Ali Bongo and Sarkozy

I read it twice. I don’t know if I am reading a reality or a fiction.  I check the calendar; we are still in January and today is not April fool’s day.

I laugh, stop, clean my reading glasses and read again the article.   

The headline of the magazine “Jeune Afrique” reads “influenced by Ivory Coast and Tunisia, Mba Obame declares himself president of Gabon”.  Gabon, same as Ivory Coast, has now two presidents.

Inconsequential to the world’s political scene since Ali Bongo is the one recognized by the world community. 

André Mba Obame ran for election in August 2009 and lost with 25.33% of the electorate compared to 41.79% for Ali Bongo Ondimba. Another candidate Pierre Mamboundou received 25.66%.

The election was African style, full of controversy, and Ali Bongo was elected new President of Gabon taking the reign from his father Omar Bongo.

Omar Bongo was president of this poor, yes poor, oil rich country for 42 years and had, until China got involved, a very close relationship with France.
The Bongo’s family owns a massive real estate empire in France and has multiple bank accounts and sport cars to support their lavish lifestyle. They follow the adage that in Africa politic is the road to wealth.

A French documentary shown on public French TV channel, France 2, titled “Françafrique” shows how Omar Bongo, Ali Bongo’s daddy, financed by proxy the French presidential elections. Also, he received millions of Euros in kickback from now defunct French petrol giant Elf Aquitaine. In 2008 Jean-Marie Bockel, minister of the French ex-colonies was demoted by French President, Nicolas Sarkozy at Bongo’s request for pointing out the squandering of money by African regimes.

That’s an open secret since everyone knows that all African governments loot money from their coffer.  Yet, Jean-Marie Bockel gets kicked out of his post because he dares say it loud.

I wonder what will happen to Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, he may find himself person non-grata in all the world’s countries.

The documentary “Françafrique” explained the rigging and the maneuvers of the late Maurice Delaunay, Gabon ex-French ambassador in Gabon, to favor Ali Bongo Ondimba presidential elections. The documentary created so much rife within the Gabonese government that opponents officially requested in December 2010 the resignation of Ali Bongo as President.

So, André Mba Obame using his private TV channel, TV+, in an official looking ceremony, “officially” declared himself on 25 January 2011 President of Gabon and has already named the members of his government.

I don’t know what to make of African elections.  The comedy is going from the sublime ridiculous to outrageous slapstick vaudeville.  Mediocre greedy political actors still want applause when the curtain has come down.

These men have such misplaced overdeveloped ego that they do not see the ridicule of the world’s rotten tomatoes thrown at them.

The African’s vaudeville acts have the largest audience, the world, and reinforce the stereotype that African political actors do not get it yet.

They don’t get it that the mass, in free and fair elections untouched by outside influence,  decides which hyena gets the bone.




  1. Since so many African leaders are corrupt and predictable, Africa will have to get it, because it can be easily sold off , written off and not taken seriously within the world community.I do not want to see the continent of Africa go down as a place where non-Africans can just easily go to loot with the watchful eye and permission of another set of looters- the elites

  2. I’m not entirely sure what your overall point or POV is. As a person who was actually in Gabon during the 2009 elections, if we can call it that, I don’t really see any of these after affects as comedic. While I agree that Obame’s actions are certainly not the most clever, I applaud him for risking himself in effort to do something to garner some attention to the problem. Far too many, like yourself, spend too much time contemplating the circus that has become African elections instead of focusing on the facts of a situation and proposing real solutions. What does anyone get besides wasted time when he ponders widely recognized problems all day. If you’d really like to be an asset, assess which hyena should really get the bone. Not how many hyenas are fighting over it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s