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Five Special Gifts For Five Special African presidents


They work so hard to drive this continent somewhere, anywhere. Yet hardly anyone thinks of them and sends them any presents.

I cannot afford to reward them all so I have put together a small package of gifts to send to five leaders:

1. Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, 54

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta listens at the State House in Dar es Salaam, on May 13, 2015Image copyrightGetty Images


Uhuru, when you open your parcel you’ll find one kilogramme of roast goat meat.

I know you love “nyama choma” as we call it in Kenya, so you will definitely enjoy this succulent dish.

Apologies for the packaging – the meat will arrive wrapped in today’s copy of a local daily newspaper.

Nyama ChomaImage copyrightGetty Images
Image caption“Nyama choma” is roasted meat often prepared over an open fire

In your regular attacks on the media, you’ve often said that newspapers are only good for wrapping meat.

In other words the media that keeps Kenyans informed and holds those in power to account is worthless.

In the nearly three years your government has been in power, there has been a raft of bills and regulations to tame the media.

The result has been a shrinking of the space for free expression and exchange of ideas.

Enjoy your meat, Uhuru.

2. Tanzania’s John Magufuli, 56

A woman walks past an election billboard of John Magufuli 29 October 2015Image copyrightGetty Images

Greetings Magufuli.

I know you’re less than two months in power in Tanzania, but there is a gift for you.

In the parcel you’ll find a copy of the Holy Bible.

BibleImage copyrightGetty Images

In the short time you have been in power, you have shaken Tanzania to its core as you went in search of those public officials who have abused their office and stolen from the people.

But as you get closer to the untouchables – the drug dealers and corruption masterminds – you will be treading on very slippery ground.

The Tanzania security machinery and the love of the people may not be enough to shield you.


I have heard you constantly ask Tanzanians to pray for you, so this gift of the Bible will be useful

3. Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza, 52

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza heads the ball in Abidjan February 2007Image copyrightGetty Images

Mr Nkurunziza – I see things are getting tough for you in Burundi.

There has been so much loss of life since you went against everyone’s plea for you to abandon plans for a third term of office.

I know you love football very much.

So your gift is a football, which you can use to launch a new team – Burundi United FC.

It’s an advanced ball that is filled with blood, instead of air.

If you kick it too hard it will bleed or burst.

So handle your team with great care and listen to them.

Go easy with the political ball, so as to spare the nation more bloodshed.

4. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, 91

Hello President Mugabe! In your parcel is a generous helping of Chinese tea.

I chose this because they claim it cures everything from bad nerves to bad luck.

I’ve noticed that your legs sometimes don’t listen to your will power.

When you need them most, they fall asleep and you topple over.

This special tea will stabilise your long walk in power, even when your feet suggest the journey is over.

5. Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, 71

Uganda president Yoweri Museveni arrives at Indira Gandhi International Airport for the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi on October 27, 2015.Image copyrightGetty Images

Finally, a gift for you Mr Museveni.

I see that power will be running after you again in February when you’ll be seeking a fifth term in office.

Normally people chase power, but in every Ugandan election power faithfully comes in search of you.

So for you it is a special manual called “How to cope with cattle”.

Cattle in UgandaImage copyrightAFP

I know how you value your beautiful cows. They tend to be obedient, they don’t argue much. They don’t defect to another herder.

They don’t make unrealistic demands about their democratic right to reject their owner.

So the manual in your parcel will be a great companion for those days when you eventually persuade Ugandans to find another leader and leave you alone to herd your peace loving cattle.

Thank you, your Excellencies – I do hope you enjoy your presents.




Written by PH

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