OpEd, Politics

Villas abroad, limousines, deep pockets, the opulence of Africa’s ruling elites’ children

Somewhere between 2015 and 2020, it was announced that a young girl in the name of Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos the ex-president of Angola was charged with money laundering with a fortune of unknown origin.

Dos Santos has a net worth of $4 billion that she gained on smart corruption or not, that is none of my business. Some things have come to light that forced us to rethink our stance on Isabel. We knew she is the daughter of a controversial and corrupt president and nepotism surely played at least a small role in her success. But it turns out it was surely the reason for her success. I don’t want to laugh here; it is not a laughing matter but a hard nut to crack.

Isabel sits atop many of Angola’s top industries – banking, diamonds, cement, and telecom. Isabel’s representatives adamantly deny that her father had anything to do with her success. Isabel’s bootlickers referred to her as a “brilliant investor” who started completely from scratch with no help at all. How is that possible, especially when your father is a corrupt dictator? We should not joke about matters like this one.

On the other hand, these claims proved difficult to defend after it was revealed that Jose Eduardo dos Santos personally transferred extremely valuable public assets directly to his daughter. Everyone is informed. This is Africa and that is why we will always remain poor.

Let’s be honest and open here. This is our Africa, and its future lies in our hands. Jose Eduardo dos Santos is a really wicked man, thousands of devils in one body, yes that is what he is. During his nearly four decades as President of Angola, Jose executed thousands of his own people, including rival politicians, journalists, and activists. Jose isn’t the only bad egg in the dos Santos family, either. The whole family has the blood of innocent Angolans in their dirty hands.

Over the last 30 years, the dos Santos family has looted the country’s most valuable natural resources, oil, and diamonds, for their own personal gain. While the average Angolan citizen lives on $2 or less than a day, Jose and his family have literally stolen billion-dollar personal fortunes.

Another person who has done worse to Africa is Teodoro Obiang, the son of Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodorin Obiang Nguema. This boy (Obiang) who was named his father’s vice president recently owns luxury cars and homes all over the world.

Teodorin Nguema Obiang himself has already had $71 million worth of his assets seized by the US, which was a great gesture including a $30 million Malibu mansion, a $38.5 million Gulfstream jet, a Ferrari worth more than $500,000 and Michael Jackson memorabilia worth almost $2 million.

Despite its huge oil wealth and that of its ruling elite, Equatorial Guinea is also home to some of the most deprived and poorest communities in Africa. More than half the population lives beneath the poverty threshold.

The story here is not different and it sends a shocking wave to all those who are still sleeping. In South Sudan, it is not surprising. Talk about corruption and you will get enough of it here. There was news that a prominent person’s personal account was frozen because the account was too heavy to meet international standing. This money, which should have been used to improve the lives of poor South Sudanese was siphoned and stashed in a foreign bank.

The civil society now is asking whoever has taken money that belongs to the public to bring back the public resources, but they are on the wrong side of the game. This is a time to eat and whoever is in a public office wants to eat to the brim. Over the years, it has been the same thing and nothing has been done.

The biggest men of our community have come together to dine peacefully with their families, but the problem is not the misappropriation of funds, but the way funds are being used. It is true that our people like everything foreign. It is also undeniable that the money that is being taken here was made in South Sudan and should always remain a property of South Sudan.

You don’t have to take money here and buy an expensive home abroad. If you steal some money, it is better you build where you live and create jobs for the average South Sudanese but when you spend this money abroad, we will have no choice but to call you unpatriotic, but how is that going to be your business anyway?

I think we as the poor people of South Sudan have ourselves to blame for every situation that we are in because we don’t know our rights and when to speak up when there is need.

I have always said that the only thing that will save us is unity and nothing else. It is not the change of leadership that will solve everything because the same fault that you will find in the leadership, you will also find it in millions of South Sudanese even those who are educated. If it is corruption, it is everything because corruption is our way out. I don’t like repetition, but I want to make something clear here that those people who are in power care less about you as a struggling person and they are okay.

They have money and I mean in abundance and you who struggle daily without success to survive still hate your fellow South Sudanese who are in the same shoes. Listen, if you are from one region or the other, don’t discriminate against your fellow South Sudanese who are in the same struggle as you do.

We are in the same boat, and we should love ourselves because we are orphans. A leadership that should have created a way for us is no longer with us. They are a completely different society. They love themselves and that is why they drive expensive and millions of dollars in their accounts.

You don’t have to merely say that some people or tribes are richer than others. That is foolishness and I am sorry for that. Sometime back, I came across an article that melted my heart in one of the newspapers that brought to light how some people in a certain State in South Sudan were living on tree leaves to stay alive.

And when you look critically at the nature of this state, something will tell you that it is the birthplace of some of the richest people in our country. But see the way these people were suffering. We are all aware that human beings are not animals, but these people were forced by hunger to eat tree leaves to survive. This should tell you my reader that we are one South Sudanese, and we should be united because that is going to be the only solution to our problems.

Comments are closed.