I can’t begin to get angry at Trump when I look at our local idiots doing silly in Addis
- Elegant or crude in word and in deed, the American head of state goes to bed knowing that most of his people will go to their beds tonight with full bellies. Which cannot be said of African heads of state, who preside over countries that have become poorer today than they were when they attained Independence 50 years ago
By Jenerali Ulimwengu
(The East African) — If you live in Africa, you will often feel like you are spoilt for choice among objects that clamour for your anger. You wonder whether you should be railing at the crudeness of a Trump or the silliness of a summit of African rulers.
Trump is busy brutalising his own people and the rest of the world with his caveman antics, demonstrating how hollow the much vaunted American democracy can be made to be, and at the same time our African chiefs meet in Addis Ababa to do silly.
Both anger you, but you know there is a major difference. Trump is the crude antithesis of an Obama, a civilised gentleman who has failed even to have an affair that would make Michelle box his ears for him – she looks like she could do it, too – or even make lewd remarks like the ones his successor seems to do on an hourly basis.
Elegant or crude in word and in deed, the American head of state goes to bed knowing that most of his people will go to their beds tonight with full bellies; that their children will go to school tomorrow; that their youth have a job; that the cornfields are swaying in the wind and that the pork barrels are full.
Which cannot be said of African heads of state, who preside over countries that have become poorer today than they were when they attained Independence 50 years ago; that are increasingly badly governed; that are still suffering from preventable diseases like malaria and diarrhoea; that can still tolerate rulers who beat them up, jail them without cause and generally ride roughshod over them.
So I decided the other day to stop getting angry at Trump and let the citizens of his country get angry for me. They are taking him to court, and they are winning, and some states have already declared they will not go along with the madman’s xenophobic orders; they will take in refugees and asylum seekers according to their own laws, and damn Trump.
But what do our leaders do? They decide that, even though their own judicial systems have been emasculated and have now become limp appendages of the executive, they will walk out en masse from the International Criminal Court.
They somehow feel they have to explain themselves, and they say they want out because the ICC is only targeting African rulers. Why does it not indict George W. Bush and Tony Blair for their crimes in Iraq and elsewhere?
Well, Bush and Blair maybe answerable for what they did in Iraq, and maybe one of these fine days they will get their comeuppance, who knows? But we know you have committed crimes against your own people, these are your own people, idiot, the very people you swore to protect. And now, what do you say, don’t come after me till you’ve got Bush and Blair?
The United States never signed up to the Rome Statute, but these blessed Africans did, no doubt thinking some economic reward would follow their signing.
Poor fellows, now they realise it could be long prison time if they are nabbed, hence the flip-flop accompanied by primary-school-grade excuses.
African chiefs were bad enough before they added the King of Morocco to their number at the January’s summit. When Morocco stormed out of the continental body some 30 years ago it was because Western Sahara had been admitted as a member and they could not countenance a country they considered – still do consider – a part of Morocco sitting side by side with them.
Morocco still occupies Sahara, and yet it has been taken back into the fold. Is there a change of heart, and if so on what and by whom?
We shall soon know what the real gambit is, and whether the African chiefs have decide to push Sahara under the bus in exchange for a few toffees thrown their way by the wily Sherifian monarch who has been crisscrossing Africa with tonnes of goodies to give to the ever grateful Africans with their penchant for begging.
When we do find out, we will know if it is easier to get angry at Trump than at ourselves.