Africa mired in man-made tragedy
A news item concerning a member of parliament who bit a chunk out of another politician's lip in Harare, Zimbabwe caught my eye. It seems that the outspoken Member of Parliament Lazarus Nzarayebani exerted all his might in the process.
This story might create a mirth of laughter yet it depicts the sorry state of African political affairs.
The Africans do not seems to be content with cutting of each others' bodies. Now they are going for the lips! What is going to happen next - only God knows.
The dark continent is mired deep in tragedy, all of them manmade. The extent of deprivation, inhumanity and senseless course of action taken by those in power leaves one appalled.
How did all this happen? What causes these people to behave in such a way? What factors contribute to this self-inflicted mass destruction?
Other countries and regions have also suffered. Yet they came out of the nightmare with a commitment to build their shattered societies.
Countries like Korea and Vietnam suffered immensely. The former through occupation and repression by foreign forces. The latter because of the onslaught of the American war machine.
No area in Vietnam was spared by merciless American bombing. Yet calm prevails. The bitterness has been put aside and the paddy fields once again hum with activity.
In Africa, it is the opposite. Some of the African countries have charted out a well thought and planned course of self-destruction. The latest African country to embark on the course is Liberia. Two years ago, there was mass slaughter of Africans by Africans in Rwanda.
In South Africa, where apartheid was dismantled a few years ago, a blood bath is going on in the province Kwazula-Natal. It seems Africans are taking sadistic delight in spilling the blood by their own brothers.
In Zimbabwe, one party rule is racking the country. Kenya too suffers from a regime that does not want to listen. In many West African countries the order of the day is kill and maim their own people.
The African Liberation movements that removed colonial powers and brought independence also brought with them long years of dictatorships, repression and corrupt rule.
While their counterparts in Asia were plodding ahead and building strong economies the Africans were destroying whatever infrastructure was built by the white man.
Warlords in African countries sprung up urging their young and illiterate followers to shoot and kill. Elimination of these warlords has now become difficult even for multinational forces. Somalia is a classic example of how these warlords have brought a country to its knees. There is no agenda for these things except to kill and loot.
Why has Africa sunk so low? There are many who blame colonialism. However, I believe, that is escapism. Because colonialism brought with it peace and security. Infrastructure like railroads, irrigation canals and roads were being built. True, it was for the service of the colonial powers but it did uplift the plight of the common people.
The main reason for some of African countries' present sorry situation is the Africans themselves.
The lust for power, greed and corruption by certain vested interests have contributed to all this.
Unless African states build political and social infrastructures and create institutions even with outside help, Africa will not offer any picture except of mutilated bodies and horror.