DITTO!!!! SHE MUST TAKE A SWIPE AT THIS CORRUPT ANC RATS AS WELL!!!
Though overshadowed by hubby Bill’s rescue mission to Pyongyang, Hillary Clinton is in Africa speaking some useful truths. The Secretary of State’s seven-country jaunt began yesterday in Kenya, where she took aim at political corruption and graft. A disputed 2007 election resulted in a power sharing deal between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, but not before related violence claimed more than 1,000 lives.
“The absence of strong, effective democratic institutions has permitted ongoing corruption, impunity, politically motivated violence, human-rights abuses and a lack of respect for the rule of law,” Mrs. Clinton said at a press conference. “These conditions helped fuel the post-election violence and they are continuing to hold Kenya back.” According to Transparency International, a bribe is expected or solicited in nearly half of all transactions in Kenya, which is high even by New Jersey standards.
Secretary Clinton was critical of the government decision not to appoint a tribunal that could hold those responsible for the election-related violence accountable. She acknowledged that prosecuting the perpetrators without igniting more unrest is “complicated” but said it’s no excuse for inaction. “There needs to be a beginning,” said Mrs. Clinton. “That’s what we’re looking for.”
She also expressed regret that the broader reform agenda agreed to by the coalition government “has not yet translated into the kind of political progress that the Kenyan people deserve,” and she left open the possibility of economic or travel sanctions if the situation doesn’t improve.
African leaders aren’t used to such blunt public criticism from Western liberals, but the Obama Administration has put a notable focus on failed governance as a major source of Africa’s woes. “Africa doesn’t need strongmen; it needs strong institutions,” said President Obama in his address to the Ghanaian Parliament last month. “No country is going to create wealth if leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves or if police can be bought off . . . No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there. And now is the time for that style of governance to end.”
Too often, the World Bank and other international aid agencies have been complicit in this failure by turning a blind eye to corruption while pouring more money into these governments. The West has spent an estimated $2.3 trillion on foreign aid over the past five decades. Yet in a typical African country, one-third of the children under five still have stunted growth due to malnutrition.
We’d like to see Mrs. Clinton follow up those words by denying aid to corrupt leaders, and for that matter speaking more candidly about stolen elections in places like Iran. But her forthright approach to African leaders is a welcome development, not least for Africa’s suffering people.