Now that the Libyan “rats and cats” have almost completely taken the capital Tripoli, and the so-called Transitional National Council starts preparing to take complete control, I have a few questions for our African leaders.
Gaddaffi’s ambitions to be President of Africa led to him dispensing oil-gained largesse in unprecedented amounts. He bankrolled governments the length of the continent, including my own Zimbabwe.
He ran the African Union like a personal fiefdom, and when the regional uprising swept into his country the AU puppets logically found themselves duty-bound to beg for “restraint”. When western warplanes began pounding the capital in March, our leaders went apeshit, bleating at every forum about imperialism and unfairness.
I envision a scenario where, down the line, these little men will have to look into the eyes of the new Libyan leadership, and answer the question “Where were you when we fought for OUR freedom”? I can see a few uncomfortable meetings, where once-vilified freedom fighters have control of the AU’s purse-strings and ask a few hard questions.
That is when our leaders will realise that the best course is always to do what is right; not what is convenient. It was always easier to sing from the Green Book than to support the oppressed people of Libya. It was always easier for Jacob Zuma to wander around Tripoli for a few hours then waffle uncovincingly about truces and mediation and restraint.
It was always easier for people to talk about air raids for oil, than accept the harsh realities that wherever a populace is held down, it will rise up and free itself from bondage.
How many more African strongmen are making shifty eyes at their own people now?
More than a few.