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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Presidential Candidates And Witchdoctors

The truth which will be very strongly denied by all is that no major presidential candidate will dream of standing for the presidency anywhere in Africa without consulting a witch doctor.

Prior to the 1992 initial multi-party elections, some curious visitors of the then president arrived from Mombasa, brought to the city by Shariff Nassir. Their mission was to prepare the presidential candidate that Mr Nassir was supporting for the presidency. The "visitors" stayed at a well-known Nairobi hotel.

Another leading presidential contender challenging President Kibaki is said to often seek witch craft powers from West Africa. Don't even talk about MPs because a vast majority of them seek out witch doctors and this period leading up to the elections is a very busy time for medicine men countrywide who usually make a windfall.

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Quip of the week;
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." -- Robert Francis Kennedy

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Things are not any better in Tanzania where a curious incident happened last year as President Kikwete was campaigning for the presidency. A middle aged man slipped through Kikwete's security detail and grabbed the presidential candidate placing him on his shoulders to lift him, before frantic security men contained him and then gave him the beating of his life. Many Tanzanians believe that he did not survive the beatings and in fact passed away.

Later some Tanzanians explained the curious incident to me. The man had been treated by a witch doctor to be invisible but Kikwete's witchcraft protection was too strong and that is why the man had been visible. The person who told me the story was at pains to convince me that this was a very normal occurrence in politics at that level.

This is just one more reason why we need a new generation of leaders who are free from the shackles of such primitive and backward beliefs that are keeping Africa from progressing.

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