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The Panorama Of African Democracy

Nigh a decade ago, Africa once again overwhelmingly experienced a sigh of relief following the fall of many unshakable, incorrigible and felonious political leaders who for many years cunningly manipulated elections in their countries. They had inconsiderably craved to outstay in power and rule throughout their timelines at the detriment of constant degradation and humiliation of humanity under their governance. By virtue of their unpatriotic leadership motives, corruptible minds, and continuous greed for power, they rarely launched any populist plan to create and consolidate systems that would facilitate a transition to new pro-people governments projected to wipe away the tears of the populace and ultimately transform their own countries across a range of spheres.
Following several unprecedented uprisings sparked by the oppressed masses, a significant fraction of these autocratic governments was toppled. History will unveil that in 2010, Tunisians fortified their nationwide protests and overwhelmingly demanded for the resignation of their incumbent autocrat, president Zine el-Abidine Ben and in 2011, they had succeeded in ousting him from his state leadership position after 23 years of shrinking democracy characterized by his leadership style. His ostracism was a hallmark that revived hope in other African nations. It reassured them that they equally had the capacity to ignite and spearhead the campaign that would later translate into the overthrow of their dictatorial governments. It’s irrefutable that along this temporal space 2010–2021, Africans and the international community witnessed a strong wave that stormed and tumbled 9 more authoritarians within a limited time interval. Such egoistic and radical leaders include; Hosni Mubarak (Egypt), Muammar Gaddafi (Libya), Blaise Compaoré (Burkinafaso), Yahya Jammeh (Gambia), Jose Eduardo Dos Santos (Angola), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Joseph Kabila (DRC), Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Algeria), Omal al-Bashir (Sudan). These political fellas had mastered the art of manipulating systems and organs of the state legitimately installed and instituted within the provisions of the constitution with a sole motive of gripping on power and reversing the institutional need to ostracize them from authority. In the course of their long-term political reigns, they laid strong foundations that paralyzed many public avenues and platforms that would presumably facilitate rupture of their regimes.
It’s evident that some of the factors that triggered several coalitions to quench the public’s thirst to dislodge the autocrats and experience new governments encompass massive killings, abductions and incarceration of political opponents, substantial degradation of human capital, lack of inclusion, shriveling of public trust, economic repression and crackdown, soaring political instability, sectarianism, nepotism, hiking rates of unemployment, perpetual deterioration of human rights and democracy, regional imbalances, overwhelming levels of corruption, increased poverty and indebtedness, and a multitude of other factors that instigated their countries to demand for leadership transition.
People were united by one language which resonated these high-pitched revolutionary phonemes in their minds« This is a justifiable political struggle anchored and based on our strong conviction that we can potentially liberate our own country from sumptuous political scavengers by bidding to put to an end unlawful governance in pursuit of new governance that dignifies humanity and serves the interests of the public ».
The demise of president Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi in the mid of 2020, and the recent death of John Magufuli of Tanzania within the Great Lakes region has a symbolic significance in the space of democracy in East Africa. It’s speculated that whereas the lion-hearted statesman Magufuli was craftily contemplating mechanisms to lay strong foundations to manipulate the constitution and prepare for the 3rd presidential term, his counterpart the iron fist Nkurunziza was zealously seeking reelection for the 4th term.
Massive killings, abductions and habitual confinement of political opponents in incommunicado still characterize the government of Rwanda under the headship of Paul Kagame who seems to be unassailable and doesn’t show any sign of entrusting power to a new government after 21 years of reign.
In Uganda, the situation is still lugubrious following the recent disputed presidential elections. The post-election research-intensive assessments unmasked that the elections were marred by massive irregularities. These sparked countrywide tensions, intensified divisions among political agitators and tore the arms of the government mostly the judiciary.
On October, 1, 2020, history will unfold that at 10pm during Agataliko Nfuufu (scrutinized local news broadcast) at Bukedde TV, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the president of Uganda and one of the most serving presidents of Africa since the continent’s renaissance was quoted to have said that there’s no country in the world which is more democratic than Uganda. Well, we may lack the mandate to discreetly refute the presidential statement before having a critical reflection and introspection of the metamorphosis of democracy way back from 1962 when Uganda celebrated her independence. However, based on a comparative analysis of the lens and moot question of democracy under different governments both local and international governments, and to a certain degree, we bestow honor and thank His Excellency president Museveni for realizing a pocket-sized democracy in Uganda during his 35-year-old leadership trajectory.
It’s worthwhile to pursue a populist platform and engage all incumbent African presidents and autocratic strategists into an insightful discussion so that as they plan to seek reelections and monopolization of power, their governments refocus on rebuilding systems to restore public trust by examining themselves in the way they manage and administer the resources of their countries, mostly the human resource to leverage their stance on democracy.
If we were to demographically highlight and unearth how Africans in their respective ecosystems are constantly brutalized, gagged and dehumanized by the remorseless regimes then…things would take a new twist, the genre of our story wouldn’t be a SCI-Fl or a romantic story but rather a sensational genre that’s provocative of unceasing anger.
The situation is pathetic, political leaders are the instigators of regional turbulence, they are always singled out as champions of suppression and extermination of all forces of change.
If you value and dignify humanity and you were once at the sad scene gazing at the last breath of your family member, neighbor or a friend being grappled and oppressed by the perpetrators of democracy, you would concur that such high-pitched statements are based on facts.
To date, Africa is still experiencing a terrifying wail of many innocent patriots and activists who lost their lives while spearheading the political campaigns to propel their countries to the peak of new governments. It’s fervently reported that every single day, thousands of people in South Sudan, Ethiopia and other parts of Africa are subjected to death by political predators and bloody chauvinists owing to their greed for power. Some families in war ravaged zones have sought political asylums from the neighborhood and abroad especially in Europe and USA whilst their lives are uncertain while subsisting in their unforeseen niches in the diaspora.
It’s critical that the current African governments redefine the term “democracy” so that prior to the terminal phase of any election process, people are satisfied that autocracy no longer assumes any position in the political leadership of their respective countries and that democracy is given unconditional precedence. Does it fashionably call for resignation of all incumbent and long-term serving presidents to revive Africa through unfeigned democratic systems? Maybe…it’s difficult to pursue such an ideal decision by the incumbent autocrats who have always mastered the technique of flipping the coin in their favor. However, if this could be a nightmare especially to many protagonists from the incumbent political wings, then such cadres (the iconic actors in the evolution of the incumbent parties ) can cherish the following duality of options; They can either craftily draft a contingent plan (plan B) that will revamp their leadership systems and ensure that the constitution is prudently barricaded from felons and ardently respected by all institutions, and that democracy prevails in their countries or treacherously choose to continue blindfolding the public with false pledges in order to suppress the driving forces inducing the leadership transition from a cohort of prehensile rulers.
It’s critical that all key sectors design blueprints that reorient them to demonstrate democracy in their operations. The police, judiciary and other law enforcement organs are not only accountable to peace and tranquility of the natives but are also mandated by the constitution to enforce performance and standards in the application of the law against offenders irrespective of their political affiliations and socio-economic backgrounds. They ought to streamline their interventions and service delivery pathways by responding to the outcry of the people in pursuit of practical and effective administration of law and justice. The assumption is that all people have equal inalienable rights to self-expression and justice. We earnestly request the juvenile and old African governments and their organs as highlighted above, all private actors including but not limited to human rights activists, individual organizations among other key players in enforcement of democracy to play a pivotal role in promoting the civic rights of the natives especially during the time when the public is cogitating about the election countdown and after the election process. The ultimate goal is to observe the Rule of Law as well as ensuring that democracy is prevalent in Africa and that harmony flourishes throughout the region.
African governments ought to be ardent and enthusiastic supporters of democracy which has proven effective in fixing the problems overwhelming the global society.
By: Robert Ssekolya

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