The Accountability of Leadership in relation to Term of Presidency

The purpose of political leadership or otherwise is to guide, provide solutions to problems, represent others, work with others and find broader common grounds that will improve people lives in general.

In the case of failure of a leader in performing any of these roles, there should be institutional frameworks to stop the person from going astray. Such platforms should be independent from the leader’s influence. In July 2009 Barack Obama outlined in Accra that Africa needed strong institutions and not strong personalities.

People get what they deserve. If we Africans want democracy we can have it. We have to ask ourselves how much we want it, the sacrifices we are willing to make to have it. It is usually said that there is no democracy without development, or no development without democracy, but in my opinion you can have both.

August 9th, 2010 is officially the date for the Rwandan presidential elections. Paul Kagame, the incumbent president, has been in power for 16 years. He has been ruling the RPF since 1990 and his rebel movement has been leading the country from July 1994.

Change is natural. Even the air we breathe changes. The dynamics of natural rules are such that by not conforming to them, there are enormous damages and harm that are caused or inflicted to immediate surroundings or society, and in a nation context, to citizens. And for leaders, no citizen would want to be in a situation where they get hurt by a political leadership which doesn’t follow the rules of nature.

A multiparty political system is the solution to this situation. There is no development without competition – between or within parties, regions, countries, or sectors of an economy or society. Such competition can be beneficial to everyone only if the rules are fair for every body. In order to develop and apply a competitive and fair political platform, we as citizens have an important role to play.

Let’s make sure our political leaders have only one 5 year presidential term. If their political party programme is still valid after that period let’s get that party to give us another candidate for the following 5 years. Internal competition within the party would be beneficial to overall dynamics and outcomes of change for the country.

Let’s not give to our political leaders the tools to cultivate rebel movements. Elevating these rebels into platforms of leadership does nothing but destroy the rights of citizens who are left to become victims of the vendettas of these frustrated personalities.

Let’s get up as one and get what we want and deserve. Leaders who care about us. Leaders who are accountable to us. Leaders we can replace when we see they are failing us.

On Kagame’s Rwanda

Several current legal arrangements in the Rwandan government system are deliberately unjust, discriminatory and oppressive, thus explaining the reasons millions of Rwandan citizens live continuously traumatized and fearful of the regime’s machine of harassment and intimidation, therefore don’t foresee any hope for their future.

Since the return in Rwanda on 16th January 2010 of Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Chairperson of the United Democratic Forces UDF-Inkingi, and presidential candidate for her party in this year elections, the oppressive and dictatorship practices of Paul Kagame’s regime have been brought up in the spotlight of the international and Rwandan national media, this only because they are presently applied to a high profile personality, while for the rest of the population, such existence is part of the daily routine. They have resigned their own destiny in the hands of their oppressor because they feel powerless in front of the ruthlessness of the system.

In recent days, there have been on Rwandan political scene two incidents which remind thoughtful people of the Hitler’s time. One relates to the beating of Joseph Ntawangundi, assistant of Victoire Ingabire, on Wednesday 03/02/2010 inside the premises of a local authority in Kigali, while security forces were watching, the spectacle being like those scenes of Gestapo modus operandi, showing the oppressed there is nowhere to run for help since the authority meant to protect has become the oppressor.

The other incident is an article published in the New Times, the Rwandan daily newspaper at the service of Kagame’s regime, about the same beaten Joseph already mentioned, which reports in its Friday 5th February 2010 edition on his condemnation in absentia by a Gacaca tribunal. The implied intention of the editor of the paper appears to tell the public, ‘the said victim of Wednesday 03/03/2010 beating is a criminal.’

Surprisingly, the news on his condemnation have come up from nowhere in the limelight after his beating, this to explain or justify why he deserved what happened to him, consequently and practically the article is inviting its readers, Rwandans and others, not to see any wrong doing from the Rwandan authorities who are crashing down any dissent voice or undesirable citizens as long as they are criminals. These practices are thoroughly similar to those of Hitler’s period when Jews where killed in millions while Goebbels’ propaganda machine explained and stressed to the public the reasons why it should legally be so.

What happened in Rwanda in 1994 was tragic at incommensurable measures. What is happening since then in the country and unfortunately the whole African Great Lakes region is still tragic, despite a cleverly and systematically designed system of covering up the reality of the scars being continuously inflicted to the populations by Kagame’s regime, its sponsors and international propagandists. As Martin Luther King Jr said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ He also stated that, ‘A man can’t ride on your back unless it’s bent.’ It’s the time now for Rwandan people and the international community to stand up against a Rwandan regime which lives in the past and uses practices not allowable anymore in the 21st century.

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