Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gadaffi Gathers Gang!

Libyan leader Gadaffi has gathered about twenty African heads of state to celebrate 40 years of his rule. Gadaffi seized power 40 years ago through a military coup. He immediately promoted himself to the rank of Colonel. For a period from 1992 he and his country faced international condemnation and isolation for the bombing of a Pan Am jetliner over Lockerbie in Scotland. Relations with the west have however thawed in the last year or so, and Gadaffi was this year allowed to travel to Europe.

Known as a brother by many African states Gadaffi has never ceased to amaze anyone who has cared to look at him closely. Known for sleeping in lavish tents outside hotels whenever he travels, and being guarded by a team of beautiful female security personnel, Gadaffi has always drawn the ire of many. Colonel Gadaffi is also known for giving lavish presents to to other heads of state who have cared to tow his line.

But Libya remains relatively poor compared to other Arab states with similar resources. There is no freedom of speech, lack of basic infrastructure and other amenities. Yet Gadaffi was rumoured in 2002 to have supplied Zimbabwe with fuel for almost six months.

The question still lingers, do African heads ever learn? It is the same old story of lavish parties and spending sprees whilst the respective countries suffer. What can one give to a country after 40 years? Even a CEO who has headed a company for 40 years will find himself irrelevant. Celebrating 40 years of rulership? What message are we sending? What is the objective? What are we gaining?


  1. Nothing! We have gained nothing! This is the same Gaddafi who plunged half of West Africa in senseless civil wars and carnage.

  2. PP thanks for this. Remember my list of top 10 longest-serving African presidents? well all I can say is that he plays the jekyll and hyde game. But since his country seem well-off than other oil-producing countries in Africa (compare Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Angola), I think Libyans are better off, relatively though. Yet, I wonder why people would want to dynasty-ise countries as if it is their personal properties? I wrote on 'the dynasty-sation of Africa's democracies and autocracies' may be you can read it on my blog (wrote it last two months (July or so)). Yet, aren't we the cause? I am presently reading a book about Kwame Nkrumah (one of my heroes) and I was shocked how people really sabotaged our independence struggle and threaten to secede because of tribalism. Sometimes I want to think we are genetically greedy but as a Pan Africanist I don't want to think so...because I am not tribalistic nor greedy. Look at Gabon, After ruling for 42 years, his son, Ali Bongo, is coming to power. What nonsense. Let me end else I sabotage your blog post.

  3. NFA-You can never sabotage this blog by your views. I love your critical analysis and incisive evaluation of African politics. Indeed I saw your blog on Dynasty-ism of Africa, and I agree with your views. You have previously disagreed with me on Mugabe, and cited western influence as his justification. I still insist, the west has played no bigger role in Zimbabwe than it has played in other African countries. The case of Libya is even more considerable because they have oil, and one can understand the Wests obsession with oil. The West will not give the same hoot for oil-less Zimbabwe. They have taken their citizens back. It is one black man killing another, period.

  4. I understand you with respect to Mugabe leaving. I would have done same (left). I don't see why he should be there because the country belongs to no one in particular. I am also not too much in bed with democracy especially since that alone wouldn't put food on the table, especially considering the fact that Paul Biya is democratic and many other African countries including Yoweri Museveni. What I care is the well-being of the people and if we have to invent another system of governance to achieve this, so be it. However, what I am afraid of is when I see hidden hands manipulating events in a country whose leader has overstayed his welcome. I know that Zim has more white folks than Ghana and they call themselves White Zims and have more properties (land) than the black Zims. Thus, it would be easy for the Whites (Britain) to influence a group of people to act as if in opposition and later handover resources to them. Thus, what I want is the black folks agitating for the change without any hidden white hand or Western hand. This morning I was listening to Al-Jazeera and I heard a Zim caller asking the interviewee, who was a retired American Marine General, if America would intervene in Zim and that hurt me most. I asked "Are we now begging the imperialist to come back?" "Are we so weak and dumb that we cannot contain our problems and solve them?" I like any man who can stand up to the West and that's why my admiration of Mugabe comes in, though I believe things must be righted. People lose sight of the real issues if they stay in power for too long...

  5. I heardon the news today that Gaddafi was advised by his counsel to be of good behavior when he attend the conference of Head of states.

  6. Interesting topic, Gaddafi has an uncanny knack of knowing how to get what is it he needs from where he needs to get it. I may be cynical in saying this because I am of the view that no African leader lavishes gifts for no reason, he has always presented himself a shrewd man (from the little I know) in managing his personal interests...and to hell with the interest of the people. A sad trait shared by many of the tyrants that are robbing Africa and stifling her potential.

    After 40 years what can they give? NYA is correct they give nothing, but worse, they aim to give nothing. After such a long time ruling from so high up, in a land where free speech is suppressed and the sanctity of life is of little consequence to its leaders, what else can you expect?

    NFA is right that Africa needs to stand on her own two feet and fight, but it is unfair to call a cry for help stupid. When people were being slaughtered in the Sudan, in Ivory Coast, in Burundi and Rwanda, in where people are hungry, tired and desperate I for one as someone born and raised in the West think it is totally abhorrent not to try to do something and asking for this help is nothing to be ashamed of. I understand that help usually only materialises when other interests are present but is that so surprising? On an individual level it is what we do every day, protecting our interests. You want Africa to hide her pain and solve it herself? This will never happen when this is not what we even do ourselves as Africans on an individual level. We preach and teach dependency, this is why so many Africans living in the West are killing themselves sending money back home to feed the dependency habits of our relatives. People like Mugabe 'standing up' to the West are not the help we need, people like us Western Africans teaching our people self-dependency is the answer.

    Nice blog btw.