Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Legitimised coups in modern 21st century Africa

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John Mutumburanzou wrote to Kubatana recently, sharing his views on GNUs, and the new way of doing politics in Africa:

The obsession and deliberate automated habit by contemporary statesman, political brokers and mediators buttressed by multilateral institutions like SADC, AU and the UN to form coalition governments (also erroneously referred to as Unity Government or Government of National Unity) in each and every troubled state in Africa is astonishing and mind boggling to say the least.

Since the formation of the coalition government in Kenya it seems the echoes of the chorus are reverberating throughout Africa.  First, it shows that Africa direly lacks the statesmen of the yesteryears who had the guts and courage to speak out against their fellow African brothers who are fond of abusing power and who trample on citizen rights willy-nilly.

Secondly, the yesteryear authority of such multilateral institutions is fast eroding and lost into abysmal oblivion. Put plainly, their lack of authority gives credence to the assertion that international law is an ass. It is not an understatement that a Chief’s Dare in traditional Africa is better that a club of expensively dressed men and women acting on behalf of and for SADC, AU or UN and more so masquerading as mediators.

There seems to be a sudden irresistible and invigorated rise, on the political horizons of Africa, of a form of system of governance which is fast substituting elections as a way of coming up with and legitimising governments in Africa. The electorate, it seems, do not matter any more in as far as deciding who is to lead them. Leaders of troubled and so called hot spots in Africa are chosen, on behalf of and for the electorate in those respective states, in posh hotels and flamboyant mansions, more often than not, situated miles away from the respective states and the majority of the citizenry.

Indeed, coalition governments brought about through this political methodology are tantamount to legitimised coups in modern 21st century Africa. The coalition governments formed in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and more to come are in the political intensive care unit. The lack of democratic culture and egregious intolerance in modern African society continues to haunt such systems of governments with consequences horrendous and too ghastly to contemplate. At most in these political arrangements, the principals to the governments just buckle to immense international pressure and signed the deal without a real commitment to make it work leading to festering tensions and acrimony that will gnaw the government and in the process, kill it softly.

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