Beleaguered South Africa President Jacob Zuma seems bent on benefitting from a recent trend for the continent’s wayward leaders.
Underlying the trend is an implied “If I am going down, I’ll take the country with me”.
Tired of conflicts, citizens of most African nations — except for spotty eruptions the continent is calm — are happy, just to be left alone, to buyout political rogues.
The trend stealthily emerged a year ago with Gambia President Yahya Jammeh’s exit.
It wasn’t as refined as the former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s and imminent for Zuma.
Having lost elections in December 2016, Jammeh, in power through a coup in 1994, first conceded defeat, changed mind and bullied legislatures to legitimize his continued rule.
Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) didn’t buy it, plausibly tired of conflicts.
To end Jammeh’s intransigency they sent in troops.
Jammeh, whose value for human life had degenerated toward minus 100 degrees Celsius, finally claimed he didn’t want a drop of blood spilled if he could retain his loot.
The Ecowas leaders —in the mode it might be my turn next — agreed.
Mr Mugabe, and at one time most Zimbabweans could have followed him into the Indian Ocean, bungled.
He, at best, turned them into billionaires in a wasteland. There was precious little to buy.
However, he lived in a palace few of the “colonialists” and “imperialist” he harped against didn’t.
It turns out he was scheming an insurance policy: a stunning wife and fouled-mouthed who thought “if there’s no maize, my people”, figuratively speaking, “should buy my yogurt”.
In the end, even Mugabe’s comrades in a long battle — and they aren’t free of blame either — bought him out.
Credible media reports are he’s entitled to an initial $10 million, his monthly pay for life, his daughter might have been turned-wife to earn half that for life.
In all fairness, Zuma — and the Biblical Jacob’s bones must be rattling — played an important role in dismantling a most obnoxious and inhuman governance system.
Space here doesn’t allow a litany of Zuma’s ups and, unfortunately, many downs.
However, his role in contaminating the ideals of a century-old African National Congress, (ANC) is obvious.
The ANC’s ideals stirred the “natives” in Sub-Sahara Africa to fight for freedom: The possibility and actualization of saying NO! to injustices.
As of now, the claimants of the ideals want Zuma out of the way.
He’s digging in heels reportedly because “the people love me”. Yet more than 700 legal charges pending in court.
In a week, plans are the “claimants” are scheduled to decide Zuma’s political fate.
Plausibly, they will opt to buy him off. Preferably, Zuma and retinue of ladies will migrate to Pitcairn Island.
There, every man has rights to any woman, as long the chief constable in Southampton, UK, turns a blind eye.
Hopefully, South Africa’s robust judiciary will say “Jacob, a few answers, please”.