Governance: Africa Must Rethink its Systems

Published on 30th July 2013

Six million Zimbabweans who are registered to vote are set to exercise their democratic right to choose their leaders across the country. It is commendable that President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Professor Welshman Ncube, the main presidential candidates, have all held their rallies in peace. SADC and the African Union observers should ensure that the playing field is not skewed in favour of a particular party; the police are not intimidating voters; the State-owned media is not biased in favour of a particular party and the state of the voters roll, the way ballots are secured and the credibility of the counting process is fair.

So far, Mali has done Africa proud in the vote, the first since a coup in March last year led to the occupation of Mali's north by separatist and Islamist rebels. Africa hopes that this sobriety will persist and peaceful settlement reached in case of any grievance.

The tension in Tunisia following the killing of Mohamed Brahmi, the leader of the small left-wing Popular Movement party, is worrying. The secular Ettakatol party has called for the dissolution of government in favour of a unity government that would represent the broadest form of consensus. The transitional government however insists that elections will be held at the end of the year.

Egypt's interim government is firefighting as reports point to the fact that the resurrection of several controversial police units that were nominally shut down following the country's 2011 uprising is imminent.

From the above, it is urgent that Africa rethinks its political systems that do not  breed positive cohesiveness in  the wake of challenges and transition.

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