Africa not a pedestal for COVID-19 experiments


I WAS listening to Kenyan professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba the other day as he alluded to an idea that “Africa’s politicians are its biggest curse”, and I could not agree with him more.

I will choose not to dwell on the good professor’s credentials as this could be debate for another day, but what I have undoubtedly admired about him is his ability to focus his analytical lenses well when it comes to African political leaders.

Let me start off by looking at the most recent sad piece of news, where some French scientists suggested that trials for COVID-19 vaccine should be first carried out on the African continent, and precisely targeting the black African people.

What a bizarre colonial hangover!

Such kind of mentality and lack of moral guard naturally invites disaffection, apart from impinging on the rights of other people.

However, this disparaging development has made me realise too that sometimes, the source of our ridicule as Africa has a lot to do with some of our political leaders.

The majority of scorn and embarrassment that African people get subjected to is linked to very poor leadership styles from our own kin and kindred.

Think of someone who sees it fit to loot in such an emergency like Cyclone Idai that hit parts of southern Africa in March last year. Honestly how low could one get?

The lack of unity within African leaders presents a perfect pedestal for outside manipulation, especially from the developed countries.

Just on the backdrop of the French scientists’ heart-rending utterances, there was rumour that a central-southern African former French colony had agreed in principle to have its citizens used as guinea pigs for the COVID-19 vaccine. How gullible and pathetic of this country’s leaders.

One would only hope that this remained a rumour with no slightest measure of truth.

And in a case like this, I would strongly suggest that the African people would be better off dealing with their inept leaders first before responding angrily to the offending remarks of the outsiders.

Notwithstanding the suggestions of the two malevolent French scientists, leaders who are too gullible deserve to be treated as schmucks.

Africa has been largely disfranchised by its own leaders more than the outside world.

A simple case in point is the size of pillaging graft that goes unabated in most African countries.

It may not be surprising to discover that some political leaders would risk the lives of their own people in exchange for personal wealth.

As inconceivable as this may be, there are some African leaders who will fall prey to fat brown envelopes and let in the unscrupulous superpowers to do as they like with some of us.

As we look at the topical matter regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa has not been so badly affected as to warrant for vaccine trials to be carried out on its people, and suggestions in this regard reeks of sinister

I am sure the late founding fathers of Africa must be turning in their graves as most of them would never let the malevolent and powerful foreign nations execute their deadly conspiracies on this continent’s citizens.

For once, African leaders need to be so united in this critical time, and collectively adopt an indomitable spirit to repulse this pending biological warfare, just as they did during the invasion of its territories in colonial days.

After the demise of colonialism in Africa, its people have been stuck in the rut of dependence on foreign aid due to what I believe is lack of transformational leadership.

Greed has been a major seduction for most of African leaders, hence the concomitant rise in manipulative methods from developed nations of the east and west.

Africa’s coveted natural resources are largely untapped, yet they attract the greedy powerful nations who find easy entrance through timid, weak, and very gullible political leaders.

More to the point, the leadership transition from the founding fathers of Africa to present-day crop has not achieved much of the letter and spirit of Africa’s freedom.

The continent has largely remained mired in poverty and isolation from meaningful development.

Instead, there has emerged a greedy exclusiveness of leaders who only care about personal wealth.

Many African countries have scraped by for so many years and never been able to pull it off and make developmental strides due to leaders that suffer from burning greed.

Some of the leaders in Africa are just as low as they come, and a resounding failure to their citizens.
For example, what would one expect to come from a leader that steals foreign aid meant for their suffering people?

Could we have legs to stand on in chastising the same donors for verbally trespassing when they make snide remarks like in the case of the two French scientists?

In several respects, the shortcomings of some African leaders leave the whole continent exposed and this has been the foreign powers’ pick-up line in taking advantage of Africa.

The world is currently on the skids due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and everyone is hard up for corrective solutions.
Africa’s special gift to its people lies in the unity among its leaders who must protect them from the selfish tendencies of the rich nations.

This unity shall be a potent symbol of resistance to any form of biological warfare.

Long live Africa!

George Machanja is a social commentator. He writes in his personal capacity. He can be contacted on 0774 813 345 or