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Swedish, Nature conservation freak, Passionate about Africa, Loving Peace, Politically neutral

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Obamas relatively inexpensive

Today is Barack Obama’s inauguration. Soon America will have a new president moving in to the White House with his family. Even though I’m not familiar with the arrangements for the president’s closest one, I suspect that the costs of protecting the Obamas (and the mother-in-law Marian) will be higher than for any American president to date. Almost for sure there will be some taxpayers complaining about these and other presidential expenses that they have to pay for. But the Obamas are probably relatively inexpensive, at least compared to the prospected cost for the Zumas…

The to-be-president of South Africa Jacob Zuma (lets assume that he will win the elections in April) is a polygamist. He has currently three wives and a couple of dozens of children. It is also most likely that some illegitimate sons and daughters will seek up Daddy Zuma after his inauguration, hoping to reap some of benefits from being the president’s close family.

The security arrangements for politicians in South Africa are probably bigger than in the United States. 40 cars accompanying the president is not an unusual sight. I suspect that even the maid of the secretary of the secretary of some low profile minister has a minimum of five police cars assisting her. Just imagine the cost of transporting the Zuma children to school...

Voices are being heard to change the protocol for the president and his family before Zuma assumes office (see Link. Medical aid, private jet, pension, etc. to all of the Zumas will simply be too expensive. Hopefully this matter can be resolved quickly, so that the poor in South Africa don’t have to pay a high price because their president was to cheap to buy some condoms (condoms are by the way distributed for free in South Africa).

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Anonymous said...

I agree that African presidents let alone other cabinet ministers are very very expensive to have and keep. Take a certain African country as an example as an example; Members of Parliament (and I mean just an MP) gets a basic salary of $3000 without any perks. They get a brand new 4WD car with a driver and never have to pay for fuel, they have about 3 guards, along with that is other benefits and allowances that would amount to another $3000. If this is what members of parliament get, how about ministers? How about the president?

Geoffrey Goines said...

yes you a right.
I have been told that PW Botha, during the most intense part of apartheid (e.g. while South Africa was fighting wars in Angola and Namibia, as well as civil unrest at home), was accompanied by only two(!) bodyguards...