Cote D’Ivoire and Laurent Gbagbo Jan 15, 2011 20:05:47 GMT -5
Post by Tukuler al~Takruri on Jan 15, 2011 20:05:47 GMT -5
editorial: What to Do With African Dictators
The protracted dispute over who rules La Cote D’Ivoire, following the refusal of defeated Laurent Gbagbo to cede power, should inform the various African countries to reform their political systems. Africa is a nation where rulers never want to end their reign.
From Cairo to the Cape, African leaders have tended to behave as if the political entities entrusted in their care are their properties. They are either forced out or rule until their death.
The God Father of African nationalism, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown after nine years as the leader of the newly-independent Ghana. By then, he had declared himself as a Life President. Houphouet-Boigny and Sekou Toure died as leaders of La Cote D' Ivoire and Guinea after independence
The Chronicle is disappointed to state that the second generation of African leaders, many of whom came to power by coup, wars and other agitations have found it convenient to continue with the feudal system of ruling till death do us part. Brother Muammar Gaddafi is still leading from the front in Libya, after taking power by force of arms in 1969. Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt has been in power for well over a quarter of a century.
When Yoweri Museveni ended his bush war, by marching to Government House in 1985, Ugandans were made to believe that the new youthful leader would modernize the country and leave them alone to sort out their governance system. More than a quarter of a century later, Museveni is not only occupying State House, his wife is a Cabinet Minister in his administration.
At 86 years, Robert Mugabe is gunning for a shot at the Presidential elections after over 20 years in power. Africa appears to be a lost case. But it needs not be so. After over half a century of self-government in most African nations, The Chronicle would like to believe that robust institutions should be in place to discourage tyrants from perpetrating their misrule.
We are of the view that the African Union could make it unhealthy for African leaders to want to entrench their rule. We believe 10 years is the maximum any leader should be allowed to head his society in any African country.
If someone like Mugabe has been unable to achieve what he set out to do after nearly a quarter of a century of leadership in Zimbabwe, what at all has he got to offer his people again?
Africa is not a lost case altogether. We could still work to clean up our leadership contests. In the interim, we believe it is still possible to get Laurent Gbagbo to appreciate that it is in his own interest to abdicate. It would not be too pleasant for him to be forced out by the butt of the gun to leave State House in Yammoussoukro. He lost the election and as a democrat, he should respect the verdict of the people.