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Thursday, 4 August 2011

WHAT EMBARRASSMENT TO AFRICA? MUBARAK SHOULD FACE THE LAW



His nearly 30-year reign ended dishonourably, after a popular uprising led to his ouster. Indeed, there was jubilation in the streets of Cairo, when Hosni, 'the last Pharaoh of Egypt,' Mubarak exited from power. Given his supposed decades of misrule, I don't see how his trial amounts to an embarrassment to Africa.

The front page of one of Kenya's local dailies
Embarrassment to whom? To an individual, who so happened to have served as Egypt's Head of State for years? Is that reason enough for him not to be subjected to a trial? I strongly beg to differ.

And for those arguing that hauling Mubarak to court on a stretcher is unreasonable, inhuman and an embarrassment to the African continent, how would they describe the treatment accorded to former Liberian leader Samuel Doe? Or his predecessor William Tolbert and his Cabinet ministers?

The charges Mubarak is facing state that he allegedly authorized the killing of protesters, among others. So why, pray tell, should he be allowed to go scot-free, and allowed to enjoy the sublime comforts of his ill-gotten wealth?

Coverage of Mubarak trial in a Kenyan daily
What of the Egyptians, who lost their lives or livelihoods during Mubarak's rule? Should the passion of Egyptians yearning for change, as exemplified by my friend and former classmate, Randa el Tahawy, including the attendant risks, be denied a befitting closure in Cairo's corridors of justice?

So many questions needing appropriate answers. But hardly any likely to be wished away by even insinuating that Mubarak's trial is inappropriate. I can only read a hidden agenda on such reportage.

Egyptians, I feel, should be applauded for applying their own law to try a leader, who fell out of favour probably a long time ago.

video
                                                  Ex Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo Reacts to Mubarak Trial

Instead of Africa being embarrassed, Mubarak's trial should serve as a stark warning to dictators in the continent that the days of wantonly clinging to power, while perpetuating savage atrocities against the masses, will no longer be tolerated.

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