Sometimes we need an reminder, that some powers and some states doesn’t come with the best intentions or with a real helping hand. If it is the famous white elephants or the other giant aid initiatives that doesn’t amount to anything. However, what is now at stake is for instance a lot African states and their loans to China. The Chinese has collateral in either ports, state owned enterprises or ability to directly extract the needed resources the current state with huge loans has. This is their trap and Sankara warned about this, just like the French, British and Americans has done in the past too. Nothing new under the sun, just new methods to get ahead.
What I am quoting is a speech done to the OAU in 1987, just a few months before his assassination. Therefore, the words and warnings seems more important. As in our time, the leaders of today is recycling the ills of the past. They are doing it out of greed and in the end, the people and the citizens will suffer. Not the multi-national corporations, not the state itself, but the public whose disregarded and have to reinvent money.
The wise words of Sankara:
“We believe analysis of the debt should begin with its roots. The roots of the debt go back to the beginning of colonialism. Those who lent us the money were those who colonized us. They were the same people who ran our states and our economies. It was the colonizers who put Africa into debt to the financiers—their brothers and cousins. This debt has nothing to do with us. That’s why we cannot pay for it. The debt is another form of neocolonialism, one in which the colonialists have transformed themselves into technical assistants. Actually, it would be more accurate to say technical assassins. They’re the ones who advised us on sources of financing, on underwriters of loans. As if there were men whose loans are enough to create development in other people’s countries. These underwriters were recommended to us, suggested to us. They gave us enticing financial documents and presentations. We took on loans of fifty years, sixty years, and even longer. That is, we were led to commit our peoples for fifty years and more. The debt in its present form is a cleverly organized reconquest of Africa under which our growth and development are regulated by stages an norms totally alien to us. It is a reconquest that turns each of us into a financial slave—or just plain slave—of those who had the opportunity, the craftiness, the deceitfulness to invest funds in our countries that we are obliged to repay. Some tell us to pay the debt. This is not a moral question. Paying or not paying is not a question of so-called honor at all” (Thomas Sankara – Speech given at the African Unity Organisation Conference, Addis Ababa, July 29, 1987).
Let us not forgot the lessons of the past, as we in the present is continuing a cycle of recycling debt, growing debt and cycles of repayment schemes, which will only make the next generation suffer. If not, when the grace period hits and the state doesn’t have a big enough tax-base or revenue. It defaults and has to give away extraction licenses, state owned enterprises and other vital transport infrastructure like ports and airports. Because, that what is happening.
This is happening in our time. The world is looking, but nothing is getting done. Peace.
I personally don’t get it, maybe its my character, maybe its my misconception. But I don’t see the big need to celebrate a former dictator. It doesn’t matter where he reside or when he ruled. A dictator in his prime, stayed a dictator and did what dictators do. Oppress, kill, destroy and uses ruthless means to stay in power.
Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi was no different for 24 years. He used all sort of schemes, plans and ways to stay in power. If it was eliminating his enemies, if it was buying-off herdsmen, whatever ways to stay on top. There was no soft side.
You don’t get to be President from 1978-2002 by being a mediocre character, being someone who is silent and doesn’t act. No, this president use all his forces, all his means to get his ways.
Therefore, I see no need to celebrate this sort of figure, this sort of leader nor his legacy. Which should be more remembered for the lives lost, the ones used as pawns and the ones sent to exile because of his actions. These people who fled, who lost their lives and the ones who was hurt. Those are the people that need to be remembered. The ones silenced, the ones not allowed to speak, the ones arrested, tortured and killed. These are the ones that needs to be remembered, in a way, that we don’t repeat the mistakes of his leadership.
That what we should do. Not make tokens and celebrate his longevity or his ability to stay in power. Because, very little good came out of it. President Moi has a legacy of disappear, disappearances and murder. Of electioneering and rigging elections, censorship and using tribal clashes to his advantage.
We can act like it doesn’t matter, but it does. It doesn’t matter that his a kingpin at Kabarak University now. That his the man whose every leader pass-by for advice during elections. Like the Jubilee leadership did during the Fresh Presidential Elections in 2017. They was awaiting the anointing powers of the predecessor. They were not going to Kibaki, no they went to Moi.
That is what they did and now the Super-CS Fred Matiang’i blessed the 10th October to be the Moi Day. Like people want to remember the dictator they haven’t had since 2002. The man whose haven’t been in power for 17 years. Still, they are supposed to cherish his corruption, his oppressive behaviour and his techniques to stay in power. That shouldn’t be the case. This shouldn’t be it.
However, it is and there is nowhere to hide. A dictator is praised on the accord with the current day leadership. This shouldn’t be a thing, but it is. Who knows why they are doing it, but it doesn’t look smart nor brilliant. It just looks like the current leaders want to earn political capital on refurbishing the idea and the legacy of the dictatorship of Moi. Do they do this to look better themselves?
What could be the reason and why are they making it like this? A public holiday to remember the ethnic-clashes, the tactical politics of Moi and the unanswered lives, which was taken in his reign. Not only the public treason cases against his opponents. Not only his use of words against Dr. Maathai, but in general. His actions speaks so loud and shall not be forgotten.
They shall not be rewritten and his not a saint. His not a hero, unless heroes are the once the scorn others. Peace.