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What African presidents should really be swearing to

Discussion in 'JF Chit-Chat' started by nngu007, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Messages: 15,871
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    A recent news article about Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s scheduled May 12 swearing-in ceremony caught the eye.

    The one-day fête is reportedly projected to cost $12.5 million - a fifth of the money that the Uganda government has requested for in a supplementary budget. But given the trends - Guinea's and Tanzania's recent dreary ceremonies come to mind - money does not always guarantee the proceedings will be memorable.

    It may be a while before African swearing-in ceremonies resemble the colourful coronation ceremonies made famous by the Central African Republic’s showman, Jean-Bédel Bokassa. But it could help liven them up if our presidents were more forthcoming about what they intend to do—or not-- while in office.

    President Museveni, who started off as a revolutionary, could, for example, admit that Ugandans should not be surprised when he seeks yet another term in 2016, and 2021. As he is wont to say, one does not hunt down game only for another to help himself to the carcass.

    Mr Museveni, re-elected in February for another five years, has been in power for 25 years and counting. An enduring quote attributed to him was during his inauguration address in 1986 - and honed in in his inaugural address that year to the annual summit of the now-defunct Organisation of African Unity.

    Serial polygamists

    "The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people, but leaders who want to overstay in power," he thundered, upsetting several presidents present who could barely muster a clap for Mr Museveni’s maiden speech.

    South Africa’s Jacob Zuma should promise not to take another wife while in office. Keeping up with the count could prove very taxing for the electorate. The semi-nude sight of their portly president in Zulu attire stomping warrior-style at yet another traditional betrothal ceremony, while endearing, has made him the butt of many a joke.

    Comrade Bob Mugabe of Zimbabwe could admit that he will not let up on persecuting ‘Western imperialists’, their assets and their main “lackey” Morgan Tsvangirai. To this end, Mugabe, 87, will stand for another term, and will increase the requirement for local ownership of foreign companies from the current 51 per cent to 99 per cent. He will also think about banning those tiresome opposition parties.

    Botswana’s Ian Khama will swear that he will, this time round, find himself a wife. The oft-bandied phrase 'Bachelor President' is making him look rather decidedly weird in the eyes of his southern Africa peers, especially serial polygamists Zuma and Swaziland's King Mswati.

    Cameroon’s Paul Biya should promise that he will seek to rein in his wife’s frightening hairstyle. Chantal Biya’s wild flame-haired mane is enough to scare the daylights out of newborns setting their eyes on her for the first time.

    Secret recipe

    Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade, 84, at the last time of checking, was going for another five-year term. Perhaps he should simply admit that he will only leave the presidency on a stretcher.

    And Benin’s Yayi Boni, also freshly re-elected, should promise that he will not be linked to any other Ponzi scheme while in office, especially after the last one almost cost him his seat. The oath should make it specifically clear that presidents should not directly "arrange" personal investments for the citizenry while in office.

    The Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh can promise to increase the working hours at his self-run state house clinic. Currently, Mr Jammeh, whose secret recipe cures among other illnesses AIDs and asthma, is open only on Thursdays and Saturdays.

    Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir should assure that he will at least visit for a week one of Africa’s more ICC-friendly states during his next term. Safe states that are not signatories to the ICC charter like Chad and Egypt, and even schizophrenic Kenya do not count.

    And Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan, up for election this month, could promise to enrol in an advanced communication course class if voted in. Nigerians have apparently not been too impressed with his and his wife’s communication skills so far.

    He could also reiterate that he will pull off a shock move this year to stop people constantly underestimating him. Like actually rein in corruption.