The relationship between African leaders and corruption isn’t a new subject but it has not been without some truly extreme sides.
It is true that there have been many instances where political leaders in Africa have been caught in embezzlements or fictitious deals that have involved huge monies. In many other cases, many leaders in Africa have had questions asked of them with regards to nepotistic decisions they have taken while in office, all in an attempt to enrich themselves and their families and friends.
In other instances, governments have been involved in projects that have been initially thought to be in the interest of the citizenry, but only turned out to have received a lot of bashing from the very people it was meant for.
Here are just a few of the most popular, yet unnecessary things that African governments have spent millions of dollars on, in an attempt to make their countries and people better.
$11,490 Spent by Kirinyaga County to Open A Facebook Account – Kenya
In 2015, a report emerged on how the County Governor for the Kirinyaga County, Joseph Ndathi, had spent Ksh 1.2 million ($11,490) on a contractor to open a County Facebook page.
The account was opened within the 2013-2014 year when the County was under-staffed.
Police in Uganda spent $126 million on CCTV from Huawei – Uganda
Although the police in Uganda is cash-trapped, it recently announced a new $126 million closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) system, supplied by Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
It announced that the system aims to slash spiralling violent crime.
Opposition leaders say law enforcement agencies are too corrupt and overburdened to use the footage to identify criminals. They worry police may use the cameras, which have facial recognition technology, to target demonstrators in violent clampdowns as an election approaches in 2021.
$13.9 million Official Residence for Vice President – Ghana
In 2017, upon the assumption of office of Ghana’s current government, Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, expressed shock at the amount of $13.9 million to be used in the construction of the official residence for vice presidents.
He questioned the cost being used, asking whether the doors of the apartment were going to be gold-plated, so as to merit such profligacy.
“I mean what sort of a house is this supposed to be? Is the gate made of gold? The pavement of gold? The blocks of gold? A house in Ghana for 13.9 million dollars? I could not believe it. How many boreholes could we have done…? Of course, I am 100 percent sure it did not go through competitive tender, otherwise we would have known about it. It was most likely sole-sourced, and there it stands uncompleted at the moment. This is just an example of many contracts that we do not have value for money for,” reports Ghanaweb.
Nyamira County’s Sh7.6 million ($72,771) hospital gate – Kenya
Residents in Kenya’s Nyamira County claim that the county government spent Sh7.6M ($72,771) on a gate for a hospital that lacks simple drugs, has no clean toilets and a perimeter fence.
This claim has been denied by the Director of Health for Nyamira, Dr Jack Magara, saying Sh6.6 million ($63,196) was rather the figure used to put up the gate, and a host of other amenities including a waiting area for the patients.
Bungoma county’s Sh1 million ($9,575) wheelbarrows – Kenya
Governor Ken Lusaka of Kenya’s Bungoma revealed that his government had acquired 10 wheelbarrows at a cost of more than Sh1 million ($9,575). That’s Sh109,000 ($1,043) for each of the wheelbarrows.
At first, the governor defended the purchase saying the wheelbarrows were special.
“The information that I am getting from the veterinary department is that these are not the ordinary wheelbarrows that we know. These are wheelbarrows that are made of stainless, non-carcinogenic material and are used in the food industry,” said Mr Lusaka.
National Cathedral – Ghana
Ghana’s government is building a 5,000-seater National Cathedral that will be an inter-denominational worship project in thanksgiving gesture to God for the blessings He has bestowed on the country, on the occasion of its 60th anniversary, reports the graphic.com.gh.
Although the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, has proposed a partnership between the State and the Ghanaian Christian community both at home and in the Diaspora to raise funds for the project, it has been rumoured that the government will commit some $100 million to its construction.