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Expunging presidential term limit from the constitutions

The year of 1960s is known in the world history books as the year of Africa. It is within this year that the majority of African colonized states got their independence. As though this was a great jubilation for the continent, most of the independent states plunged themselves into civil wars, dictatorships, tyranny rules, genocide, inter-ethnic rivalries and politics of silencing the opponents and professionals. Actually, it was in this period that many African nationalists and great leaders got themselves into deep problem as Cold War was just at its heights. Non-alignment policies did not serve the continent well as the Organization for African Unity (OAU) relied on the Western financial support to survive. Can we claim that it was independence? The answer is no as many leaders including Muamar Geddafi, Leopold Sedar Sengor, Mandela, Nkurumah, Banda, Kaunda, Mobutu, Obasanjo, Jomo, Nyerere, Heil salase, Obote, Bokassa, and many more others were deeply divided on which ideology to pursue and not to pursue.

In the year 90s, most of the African independent states were not any better than during the colonial time as rebels and militias emerged to maim civilians and render government efforts futile. In 2000 and after, there came the emergence of reconstructing colonial constitutions and replacing some provisions that were considered unafrican. Provisions such as presidential term limits suffered in some regimes. Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Uganda and Cameroon are leading this school of thought. Rulers that see themselves as revolutionists such as the late Muammar Geddafi argued that Africa must trace its political identity.

The coming into existence of the ICC, in 2002 was meant also to deal with impunity, rampant state killings, and abuses of human rights. However, it tamed some worst scenarios but still some African states argue that they should not be bullied by the Western countries. A turn that saw many African states facing east by embracing China for their development needs. However, China is less interested in peace process and agenda for the continent. The Western powers saw African leaders changing tacs and facing the East! USA saw this trend as a threat and a fact that might make it lose its grip on the continent.

Another serious threat comes from trans-boundary terrorism. The Western world resolved that Africa means a lot for their security. Europe has been facing serious challenges with illegal migrants from Africa. America has had its share in terrorist attacks. All this has made African rulers claim that they need to address their own destiny…making some rulers cling on power for life.

Have we succeeded as a continent? Perhaps not. It is just the change of tune. It is like a beautiful lady surrounded by many male bidders and has to decide in the midst of many interests. African leaders joined the international corruption deals to make in-roads with the Chinese willingness to lend. However, Africa has not scored much in this quagmire as domestic problems get worse.

Kenya has just had three last elections that did not reflect a pure democracy and proper system of elections. So many innocent lives have been lost as some individuals struggle to cling to power by all means. The international community found itself betrayed and fooled again. The general elections of 2017 that saw President Uhuru being re-elected did not depict any progress in democratic rule.

Members of the opposition that seek to get into power for the sake of change have been frustrated in Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. Hon. Changerai, Hon. Raila and Hon. Dr. Kizza Begigye have demonstrated that African rulers are not democratic and are not willing to relinquish power. The exceptional cases that are sporadic such as that of Gambia is rare. Democracy is still a far fetched reality in Africa as Sudan has always seen the same leader repeating himself for decades. Cameroon has always had one president for years. Uganda and Rwanda have crafted the strategy to for rulers to stick to power for life. President Robert Mugabe at his age is not ready to see anyone other than his own family members succeeding him.

We have so much to worry about the continent that has suffered in the hands of Western imperialists and now is bleeding from African tyrants and power hungry individuals.

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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