On Thursday, August 20, 2015, the Senegalese Supreme Court upheld the corruption conviction and a six-year prison time against Karim Wade, the son of ex-president Abdoulaye Wade. This ruling is a major stimulus to Africa’s quest for accountability, transparency, and an opposition to impunity for graft and flagrant economic crimes.
The Advocates for Africa Renewal hails and supports the decision of the Senegalese court. This is a major victory for Africa, particularly for the suffering and vulnerable people of Senegal. The court’s decision is in the right direction and serves as a crystal clear pilot project for the judiciaries on the continent of Africa. It is also a warning to the leaders of Africa who continue to infuse their family members and cohorts in the affairs of state, enriching them at the expense of their people and respective countries.
When a president or prime minister deviates from the mandate of the people and instead focuses on enriching their family members through the offering of high ranking public service portfolio and allowing them to purloin national resources and wealth for personal gains, that is corruption.
Under his father’s two-term reigns as president of Senegal, Karim Wade was dubbed “supper minister” with several portfolios to the point that he was referred to by poor and ordinary Senegalese as “minister of heaven and earth”. In the process, he became very rich while some Senegalese go hungry and homeless. Karim’s factor is not confined to just Senegal, it is a common tendency in almost all African nations where sons, daughters, sisters, uncles and others become rich over night when their relative takes power.
Africa wants change, Africans want justice for economic crimes. Therefore, we once again repeat our call to the international community and Western nations to urge the United Nations’ General Assembly and the Security Council to establish a special International Tribunal for Corruption that will monitor, investigate and prosecute corruption irrespective of countries.