By Sarah Bireete.
Africa – a Continent where leaders come to power or retain power through rigged elections. Whereas modern democracy is known as government of the people, for the people and by the people; the reverse of the same is also true in Africa where power belongs to the group of a few well organized mafias that are ready and smart to manipulate people’s will and the electoral systems to capture and retain power!
This in effect explains the democracy malaise in most countries in Africa today and the notion that power belongs to the people is a fallacy!! Even if governance in African was to be perceived as an extension of the inherited traditional systems, this practice is still way below the threshold;
Characterized by greed for power, selfishness, politics of exclusion, society of unequals and refusal to adhere to the democracy agenda.
Fast Forward: Kenya has pushed its democracy on a cliff with ascendancy of ethnic/tribal politics and manipulation of election results.
It’s said that a true test of hell is being chairman of the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) in Kenya! Any election hardly passes without manipulation of the systems.
It’s suffice to add that this phenomenon is not at all strange with our own happenings during elections except that as it happens in Kenya, opposition is not arrested or put under siege and internet is not shut down, etc.
THE BIG QUESTIONS:
What should Africans do in order to attain democracy and have the will of the people count?
How can we get rid of mafias in our leadership?
How best can we nurture constitutional democracy?