The Pre-Arab world is characterized by presidents who had stayed in power for decades, the likes of Muammar Gaddafi reigned for forty two years since 1969, Ben Ali of Tunisia ruled for twenty four years and of course Hosni Mubarak who stayed in office for thirty years since he ascended power in 1981. These countries were mainly police states, many scholars referring to them as Fascist regimes. It is clear that these leaders wanted to stay in office forever hence a “presidency for life” goal, eventually that kind of agenda would later and simultaneously be challenged during the Arab spring.
The presidency position has by many been seen as an opportunity to amass wealth and control: not only in Africa but elsewhere across the world, hence among the richest people in these countries are presidents because they have/and had the capacity to influence and direct resources into their direction. For these countries with these kinds of leaders any economic, security and political policy has been for the interest of the regime rather than; for the interest of the state/the people.
Well, what I have come to realize is that the post Arab Spring did not turn out so good after the dictators in the these countries were toppled nothing was left for the state, it has now resulted to sectarian violence, societies calming their time to rule, well may be Samuel Huntington “clash of civilizations “ was right. Well now Gaddafi is dead; Ben Ali is in exile and Mubaraka in prison, but the question asked is could this leaders have managed to tighten the grip for their countries? Maybe not!
Well, Pierre Nkurunziza thinks that he is the man to transform his country Burundi to prosperity, not even the international community could stop him! Leave alone the African union constitutive act that stipulate that “any government that comes to power through unconstitutional means shall not be allowed to participate in the African Union” but what am worried about is that other presidents may use Pierre Nkurunziza case as a reference, now Rwanda wants to reform the constitution to allow the President stay longer.
Ironically; while Zimbabwe’s economy shrinks significantly, President Mugabe is mandated to present the image of Africa across continents as chair of the African Union. Well experience is key but what about energy and drive? With that in mind, for our fore-fathers who have made the impossible look so easy we salute them! But let us not live in an era of “presidency for life” nor a spontaneous sequence where people feel excluded, at least not in this day and age.