|Lest we forget Thomas Sankara
As President,he lowered his salary to only $450 a month and limited his possessions
to a car,4 bikes,3 guitars,a fridge and a broken freezer.
A motorcyclist himself,he formed an all-women motor cycle personal guard. He
required public servants to wear a traditional tunic, woven from Burkinabe cotton
and sewn by Burkinabe craftsmen.
He was known for jogging unaccompanied through Ouagadougou in his track suit and
posing in his tailored military fatigues, with his mother-of-pearl pistol.
When asked why he didn't want his portrait hung public places,as was the norm for
other African leaders, Sankara replied;"There are 7 million Thomas Sankaras."
Thomas rejected the idea of foreign aid, saying that,"he who feeds you, controls
you."Wheat production rose in just 3 years from 1700 kg per hectare to 3800 kg per
hectare, Making the country's food self sufficient.
He spoke eloquently in the forums like the OAU(Organization of African Unity) against
continued neo-colonialist penetration of Africa through Western trade and finance.
He called for United front of African Nations to repudiate their foreign debt. He argued
that the poor and exploited did not have an obligation to repay money to the rich and
exploiting.In Ouagadougou, Sankara converted the army's provisioning store into a
state-owned supermarket open to everyone (the first supermarket in the country).
He forced civil servants to pay one month's salary to public projects. He refused to use
the air conditioning in his office on the grounds that such luxury was not available to
anyone but a handful of Burkinabes.
He sold off government fleet of Mercedes cars and make the Renault 5(the cheapest
car sold in Burkina Faso at that time)the official service car of the ministers.He
reduced the salaries of all public servants, including his own,and forbade the use of
government chauffeurs and 1st class airline tickets.
He redistributed land from the faudal landlords and gave it directly to peasants.
Long live to the dying revolutionary spirit of Thomas Sankara, long live.
Source: Frank Mtshali ~ FB post ~ 8 July 2020