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Presidential Terms and Political Inclusion in Africa

It is extremely difficult to try and understand why African rulers never learn to learn. Term limits could actually do most of them good than harm. Imagine if people like Mugabe, Gaddafi and Museveni left office after 10 years? I guess we could be having a continent full of Mandelas. Madiba never did anything extraordinary; he only was human enough to get satisfied with what is enough.

The Case of Rwanda

Now President Kagame of Rwanda has been given a green light to be president as much as he may wish. I pity Kagame because by the time he reaches his 30th anniversary as president he might not forgive himself for not retiring after his second term. I know, for a fact, that Kagame has done very many known good things. He has done bad things, as well, for instance his government stands accused of not treating kindly those who hold opposing views. Rwanda’s human rights record has never been doing very well either. The country has performed excellently in development. But how tenable is development outside the realm of reverence of human rights? I have not anything wrong with Kagame leading Rwanda as much as Rwandans need him, or as much as he is capable of leading. However, I think, it is wrong for any individual including Kagame, to imagine or to be led to think that he/she is the only one who can best lead. Kagame has a chance and an opportunity to tell his people “no thank you” and set a good precedence in his own homeland of a thousand hills. Whether or not he will do it, time will tell.

Lessons from Gaddafi’s Libya

There is nothing that Gaddafi did not do to his people in terms of genuine attempts to address economic development. Methinks if economic empowerment and progress was the only yard then everyone could fight all the evil external forces that unjustly killed Gaddafi. But he had few of his countrymen in his defence because he had suffocated his people through political exclusion. African rulers may need to rethink their conception of legitimacy around economic development, I think there is something even bigger in the name of social inclusion. It stretches to management of opposition and accommodation of dissent.

Lessons from the West

We should never cheat ourselves that western governments are efficient or even better than African governments. Actually, in my view, most of them are worse and others outright ‘evil’ but they have well mastered the art of political inclusion and successfully created a sense of patriotism that no weapon can conquer. We invest little or nothing to foster patriotism in Africa, our leaders engage in patronage and purchase of political loyalty which is never sustainable. I wish I could rectify this, unfortunately I will not become president; it is for the rich.

Presidential Terms and Political Inclusion in Africa Presidential Terms and Political Inclusion in Africa Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on December 22, 2015 Rating: 5

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