Home / Politics / Political disguise in Africa and its consequences

Political disguise in Africa and its consequences

“It is unethical and unwise for Head of State to tell bad lies in order to stick to power”
President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi shocked his nationals when he came back into the country from his talks in Dar-es-Salaam with Heads of state of East African Community. He went to meet his fellow colleagues: Museveni, Kagame, Uhuru and Kikwete, to discuss the situation of Burundi. The public expected the President to speak about the outcome of the meeting, decisions made, and, utmost, the failed coup attempt on his government. He cleverly and speculatively avoided any mention about the meeting, coup attempt, and the tension that erupted after his announcement to go for the 3rd term.
After few days in silence Mr. President made a very suspecious speech. He warned Burundians to be alert and vigilant of al-Shabaab attack. The speech was unexpectly short and speculatively out of point. He left his audience guessing what he really meant. This blog is interested in investigating some of the possible intentions of the President.
It is a fact that Mr. Nkurunziza is not considering stepping down, not for the coming General Elections. Another fact is that he is not tollerant about his critiques. Time shall tell but in reality, the use of al-Shabaan at this material time, is tactful. He made the problem of Burundi look so trivial. His speech had no solution to the Burundian problem. Usually, any leader of his level would be concerned with the problem that has engaged his government and the opposition into combative mode.
The United Nations Charter stipulates peaceful resolution of conflicts. Negotiations, mediations and dialogue are one of the mechanisms applied by the international community. President Nkurunziza has no intention to engage his opposers in dialogue or negotiation.
Telling the nation that al-Shabaab is planning to commit SERIOUS crimes in Burundi is tactful. It is the use of threat to create fear in the citizens. For instance, it is like telling the people, watch out – terrorists will attack you. Another implication of this behaviour is to mean that, it is risky for Burundi to do without him, at least, at this particular time. Keep him in office for another term to accomplish the job he had started.
I find this kind of game very perplexing in Africa. It is a blackmail and not taking rights of the people seriously. What the President has said has not stopped the protesters from going viral. Protests are still going on in the capital of Bujumbura. Several Burundians are fleeing the country making the world panic. There is panic in the hearts of so many peace loving Burundians. The rate in which the youth is being armed is alarming while poverty is biting. Anything serious can happen in Burundi any time. International partners are pulling out their effort to assist the government. The President seems to be isolated from his fellow Heads of states. He has no priorities for Burundi as his fellow Heads of state persuade him to delay elections. He just does not care about what should be the Burundians interest for now. The clock is ticking and time is running out rapidly as protesters are not relenting.
It is dangerous for a leader to use fear as a tool to circumvent the principle of democracy. It is unethical to persuade people to elect you democratically because al-Shabaab is at the door. If anything, Nkurunziza is not the first Head of state nor is he going to be the last. This approach to politics is common in the Great Lakes Region. Self-centeredness in African politics is counter productive for the democracy in the region. Before Nkurunziza there had been other leaders. The most ideal thing for the President is to prepare someone to take over from him and face the ballots.
Mr. Nkurunziza may be right in his argument that first term he did not get popular votes but he was nominated by Parliament. He was only elected by popular votes in one term, so, according to the Arush Accord, he is now seeking his last term in office. But even if he is following the constitution, court ruling, and the Arusha Accord of 2005, it is risky for him to force himself against the will of the people.
It is unethical for an elected leader to remain adamant meanwhile part of his nation wants him to be out of the race. The murder of the opposition leader, that derailed the dialogue, is ill-advised. If it is the al-Shabaab that committed the crime, then I would conclude that the President is not in a position to guarantee security to anybody in Burundi. This is a clear reason that he has lost his command power and cannot promise to do better when re-elected. The use of al-Shabaab to explain the state of affairs in Burundi puts the government in trouble. The government may now take advantage and arbitrarily eliminate the opposition leaders and protesters. I think the President is taking high risks that may not eventually work well for him. He may be charged of criminal offence if he is not careful. The fate takes it that it is no longer the time in which Head of state can use state power to commit crimes, otherwise, ICC would have no purpose. “Why think there is nobody who can lead Burundi after you Mr. President?”
Read us, like us, follow us… Be the first to comment.

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!

One comment

  1. I think this guy must read Machiavelli! The Prince will never force people in his dukedom to love him… just entice them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *