By Hon Jim Bonnie
I have learnt to be cautious when approaching African issues. From Boko Haram which has caused undeserved suffering to Nigerians to Xenophobic attacks in South Africa and now the turmoils in Burundi. You may be forgiven to think that Africa is the much talked about HELL.
I have no explanation as to why the Nigerian army in coalition with Chad’s National army seems to gain leverage on the Boko Haram immediately Muhammadu Buhari won the closely contested elections beating the incumbent, Jonathan Goodluck.
Many conspiracy theorists both on the social media and on newspapers have opined that Buhari might have connived with Boko to gain political mileage. I have no crystal ball here hence, I wont delve on it.
Then come to the xenophobic attacks. Zulu King, Goodwill Zwiluthini’s careless utterances urging foreigners to pack their bags and leave are directly linked to the attacks. When contacted to clarify on the same, he said that if he would have called for the killings of immigrants, the situation would have been worse.
In short, Zwiluthini was not apologetic. President Jacob Zuma even made things worse for an afro-optimist like me when he said in his address to the nation that South Africans should treat legal immigrants with courtesy and “Ubuntu”. The message here was clear, Zuma didn’t give a damn about illegal immigrants even if they are slaughtered.
And as if that is not insult enough to torment our minds as young Africans who see Africa through proud lenses, Kenya’s foreign Affairs minister, Amb Amina Mohammed told Kenyans that they are monitoring the situation but also added a rider that Kenyans in SA are safe. The message here is yet again very clear, that is, Kenya didn’t give a damn about the killings as long as Kenyans in South Africa were safe!
Burundi is now in turmoil. On Burundi, we must open our eyes and see the facts. Currently, there are riots in the streets led by opposition figures, after president Nkurunziza insisted on going for a third term. The constitutional courts have also ruled that it is not illegal for Nkurunziza to vie again.
After studying the recent court ruling and article 96 of the Burundian constitution, I am convinced that president Nkurunzinza is right on seeking a third term. This article states that the president will be elected for two five year term.
The argument by the Nkurunzinza is that his first term was not by vote but by parliament. he was only elected on his second term. This is understandable and any logical person will see that the constitution still allows him to seek another term since his first term was legalised by parliament.
Now, if this is the factual position of the constitution, why then is the opposition hell bent in causing turmoil in the country which is still healing from years of conflict?
Africa must now beware of the opposition which is becoming worse that the sitting governments. Some opposition figures want to exploit lies and assumption that all the incumbents are evil doers just to get an opportunity to rise to power.
These are the same people who become worse after taking power. I may be wrong but before we criticize the Burundian president, lets get the facts right. Oppositions all over the world are never right always. Sometimes they create crises to take power by badmouthing the incumbent.
Such mischievous tactics of embezzling power by manufacturing crises which has become a formula by some African opposition parties – just like it is now happening in Burundi – must be condemned by us all.
I may be wrong though.