Tuesday, September 06, 2011

"Watered Down Democracy!"

There is an interesting article about the recent protests in Africa, in the July - September 2011 issue of Focus on Africa magazine, in which BBC Focus on Africa gathered "three thinkers in Cyberspace" to debate the ramifications of those protests. This included Uganda's managing director of the New Vision newspaper Mr. Robert Kabushenga whose opinions I found not suprising, but peculiar!

Focus on Africa is a subscription only magazine, so I cannot reproduce the entire article here. I will only highlight particular sections:

On the question of whether the days of benign long-serving autocrats are numbered: Uganda's Kabushenga has an emphatic: No. he goes on to say the following: "in Uganda you have an opposition leader - Kizza Besigye - who lost an election and was about to loose the leadership of his party and faced the prospect of an end to his career. So he incited a group of people to turn to violent protests." Professor Stephen Chun, another pannelist in this forum had the following response: " ... Noth Africa will appear more progressive than Eat Africa, where Uganda President Museveni simply doesn't have the imagination to rule with a modicum of flexibility, .. " On the question of whether governments have turned these social protests into political ones as in Uganda. Pfrofessor Chun had the following to say: "The reaction of the Ugandan government turned what was largely a social and economic demonstration into a political one. The luck of dynamic change and new ideas enabled some political undercurrents in the protests. Mr. Kabushenga still insisted that: "What was going on in Kampala was a well organised violent protest by a political section of the opposition. The issue of food prices was just an excuse! Mr. Kabushenga called Besigye a sore perpetual looser; to which professor Chun had the following response: "Robert's point about the sore loser, in Uganda's case the perpetual loser, needs to be balanced with the determination of the perpetual winner to keep perpetually winning. There is a problem about rotation of elites in Uganda. In Egypt, Mubarak kept winning elactions as well. What strikes me about Uganda is the mantle Museveni sometimes dons of having been a "liberation" leader. ... to the effect that liberation leaders are somehow irreplaceable ... "
In a colomn by Ghana's vice president Mr John Dramani Mahama: there is the following quote: The hopes and aspirations of an entire nation are no longer invested in one individual"

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