruling tyrant in Ghana killed all the former heads of state by firing squad leaving only Dr. Limann who lived a miserable life till his death. His administration was largely corrupt and marred by nepotism. He is discredited for sowing the seed of tribal animosities in the country especially between the Akans and the Ewes. In 2000 after 19 years in power and under pressure from the West and the people, Rawlings unwillingly handed over power to an opposition government when his party the National Democratic Congress lost the elections to the New Patriotic Party. The Fourth Republican Constitution drawn up by his regime has a lot of clauses that make him unanswerable to the abuses committed during his regime.

Since independence in 1960 Gabon had known only two leaders. Leone Mba who was elected president in 1961 and ruled till his death in 1967 and was succeeded by Omar Bongo who has since ruled the oil rich but socially and economically impoverished nation for 42 years. He is widely seen as one of the wealthiest and most corrupt rulers in the world. Bongo was a subject of French police investigation that uncovered that he owned at least 33 luxury properties. In February 2009 his nine bank accounts were frozen by a French court. He was implicated in the trial of former Elf Aquitaine executives for accepting bribes to the tune of $40m annually in exchange for oil concessions. A US Senate report of 1997 accused him of spending $100m annually mainly from his Gabon coffers. A US Senate inquiry in 1999 revealed that the giant Citibank held private accounts for Bongo who transferred US$100 million, into it. French News Papers including Le Monde have uncovered about 59 properties owned by him and his family including one bought in 2007 at the cost of 18.8 million Euros. He was sued by Transparency International for stealing Gabon's resources.

Jomo Kenyatta became Kenya's leader at independence in 1963 and ruled till 1978. As usual Kenyatta's Kenya Africa National Union (KANU) was made the only official political party which controlled Kenya for four decades. Kenyatta was replaced by Daniel Arap Moi who also ruled till 2002. Moi's 24 year reign was a dictatorship marred by official corruption and nepotism. He was accused in a report by Kroll International of having banked £1b in foreign banks. He and his family are known to own several properties in Britain and Australia among others. He avoided prosecution for corruption in 2003. Mwai Kibaki who succeeded Moi in 2002 faced a re-election battle which was marred by violence. He has been accused of sheltering Moi and his cronies and not doing enough to fight corruption which cost Kenya at least $1b a year.

Since independence in 1958 Guinea has known only two leaders Sekou Toure who ruled from independence till his death in 1984 and Lansana Conte who seized power in a coup in the year Sekou Toure died. Conte ruled from1984 till his death in 2008. He is seen as one thee most corrupt leaders ever to have ruled an African state. He has been accused of pocketing 70% of all revenues coming from the sale of bauxite in Guinea. A dictator for a quarter of a century he can only be remembered for bringing poverty, misery, deprivation and cronyism to Guinea. After his death army officers led by Capt. Moussa Camara have also seized power and there is little sign that the poverty stricken country will ever taste democracy.

The presidency of Equatorial Guinea has been dominated by two men from the same family since independence from Spain in 1968. Mr Obiang Nguema the current president overthrew his uncle, President Francisco Nguema, in 1979, had him tried and executed. Since taking power Obiang Nguema has presided over a corrupt government. He has curtailed rights and freedoms of his people; allows no opposing views and has dealt mercilessly with the media. Human rights abuses in his fiefdom are widespread and head of the opposition is in exile. Many of the 600,000 inhabitants of his country live in poverty despite billions of dollars of revenue from oil. He and five other corrupt leaders were sued by Transparency International over allegations of corruption and embezzlement.

In Uganda after independence in 1962 and short period of democratic governance the country became a hot bed for coups and counter coups that saw Milton Obote toppled twice; Iddi Amin becoming life president; invasion by Tanzania and a civil war that brought Colonel Yoweri Museveni into power in 1986. Museveni has since ruled till today, he has been in power for 23 years. Like many of his contemporaries his government is very popular in promoting corruption, nepotism and cronyism. Museveni's government is nothing more than an oligarchy. In Uganda Museveni is the president; his wife Janet Keinembabazi Kataha Museveni is the First Lady, MP and a Minister; his son Major Muhoozi Kainerugaba is an army commander of his elite group and a possible successor of Museveni. Museveni's younger brother, Caleb Akandwanaho, is senior presidential advisor on defence. His daughter Natasha Karugire is private secretary to the president. He has vehemently resisted all calls to introduce democratic reforms in Uganda.

In Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda ruled from 1964 the year of independence till 1991 a total of 27 years. He embarked on one party rule that barred opposition parties from actively engaging in politics. Despite being a major copper producer, Zambia under Kaunda's watch slipped from being a potential economic power house into one of the poorest countries in the world. He was accused of corruption by Chiluba's government and spent a few time in jail. His major contribution was to the independence struggles of South Africa and Zimbabwe but he is most remembered for failing to use the huge mineral wealth to better the lot of Zambians. His successor Fredrick Chiluba is battling corruption allegations and parliament has voted to remove his immunity. A High Court in Britain ruled in 2007 that Chiluba and four of his aides conspired to rob Zambia $46m. The elections that brought Rupiah Banda, the current president into power were decried by the opposition as not free and fair.

In South Africa after the brutal regime of the apartheid government came to an end, Nelson Mandela took over and successfully handed power to Mbeki after just one term in office. However, Mbeki was forced out office in September 2008 after a bitter power struggle with Zuma. Mbeki refused to embark on campaign to curb the menace of HIV/AIDS which killed several people under his watch. Crimes of all categories have increased and it seems the nation is slowly joining the rest of the continent as a poor developing country. Jacob Zuma who is likely to become President is embroiled in corruption allegations and a rape case against him was dismissed by the court. His reputation has been badly damaged by rape and corruption charges brought against him.

In Tanzania, Julius Nyerere ruled as the sole leader of the country from independence in 1962 till his retirement in 1985. Under his leadership all political parties were outlawed except the Party of the Revolution which happened to be his party. His social and economic programmes (ujamaa) were a total failure he is however credited for deposing Iddi Amin. Since he left office the country has chalked a lot of successes in the field of democracy and governance and the economy is showing signs of growth. Ex-President Benjamin Mkapa who became president in 1995 successfully transferred power to Jakaya Kikwete in 2005 after 10 years as head of government.

Burkina Faso formerly Upper Volta got her independence from France in 1960. Six years later the army as it has always been were in power. A series of coups in the 1980s saw Thomas Sankara taking over power in 1983 but he too was ousted in 1987 by Blaise Campore who was a close. Campore has since ruled the country as his personal fiefdom he has been in power for 22 years. He is one of the Corrupt Five who were sued by Transparency International for having amassed wealth at the expense his poor people majority of whom live on a dollar a day in this semi-arid country.

In Tunisia, Ben Ali has changed the constitution of the country in order to run for third term in office.

In Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has won a third term after using the rubber stamp parliament to change the constitution of the state. He has been battling fundamentalists who were denied election victory in the 1990s.

In Togo, after the assassination of the country's first elected president in 1963, Gnassingbe Eyadema took power in a bloodless coup in 1967 and ruled till his death in February, 2005 after 38 years as head of state. His son Faure Gnassingbe was quickly installed as president by the army but international outcry resulted in an election in April 2005 which the army said Faure won 66%.

Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Libya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Chad the norm has been corruption, mismanagement, election violence, torture, dictatorship, murder, imprisonment of political opponents and the use of security forces against the people.

In Africa and the rest of the world the names Mobutu Sese Seku, Sani Abacha, Omar Bongo, Denis Nguesso and Dos Santos are synonymous to blatant corruption, nepotism, cronyism, murder, incompetence and mismanagement. The word Kleptocracy was first coined to describe the nature of Mobutu's government which was nothing but a government of thieves.

However despite the negativities there are some few shining examples.

Botswana, Africa's most successful economy is also the continent's only true democratic country where multi-party democracy has been in place since independence in 1966. It is the least corrupt country in Africa and has a good human rights record. It is the only country in the continent where the leaders have used revenue from the natural resources mostly diamond to benefit the people. It is the world's largest producer of diamonds and the trade has transformed it into a middle-income nation. The current president Seretse Khama Ian Khama came to power in 2008.

Gaining her independence from South Africa in 1990, Namibia has joined the community of democratic nations after Sam Nujoma handed over power to his chosen nominee Hifikepunye Pohamba, after three terms as president. Like Botswana the leadership of Namibia are using revenue from diamond to improve the wellbeing of the people. In Benin an independent candidate won the presidency and in Liberia Johnson Sirleaf, a woman has become president the first in history of the continent.

Nelson Mandela is the only ex-president to have willingly stepped down as president after just one term in office. He is a Nobel Peace Laureate, a statesman, a freedom fighter and a hero not only in South Africa but also around the world. He has a monument erected in his honour by the government of Britain. Another respected personality in Africa is Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu who is also a Nobel Peace Laureate, a Statesman, peace activist and powerful anti apartheid campaigner.

The last of the possible role models is Kofi Annan, a former UN Secretary General who has recently being playing a leading role as a peace mediator and a critique of political corruption and anti-democratic governance in Africa. Since Tutu and Annan are not politicians and therefore are out of the political equation, Obama will have no choice but to scream with the question, “Where are Africa's political role models?”

By Lord Aikins Adusei

Political Activist and Anti-Corruption Campaigner

It is so sad that at a time when neighbouring South Africa is commissioning a billion Rands electric train as part of the service provision for their people, our youths are commissioning insults and exchanging personal bitterness as a prelude to a major general election.
Zambia is a beautiful country even without any national infrastructural development and today our major crisis is LEADERSHIP.

To date, we have no single human person in Zambia that can stand up and say he/she is a youth leader because he was chosen by the YOUTH. None!
Today, we have no single youth that safely proclaim that he/she knows exactly what he has been sent by the YOUTH to achieve for the COUNTRY.
Today, we have not a single youth leader that can claim that he/she knows that Zambia needs to be turned round in great specifics that can even earn that youth respect and applause from all its people.
Today, we have no clear youth leader that have the data and information on how best Zambia's development and wealth creation problems can be sorted out.
Today, we have no single youth leader that is openly disgusted by the mediocrity that reigns in the service provision by the powers that have been delegated.
Why is it so? Do the YOUTH even question that status? Because it suits the power hungry politicians that youth only remain as their tool or a step ladder to political employment. Incidentally, Zambian politicians have more priviledges and remunerations if in power hence their fight for power. It is rarely out of a calling to serve the country.

What we have to day is a YOUTH that appears to be a mere tool for petty politicking that has a dead or dangerous future for the country.
What we have is a boiling pot of divided youths that place their hopes on some failed experimental programs and leaderships.
What we have is a youth that has abdicated all responsibility to the past heroes instead of seeking to take charge and correct, improve or develop on our fore-father's aspirations.
What we have today is a youth that is angry and yet cannot direct the anger to the appropriate target.
What we have today is a youth that is losing hope and entertaining that as a positive power.
What we have today is a crumbling future....

The youth must unite and face the reality that Zambia is theirs. That Zambia has stopped and that it is just asking to move forward.
Political parties and personalities will come and go,but Zambia will remain.The future will judge the past and sometimes such future can be harsh and painful if not well prepared for....
My earnest and sincere appeal is that our YOUTH respect each other, the country for that is the ultimate inheritance that some past youths died for and did not enjoy the FRUITS OF THEIR STRUGGLE from enslavement and dominance.....