Mo Ibrahim is a Sudanese born entrepreneur, who founded Africa’s mobile giant Celtel - a company he later, sold to MTC of Kuwait earning him a huge personal fortune. But unlike, other African leaders who easily get entangled, into lives of personal luxury and waste, Mr. Ibrahim is using his wealth for good. He has set up a database on African governance (Ibrahim Index on African governance) and now inaugurated the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. The largest individual award in the world, it comprises:
• US$5 million over 10 years and US$200,000 annually for life thereafter
• Up to US$200,000 a year for 10 years towards the winner’s public interest activities and good causes.
The first recipient is Joaquim Chissano, the former President of Mozambique – Perhaps this will serve as an incentive to stop the plunder and waste of public money by African Presidents.
If only our presidents could stomach a simpler existence!
Here is a sample of African presidential extravagance-
Here's how the WaBenzi get around. Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi have motorcades that can extend a mile long. At the very minimum an African president needs at least 30 cars: the S600L for himself, perhaps a couple more identical vehicles to confuse assassins, outriders, ministers, yes-men and chase cars bristling with guns. Snarling police in advance vehicles force you off the road up to an hour before the big man zooms past……
When he's at home former Tanzania President Mkapa has his own motorcade, which in the last five years has been involved in three separate road accidents in which 22 people have died (including a child of three) and 47 others have been seriously injured. Most were pedestrians. Mkapa escaped this road slaughter without a scratch to himself, but no wonder he often chooses to fly in the £15-million presidential jet he used state coffers to buy in 2002…….
Last year King Mswati III of Swaziland went against the grain. He passed over Mercedes and went for a £264,000 Maybach 62 for himself plus a fleet of BMWs for each of his 10 wives and three virginal fiancées selected annually at the football stadium 'dance of the impalas'. Imagine if he continues buying BMW for his wives; his dad collected 50 spouses and 350 kids. In May southern Africa's Mr. Toad changed his mind about Mercedes and roared up to his rubber-stamp parliament in a new S600L limo. The total bill for his car purchases alone will be about £750,000, or three quarters of the annual figure for British assistance. Of the £14 million Swaziland gets in foreign aid, £9 million goes on the king's balls, picnics and parties - and cars. Yet 70 per cent of Swazis languish in absolute poverty and four out of ten have HIV/Aids, the highest rate in the world……..
Former Kenyan President Moi's package -
Monthly pension to amount to 80% of last salary
Six cars and seven drivers
Three cooks and two housekeepers
Gym, swimming pool and sauna……
The judge reserved his most abrasive remarks for former Zambian President Chiluba, whose corruption trial in Zambia has been repeatedly postponed because of his ill health. He refused to give evidence to the court. Mr. Justice Smith singled out as "the most telling example of corruption" his $500,000 purchase of hundreds of suits and monogrammed shirts from an exclusive boutique in Switzerland, as well as 72 pairs of handmade, high heel shoes to extend his 5ft stature. "This was at a time when the vast majority of Zambians were struggling to live on $1 a day and many could not afford more than one meal a day. The people of Zambia should know that whenever he appears in public wearing some of these clothes he acquired them with money stolen from them."………
The International Crisis Group (ICG) says some Zimbabweans are in favor of a retirement package, which would be attractive enough for President Robert Mugabe to step down. It could include granting immunity to President Mugabe from prosecution while safeguarding his wealth……..
Yet, on and on he goes like a ...........