Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Nguessos: the Kleptocratic Family

While specialists are still debating on how and when a regime could be defined or referred to as a Kleptocracy, the Cambridge dictionary defines the noun Kleptomania, this way: “A very strong and uncontrollable wish to steal, especially without any need or purpose”. The same dictionary adds: “It is usually considered to be a mental illness”. With the preceding definitions in mind and having spent time in Congo, I am sometimes tempted to conclude that, those ruling the country are sick. My conclusion is based on the insatiable desire of the ruling Nguesso family and their supporters in spite the fact that, they have become extremely prosperous to pilfer the wealth of the country. The Nguesso’s determination to continuously embezzle the country’s wealth is exacerbated by the fact that, everyone within that family wants to grow rich. Even the men and women who have integrated the family through marriage want to become wealthy. And this has sparked an internal race and competition for wealth acquisition that fuels the state theft and capture by a single family, which has resulted in a worrying trend that is beyond comprehension. If the Nguesso’s propensity to steal is not driven by mental illness, it is therefore beyond comprehension why after ruining the country, they are still enthusiastically plundering her.

Immediate consequences

And the immediate consequences of the above is that, today, the Republic of Congo is either bankrupt or on the verge of bankruptcy. According to CEMAC sources, she is indebted to the tune of 77% of her GDP. And this is 7% way above the authorized indebtedness ratio within the norms of the Economic and Monetary Commission of Central African States, CEMAC. The long stay of Sassou Nguesso in power as mentioned severally in the preceding chapters has not only bred corruption and dysfunctions of proper governance; it has also made the system to become a Kleptocracy. A system that has deeply altered   the way the Congolese society behaves or their regard on exams cheating, a practice which is prevalent within the educational system.

Why has Kleptocracy Developed?

Kleptocracy has developed and become a culture because of the following reasons: the children and close relatives of the Sassou Nguesso who were young and some even unborn when he came to power 1979 have now become matured men and women. And most of them currently want to have or already hold political positions and therefore they need money to consolidate their power, the other reasons are that, President Sassou Nguesso has a strong love and affection for his children and family members to a point that, he is unable to take decisions or punish erring members. President Nguesso has a string of friends without whom he won’t have seized power and to compensate them, he allows them free hands to plunder state coffers as they please. In short, Sassou Nguesso has become too passive toward his children, family members and friends, to a level which could be compared to the attitude of the biblical Eli.  But in the bible, there was a consequence. Prophet Eli was punished by God for his inability to reprove his wayward children, and in Congo, it might take some time, ultimately, Congolese will punish Sassou Nguesso for presiding over their economic ruin. 

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