A s I write this, the social media is abuzz with news of chaos in Burundi. It all started with claims that President Pierre Nkurunziza had been overthrown. This is after an army general declared that the military had taken over the country while Nkurunziza was attending an East African Community heads of state summit in Tanzania to discuss the Burundi crisis. But this is not even the big issue in my mind. No. I am thinking about men’s addiction to power even when the addiction threatens their own lives.
Nkurunziza has been President since 2005 and was due to retire this month after serving his second term as per the Burundi constitution. But he decided to sideline the law and run for a third term despite opposition from his subjects, which led to violent street protests that threatened to throw the country into civil war – again. Nkurunziza stood his ground and unleashed the police on the very people he wants to swear “to serve and protect.”
People are being killed in the protests but the “king” is unmoved. Like Pharaoh of the old, warnings from the United Nations, the International Criminal Court and the International community to “let the people free,” are falling on deaf ears. He wants to remain president and everyone with the contrary opinion could go jump into Kagera river.
Nkurunziza appears to me like an above average rational guy. But so does every other despot that has terrorised and enslaved his people just so his narcissistic addiction to power is well fed. Why does this happen? Why do the likes of Nkurunziza insist on leading a people that want to be led but not by them? Why do they think they are so important that it is okay if other men die for them to rule? Who told them that theirs is a more sublime God and that the country would burn without them in power?
Thankfully, no one lives forever. And at the opportune time, the tears of the suffering people and the blood of those slaughtered in the madness find their way to a higher power, which many of us call God. And these ignoramuses get to learn their lessons. I sure hope Nkurunziza, and others like him, will one day learn their lesson.
But there is a closely related group of men that I must talk about – the gluttonously corrupt class of Kenyan leaders. They grab land meant for hospital construction; they steal the school compound, the recreation park, and church compound. But they never get enough… so they must grab forests, rivers and all riparian land. Still, that is not enough and they come for the widow’s and the orphan’s land. There is a joke making rounds in social media that if you wrap one kilo of meat with a newspaper with the picture of a particular politician, the meat will be just a quarter kilo by the time you get home.
Why does one man want to own the whole of Kenya? Where will the orphans and widows go to without the only piece of land they call home?
And did you hear that some leaders are demanding 10 per cent of every tender they approve? Imagine 10 per cent of Ksh 400 billion standard gauge railway project for instance! Why does anyone desire to have a micro-Central Bank of Kenya all for himself? Why steal money you will never use in your lifetime? Wouldn’t it give you much more pleasure to see a greater number of fellow citizens enjoying a better standard of living out of proper management of taxpayers’ money?
But even among the common “mwananchi” class to which majority of us belong; haven’t you noticed similar levels of stupidity? For instance, the brother who slaughters a brother over land then gets life imprisonment for murder so that neither he nor his deceased brother will live on the said land? Folly!
Or the woman who stabs another over a man then gets life sentence so the man she killed for is left with no alternative but to find another woman? Folly! And why does a man beat a woman just because she wants to end their relationship? Don’t such men know a woman has power to choose what is right by her own estimation?
All these are not any different from what the likes of Nkurunziza do. They all want to possess by force what should be possessed by mutual agreement. If citizens don’t want you as their leader, just go and find some other work to do. And if a sister doesn’t want you, find one who will want you and spare us the drama. Get it, man!