The definition of democracy on the continent has been restricted to holding elections. Many African leaders forget that protests and online dissent is very much part of democracy. Elections are just a part of democracy, and democracy entails a full spectrum of economic, social and political freedoms, which include citizens’ rights to protest and express their voices and concern.
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has launched a campaign to promote a referendum to change the constitution that could see him rule until 2034.
The nullification of the August 8 elections in by the Supreme Court of Kenya, was celebrated as a welcome precedent and Liberia has followed suit. The Liberian Supreme Court suspended the run-off election scheduled to take place on November 7, citing irregularities in the first round of elections that took place on October 10. The move is been applauded as a step in the right direction to ensure free, fair and credible polls.
In the past Africans have been commended for conducting elections free from violence. The Kenyan elections have raised the standard, elections must be credible. The Kenyan case highlights the need to develop transparent and inclusive electoral codes, independent electoral commissions while strengthening the voting systems in the various African countries.
The $8,000 paid to Ugandan lawmakers has been returned to the Parliament accounts office by members of the opposition party who referred to it as a bribe. The money was said to help lawmakers consult with their constituents over the removal of the age limit in the constitution.
Recently, the picture of the Prime Minister of Netherlands Mark Rutte riding a bicycle going to work circulated online. The reaction from many of those on the continent was shock, admiration and awe, raising the question, “which leader of an African country could ride a bicycle to work?”
How do you tell Africa’s story when enemies and allies feed of Africa’s misconstrued image. Nathalie Munyampenda argues that it is urgent for Africans to reclaim its socio-political landscape.
As the people of Togo resume protests this week, we are reminded of people power, and that despite state violence and repression, freedom is non negotiable. The Togolese people are an inspiration to other African countries facing dictatorship and oppression.