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The Epitome of African Underdevelopment - Corruption, Dictatorships and Dynasties

As a clearer understanding of the reality of African underdevelopment emerges out of the dire attempts by Nonagenarian Robert Mugabe to cling to power, Zimbabwe's circumstance and its economic challenges are indicative of the epitome of a wider failing that is suppressing social and economic growth across the continent - corruption, dictatorships and dynasties.

Zimbabwe's current predicament tells the story of very much of Africa - hopes and development deferred via corruption, dictatorships and dynasties.

While too many people live without, and die without access to clean drinking water, many leaders and their families, live lavishly owning multiple homes and businesses within their said lands and overseas as their children toy with numerous luxury cars and other goods. 

Yet, the majority of the populace live in dire poverty forcing many women to hawk 'bush-meats' and meager goods in futile attempts to feed their families.

Africa's failings are not limited to Zimbabwe. In Togo, the former French colony, Africa's longest dynasty still remains in power after 50-years of rule by the Eyadema family. According to reports by the BBC-News, crowds numbering close to one-million have been demonstrating against the Togo dynasty ever since August, thus ripening the possibly of turmoil in that underdeveloped land. 

In Gabon, also a former French colony, a dynasty, the Bongo family, has ruled there for some 50-plus- years. A French corruption investigation into the ruling family in 2015 found that the family assets included some 39 properties in France alone, including on the posh French Riviera as well as some nine luxury cars including Ferraris and Mercedes worth $1.6 million, while the poor forge for food in the oil-rich nation.

Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony, is home to Africa's longest-serving ruler, Theodoro Obiang Nguema, who seized power after overthrowing his own uncle back in 1979. His 48-year-old son, Teodorin Obiang, is his deputy, the BBC-News reported, thus putting him in the wing to inherit his father's power. Teodorin is a fugitive from justice since October when a French court convicted him in absentia of embezzlement. The court order the seizure of his assets in France, which included a $29 million mansion, the BBC-News reported. He had also some 18 luxury cars in France. Yet, his father's subjects at home could barely make ends meet.

In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni is still leader since seizing power back in 1986. Now 76, he wants to redraw the constitution to remove the 75-year-old-age limit on presidential candidates, obviously to allow himself to run and win again in the dictatorship.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one dictator, who ruled for 32-years, Mobutu Sese Seko, was replaced by a dynasty in 1997, when Laurent Kabila seized control of the African nation. Kabila was assassinated by his bodyguards in 2001 and replaced by his son Joseph, who after serving two-terms as president, was supposed to step down in 2016 since the constitution bars the president from running for a third-term. However, manipulation of the political process has kept Joseph in power until at least 2018. He could be replaced by either his sister or brother, who are both members of parliament in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The family has amassed large business assets from banking to airlines.

In South Africa, the hope and dreams of Nelson Mandela continue to crumble under President Jacob Zuma, a polygamist, who appears to be grooming an ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as his successor in 2019.

Zimbabwean Mugabe's reported assets are said to be around $1 billion, including many off-shore holdings. So his last ditch efforts to retain power and his defiance to resigning the presidency, clearly epitomizes an African trait that stands in the way of progress that contributes to the mass exodus of African economic refugees to the shores of Europe. 

The Zimbabwe parliament has started impeachment proceedings against Robert Mugabe, 93.