Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why ex-Senator John Edwards is not African

This past week, the US media was awash with a report of former senator John Edwards admission to fathering a baby with his ex-mistress, Rielle Hunter.
The story seems to draw parallels with what takes place in African politics, including my homeland Uganda where our leaders have had a fair share of adulterous scandals. It involves high ranking politicians in national and continental politics from Presidents, Vice Presidents as well as African Kings.

For instance, the Ugandan media in the recent past reported of the Vice President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya involvement in an adulterous affair with a woman Jamillah Nakku.

South African President Jacob Zuma is no stranger to polygamy and extra-marital affairs. Remember the inquest into his affair with an HIV infected woman?

Then in Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki was reported in 2004 to been customarily married to Mary Wambui with who he has a daughter, Wangui Mwai. A Kenyan cabinet minister one day offended the publicly-known Kenyan First Lady Lucy, when he addressed her as 'Second Lady' at a State cocktail.

With such a brief list, no African leader in their right mind would resign from holding public office because of an extra-marital relationship. The continent is littered with many. Others are not mentioned, especially for Cabinet ministers who abandon their unofficial families and refuse to provide for the children. Not on a continent where polygamy and extra-marital relationships seem to be glorified.

An African politician's career cannot be threatened by reports of extra-marital affairs, or even be threatened with impeachment like it happened for President Bill Clinton. A true African leader's unofficial offsprings are usually discovered at the death of either the child or the father.

A presidential candidate's chances of winning the presidency, or their continued hold onto power cannot be threatened by reports of an extra-marital affair. That is why Johnny Ried 'John' Edwards is too decent to be African. Meanwhile, I wait to read Edward's campaign aide Andrew Young book that will be released next month.

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