Libyan Crisis – African leaders guilty of complicity

OPINION – Unashamedly, African leaders have literally gone on leave while their beloved but lunatic brother in the north is busy butchering innocent and unarmed civilians mercilessly.

To save face, Africa’s big brother, South Africa, only started issuing some veiled statements after the consistently democratic world took the lead in unequivocally condemning Libya’s brutal dictator who is certainly seeing his last days of self-imposed power. If Thabo, the son of Govan Mbeki, was de facto leader of the continent, I would have assumed quiet diplomacy was taking its toll. 

Like the proverbial ostrich, from Cape to Cairo, leaders buried their heads in the sand hoping a miracle would deliver them and their dear brother from this monumental disgrace. Even traditional and predictable analysts in Harare whose political affiliation is an open secret such as Joseph Kurebwa, Masunungure, Mahoso and others I will not mention by name are conspicuous by their silence. They are probably waiting for their master to open his mouth first in case they say something at variance with his position. The entertaining clown and feisty moron, our own version of Goebbels, is the only one who has been forlornly ranting and raving through a state media weekly though he will be the first one to admit that nobody takes him seriously anymore.

Why the dream United States of Africa aspired to have a typically deranged man such as Colonel Gaddafi as its inaugural president in a continent endowed with talent, boggles the mind. Before I forget, did anybody realise that the man is as confused as the diverse variations of his name? He is Kaddafi Gaddafi, Gadaffi, Gadhafi, Qaddafi, Muammar, Moammar – yes, it’s the same person!!! The height of his delusion was when he attributed the popular uprising to Al-Qaeda and drugs before capriciously changing his mind saying actually it was America and Europe. He is blaming everybody else except himself. Doesn’t this sound familiar? How America, Europe and Al-Qaeda have all of a sudden become bedfellows, only Gaddafi would know. Without sounding like I admire Hosni Mubarak, at least he was a bit of a gentleman compared to this animalistic creature who violently came into power when I was still in nappies, literally.

Taking after Saddam, Mubarak, at the height of the Egyptian crisis that finally reduced him to an ordinary citizen, had some kind of a strategy to deal with the media. Even Chemical Ali would have turned green when he saw the colonel waffling and rambling in front of world cameras for what seemed like eternity. If you were to ask him what his message was soon after one of his protracted speeches that could easily win first price for lack of cogency, I’m sure he would say "Do you think I know?" For a leader who has been in power for four long decades to deploy his sons and daughter to confront the media at this crucial juncture when he is supposed to have an official spokesman, demonstrates the extent to which Libya had been brazenly turned into a private estate by the Gaddafi family.

From his recent appearance and desperate utterances, the outstanding difference between Gaddafi and our legendary Chinos seems to be that one speaks Shona while the other speaks Arabic. Coincidentally their proficiency of the English language is strikingly similar. I will leave the other contrast for another day, which is missing teeth vs. love for jewellery! 

ECOWAS, SADC, AU, where are you when Africa, particularly Libyans, need you most? Where are you Joaquin Chissano? Where are you Ian Khama Seretse Khama? Where are you Kofi Annan? Lord, why did you take Mwanawasa?

This is certainly not the Africa that Madiba or Chibwechitedza envisaged and fought for! Is this what we mean by African solution to African problems; see no evil, hear no evil? Thanks Gaddafi (never mind the spelling) for exposing African institutions and leaders for exactly what they are. These are institutions that do not care about human rights, leaders who don’t give a toss about democracy for as long as they are in power. Hillary Clinton couldn’t have put it better when she reminded us that "human rights, democracy and development are interlinked" Thanks Barack Obama, David Cameron and Ban-Ki-Moon for standing up to the cause of the oppressed. You have been the voice of the voiceless in this darkest hour of need.

The more African leaders carelessly blame imperialism for their own failures, the more they seem to expose themselves, as recent and current events in the Arab world have shown. It is not America dropping bombs on civilians in Benghazi. It is not Britain or Europe killing defenceless Libyans in Zawiya; it is Colonel Gaddafi and his unrepentant coterie of mercenaries. In the court of public opinion, African leaders shall be found guilty of complicity, indifference or both. While still on mercenaries, at the rate at which they are being captured by the valiant opposition forces and paraded before the world, soon, the truth shall be known.

To borrow from Chairman Mao during the Chinese revolution "Several hundreds millions of peasants are rising like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift that no power, however great, will be able to hold back" Indeed, history is repeating itself in North Africa though this time it is primarily workers and youths and not peasants at the forefront.

If I were chief advisor to The Emperor, I would probably lure him to the tranquillity and solitude of Gonarezhou, Matopo Hills, or Great Zimbabwe Ruins and say "Sir, it looks like you will have some dignity and legacy if you were to retire now than later" By no means am I agitating for an uprising in our backyard. So Mr. Nutty Professor, before you get too excited, you don’t have a case against me. Out of interest, since when did you become the Attorney-General?

chambokom@gmail.com