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African “May Day” is real

Congo Brazaville has been known for its calm and peace for a long time. Even if the neighbouring country Zaire, now DRC was undergoing civil war and drammatic crisis, Congo Brazaville was considered one of the peaceful countries in this part of Africa. Cameroon has been quiet and so little is known about Yaounde’. It seems as though everything is alright with the whole political system there. One leader, Paul Biye has been in power for quite a long time. Gabon just got its relief after the death of President Omar Bongo. His son was democratically elected by the people. Central African Republic is a nation in chaos. Civil war and bad governance has ruined the nation. Chad has had its fair share in despotic regimes in Africa and the situation is not better neither. Mali and Burkina Faso, the Volta nations that were known also for certain wealth, and good reputation have had their share in bad leadership. It is difficult to mention, people such as General Bokassa, Amin Dada, and Mobutu Seseko Kuku Mbendu, a cock of the village that can go with any hen. Amin Dada who did not know any human boundary and could commit any crime with impunity until Tanzania said enough is enough. He killed his own people. Angola and Mozambique have just come from long time civil war that ravaged the two nations that were under Portugal. Zimbabwe or the former South Rhodesia got another hard time with its supreme leader, Robert Mugabe. A man who believes that no Zimbabwean can succeed him in power unless his own wife. Where possible leaders try to change the constitution in order to prolong their term in office. Museveni did it successfully in Uganda and he can contest as so long as he is capable. His pupil, Paul Kagame in Rwanda is seeing his future by changing the constitution to favour his term in office. Joseph Kabila, the young President who got elected after his father Laurent Kabila was assassinated by his forces is battling how to remain in office by changing the constitutional term of president. Burundi, a small nation that has just come from civil war, is now surving the forced 3rd term in office of President Nkurunziza. As though nothing is stopping African leaders from love for power, President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan is a man of history. Knocking him out of power will be hard.
This blog story is concerned with this appetite for power. Africa is setting up bad precedent. Any political leader should lead knowing that other leaders are born every day. Leadership is only meaningful when you can pass it to the other. Such selfishness in power is what will fail Africa. Africa is not yet far from the dark days of dictators and tyrants. Some do it through political parties, ethnic affiliations, and tyranny of numbers. Some do it through the guise of religion. Others do it through using charms and divine powers. Gheddafi did it by breaking away from the West. There are many styles but what is common is that most of the African Presidents and Heads of Governments lead with fiat. They cannot immagine that one day another person might succeed them and lead the nation. I am afraid that the message of President Obama addressed to African leaders did not auger well to the incumbents. It is as though he spoke only to the deaf ears.
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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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