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HomeOpinionWhy is Africa ruled by kleptocrats and kakistocrats?

Why is Africa ruled by kleptocrats and kakistocrats?


By Guangul Teshager

It is perplexing and mind boggling Africa is the same land of thieves everywhere. No African country, maybe with the exception of South Africa, is ruled by democrats.

Literally, Africa is ruled by thieves. I read somewhere the Ethiopian government dismissed from their jobs 42 immigration officers being found engaged in corrupt practices even to issue a passport i.e; ID cards. 

If you have to bribe government officers to get an ID card, imagine the ordeal ethiopians have to go through for more important matters like getting a government house, scholarships, jobs, appointments etc. I served the Ethiopian government being paid 2-3k at a position the government nowadays pays 150 – 250+k for three decades. One thing that sickens me: they never ever try to reward those of us who served in those days and today’s men and women enjoy the fruit of our labour and intelligence though they have no merit, but political and ethnic affiliation. Let me discuss my own experience. 

I have tried to get a government house since the time I was working for the government as a legal department manager. I couldn’t make it during Derg. I couldn’t make it during Weyane. And now too. It is of no avail. A year or so ago,  I wrote a letter to the PMO. No response. I wrote a letter to the mayor of Addis. No response. I went to the Mayor’s office to meet her in person, but could only  know it is easier to go to heaven than to meet her. I am NOT expecting just a positive response, but a simple one line letter that reads “we regret to inform you….”. In 2006 GC, I wrote a letter to the then State Secretary of the USA , Dr. Condoliza Rice. I got a response, a positive response. I couldn’t believe it. I was mesmerized. I wrote another letter thanking her for taking her time to write to me. Her office said, it is our duty. You don’t have to thank us. In 2006, I called the American Ambassador office and asked to talk to him. The lady who answered my call, apparently his secretary, asked me why I wanted to talk to the Ambassador. I told her the reason why I wanted to talk to him. She took my number, and promised to call me back. She did call me and informed me the Ambassador has designated a contact person for me. Isn’t it amazing???  Here I sent a letter to the PMO.  I sent another letter to the Mayor of Addis. No response. After a lot of ” hard work”,  I got the Mayor’s cell phone number. I sent her my application via what’s up. Again no response. A year or so before I sent her a happy easter message. She said thank you. To come back to the main point, we do have kleptocrats and kakistocrats in power for the last 32+ years, post Derg era. Some international anti corruption groups tell us our kleptocrats wealth both under eprdf and PP is in the vicinity of scores of billions USD in total. And yet, there are conjectures it might extend to a much higher amount i.e; hundreds billions. What is our anti corruption commission doing??? Is it still there???

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