One of Mubarak’s excuses for not stepping down from power was the feeble excuse that the country would be left rudderless and prone to succumbing to the extreme Muslim Brotherhood and their agenda to turn Egypt into a theocracy. Of course this has not happened. I believe that I can’t be the only person wondering what is it about leaders in the developing world and a knack to hang onto power even when they have neither the vitality, international propping nor the popular mandate to govern. So I did a cursory search on the web and came up with startling motive for these despots to refuse to walk away.
You see, according to conservative estimates by banking and finance experts and investigators, the fortune amassed by Egypt ’s former president and his two sons (both billionaires) is in the region of $70 billion. These includes funds in secret offshore bank accounts and investments in residences and real-estate properties reaching from Rodeo Drive in Beverley Hills to Wilton Place in central London and Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheik tourist resort.
Since Mubarak has been president for 30 years, he has accumulated that little fortune in record time at something like $2 billion or more annually. He and his family are now worth approximately two and a half times the gross domestic product (GDP) of Kenya, four times the gross domestic product of Paraguay, five times the GDP of embattled Afghanistan, and more than ten times the GDP of Laos.
Hosni may be the richest man and they the richest family in Africa and among the richest on earth. All this happened, incidentally, in a period of time in which millions of Egyptians – at least one in every 10 – lost their farms, whith more than 40% of Egyptians living on less than $2 a day.
Even worse, the Egyptian military, according to one expert, owns “virtually every industry in the country,” and it still raked in in excess of $35 billion in “aid” from Uncle Sam in the past three decades.
Former head of intelligence,
Omar Suleiman, appointed Vice President by Mubarak just days before his own ouster, has been in charge of the prisons of Egypt which hold an estimated 6,000 to 17,000 so-called dissidents and other prisoners of conscience, as well as holding suspected terrorists in Bush’s Global War on Terror; this was the man Obama expected to oversee a transition to “democracy”
And then we wonder why our African leaders hang onto power to their very last breath….