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« Bebe Manga's Voice Continues to Deliver... | Main | Ex-SSA USA Celebrates 10th Anniversary! »

Sunday, 31 July 2011


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Austin Ngenge

Excellent article by Prof.Vakunta!!!In this short piece, the bizzare politics of Africa has been presented at a snapshot especially at the national level of the state.It is important to note also that, the same modus operandi applies to parapublic and private organisations.What i am saying is that,where ever this cancer came from,it seems to have been sadly accepted by the vast majority including those who oppose it as the way of life.That is why even within groups that oppose the status quo, acloser look shows that they practice the same kind of politics,even in apolitical organisations,the president or chair thinks himself somekind of god.That explains why african opposition leaders once in power take embrace the same policies they had spent entire careers attacking.God bless Africa.


Some intellectuals have said, that Africa`s most difficult connundrum at the moment, is the choice between material (economics, technology, wealth)and immaterial (democracy, civil liberties...) freedoms. In that regard I think the article would be more interesting if it were slightly nuanced and more balanced.

What about enlightened despotism? Are there instances where autocratic leadership is necessary (or even preferable)? What about post-conflict situations (Rwanda and Uganda); the neccesity for national cohesion in countries where debates are ethnically charged (the ungoing Boko Haram phenomenon in Nigeria); the attainment of economic objectives (China and Russia); national security; and what about the dangers of unbridled liberty in countries with politically immature populations (pre-genocide Radio Milles Collines in Rwanda).

The problem with most of the leaders mentioned as examples, is not so much about their leadership styles, but the ultimate objectives of their rulership, usually skewed towards personal gain, as opposed to national interest.

Emmanuel Elangwe like it plenty... Saved under "My Favorites". The George Ayittey references are a little bit concerning, but beautiful piece!


You gona have to come up with some really juicy cases to justify "Enlightened Despotism". Your statement above reminds me of Dambisi Moyo's support for...dictatorships in some cases. I agree with you, somethings in life are best explained in nuance, but the is social existence in the extremes as well. If China and Nigeria can be classified as despotic, then we have to redefine DESPOTISM.

Despotism by every defination I could GOOGLE cannot be a recommended panacea for any of those circumstances listed above. It just turns out bad for the governed!! Mugabe was that panacea after the Chimurangas, how well has that worked out for Zimbabwe? Hitler came in to power when Germans needed a unifier, great, how did that work out? The communist party philosophy of Mao is not the same one that is propelling China to the moon. Boko Haram or Al Quaida can't be justifiable catalyst for enlightened despotism. Despotism just infringes on the very basic principle of being human and having the divine gift of choice.


Well Mr Elangwe, as the Germans would say, "at least Hitler made the trains run on time". Today`s residents of Kigali also have reasons to be thankful to Kagame. Here`s what Richard Quest had to say about the city:
I`m sure you heard about the ban on plastic, as well as compulsory clean up days.

Like I said, sometimes it`s a sacrifice of immaterial freedoms, for material freedoms.

China`s current prosperity is only a continuation of Mao`s cultural revolution, tailored to suit changing circumstances.

As for nuances: I`m sure you`ve heard of Guantanamo Bay; airport scans which intrude on our intimacy; as well as curtailment of other civil liberties, since 9/11.

The emphasis is on the ultimate objective. Is it for the greater good, or for personal aggrandisement? That is where kleptocrats differ from benevolent autocrats.

Dominic Caraccilo

The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored and we are a large part of why that has happened.

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