Presidential motorcades You got a fast car | The Economist

11 Июн 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
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You got a fast car

ON A recent Tuesday President Ernest Bai Koroma’s swung past St Mary’s in the west of Sierra Leone’s Freetown. A motorcyclist came Mr Koroma followed in a Mercedes Most of the other six vehicles in the were gleaming black 70 Toyota Land Cruisers. The 70 wagon starts at $68,210. The Bank puts Sierra GDP per capita at $325.

Mr Koroma’s motorcade is modest compared other African leaders. Ugandan leader Yoweri travels up-country he takes eight or nine cars, a of mine-resistant South African personnel carriers and a large Mercedes truck with a lavatory. Occasionally mobile-phone dies when he arrives, that one of his vehicles also some kind of jammer.

For a trip to church some ago, the Liberian president, Johnson Sirleaf, travelled three four-wheel-drives from the Security Service, two pickup from the Liberian national and an off-roader carrying Nigerian from the United Nations mission. Long-time Zimbabwean Robert Mugabe travels two motorcyclists up front who clear the arriving at high speed stopping by their road, lights flashing and sirens Three blacked-out Mercedes follow, one with the number Zim1. Finally two pick-up appear, with ten or more guards in them. Which of many cars Mr Mugabe travels in is unclear.

But even these processions into insignificance compared the travel arrangements of King III of Swaziland. The Swazi regal can be up to 20 cars long. The king’s vehicles include a $625,000 Royce, a $500,000 Maybach 62 and a BMW X6. He has 20 Mercedes Benz S600 Guards, costing $250,000 many of them armoured. guards in traditional dress an Emajobo or loin skin with the king. These men from cars already said one local observer.

Africans are ambivalent about leaders’ extravagance; disgust at mingles with pride at the In Swaziland local people discuss the specifications of King fleet. Swazi girls the post-wedding gift of a BMW X6 when their dreams of becoming the fourteenth wife.

Do such motorcades keep heads of state safe? One expert is doubtful: If there is a against the president, at the end of day you’re a bull’s eye. Modern techniques—a rocket-propelled grenade or bomb to stop the vehicle, by small arms fire—can the most heavily armoured saloon. That said, Mubarak, Egypt’s former was saved by his armoured car during an attempt in Addis Ababa in Flying in for an African unity his spy chief advised him to take his limo. He duly flew it in to and within ten minutes of leaving the was ambushed by three men with guns and a rocket-propelled grenade. Had he not in his armoured behemoth, it would been curtains.

When Mr Mubarak travelled his included scores of cars. Any he crossed Cairo, much of the would be roped off with stopped for half an hour he passed and 10,000 policemen along the route. Sharp stood on the rooftops, a helicopter overhead and an ambulance accompanied A recent inventory of the presidential pool under Mr Mubarak in Egyptian newspapers said it included 950 vehicles. Other leaders might well however, that Mr Mubarak is no in power.

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Correction . Apologies for the typos in blog post. They now been fixed. The original of this article suggested all of King Mswati’s Mercedes armoured; in fact only of them are. The assassination on Mr Mubarak was in 1995, not 1994. It said that Mr Museveni travels with a mobile-phone In fact, o ccasionally the mobile-phone dies when he arrives suggests that one of his vehicles some kind of jammer. has been clarified.


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