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What Happened to Africa's New Crop of Leaders?


When in the mid 1980s some leaders in the league of Museveni and Zenawi arose, the west termed them new crop of leaders. They were seen as people who would transform the continent. Their thoughts were progressive and they promised fundamental change. I recall those sweet words from Mr. Museveni then when he declared, amidst ululations, that what was happening in Uganda was not a mere change of guard but fundamental change. Just like many Ugandan, I believed him. It truly was fundamental change; a chance that has since seen Uganda loose the sense of nation building. How ironic can it be!The same Museveni hit out at what he termed African leaders arguing that the problem with them is that they overstay in power and endanger democracy. If I only had one lifetime chance to meet Mr. Museveni I would ask him this one simple question. Your Excellency, but what happened? Zeanawi is long gone to join the ancestors, of course, that is if dictators also do as. But what did Mr. Zenawi not do for Ethiopia in making it a pure police state? Today the Ethiopian government is extremely repressive, thanks to the efforts and systems put in place by Mr. Zenawi. Just how did the same so called  progressive leaders grow to join the kleptocrats and gelontocrats of Africa and do the same old nasty things that they themselves promised to come in to correct? What has happened to the continent and who will save her?

Africa is bleeding. The cause of the hemorrhage is poor governance or lack of it altogether. We need to stand up for our continent. We have to decolonize, sanitize, cleanse, and democratize our continent. No doubt we need another liberation; whether second or third. We need democratization whether it be the third wave of democratization in Africa or the first or second again I do not really have a problem with that. But we simply need change. It is dangerous to continue this way. This change must be led by different people and it must not be a scramble for political power as a zero sum game but about institutionalization of politics. This will allow for constructive political competition based on ideology and policy that can restart the nations of the continent, most of which are simply unable to make any move at all. Otherwise as things stand, we have political competition based on individuals, groups and tribes, who are out simply to politically outdo/outsmart one another and with purchased loyalties with some cornered bureaucrats who pay allegiance to political godfathers most of whom are financially rich and powerful but ideologically bankrupt. The result is the politics of dirty tricks and state capture that can only help destroy Africa. 
What Happened to Africa's New Crop of Leaders? What Happened to Africa's New Crop of Leaders? Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on April 27, 2016 Rating: 5

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