HUSTLER NATION

Self-made another name for plunderer

Dominant narrative from Africa over last two months has been an exposure of plunder.

In Summary
  • The cornered are always fast to declare themselves ‘self–made’. 
  • Suspects seek public sympathy by deliberately falsifying evidence. They seek to mystify their fortunes, sometimes from rags to riches.

“A liar’s worst enemy is someone with a good memory” — Dodinsky

Whenever bubble billionaires, who wallow in moral pig-land are exposed, they often cry: ‘It’s witch-hunt. It’s orchestrated malice!’  The cornered are always fast to declare themselves ‘self-made’.  The suspects seek public sympathy by deliberately falsifying evidence.

They seek to mystify their fortunes, sometimes from rags to riches, or from trading in charcoal to owning multibillion-shilling empires. They seek to dazzle the gullible, who may believe the crap from beneficiaries of impunity.

The dominant narrative from Africa over the last two months has been an exposure of plunder, especially from Angola. Beneficiaries of impunity are blaming political competitors for setting them up to derail their presidential ambitions. Those who live by lying like to lie their way into wealth, and possibly into elective office. The Dodinsky quote captures the mendacity of people who have conned their way to the top of the economic ladder.

 

Among the people who do not forget could be villagers who remember how it happened. The internet mirrors that person with a sound memory—it does not forget. The people on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations radar, like Rashid Echesa, better know this.

Trouble has found a host in the former Sports Cabinet secretary. His handling of this latest visitation confirms he is swimming in familiar waters. He is blaming his political enemies for setting him up because he is a friend of the Deputy President. He has used the same excuses before. He is playing the victim card, hoping to attract public sympathy. 

He hopes other ‘hustlers’ would say this Echesa, a struggling citizen of the hustler nation, is being harassed to settle political scores. When the man was sacked last year, he blamed his enemies for inciting the President against a poor citizen of the hustler nation.

Even a woman (Angola's Isabel Dos Santos) whose dad was president for four decades claims she is ‘self-made’. She says the allegations against her are a “political witch-hunt” by enemies who don’t want her to run for president. These are similar to the excuses in ‘our hustlerland’.

The trending Angola plunder echoes scandals in the ‘hustler nation’. The Luanda Leaks mirror the multibillion-shilling swindles of the Moi regime. The plunder, captured in the Kroll Report that should have been acted on during the Kibaki regime, thrived on the wings of political correctness.

The Luanda Leaks incriminate the family of former Angola President José Eduardo Dos Santos, who was in power for 38 years. His daughter Isabel is the subject of a running expose of the looting of billions of dollars. She blames politics for her plight. She says her family’s enemies have conspired to undermine the Dos Santos legacy.

Even a woman whose dad was president for four decades claims she is ‘self-made’. She says the allegations against her are a “political witch-hunt” by enemies who don’t want her to run for president. These are similar to the excuses in ‘our hustlerland’.

 

Isabel, ‘the princess of Angola’, used her father’s position to build a multibillion-dollar empire. She would call ministers and executives who worked for her father to make monetary and business requests (commands). She would buy valuable state assets at rock-bottom prices. This made her the driver of illicit cash flows to offshore accounts in Portugal, Malta, the Bahamas, the UAE and Britain.

Today, ‘Africa’s richest woman’ or ‘Africa’s first woman billionaire’, according to the Forbes Magazine, shuttles between London and Dubai, enjoying life on the fast lane. The claims of ‘witch-hunt’ and ‘orchestrated malice’ against a woman who is ‘self-made’ are Isabel’s attempt to escape justice.

 

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists assembled up to 120 reporters to expose massive corruption in Angola over the 38 years of Do Santos rule. Luanda Leaks is a case study for students of investigative journalism. Local journalists should also learn something from the massive expose of corruption around power.

Isabel and her brother have dismissed the journalists as racists who do not want hardworking Africans to use their good offices to make money. Around here political competitors are blamed for harassing self-made citizens of a hustler nation. The excuses are a tired chorus by people who are addicted to evading the law.