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An Ethiopian woman's musings on Africa, the world and everything in between

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        Thursday, March 02, 2006
        A passionate comment about corruption.
        This was in my comment box under Easier times ahead for the corrupt in Africa, but I decided to post it because it makes me look as if I know what I'm talking about....

        If I start a blog on the corruption of African leaders it will be longer than the Nile River.

        In Kenya, a country in which most people live on a dollar a day, the Parliament has just voted for their members of Parliament (please tell me there is a conflict there) for an allowance of $656.00 per day or close thereto when they travel to the US. The allowance is higher depending on what country they travel to. In most of these cases they are traveling to meetings with donors to ask for more aid or a waiver of the current foreign debt. By the way this is in addition to a $4000.00 per month salary for non-cabinet ministers. Other perks include a cook, (otherwise known as a chef), a nanny or two depending on how many kids they have and a driver, all paid for by the State.

        What these same characters spend in two days on gas for their expensive cars paid for by tax payers' money is enough to educate all the kids in elementary school for eight years. The two day seminar was on money management. [Go figure!] There is no end to their folly.

        This sad tale reminds me of an alcoholic. If his mother continues to give him money and cancel his debts she becomes an ENABLER. The World Bank, IMF, OXFAM, the UN and many other international agencies make half-hearted threats to the government to toe the line in respect of corruption. The line is toed for two miles and all is forgiven or famine breaks out and all is forgotten.

        Why do they do this, you wonder? Simple answer, because they created the fork in the road and with promises of economic freedom enticed Kenya to attempt the impossible. That is partly what caused the country to split asunder. In the 80's they peddled Structural Adjustment Programs as the blueprint for development and solution to all political ills. Ten years later, Oops!Wrong number...IMF and WB's theories were different, truly a fork in the road. Kenya followed both and the rest is history. I said before that the graduate student gets his degree whether his dissertation derails a nation or not.

        I agree that logically if the politicians built the country's wealth up first it would sustain their greed. Instead of milking the cow while they give it the best feed so it can multiply and fill the place with lots of grade cows so that if they steal one or two they go unnoticed, they try to drink the milk and eat the beef from the same cow, at the same time. They are then surprised when they are caught with the blood of the one and only cow on their hands.

        It is time for change. Oops! Change came by way of the elections of 2002 but again, sometimes the more we change the more we mean the same thing...(Animal Farm: George Orwell).

        It is a zoo out there!
        posted by Fikirte @ 8:33 AM   Digg!
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