As it is, AU hardly merits anyone’s respect

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Otieno Kenyatta

In the recently concluded African Union Summit in Ethiopia, outgoing chairman Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe gave a rousing speech. He seemed to be telling the world that he still has the strength to rule his country for some years to come, or in his own words, until God calls him home.

Let me digress. In the African society, the man is the head of the home. All a man needed to do as he entered his home is to cough or shout at his dog and everyone fell into shape. His itinerary was well known and everyone prepared to serve him in the prescribed order. He never needed to shout that he is the man of the house. Even the dogs and chicken in the home knew where everyone belonged.

Times have changed, but the more things change, the more they remain the same. The man of old was respected first for who he was and then for what he owned. Women have made great strides since then, and some of them have tried to re-write the gender equation. But we know what equation still holds; the man is still the head of the home.

When you see a man shouting and banging tables in his house while demanding for respect as the man in that house, look again, he is shouting at “the man”.

This is exactly how Robert Mugabe is portraying African heads of state – as men who have lost control of their domestic turfs. When the outgoing chair shouts…

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