At just ended AU conference in Addis Ababa, the out-going chair, Libyan strong man Col. Muamar Gadaffi left people in stitches. He first wanted his term extended so that he’d serve two terms. This prayer was turned down by south African countries. After being booted out, he’s quoted as saying had he known how inferior and a failure the AU is, he wouldn’t have accepted the title! Nobody subscribed to this. If it were true why did he want a second term?

Guess what. After his machinations failed, Gadaffi said he’ll now seek the chairmanship of Arab League? Wow! Is this geezer an african or an arab that pretends to be an African?

Gadaffi’s nary run out of controversy. You know what. He showered praises to two dictators that authored the demise of their countries namely Mohamed Siad Barre (then Somalia) and Mobutu Seseseko (then Zaire now DRC). He said: “they’re Africa’s unifying force!” Many thought a sane person would mention doyens such as Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah even Ahmed Sekou Toure. He too went ahead showering praises to Ugandan strong man Yoweri Museveni for being a very strong leader, thanks to clinging unto power for over two decade whilst Gadaffi did the same for over four decades.

After being denied a second term Malawian President, Bingu wa Mutharika, was elected to take over. In his virgin speech, the new chair urged AU to embark on actions instead of shoptalk.

Despite being one of five African countries paying a big chunk of AU’s budget, Libya’s nary allowed to use its financial muscles to bully others. This is a good precedent that should apply to individual African countries whose rulers tamper with the constitutions and succeed to cling unto power illegally as it happened in Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda just recently.

Whilst Gadaffi was fighting for power, his south African counterpart  Jacob Zuma was commingled in a sex scandal. It came to light that Zuma  fathered a baby to a daughter of a friend! He paid fine known as “inhlawulo” in Zulu language. 

Zuma, just like Gadaffi, is full of controversies. This is a second scandal for Zuma who, in 2006, survived another one involving raping a HIV victim, also a daughter of a friend. Despite admitting to have unprotected sex with the girl, he was exonerated by the court. What appalls and astonishes is the fact that Zuma’s ruling Party ANC fully stood by him, ignoring the fact that crime is purely female degradation-cum-exploitation! The pretext ANC offered is promiscuity is Zuma’s personal matter! 

Like graft, tribalism and nepotism played a great role in Zuma’s scandal. Otherwise the disgrace Zuma brought to the office of president sufficed to show him the door. But again, this is Africa where rulers are infallible. Many observers agree on one fact. Sex maniacs in power, just like corrupt officials, spend much taxpayer’s money in their crimes that need high secrecy. Like Samson before Delila, they put their nations at risk. 

Another aspect is HIV. Such rulers die of HIV. But given they’ve power, the citizenry are told other causes such as cancer or heart attack in order to avoid blowing their cover and end up in shame. 

Another danger that causes abuse of power is the fact that promiscuous rulers appoint their partners and all who know their dirty linen in public offices in order to keep their secrets. Refer to what happened in Kenya when Mary Wambui came into the big picture. This lady is seen being surrounded by secret services agents while she actually isn’t the wife of a president. Refer to how her connections with Armenians caused a heck to the nation security. 

Protecting the mistresses of the numero uno and their kids, even relatives is another burden to a poor taxpayer. In developed countries when it comes to light that any public figure is involved in extramarital affair, this person hits the road pronto. Differently, in Africa such crimes are pushed under the carpet for the fear of the big man! 

In 2007 Swazis took to the street after it came to light that their womanizer king sent his 13 to a shopping spree in Europe and Middle East using a chartered plane whose expenses were covered by the government. Demonstrators chanted: “We can’t afford a shopping trip when a quarter of the nation lives on food aid.” 

These are our rulers who can spend our money as pleased while we are cascading into abject poverty. They spent much time and money chasing underwear instead of glory for our people. 

Let’s ponder on this. If Zuma is not satisfied with his three wives, what of others whose affairs are not known? How many mistresses and their relatives live by depending on our Casanova like officials in Africa ? How many bastards are enrolled in expensive schools and what not? 

Guess what. African big men have their own way of silencing their spouses. They allow them to abusively use their powers to do whatever they like such as forming money-making NGOs and use the state house to make money as a revenge for their hubbies cheating.  

However, one can wind this discussion up saying that our rulers are the product of our society. This means, what they do is what we do. Try to ask yourself: how many teachers hit on their students, doctors on patients, religious leaders on believers, bosses on secretaries you name it? 

Some say that if we’re different from them, we’d not let them abuse our offices and economies they way they do. We need to zap their zips and kick them out of our offices. 

Some say that what we see in Gadaffi and Zuma is our own reflection. Is this true or false, all depends on who you are.

Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.