Kleptocracy in my opinion is not a one style fit all ideology in the way its functions. It varies nonetheless from one country to the other with its only common denominator or hallmark being, the unbridled desire of those in position of power to steal state wealth by all means. In the Republics of: Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, the form of Kleptocracy in practice, according to my view or interpretation is a “family base Kleptocracy”. This simply means that, the main beneficiaries are members of the ruling families in the latter mentioned countries. It is what I refer to as “family based or family oriented Kleptocracy or Kleptocracies”. However in countries such as Angola, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the form of Kleptocracy in practice are national based Kleptocracies. In this form, the profiteering based is wider, it is not only family oriented, the beneficiaries are spread or they come from all parts of the country, creating a melting pot of “state thieves,” even though the fulcrum remains the presidential family. I refer to this second form as a “national select Kleptocracy”. And finally, there is a third form of Kleptocracy. This one is use in Chad perhaps they are in use in Central African Republic, in particular under Francois Bozize and also Burundi. It is a combination of the first and the second. It is what I refer to as a “hybrid Kleptocracy”, a system in which, the President’s family and the President’s tribe have preponderant roles but influential individuals from other parts of the country are co-opted to give an illusion of equity in theft of state wealth , this in a bid to assure or guarantee the survival of the system.
Consequences of Sassou Nguesso’s long reign
In Congo, the long reign of Denis Sassou Nguesso has not made the country to develop into an intermediate economy or the aspired emerging economy, as it is the current trend. What the long reign of Sassou Nguesso has instead produced is a culture of impunity and crass corruption and also the preponderant presence of his family in all sectors of the Congolese economy and social life as already mentioned. Although the Nguessos are present in all sectors of the economy, sometimes it is almost impossible to prove it because they most often than not, operate through proxy or straw men. However, the country being a place where secrets are seldom well kept, whatever strategies in state theft dissimulation are employed, it more often than not, ends up to the knowledge of the people. Like in any system, not all the Nguessos are beneficiaries. There are only a handful fronting for the entire clan, a clan that is growing rapidly as their pockets enlarges from the loot of the state treasury or from various business deals and transactions that, they have done or carried out. Another aspect with the various Nguesso ruling family is that, while they are present in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy, they are nonetheless choosy in the sectors that they get involved in. Their sectors of choice are: Oil, mining, Construction, Banking, Telecommunications, Media/Publishing and Agro-industry.