Africa has a long history, from the slave trade to colonialism, apartheid, and social segregation, to genocides, mass murders, and civil wars. And she has managed to come through all of these, with scars of course. Africa’s newest political and socioeconomic trend seems to be the root of all her current troubles. It is true that whatever problems Africa has now, it is a function of the issue that she has not been able to tackle: dictatorship. And the current example of that is Uganda’s presidential elections, which recently concluded.
The presidential elections were held in Uganda on 14 January 2021 to elect the president and the parliament. The major contenders for the office of the presidency are the incumbent president, Yoweri Museveni, and the opposition Robert Kyagulanyi, otherwise known as Bobi Wine. Museveni has been in power for 35 years and is seeking reelection.
The people of Uganda are in massive support of Bobi Wine. They want the ‘father to let the children rule’. This is because Museveni said that he is the father of Uganda. We quote, “some people think that being in government for a long time is a bad thing. But the more you stay, the more you learn, I am now an expert on governance.” The road that led up to Uganda’s presidential elections proved this.
The Power Question
This is not a medium to fuel conspiracy theories, but to ask a question. Has the quest for power in Africa become one that requires so much from the people, leaving them with nothing but scraps and bones? The recent killings in Uganda as a result of the government’s plan to suppress the opposition lends credibility to this question. Videos are everywhere, showcasing the brutality of security forces as they carry out the wishes of a government in a power fuelled lust. Citizens of Uganda were forced to live without the internet because the government shut it down in a bid to avoid public outrage and international condemnation. As Museveni said, “one of the emphasis of the new democratic order is no impunity.” Where then, is the democracy?
The Outcome of the Presidential Election
The earliest election results have shown that Museveni is in the early lead, and Bobi Wine has rejected the results. Bobi Wine has proclaimed himself as the president-elect of Uganda. No doubt, this turn of events will result in yet another series of violations of human rights, disregard for the rule of law, and a blatant disrespect for human life. Sadly, this is the part that Africa and Africans must tow in light of current events.
The Lesson We are Yet to Learn
One would think that Africans learn from the past, but it is clear that they do not. And those who would learn from the past, are shoved into transparent coffins, fluid with air holes, but never free. Africa’s cancer is dictatorship, Africa’s pain is the craze for power. Until the cancer is removed, Africa will never get rid of the pain.