Thursday, February 18, 2016

Congo: My Observations and People I have met

Congo is no doubt a where I blossomed professionally. And I do not regret forever having opted to work in a country with extraordinary kind and welcoming people. I do not also regret that I accepted to work for a system that I thought at one point that, I could contribute to give it a presentable face. I was not the only one with that illusion. An illusion that, change was possible from within. I do not regret that, I once said: Congo under Denis Sassou Nguesso will never become second Zimbabwe, Eritrea or North Korea. I even said that: there was freedom of speech in Congo. It was a mistake on my part and I assume it. It is a mistake that I know will forever hunt me. The other bad thing is that, I was not the only one who was carried away in this illusion. Even Maurice Nguesso, the elder brother of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, the founder of MNCOM Media Group, also made a mistake. Maurice Nguesso is a disappointed man as I am today.  We have all been deceived or we allowed ourselves to be deceived. We both knew that, we were working with Communists, whom we believed have metamorphosed into liberal or electoral democrats who understood the importance of free speech and real democracy.  

We thought we were in Eastern Europe or in the West African states of Benin or Mali. We even thought that we were with people who had some respect for their internal and external image.  We were wrong. Denis Sassou Nguesso and his close aides don’t care about what the world thinks of them. Their world is Congo.  Maurice Nguesso told me on several occasions that: I created my Radio and Television station plus my newspaper to help my younger brother. Even though he has not contributed a cent in the development of my media entity, I have nonetheless created it as my contribution to allow Congolese to express themselves freely. He continued: free expression might help my younger brother to change or improve in the management of the country. Although it is not unique to Congo, I have nevertheless noticed that, its ruling elite is small, proportional to it official population and also that, it ruling elite is distant from the majority poor Congolese. The Congolese elite that I knew mostly rode in 4 wheel air conditioned chauffeur driven cars. They lived in high walled houses, wherein there existed stand-by generators, boreholes and safety water tanks. These elite seldom experienced power failures or lack of running water.

Decaying medical service

When they are sick, they went for treatment in France, Morocco, and South Africa or even sometimes in neighboring countries such as the DRC or Cameroon. In case an elite falls sick and wishes to be medical assisted or treated in Congo, they hardly went to the public hospitals. They only went to private clinics whose medical doctors and sometimes even nurses were foreigners from the DRC or other neighboring countries or from or Cuba and Asia. They never knew the filthy conditions existing at the in Brazzaville at the Brazzaville University Teaching Hospital abbreviated in French as CHU where its emergency wards had the odor of urine mixed with dried blood. And also where there was no running water and power supply was erratic.

The Brazzaville University Teaching Hospital was also were patients paid people to carry them from the ground floor to the upper floors because there was no lift. The Brazzaville University Teaching Hospital was broad killing field where the number of deaths daily was appalling because of poor hygienic conditions and also that most medical staff especially the nurses and midwives were not properly trained. The Brazzaville University Teaching Hospital abbreviated in French as CHU, was the symbol of a decaying medical or health service. It was also the embodiment of all what has failed with the regime of Denis Sassou Nguesso. It was characterized by corruption, incompetence and nepotism. There was no culture of merit at the Brazzaville University Teaching Hospital. It is these grand edifices whose external paints gave a false illusion as Congolese elites do give to people who do not know them that, the very elites who have ruined it seldom visited. 

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