Have you ever pondered over the adage one man’s meat is another man’s poison? If you did, how relevant is the proverb to the present coronavirus state of affairs? Like a hurricane, the pugnacious pandemic descended, tormenting the world community with impunity. Deaths, sickness, alienation, uncertainties, poverty, joblessness, hopelessness become synonymous with the virus; and those social threats would soon metamorphose into a norm. But not everyone sees the pandemic as an existential threat. For some a few individuals, the deadly virus and the despondency that comes with it is just a blessing in disguise. Suddenly, the pandemic has become a harbinger for quick and easy wealth for the few groups of shrewd Shylocks. One man’s meat, is true, another man’s poison, isn’t it?
The heraldic arrival of the Coronavirus has allowed some African leaders to milk on the misery of their subjects. Suddenly, they capitalised on the economic melancholy that comes with the corona as a ground for quick financial gains. From asking for the cancellation of African debt to the extra borrowing from the West. Yes, extra borrowing, which only leads to more financial enslavement and strangulation. Ideally, using the opportunity offered by the pandemic to achieve a debt-free among African countries is not a bad idea, but one would expect such a mindset mainly from visionary and patriotic leaders. But can the saint or prophet amongst African leaders raise their hands? Hardly do those holy nomenclatures the right label for the unholy African leaders.
Take a look at the African continent as it battles with their uninvited August visitor Coronavirus. Unlike in the Western world, where economic and social measures are put in place by their various sensitive governments to ease the suffering of their citizens confronting the choking mandatory Corona lockdown, Africans on the other hand, are left to their fate by their various insensitive governments. Without any social services and economic protection initiated by their leaders in the face of the agonizing lockdown, many Africans have no other choice than to struggle and fight for their survival – with an empty stomach. Yes, empty stomach indeed, because African leaders care more about their own already full stomach than those of their hungry subjects. While African masses are busy trying to survive the lockdown on their own, their greedy leaders are ingloriously feeding their fat-full tummy with the resources meant for the betterment of the lives of the masses facing the pandemic.
To help ease the devastating social-economic deprivation arising from the pandemic, the International Monitory Fund (IMF) has approved billions of dollars to various African countries. But who benefits from the billions? Hardly the masses. Mainly the powerful elements in the societies. The billions are supposed to be channelled towards alleviating the suffering of the poor cage citizens, trapped in the Corona quarantine web. Expectedly, every serious government would be wrapped in the bud of shame if it cannot provide at least financial assistance, basic needs like food, water and electricity for its citizens from the IMF loan. But most African leaders have mortgaged their morality, sanity, sensibility, senses and decency in the mud of dishonesty and corruption.
Some individuals have been wondering whether asking for the IMF loan is the answer to the already indebted African continent and economies. Wouldn’t the billions from the monetary organisation become an economic trap and an extra burden for the continent’s future generation, expected to repay the strangulating debt? Agreed that the loan from the IMF is desperately needed to buffer the Corona shock, an average sane person, would expect the bonanza to go into solving the Corona related havoc and post-pandemic recovery. But in a situation where most African leaders put their interests above those of their subjects, expect the IMF approved loan to go into the pockets of the insensitive corrupt African leaders. It does not end there. Nor does the vicious cycle. Some of those Africans in power would siphon the stolen billions to the Western banks at the expense of their poor Africans, The western governments, will, on the other hand, use the deposited money to develop and cater for their citizens. Do you still wonder why African adversary is far from over? Despite their presumed quintessential anti-corruption credentials, have you imaged why the Western governments would rather prefer archetypal corrupt African leaders at the helm of affairs to a dedicated visionary African? At the end of the day, the pain of a group is the gain of others – at least, as far as the Africa political domain is concerned. One man’s meat can be another man’s poison indeed.