dictionary of african politics


South Africa’s Mail & Guardian has coined what it called the working 21st-century dictionary of African politics.

  • One-party democracy. A system of government in which only the incumbent president’s name and his party appear on the ballot paper. Alternatively, the electoral form where opposition parties appear on the ballot paper, but where every form of violent intimidation, blackmail and trickery are used to deter citizens from voting for them.
  • Mubarakism. A form of government in which, to quote President Hosni Mubarak, a president serves “until the last breath in my lungs, and the last beat of my heart” — and then hands over power to his son. Daddy Mubarak left the vice-president’s seat unoccupied for three decades so that son Gamal could take over when a mummified papa joins the pharaohs in the pyramids. But the events of the past three weeks mean that Mubarakism doesn’t necessarily have to take a hereditary form. Former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman looks likely to perpetuate Mubarakism, at least for a while.
  • Pan-Mubarakism. A philosophy espoused by Africa’s life presidents, whose guiding tenets are cronyism, autocracy, corruption and violence. In this select group appear Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Cameroon’s Paul Biya, the late Omar Bongo of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the late Malawian dictator Kamuzu Banda and Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh presents a few theoretical problems. The other club members just want to be presidents for life — this soldier-president wants to be king.
  • Doing a Kibaki. The very notion of liberal democracy is no longer valid in some African countries. Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki, by most accounts, lost the elections of December 2007. But by stuffing the ballot boxes and engaging in other election chicanery, he was able to stay on as president.

Culled from http://www.mm.co.za


About musa

I am a Gambian journalist whose mission to use his pen to correct injustice and to tell truth to power was left to bite dust. My newspaper's contents and editorials became "too itchy" that I ended up in Banjul's mosquito-infested cells where I had to cope with three nights of horrendous tortures that left scars all over my body. I was forced to flee into exile with my family, leaving behind my beloved country and editorial desk in the hands of perpetrators. However, unlike most refugees, my two and half years in Senegal was well spent.

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: The Oldest World Presidents – name and shame « Continental News Network

  2. Pingback: The Oldest World Presidents – name and shame « WELCOME TO NEWS HOUR

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