Africa Is A Country: the Rolls-Royce Thief.

Picture Angola. More than half of the country lives on less than $2 a day. Power fails constantly. The lands lie, unfarmed. Clean water is hard to find, you have to hunt for it and pay exorbitant prices to the water truckers. Hospitals are poorly equipped and infant mortality is among the highest in the world. Infrastructure barely exists. Roads are so bad, you can hardly go faster than 60mph on any of them.

Right there, in this country, lies one of the newest and most productive oil fields in the world. Production has shot up so fast that within a few years, they’re producing more oil than every other country in Africa other than the 160m strong, Nigeria.

Yet, these problems persist. No progress is being made in solving the myriad of issues around the country. Familiar story, no?

Now, here is where things get interesting. The president of Angola has an aide, an assistant of sorts who helps manage some government functions for the people of Angola. This aide owns a Rolls-Royce, that emblem of excessive wealth and good taste. He bought the Rolls-Royce for the same reason everyone buys a Rolls-Royce: a smooth, comfortable, luxurious ride. Unfortunately, Angola, the country he is supposed to help build, does not have the good roads to drive a luxury RR on. So what does our aide do? Sell the Royce, you say, and invest the money into something that helps the country? What are you, some kind of capitalist? No. Our fellow parks the RR, and once a week hires a trailer (truck) which loads the car, takes it over to a place called “The Marginal”, a two-mile stretch of newly paved road on the ocean front far from the capital. He brings the car down, and drives it around that two mile stretch until he is satisfied. Then the car is loaded back into the trailer, and dropped at his house for the next week. That, my friends, is what a man spent money on a RR for, a two mile junket, once a week. In the name of a people who live on less than $2 a day.

Please, tell me, how do you wrap your mind around that kind of stupidity? How do you address it? How?

There’s a strong case to be made for mental retardation when it comes to behavior like that. How can anyone justify it?

What do you think?

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