Power eats our big-men – The reason for why we need Presidential Term limits
There is for some strange reason a big discussion on the matter. Since some countries have them, some don’t. It is not like every constitution should be written the same with the same accords. In my homeland for instance there is no limit on how long the Prime Minister can sit in power, but that that depends if the people of my country get tired of the PM or the party affiliated with the PM. In bigger countries like the US there is a limit of two terms and only once a President who has broken that rule, was during Second World War and that was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Who had three terms and is the only one well known.
I am sure that Greece would have seemed happy with more often change of leadership. So if they hadn’t sunk that deep with loans and debt. Then it wouldn’t matter how long a regime is in power, if it essentially good, but if it’s not. Then it would be healthy with changes, so that the government recharge and fix the issues of old. That is for check and balance, also to stop cogging the machine with nepotism and local graft from local councils and smaller government entities.
Now that Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi is following Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Uganda. They have big-men who have been sitting for ages and continue to break a certain switch of leaders. Burundi has just been through a farce of a election that brought their President Pierre Nkurunziza to his third term. Paul Kagame in Rwanda is thinking the same. Paul Biya the President of Cameroon has ruled since 1982 and is still sitting comfortable. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been the president of Equatorial Guinea has been in charge since 1979. Omar Al-Bashir in President of Sudan has been the chief since 1993. Robert Mugabe is the President of Zimbabawe is the big-men of the country since 1987. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the President of Uganda has been the head honcho since 1986.
Have in mind Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Gadaffi in Libya. All of them had a hard fall during the Arab Spring. So during a short period of time these long times serving rulers was ousted by the public or militias in their countries. And those people mentioned that has been sitting since 1979 to now should have them in mind. They could be next.
Its reasons like this big-men why countries and constitutions, law and rule of laws should fix the longevity for the leaders of the countries. Even if some countries has benefited from leaders sitting long. There have been many who show other tales. That their starting and dealing with matters. Making sure that the countries are progressing, but the issue with all men, power can eat you and when it’s at your grasp you don’t want to leave it. The power corrupt and make sure your family eats and friends to. An leave the matters and supposed people your supposed to serve. That makes the basic issue of leaders who becomes the proof of states where there is “taxation without representation”. They goes from being heroes and big-men with legacy into Machiavellian and Orwellian monsters that swallows the governments, states and organizations. That evaporates and follows the pinpoints from the leaders, but not actual procedures or democratic values. Transparency does matters, checks and balance of information from the regimes dies down especially if it pokes at the government. Ethics of codes of conduct matters for the ruling party, but for the opposition is otherwise since they will be thrown into shackles and dungeons for standing up against the regimes.
There is a reason why media has to be strong against this leaders and big-men. Why term limits is a good thing? It’s because power corrupt and eat men. When you first get a spoon of the sweets they want the champagne and cocktails in the statehouses. While many of the big-men don’t strengthen the basic institutions and ministries of the countries they are in charge of. Instead they put more money into the security and armies, but not too strong because then they are worried that their general’s would make a coup d’etat, especially since some of them took power by the gun themselves. So they usually promise grand changes and grace periods where the institutions left soiling by former leaders. While they does certain things and necessary by them, if so only what needed and supported through aid or donor money they might do something more with this.
While these leaders also often toiled with multilateral organization that put strains on the economic freedoms and loans that funds the countries. The forced moves of liberate institutions instead of strengthen the powers of the nations. Free market thinking that has weakened the economies then making them stronger. So that they import more then they export. Produce simple raw material or farm products and import finished sophisticated products that give the budgets negatives for the countries and also a reason why the countries end up with loaning more money from the multilateral organization. Because of this the big-men make shady deals with international donor countries and producers that lead to more corruption. Their zealous and loyalist under-leaders get cuts and that happens as long as they follow the party lines. The sellers from abroad couldn’t care less because usually they get overpaid for the product and there wasn’t a fair process of the sale. So if there is a transparent overlook of the sale and ordering of the products to the country it wouldn’t have gotten a green light.
This thing grows and grows until it hit either the moon or the sun. The terms are what people looking at. Then you could have discussed and talked more directly about the countries that don’t have it. There isn’t like universal rules to how the constitutions should be and what countries should have in it. There is other ways around that countries has to follow the international agreements, resolutions, charters and convents they have to follow and make amendments to their existing laws. But that is whole other matter. The term limit question is more about the ethical place and trust in the big-men that is either elected or taken power on their own. And if you have issues with leaders taking power on their own, there is a slim chance of them actually caring about rule of law. Instead even if they say something they will turn against close to date of the final period of terms. Just like Yoweri Museveni did in Uganda, Pierre Nkurunziza did in Burundi, Paul Kagame in Rwanda and Joseph Kabila in Democratic Republic in Congo (DRC). They all did a turn-around in limited time right before the end of the official second term. So they could fix the laws and get an official third term.
We the people and the citizens care about our big-men and nations, about the institutions that are made to be around us and supposed to support us. As we want good leaders that actually lead and make changes, and structures to secure their people. Instead when their reign for so long that their stealing of wealth, lands and positions for loyalist can be vial and hurting the country, instead of reaching and making the place better. This could be less of a viable possibility if there were structures and codes into place that pushed leaders to leave behind a legacy and go off in grace instead of sitting into the man with a scythe coming and taking their souls to eternal rest.
If society fears that leaders will lead into nepotism, graft, corruption and other evils of long term stand still of leaders and philosophy. The journey that the political climate needs is sufficient tools to stand in rainy days and in glorious ones. Also proper training to lead the next generations into a secure place and leave a foundation that can bring something positive for the people and the nations as whole.
And it isn’t pure and true leadership if they aren’t coping with the ability of leaving the power. They know that and we the people know this. When that happens we see the issues translate into situations that nobody really wants to see. Like the failed Coup d’etat in Burundi in 2015 and the violence that has surged since. Then the failings of the ‘Walk to Work’ protest after the 2011 elections in Uganda. That only led to few fallen activists for the cause, but lead to now initial change. Also the reactions in the DRC after lawfully allowing it’s president a third term, this made people react and the #Telema uprising happened as a aftermath. This because the leaders don’t accept their reach and doesn’t step down in time, instead tries to sit until the chair is breaking. And in due time they will fall out of the chair, it’s just about how they will land and which legacy they want to leave behind.
I am Sure Honorable Mister Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe could have been a real gentleman and been in the league of freedom fighters who fought a just cause against oppression of a foreign power. He could have been seen as that if he stepped down in proper time and given security to the country. Instead he has let the economy run loose, people fleeing the country, rigging elections, letting special army and police trained by North Koreans go into villages before elections and spread fear amongst the citizens. If he had stopped before turning into a villain, he could have been seen as hero. Something that would been worthy actually of how he fought with the comrades against a far-away rulers to secure peaceful nationhood to Zimbabwe together with Joshua Nkomo. Today he will not only be remembered only for the Lancaster House Agreement! But for all of the other madness that has happen after.
The same will happen with these other leaders who might have done great things. And they have made a difference. They have made some kind of changes and progress in their countries. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda has made progress in Uganda. Even by sitting very-very long in the chair of power. After uncertainties of the 80s he has with the Movement system made the land peaceful and that has made gains in the aspect of food productions. Even with help of neighbors and the U.S. sent LRA on the run to C.A.R. where he is trying to get them again. Though with lingering into power it’s now taking a toll on the budgets, inflation levels, value of the currency and the enormous level of spending to local councils since there is new district every 5 years or so.
I could go on about every leader I have mentioned and what has happen because of their steadiness of power. How that effects and what that has led to in the countries that their leading, still. Similarities are still that the countries don’t earn much on having the same leaders reigning for many terms. Because the countries getting sucked into the system and patrons of the big-man instead of build functioning institutions and ministries to really developing the countries.
And let this be clear, I don’t want the systems of the West unto these countries that is not what I am implying. The simple thing I am pounding on is how it will be healthy for a nation to have leaders and their big-men for too long. I doubt if it is healthy. The same with MPS and Ministers, they all will eat too much and become fat, instead of serving the people. The same happens with the grand big-man; therefore the change of leadership is an essential feature to society and government.
Therefore what I am initially implying is that no matter what kind of society the human soul and body will be eaten by the power. That’s simple reason is that this is a universal issue, the location and countries could be a mayor in my town for the matter or the leader of European Union, the secondly it could be a president in South America or Asia. This is a phenomenon that is everywhere if the big-man has the possibility. Let me take a few more honorable mentions:
- Alexander Lukashenko has been the president of Belarus since 1994.
- Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov has been the president of Turkmenistan since 1985.
- Nursultan Nazarbayev has been the president of Kazahstan since 1989.
- Issas Afweki has been been the president of Eritrea since 1991.
- Emomali Rahmon has been the president of Tajikistan since 1992.
- Hun Sen has been the president of Cambodia since 1985.
So thanks for reading. Hope it was worth it and that this wasn’t as long as the tenure of certain big-men. Peace.