WAMBUA: Gaddafi is going far, but the wrong way - Daily Nation

Gaddafi is going far, but the wrong way

Friday February 5 2010

By WAMBUA SAMMY

When will Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi wake up and smell the coffee? This week, he was rebuking African leaders (some of whom are beneficiaries of his generous baksheesh).

In Gadaffi’s wisdom, or lack of it, their failure to endorse his second term as the AU chairman had everything to do with their political ignorance.

The leader of the Libyan Jamahiriya was essentially raving that he had parted with a tidy sum trying to put the AU house in order, only to be kicked in the mouth by ungrateful recipients of his largesse.

A piqued Gaddafi is reported to have said that he would henceforth devote his high-octane pursuits to the Arab League.

In the same breath, he let out a burst of vain gloriousness, reminding fellow African big men that he was already a king of kings. Remember the traditional rulers (ineffectual vestiges of feudalism, actually)?

When all was said and little done, Malawi’s Bingu Wa Mutharika ended up in the big chair, meaning the colonel is yet to understand his Pan African constituency.

I would recommend Gadaffi’s beautiful cotton shirts to anybody, but not his idea of political consciousness.

We haven’t moved out of the Addis talkshop where Nepad, the AU “policy engine” was dissolved and replaced with the Nepad Planning and Coordinating Agency.

The New Partnership for Africa Development was established as an organ of the defunct OAU to eradicate poverty in Africa and halt the continent’s perennial marginalistion in the international arena.

Bizarrely, the poverty eradication was going to be done with other people’s money. Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade, South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki, Kenya’s Anyang’ Nyong’o (right) and other visionaries thought the cash would flow in as long as the continent behaved itself in front of the big Western economies and Japan.

Some dollars and euros did find their way into the Nepad coffers, but it’s instructive that the organisation has not delivered a single project, which is why it ended up being a kneepad for NGOs and technocrats.

The much touted African Peer Review Mechanism, in which presidents were audited for performance translated into frequent flyer miles for Graca Machel and Co, and a bit of seminar tourism of which I was a beneficiary. Everybody knows that reports will never scare an African despot into accountability.

As usual, the AU is benightedly addressing the effect instead of the cause. Replacing names and terms of reference will take us very far in the same spot.

Unless Africa cultivates a culture of accountability, you can have a million Nepads, but they will only scrape the cruel surface of poverty and backwardness.

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And it came to pass that Jimmi Kibaki’s political tourism in western Kenya was nipped in the bud. A fortnight ago, I pointed out to the young man that, for purely historical reasons, his father was unlikely to give his blessings to such sight-seeing.

I was probably wrong for Jimmi doesn’t look like the type to offend dear old Dad. The tour that would have seen Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa endorsed as presidential candidate has suddenly run into headwinds of the 2012 presidential race.

Now that the go-getter, William Ruto, has thrown his weight behind Eugene, who is supposed to dilute ODM’s influence in western Kenya, Jimmi will certainly be back with a bigger motorcade. The enemy of your friend is your friend, you know.

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