Experience in the Ugandan presidential election shows that results can be predicted as long as President Museveni continues to be a candidate. In fact, he has won all the elections for the past 35 years and surprisingly he does not feel that he has overstayed. When he was once asked by a foreign news reporter about being a dictator, Museveni replied that he must be a good dictator then for the Ugandans to keep on voting him into power. Meanwhile, it seems in Uganda presidential elections are calculated in a way that any opposing candidate to Museveni is given no chance. He cannot campaign freely without being intimidated by frequent arrests and random beatings.
The President of Pakistan late Zia Ur Hacq once said that any sensible President must just be in power for not more than 10 years. After 10 years people just tolerate such a President because there are no new ideas he can bring to the country. In fact, even the President realise this and that is why those who have overstayed are always vicious to those who have opposing ideas. The end result is that citizens start suffering.
In Africa, there are various organisations such as the African Union (AU) of which one would think that they can help people suffering because of poor leadership. When African Presidents meet they should be able to assess and raise questions on performance of each other especially those that politically make their people suffer. This is not done. They all use sovereignty as an excuse. It is such lame excuses that has made all as a toothless bulldog. Just imagine people in Zimbabwe were suffering a lot under late President Mugabe and yet he could go to all meetings and be given a front roll seat with a standing ovation. No leader could raise an accusing finger. Even those leaders who were delegated to meet Mugabe in Zimbabwe they would come back empty handed and just to say the usual meaningless statement that they had fruitful discussions. However, such fruitful discussions never achieved anything. It had to take persistent pressure on Mugabe by the citizens which made him leaver power.
Malawians are a very good example on the continent when it comes to changing leadership. They worked together and fought very hard to remove and make Peter Mutharika a one term leader. They really proved that citizens power can defeat all manner of intimidation. Before the presidential election that put Chakwera into power, the pro Mutharika group would make all sorts of calculations to prove that no one could get more votes than Mutharika who happen to come from a very populous region. To their surprise, Chakwera defeated Mutharika by one million plus votes. What pro Mutharika supporters might have not known is that more people were sick and tired of Mutharika’s rule hence did not give him a chance for second term. In fact, some people were even suggesting impeachment as a way of getting rid of him. In most countries in Africa people fail to impeach bad leaders because the process is long and tedious. They also hide behind the argument that they can wait and get rid of him through the ballot. Fare enough. But what people forget is that the more time they give the President the more he destroys the country. In fact, it is not guaranteed that such a bad President can easily lose the election.
On impeachment, Africa can borrow a leaf from the United States of America. Despite President Trump being out after losing the elections, the impeachment process on him has started. They know that this will still affect his future political life. The American Senate wants to finish him up in a bad way. In Africa people would not get bothered with a finished President.
All leaders must know that citizens have powers to bring change.