On 18th February 2016 Ugandans went to the polls to re-affirm their leader but what has come out of it is what every right thinking human had guessed. Why are many African politicians seeking their own version of democracy? Why the removal of presidential term limit from the constitutions? Why was term limit fixed? Even the powerful state such as USA the term limit is fixed to 2 terms of 4 years each. Uganda had term limit to 2 terms, Rwanda had 2 terms of 7 years each, Congo Brazzaville had 2 terms and many others. This blog story is willing to discuss the African version of term limit…”leadership is not a service but security”. Some African presidents, especially those who have come to power through the power of gun such as President Yoweri Museveni will fight to die in power. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has been the President since the independence and he does not imagine even retirement despite his age and health. President Denis Nguoesso of Congo Brazza has managed to change the constitution removing the term limit. President Paul Kagame who took power after genocide in Rwanda has managed to change the constitutional term limit. President Joseph Kabila is considering constitutional change despite the opposition. President Sal of Senegal is contemplating the removal of term limit. President Paul Biya of Cameroon is almost eternal. Omar Bongo died in Power in Gabon before his son took over power. President Nkurunziza has not changed the constitution of Burundi but claimed that he only served once as a popularly elected President and he imposed his 3rd term…but the constitution is not yet altered…but who knows? The trend is also in Sudan where President Al-Bashir is always the leader.
While an individual has State powers and can control defense and security forces, and has both economic and political power, and is the sitting President and incumbent, practically, no challenger can expect of winning. In Africa, this is practically impossible. We have witnessed cases of such people like Morgan Changerai of Zimbabwe and his struggle to outsmart the incumbent. We have seen this in Uganda where Dr. Kizza Besigye was closed under house arrest during the elections after so many frustrations by the incumbent. International community must now reject such new generation of dictators and deny them such comforts.
Presidential term limit is both constitutional and human rights in every democracy. State power should not belong to an individual but must be limited by law. Some African Presidents have discovered the trick of how to remain in power for life…bribe other strong rivals or change the constitution to favour your interests. Some leaders even convince their people that without them all will be pronounced dead…that is creating fear in the electorates. Such tricks are immorally bad and Ugandans have been forced to perpetually stick to one leader or die. This interpretation of democracy is emerging only in Africa but it is dangerous for a continent that is just emerging from dictatorships.
It is appreciating to create stability, peace, law and order in such a state as Uganda after civil wars but nobody should pose as a god to the people. This is not democracy but tyranny. Those who oppose the tyrants usually end up being killed, maimed, frustrated and seriously oppressed. This is not a secret. AU, EU and other observers have made it clear that the recent elections in Uganda did not meet the threshold of transparency. This is enough to show that the interpretation of democracy in Uganda is not right and term limit is the solution.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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