It came to many like the Boko Haram bomb. Unexpectedly, José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, who has been in power for 36 years, announced on Friday in Luanda that he will quit active politics in 2018. Definitely, one would expect the 73 year old iron fisted President, who is Africa’s second-longest serving leader, after President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, to understand those who doubt his latest pledge to step down.
Could it be that President José Eduardo dos Santos has suddenly become a political Born Again, as such, he is allergic to power and the intoxicating goodies that come with it? Or did he see the Nebuchadnezzarial vision recently, with the Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin warning boldly written on the wall, concerning his political future? Is the President trying to follow the advice of his spin doctors to mesmerize his opponents and those harbouring presidential ambitions, only to uproot them unexpectedly? It takes just a cross over to Zimbabwe to get some tutorials from Uncle Robert if President Santos has not perfected himself in the art of political mesmerization and disorganization of political opponents and other political vultures in his party. More worrisome still, Kata Kata`s investigation revealed that the media shy President did not visit Prophet TB Joshua of recent, or ask for his prophetic views on the President`s political future. So why this sudden change of mind and “quick“ exist on the political stage?
Kata Kata`s reporter could not wait for the exclusive interview with one of the most powerful Presidents in Africa. Contrary to the speculations that President Santos is one of the richest Africans with a lot of mansions, the interview took place in a very miserable, wretched looking house, typical of those owned by many poor Angolans, who are yet to enjoy the enormous oil benefits of the country, ranged the second richest oil producing country in Africa. Dressed in a short with perforated slippers, our reporter had to wipe her eyes three and half times to convince herself she was not on the Slumber island. Within 30 minutes of waiting, the President summoned our reporter for the long expected interview.
KATA KATA: Thank you, Mr President, for this huge honour of interviewing you. Mr President, I am still trying to recover from the shock of looking at this interview location as well as your mode of dressing. Why the modesty?
DOS SANTOS: I`ve always been modest. I`ve said and shown that our lives must reflect the lives of ordinary Angolans, who are struggling to survive.
KATA KATA: I guess you must have been expecting my next question. You recently announced on Friday that you will quit active politics in 2018. Why the decision?
DOS SANTOS: Why not? I have been a respecter of democracy and the rule of law, which includes, honouring term limits and giving political opportunities to others
KATA KATA: Absolutely. But there are rumours that the pressure from the youths and oppositions are becoming unbearable in the face of the economic meltdown due to the low oil prices.
DOS SANTOS: Neither my party nor me have problems with my people, otherwise, how can you explain the fact that I “˜ve been re-elected for a couple of times? My people love me.
KATA KATA: Definitely it must be sad for them to see their beloved leader leave the political state voluntarily.
DOS SANTOS: Absolutely. I even had to import a trailer load of handkerchief and distributed them free of charge, so that they can wipe out their rivers of tears with them. Unfortunately, as a leader, you must show examples, lead by them and keep your words. I`ve pleaded to resign after 2018. I keep my words.
KATA KATA: Some believe you are grooming one of your children to succeed you, or trying to make sure whoever takes over from you will protect the family interests and business empire. What do you say to that?
DOS SANTOS: Which children? My kids are not interested in politics. I am not sure which family business you are talking about. You can see for yourself that my family is wretched despite that I`ve been in power for 36 years.
KATA KATA: But many sources, including the respectable journal, Forbes, ranged your 42 year old daughter Isabel, with a personal worth of $3.3 Billion, as the richest woman in the world.
DOS SANTOS: Ha – ha. I cannot stop laughing when I hear or read about my daughter Isabel being the richest woman in Africa or having a personal wealth of $3.3 Billion. Where did she get the money, having in mind that she is only 42 years?
KATA KATA: Exactly, many wonder how she could have made so much money within such a short time.
DOS SANTOS: You now understand why I laugh at the so called Forbes. My daughter is just like any other hard working Angolan
KATA KATA: From 2000 ““ 2013, Angola recorded the fastest income growth in Africa (737 percent), rising from per capita GDP of US$656 to US$5, 485“¦“¦..
DOS SANTOS: Correcto!! Preciso!! You have a correct figure, not the kangaroo figures from the Forbes“¦“¦
KATA KATA: Ha- ha“¦..
DOS SANTOS: Now you understand. We create wealth for Angolans; if you are already working hard like my daughter and others, you definitely will make it
KATA KATA: Certainly. Based on the highest income of your country`s GDP, that would mean, Your Excellency, that it would have taken your daughter approximately 601,640.838651 years to accumulate $3.3 Billion
DOS SANTOS: (irked) Well, I don`t understand where or how you got your figure. You know I am not good in Mathematics
KATA KATA: She is just 42. Right?
DOS SANTIOS: Who?
KATA KATA: When could your daughter have made so much money, so soon? Perhaps before you came into power?
DOS SANTOS: Exactly! She is really lucky. And hardworking ““ just like many Angolans
KATA KATA: Since you came into power, there has been animosity between your MPLA party and opposition, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
DOS SANTOS: In politics, you don`t expect to sit down behind the table every day and eat Cabidela or Catatos with your opposition. They must protest, even when you are making the right decisions for the country. It is part of the political games; otherwise, which other way would they use in taking over power from the government.?
KATA KATA: Talking about opposition and their political strength, UNITA has been significantly weakened politically since the death of its rebel leader Jonas Savimbi. But recently UNITA and many citizens have accused your government of not doing enough for the masses rather, your government created, according to the accusation, a huge gap between the poor and the rich, despite the country’s oil and diamond riches.
DOS SANTOS: The fall in oil prices has seriously hit the economy. This is not something the President or even the ruling party could predict. It came to us by surprise. However, we are doing all we can to diversify the economy and“¦
KATA KATA: But to be fair, Your Excellency, the oil doom started of recent. Moreover, it takes years of (mis) management to create economic inequality your opponents accuse you of creating
DOS SANTOS: Where were the opponents or oppositions when our government worked hard to increase the GDP from almost $200 to almost $6,000, making Angola`s GDP the fastest in Africa? Why didn`t they complain? Look at all the housing projects we have embarked upon. Education has been significantly taken care of. Literacy level has gone up, life expectation has never been higher. We have achieved much, but there are still more to be done.
KATA KATA: Like fight corruption and inequality?
DON SANTOS: Just like in any other country
KATA KATA: There has been a greater voice of agitation ever since, some would accuse, you allegedly claimed victory in the last election, thereby adding another five years to your reign.
DON SANTOS: I am not the electoral commission that declared me the winner.
KATA KATA: But some argue that you and your party control almost all mechanisms and organs of the government, including the electoral commission.
DON SANTOS: Those who say so can equally argue that I control everything that happens in Angola. I am just a President. Nothing more. I don`t have unlimited power.
KATA KATA: The kwanza currency is sliding, losing 35 percent if its value against the dollar this year. Does that worry you or put more pressure on you, especially in the face of agitations against you?
DON SANTOS: Every currency goes up and down. Not even the US dollars are spared. Thank God we don`t have our savings in Kwanza.
KATA KATA: I don`t understand, Your Excellency. You meant the other way round? Who are the “we“ here, Sir?
DON SANTOS: Well“¦. May I have your last question, please?
KATA KATA: As Africa’s second biggest oil producer, your country is blessed with enormous oil wealth. Unfortunately, the prices of oil are abnormally low presently. Was that why you appealed on Angolans and entrepreneurs in particular, to diversity and produce goods for domestic consumption and export?
DON SANTOS: (face brightened). Exactly!! We have done great in some areas and we need to do more in other areas. We must tighten our economic belt and share our fortune and loses. I`ll start that with my family.
KATA KATA: I guess many Angolans would appreciate that. So the economic meltdown in Angola could indeed come with a blessing in disguise if you and cronies would share your family wealths amongst the miserably poor Angolans ““ in the spirit of love and sharing of fortune and loses. Definitely, no legacy would be better than this, Your Excellency“¦“¦
DON SANTOS: (Gone)
The above story is a parody. It is entirely fictitious; therefore none of the characters mentioned in the story are real.
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