Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The New Constitution

There are some people who want to imagine Reform Agenda is dead, or corruption will not be done with, just because African corrupt leaders even after they have pinpointed and asked to step down for investigations are stuck in the government and will not oblige. These leaders have stolen so much from their citizens and have stored the stolen money and public utilities in foreign countries……But, with determination of the Civil Society and all people of Africa, things can change extremely dramatically and drastically when we hold firm, enough is enough……and as reformists, we believe, we will achieve our goals just when we stay the course and remain focused. In solidarity we must remain committed to improve living standards and achieve development in Africa…..this means we are looking for “Good Governance free from corruption” with valuable sustainable developmental growth for each and everyone. Please note this quote from UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon, when he said………"Corruption is not some vast impersonal force. It is the result of personal decisions, most often motivated by greed." We must deal with this decisively and without mercy.

Even with the best Constitution put in place, if policy instruments to meet challenges and competition are not sequential, the importance to appropriate role of the government in facilitating it becomes non-effective, a window best created for corruption. It is important that African Country Governments in their varying Political structure, engage in gainful Institutional settings to include Civil Societies, Professionals, Scholars or Academicians, Non-Governmental Organizations with other private organizations (Not hand-picked) to build Developmental Vision in a clear high standard challenging and competitive set goals, with Institutionalized Country-Specifics and Capacity-Specifics specified laid down principles for achieving developmental set goals. We must therefore, expose any element local or foreign who we think is an obstruction to our development success or those who we think are giving cushion cover or back-up support to those who are the machinery for corruption, who are nailing us into poverty den. We must all stand up and challenge bad leadership and bad governance.

We have also noticed some people issuing threats, those who have been paid to perform disruptive measures or speak on behalf of these corrupt leaders so they can stage technical resistance to have status quo of thieving and loopholes of the same to remain the way they are……We have seen like in Kenya the corrupt leaders send their Agents to speak on their behalf, to clear their names from wrong doings and like PNU demanding for a weaker Constitution a reason to cause delaying tactics so that they can continue stealing from public. This must not be allowed and must be at all cost condemned in the strongest term possible.
Corruption is the cause of Africa’s poverty, Ethnic hate and dis-Unity. It is the reason Africa has remain backwards in development, it is the reason Africa is heavily in debt……..who is going to pay all these accrued debt if we do not develop stiff strategy measure to stop this behavior and reclaim our stolen money and resources that have either been banked overseas or been transferred to personal accounts locally or internationally and into their private business investments and international partnership? This is why they are having cushion support from individual personnel in the UN and the International Finance Institutions, the reason why, as Citizens of Africa, it becomes extremely difficult for us to penetrate and stop this chronic menace of corruption.

It is a conspiracy people…..we must fight it all round, locally and internationally. We must collaborate to organize the return of our stolen assets that are and have become the proceeds of corruption by African Leaders. We must be careful, the same corrupt group of people will take this advantage to send ahead of time their own people to be seen to be Agents playing that role of public asset returns, we must remain on top of the game and know who is who so we do not get blackmailed. Therefore, Public Asset Recovery and Return MUST be PEOPLE DEMAND DRIVEN, not Country-led because we will never get to catch these politically connected thieves who steal huge sums of money and facilities under the International conspiracy. This is a high powered network from both within the corrupt Government machinery personnel system led by the Politicians within the UN and the Senior Personnel of International Finance Organizations who provide technicalities for safety-net with the legal framework for exercising safe Corruption Enterprise.

We therefore need concerted help and commitment from the United Nations including the Foreign Government Leadership, the Civil Society, NGOs and Private Organizations to help with the Restrictive Regulation formulation to stamp-out Corruption in African Government all-round system so to achieve sane political landscaping for sustainable development.

Cheers ! !

Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc., USA

G8 : Playing neatly into the hands of corrupt leaders ...
who have shackled Africa in the chains of misrule
Tuesday 8 July 2008

In the runup to the Group of Eight meeting in Japan last week, activists of all stripes were working hard to ensure that their issue would be on the agenda. While the agenda changes from year to year, one item has become a mainstay: debt relief. The fact that this issue repeatedly resurfaces calls into question the effectiveness of a well-intentioned development tool.

By Franklin Cudjoe

Instead of promoting debt relief year after year, the time has come to pursue more sensible, sustainable solutions. The G8 finance ministers have established several laudable and impressive goals that commit them to facilitating economic growth and development in African countries and affirming the importance of "good financial governance, including long-term fiscal discipline for resource-rich countries."
If African economies are to sustain their growth and lift millions of citizens out of poverty, as India and China have done, better fiscal discipline and financial governance are essential.
For too long, ordinary Africans have struggled to get ahead because of poor governance, corruption and a general lack of economic freedom; the G8 would only perpetuate these policies with its well-intentioned, yet ill-practiced policies on debt forgiveness. More than 90 percent of external debt of heavily indebted poor countries arises from official loans from creditors such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Much of this debt has already been forgiven and paid for by Western taxpayers.
Yet, despite hundreds of billions of dollars in debt cancellation and donor aid, Africa’s leaders and their rock-star champions still demand greater donor assistance to provide even the most basic services. In 2005 the G8 championed debt forgiveness and promised to increase foreign aid spending dramatically.

Debts of past corrupt gov’ts

There does exist some cases in which debt should be forgiven. For example, debt accumulated by rogue leaders, such as the former-Zaire President Joseph Mobutu, should not shackle the current population of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Much debt accumulated under the economic misrule of Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda has been forgiven, and under the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s HIPC program, funds released from debt payments are being used to pay for health programs, among other things. Still, great caution must be exercised in forgiving debt so that it doesn’t reward corrupt leaders and perpetuate failed economic policies.
The G8 goes beyond debt forgiveness by seeking an end to "aggressive litigation" against heavily indebted poor countries. This litigation often arises when investors who have abandoned hope of recovering their debts sell their debt at discounted rates on secondary markets. The secondary market investors then use the judicial system to recover from sovereign states what is owed to them. Disparagingly known as "vulture funds" these investors play an important role in international finance.

Astonishingly corrupt Denis Sassou-Nguesso

Take the case of the Republic of Congo, a country with vast resources that is ruled by the astonishingly corrupt Denis Sassou-Nguesso. Every year the Republic of Congo (distinct from its neighbor the Democratic Republic of Congo) earns almost $6 billion from oil reserves, but little of this is used to improve the lot of ordinary Congolese. According to the United Nations Development Program, Congo’s Human Development Index, which accounts for a range of factors such as life expectancy, health care and education, ranks the country at 139 out of 177.
Over the past 20 years, as the quality of life for most people around the world, particularly in South Asia, has rapidly increased, it has gradually decreased in Congo. The profligate corruption of the ruling elite is part of the problem. Credit-card receipts prove that Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso, son of Congo’s ruler, charged over $200,000 on luxury items on shopping sprees in Paris and elsewhere. When his president-father’s entourage visited New York for a U.N. summit, they racked up a hotel bill of more than $300,000, paid mostly in cash. Yet Sassou-Nguesso pleaded poverty and refused to pay the country’s debts when they were taken over by hedge fund managers Elliot Associates.
After years of investigating Congo’s actions, Elliot Associates exposed rampant corruption and maladministration in Congo and finally arrived at a settlement.


Yet, the G8 and some U.S. congressmen want to outlaw such practices, playing neatly into the hands of corrupt and venal leaders that have shackled Africa in the chains of their misrule for too long. If the G8 really wants to help Africa, it should work to build sound financial systems and ensure that the ruling elite are held responsible for the debts they incur. To expect less accountability and responsibility from African leaders than the G8 expects from itself is to sell Africa short.
Furthermore, it betrays those Africans, like myself, who are trying to build better societies and economies based on the rule of law, individual responsibility and rights, free trade and private enterprise. Unless the G8 holds governments and the ruling elite accountable for their bad decisions, there will never be any incentive to improve policies and make good financial decisions.
Without such reforms and improved accountability from the real vultures — the ruling elites — ordinary Africans will be kept poor and isolated from the global economy and the hope of a better future.

Franklin Cudjoe is editor of African Liberty and executive director of IMANI Center for Policy and Education, a think tank in Accra, Ghana.

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