What Happens Before and After Elections in Africa; Impunity

Immediately after elections and another five year term begins. The elects flee the villages to their posh city villas and forget the people in the grassroots. It is as if they will never return where they come from. The problems of the electorate which they promised they would address are soon written off from their minds. All they do is sit on their $2500 seat in parliament and sleep or at best utter populist rhetoric only meant to further political mileage.

One year after elections is always marked with a lot of challenges. It is a year that sees the life of the common citizens hit hardest by tough tumultuous financial times whose causes are beyond their control.
The finance sharks usually gang up to fleece them to their last penny. Necessities are hoarded by the gangs which have altruist interests. In the end they have to fork out money through the nose just to benefit from their services and goods. The government abets this.

Individuals perish due to lack of food during famine. A calamity that is preventable even in times of drought; Middle-East countries do survive in drier places. What of Africa with the most fertile land? It is not because food is not enough but because of the poor policies and priorities reminiscent of the rotten governments. A bill seeking to raise their already heavy and untaxed perks would sail through the house over midnight, while in contrast, one to mitigate the tough economic times would take months. At worst they would rather discuss such pressing issues after their long recess.

It is the year of elections. The incumbents begin to return back to the grassroots in humble tones and philanthropy not seen in the last four years. Political temperatures in the countries heighten as the incumbents use every available forum to not only spew ethnic bigotry and plant division but also exclusivity. It is usually an 'Our People' or 'Our Community' season.

Election day comes. It is a very important day when citizens are supposed to exercise their democratic right. The incumbents having been made aware of their dwindled popularity resort to compromising eligible voters by issuing laughable hand-outs. It is a rarity in Africa for a sitting president to accept defeat. The incumbent government botches up the electioneering process and rigs the elections. This is usually followed by a dramatic scenario where both the winners and losers declare themselves victors leaving the country in a state of pandemonium.

Soon violence is triggered as emotion carries the people beyond reason. Incumbents become extra-ordinarily stubborn and refute calls to relinquish power; they want to marry it. This forces the international community to prevail upon the despot militarily or through sanctions as the toothless African Union (AU) watches helplessly. Alas!! Before the despots are overpowered a country will already be in ruins.

New tenants, who are the beacon of hope, finally occupy state houses and palaces. A beacon of hope is however just an oxymoron. The new leadership are soon compromised by the trappings of power and they, like their predecessor loot from the exchequer. The people armed with the horror of the Post Election Violence (PEV) plus crumbled economies are forced to reclaim their country in the streets. The governments all show a co-ordinated approach; they rush to inundate large areas to put the people down before there is massive chaos and rioting. Lords of impunity continue to thrive as custodians of justice become jeopardized and justice remains a blurry and volatile affair.
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About Rowland Mtetezi

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  1. Thanx for people like you who who use literature as a weapon for change!

  2. Go to the streets, reclaim your countries there!! Write off these despots n jetison them together with their cohorts to Mars!!

  3. This is the time, what will you tel to your posterity? That you could not resist?? So shameful

  4. Governments will only listen when the people riot n strike, occupy your liberation squares and change these shameless regimes!!

  5. The problem with African Africans is that they speak to much n do too little.