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Uhuru Kenyatta Stares at one Term Presidency

The revival of democratic politics in Africa over the last two decades is helping to remake the continent’s old image as a safe haven for rapacious and politically unaccountable autocrats. Single-party political systems, which once dominated the African political landscape, have all but disappeared. Legislative and presidential elections, once episodic and farcical, are now routinely and vigorously contested, incumbents who were never known to loose elections are now conceding defeat at will or through coercion. Regional blocs like ECOWAS are now coming out to assert that respect of the will of the people through the ballot must be upheld at all costs. 

A sitting African president today is more likely to lose power if they subject themselves to contested elections than they were a decade ago. This growing prospect of defeat through competitive elections is only one of many new realities that Africa’s presidents now face. Manipulation of election results by sitting presidents is facing serious challenges and media shut down is proving futile due to the instantaneous nature of information sharing through social media platforms. Constitutional changes in several African states have brought important new players onto the political scene. Notably, traditional legislative and oversight functions have been restored to Africa’s now-representative and multiparty parliaments, and the courts, once passive instruments of legitimation for Africa’s ‘big men,’ are now empowered to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive and other governmental acts. Africa’s political elites also must now contend with critical reporting and commentary from a newly emboldened private media, and social media platforms that has taken the information power from the grip of the state straight to the palm, of an ordinary citizen. 

A growing number of nongovernmental organizations are similarly revitalizing African civil societies and opening new avenues for the mobilization and expression of civic activism. By far the most profound change has been the growing popular insistence on presidential term limits. In sharp contrast to the period before 1990, when African presidents could typically hold office as long as they wanted and worried mainly about coups d'état, constitutionally enshrined rules now set definite limits to presidential tenure in a growing number of African states.

If I were an African president I would be concerned about serving the people; about carrying out my duties and responsibilities diligently as opposed to being focused on electoral malpractice and cheap propaganda. Today, Kenya is fast approaching elections and we have a president who has delivered so little on his promises and a government that has performed quite decimally. The president and government of Kenya should read what is written on the wall. The voter enlisting mobilization has demonstrated a worrying apathy. There is something that the people are communicating. The doctors have been on strike for over 2 months; Kenyans are dying in their numbers due to the collapse of public health, our children are not learning, university education is in limbo, few millions of Kenyans are facing starvation, government’s response is uncoordinated. Public debt has hit all time high and life cost sores; majority of Kenyans cannot afford to merely survive; youth unemployment is on a worrying trend; looting of public resources has hit catastrophic levels. 

The people of Kenya are refusing to register as voters despite their leaders persuading them to. They are communicating something that government is either unable or unwilling to see. While the people are suffering the consequences of the doctors’ strike, majority of them are in support of the strike because they have found reason to believe that their government is never sincere. There is disquiet; there is a revolt. People are communicating something to their government. People are refusing to settle on what is basic. People are revolting against mismanagement of their resources. People are tired of misplaced properties. People are sick of the ongoing looting spree. Kenyans are saying no to bad leadership. As distant as it may appear this revolt is raging and it will surely culminate on the ballot on the 8th of August 2017. Many Kenyans are in a position to ask their government what it has done for them in the last 5 years. People will ask this question in the hardest of ways on August 8. What makes our president and government think we are still in the age when the incumbent would not loose and election? Why should we have a government and president, busy politicking while the people they are sworn to protect are dying and suffering? Why should government be running two elections (2017 and 2022) yet they have not answered to what they have done or failed to do for the last 5 years? Just who cheats this government that the people won’t bundle it out of power come August 8? Are they so blind to see or like sheep they are innocently being lured to the slaughter house? 
Uhuru Kenyatta Stares at one Term Presidency Uhuru Kenyatta Stares at one Term Presidency Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on February 09, 2017 Rating: 5

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