Monday, February 13, 2006

Corruption in Africa: South Africa and Kenya

Two states, both of which were once considered economic powers in the continent, admittedly rather longer ago on Kenya's case, are currently enmeshed in scandal. In South Africa Jacob Zuma, a hero of the revolutionary movement, has been entangled in numerous corruption scandals and is now in court charged with the rape of an Aids activist, while in Kenya George Saitoti has resigned as education minister amid charges of mass corruption.

When Kibaki was elected two years ago, my immediate thought was 'old wine in new bottles'. Kibaki himself was a former Vice President, as was Saitoti, a man deeply implicated in murder, not to mention one of the most corrupt men in Africa. The Government has proved glacial in its attitude to reform, a pace no doubt dictated by the self-interest of thieving ministers and civil servants.

In South Africa, the economy is not in freefall, society is more or less stable, despite crippling Aids rates, but the political situation is worrying. The monolithic rule of the ANC is unhealthy for any democracy, and the only real opposition, the DP of Tony Leon, looks too much like a white man's party to enjoy any real multi-racial support. The fate of Zuma can be read as a pre-emptive putsch by Mbeki, or as justicvetaking its course. There isn't too much cause for optimism in any event.


Blogger Aqua said...

Being a Kenyan and a resident,i honestly cannot understand where you've gotten your information from. It is true that Saitoti is facing corruption allegations. But, neither him nor the president HAS EVER been implicated in any murder. well, it might probably be true if your assertion alludes to death of Kenya's Economy. What is happening in Kenya at present is GREAT POLITICAL AWERENESS by the populace. The mistaken notion out there is that there is escalation of Corruption.

2:34 pm  

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