#Gabon-Financial crimes: The snake biting its tail (Editorial, Echos du Nord, Aug 25, 2014)

ECHOS DU NORD, No 247, Libreville, Gabon, August 25, 2014

Echos du Nord No 247 Pic


The snake biting its tail …

Sounding the death knell, as he did, to amalgamate, as he said, all the people who profited from money given to them by the government for the so-called «rotating celebrations» (of Gabon’s Independence Day) from 2005 to 2009, that is to say that they ‘diverted’ it for personal gain, does Ali Bongo Ondimba (ABO) know that he just opened the Pandora’s box and «the evil» that will be released will spare neither himself nor his relatives and friends? For the record, the «rotating celebrations» scandal will first tell how in 2002 the «pédégistes» (as they call members of the ruling party, PDG) and «businessmen pédégistes» from the provinces of Ngounié and Nyanga, used public money. It will also tell how, in 2003, notorious public figures of Moyen-Ogooué and Ogooué-Ivindo used the 50 billions CFA francs (about 100.6 millions USD) allocated to these two provinces. Among those «emerging preppy», including a very zealous one, who have built an estimated nearly 100 million CFA francs mansion. For 2004, the President of the National Assembly (Guy Nzouba Ndama) and of leading public figures from the province of Haut-Ogooué (province of the Bongo family), including Idriss Ngari (also army General), will have to answer as of how the funds allocated for the festivities have been used. It will be the same of the «pédégistes» from the province of Woleu-Ntem, on top of which, Daniel Ona Ondo, the current prime minister, towards which the fingers are pointed as to the erection of villas near the municipal market Mbgwema. It will also be interesting to ask the defense minister at the time, a certain Ali Bongo, on funding for military bodies, which repeatedly took other directions; so much so that senior officers had visited (late president) Omar Bongo to claim their due, because of the 450 millions CFA francs released for security forces, the latter had received only 50 millions. Omar Bongo had to replace the remain (missing) amount. We can not talk of «rotating celebrations» without asking questions to the boss of BGFIBank group. As it was an inevitable centerpiece of Omar Bongo Ondimba cabinet room. It is not a question here, as noted by members of the Front (Opposition), to track down a few fall guys at the expense of big fish hidding in the PDG.

All this leads to understand a standard established by the Bongo, from father to son. From 1967 to 24 August 2014, they gave their own definition of the diversion of public funds or embezzlement: this is all public money that embezzlement did not get the blank check of the Bongo. That is why the opposition grouped in «the Front», spoke about “presidential authorization to embezzle (PAE)”. At the time of Bongo, the father, three people were able to give it «carte blanche». Besides himself, it is clear that the powerful chief of staff at the time and a so-called ABO, had this latitude. The formula consecrated by Omar Bongo was: “very very very very total agreement”, with a red pen. A formula well known to all senior management. The recipient of that formula (Minister, CEO of company, State Treasurer, General Manager of Budget, High Commissioner for Planning, etc.) knew that the door was open for use, at their discretion, of public funds. But of course, there was also some considerations given to the «clients». This system has not disappeared since his little majesty (Ali Bongo) gloss on the principles of good governance for the beautiful ears of Barack Obama, François Hollande, Angela Merkel and David Cameron. Pure stupidity.

It is this “presidential authorization to embezzle” which has permitted Maixent Accrombessi (Ali Bongo’s chief of staff) to allow the company of another citizen of Benin, in collaboration with Haitian partners, to exercise control over all the incoming telephone calls to Gabon. On each incoming call, the man receives a «percentage rightful» directly. Of course, Accrombessi did not get the authorization just for the sake of his compatriot. It’s a win-win partnership. The system starts from London, where there is a «stock market» which aims to co-opt international calls worldwide. A company called Global Voice Group, based in Miami and owned in majority interest by the Spanish, is a partner in any regularity, with many countries in the world in the context of managing telephone calls. These for the African-Caribbean area deal with an haitian company, which itself has a deal with the hound, Accrombessi. What happens on a large scale, while Gabon could directly build this partnership with Global Voice Group, like many other states? A scheme was put together by Accrombessi to shoot the cover of his side, with one of his compatriots. On behalf of the «PAE» (presidential authorization to embezzle). By the way, this is called insider trading.

Through this channel, the National Agency of digital infrastructures and Frequency (Aninf) of Gabon has established a similar operation by allowing a company based in Holland, “Freenom.Com“, to manage domain “.GA” which is the point access of Gabon on the Internet. Alex Bongo Ondimba, his little majesty’s brother, must explain to Gabonese taxpayers the interest of what appears to be a bad bargain for Gabon, but profitable for a handful of people. This again is nothing more or less than this «PAE». Hence, who is plundering Gabon? ali_bongo_nt_110608_wg

Plato, philosopher, student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle, says in the story of the myth of Er that the fate of a human being is the fact of his life choices. In this myth, the souls present a Hierophant any type of “fate”, from the lives of most glorious to smaller and even the more insignificant. No soul is driven by the constraint in his choice. This one (the soul) is free. However, it is an indication that the Hierophant indicates the souls that each spell has either constraints or obligations or as it is modest, no constraint. He recommends souls lot of patience and prudence. In the lot of souls, it is one that will choose the most glorious life marked by royalty unrivaled power. It rushes on this lot, but lack of pot, the fate doomed to infanticide; the worst tyrannies and then gradually decline to finally suicide. It will negotiate with the gods in vain. The fate was sealed. It curses the gods without cursing herself. What this soul should have started to do. His little majesty (Ali Bongo) will need to meditate on this myth, because he will find that his crusade against financial criminals will turn against himself, like a snake biting its tail.

One can “be president” or simply act like “being president.” In the first case, one has taken the measure of his fate and one also take the measure of his choices in the under-weighing and carefully examining each one. But if you act like “being president,” that person will have just seen the flashy side of power and its attributes, without realizing the fate relative to this power and the consequences his choices. This is what will happen to his little majesty Ali Bongo Ondimba.


Translated from french, by Citoyen Libre Gabon




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