By Sam Evidence Orikunda
In every election there’s always a winner and loser and that’s what makes it an election, otherwise it would have been given another name.
In Africa it’s very difficult for the opposition to concede defeat. To them going into an election means automatic winning, failure to do so then the election has been rigged.
Funny enough, when they win elections then they come out to praise the elections body for a free and fair elections.
There are instances when they opposition is quite sure that their votes are handy and they quickly come out to say that they have been rigged and therefore they reject results.
This has kept their supporters under foolery of knowing that the leaders they support have never lost an election. You could have any issue with them if you openly tell them that they lost the election. We may also need to understand why democracy in Africa is still struggling and yet the opposition politicians continue to say that they’re fighting to see democracy thrive in their countries.
I think democracy means accepting results whether they favour you or not and also pledging to work with the person who has defeated you for the good of the country, that’s what nationalism and patriotism means and when it’s done that way then it’s a clear indicator of political maturity.
Raila Odinga yesterday addressed the media and said that he had rejected the results. He said that the Chairperson of IEBC was announcing the results of which the source was not known and the many words him and his team added.
It should be remembered that at one point in time Raila Odinga swore in himself as the president of Kenya after losing the election to Uhuru Kenyatta. That was not any different from Uganda because Kizza Besigye, the former president of FDC, has ever done the same.
It’s from there that the title “People’s President” was born, because after swearing in himself he said he had taken over as people’s president however he didn’t tell us which people, if they were the majority or the minority.
Africa will never heal from political conflicts with this kind of politicking. We shall always spend money trying to calm down the riots caused by the politician who front politics of egocentrism.
We also need to understand that some people do not contest to win the elections and serve the people of that particular country. They instead contest to win and punish those who have not been supporting them and a number of other selfish interests they front.
How then shall we continue blaming the institutions that preside over elections in Africa for malpractices yet we have no energy to accept results in instances where we have genuinely lost elections?
I think it should be made known to the public that the African opposition always wants the institutions which organise elections to only declare them as winners.
Failure to do so, then the process hasn’t been free and fair. You can imagine in the recent concluded elections in Kenya all the election observers both from with East Africa and beyond agreed that the election was free and fair and that the results that the IEBC released tallied with what they had anticipated but this statement wasn’t enough for Raila Odinga and his team because they insists that the election was rigged.
May be they should also say that the IEBC bribed all the election observers to make that conclusion, I think that would make more sense.
As we criticise the African incumbent presidents for a number of issues we should also put focus on teaching the African opposition politicians to concede defeat.
That’s what democracy means, democracy doesn’t mean that the opposition must win, I think democracy means that the person with the highest number of votes is declared winner and therefore takes charge of the country.
On top of rejecting the results, opposition also adds inciting the public into unnecessary violence which continues to claim lives of innocent people in Africa and which would be avoided.
In Uganda the NUP extremists have never agreed that their candidate Bobi Wine lost elections. To them, he is their elected president. Even when his political party couldn’t raise a single candidate in several constituencies around the country, they insist that he won the election.
The bad habit of refusing to concede, always keeps the population in unnecessary politicking with some people failing to work.
In developed countries there are seasons for elections and after the elections, people get back to work. In Africa elections never end.
People are always charged for politics both during campaigns and after the campaigns. that’s why we have so many idlers who end up turning into criminals. The people should be made to understand that elections come and go.
The opposition should also be made to know that it’s not mandatory that their candidate must win an election because we can never know the opinion of every citizen in the country, neither can we agree always.
it’s the right of an individual to disagree or not to support an idea of which he isn’t comfortable with and the election is meant to tell us which idea is more popular and supported by the majority.
Several opposition candidates in Africa have always gone to court to contest results but sometimes court pronounces itself the opposite of what they think and immediately after that they go back to the media to say that courts were forced to rule against their favour. Meaning they also go to court with one aim of winning the case, whether they have substantial evidence or not.
I’m sure even Raila Odinga is heading to the Supreme Court of Kenya and we wait to hear what court will decide but I’m sure if court rules against his wish, he will come out to say that even court was compromised.
The problems we have is the foreign funders who continue to give money to these kinds of confused politicians and I don’t know for what?
Maybe the intention of those funders is to make sure that they continue the confusion spreading in African countries meanwhile as the economies crumble and Africa continues lagging behind but otherwise a sane mind would be frank enough to tell those politicians to go back and convince the public to support them rather than rejecting results all the time.
The writer is a deputy RDC Kyenjojo District.