Africa suffers when presidents think they are too big to retire

In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni writes in his book What is Africa’s Problem: ‘One of the biggest weakening factors in Africa is tribalism and other forms of sectarianism’.

The violence that rocked several parts of Uganda last week following the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi, or Bobi wine, is indicative of the cruelty facing opposition leaders in Africa.

It is unfortunate that about 40 people died in cold blood while hundreds were left with injuries. While Bobi Wine, a presidential candidate, was later released on bail after being charged with the Covid-19 guidelines, Museveni’s history after the assassination will be severely judged.

Graphic videos and photos shared on social media showed several people lying in the streets full of blood and allegedly shot dead.

Selfish leaders

Many young fans are attracted to Bobi Wine by his criticism of Museveni’s government in his lyrics. As a young leader, he is better positioned to tackle the challenges they face.

Museveni has been at the helm for 34 years, but the country is still plagued by unrest, imbroglio and human rights violations. He had the Constitution amended twice so that he could participate for the sixth time in 2021. Africa has no shortage of monsters of selfishness and brutality.

Our political leadership is more patriarchal than matriarchal, and the tendencies towards chauvinistic attitude have made matters worse. Some presidents, such as Museveni, change the Constitution to extend their term of office.

During campaigns, politicians promise to build the economy and improve infrastructure. Once elected, however, the status quo remains.

Despite the fact that the past two decades have seen great economic growth, Africa is still struggling with weak leadership. The lack of visionary leaders who can set long-term goals is the biggest undoing of the continent.

Most founders, such as Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Samora Machel, Kwame Nkrumah Robert Mugabe, Sekou Toure and Nelson Mandela, were at the forefront of the struggle for independence and liberation from the colonial yoke.

Freedom of speech

Unfortunately, some of them eventually became an obstacle to ‘total liberation’. In time, they became dictators.

“When it’s going hard, the difficult has to get going, especially when leaders become deceivers and mentors become martyrs. When freedom of expression becomes a target of supporters, opposition becomes our position,” Bobi Wine said in 2018.

In a democracy, the government reflects the will of the people. Democracy in Africa is gaining ground, albeit slowly. Africa’s emerging democracy is hampered by selfish political interests.

Ivory Coast, for example, was recently thrown into chaos after President Alassane Ouattara extended his term.

The continent cannot realize the Agenda 2063 and SDGs of the African Union in the current climate of dictatorial and authoritarian leadership amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In Uganda, the Museveni government must cool political temperatures ahead of the January 14 election.


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