EDITORIAL: Dancing around the golden calf

10 September 2021 | Opinion

Besides breaking free from the heinous yoke of oppression, apartheid and colonialism, the liberation struggles waged in Africa, and more specifically in our region, were spurred on by the hopes of a better life and the restoration of dignity, which largely remain unfulfilled.

The golden calves corruption and self-enrichment laid waste to so many grand desires and dreams, as leaders dance around the idol of greed and pampering. Even a cursory look at the former liberation movements that eventually ascended to political power in southern Africa reveals their evolution into parties that have vacuumed resources meant for the benefit of the poor and still disadvantaged. This mockery has spawned both populism and apathy among the restless majority, who look with hungry eyes as the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. In some regional nations, the ‘ruling party’ has overtaken the country as more important, and decisions are made not in the national interest, but to keep warring intra-party factions from tearing former liberation movements apart. It is, of course, true that when elephants fight, even those from the same herd, it the grass that suffers. What cannot continue is how resources, power and money are dished out based on political proximity. We cannot allow those who continue to stuff their pockets on the basis that they are connected to wield the levers of political power.