The essence of democracy is the freedom of choice of leaders by members of a society or Country civically called Citizens.
An election is, therefore, the process leading to the choosing of a leader like a President.
This is the basic principle that many people have failed to understand in Africa causing the first ground of dispute.
In Africa, people go for elections with predetermined positions as if one voter has an instruction for all other voters to comply with compulsorily.
So, the dire lack of patience to allow other people to express their will by voting for the person they want is a serious thing Africa suffers from in elections.
The second major factor causing disputes in African elections is the unnecessary comparison of democracies in African Countries with those in advanced Countries with particular over the reference to European countries and the USA.
This is one of the worst problems in Africa by our politically active members/Citizens. Many of these people fail to appreciate the indisputable fact that African democracies are still young but generally on the right track to overtake Western democracies.
For example, Uganda's multiparty democracy is just 14 years old. To compare this with US multiparty democracy of 244 years is equivalent of comparing a fetus in the womb with 44 years old adult person that the two should have equal treatment and should be measured with the same standards of assessment.
The acute lack of realization of this red fact and reality beyond a reasonable doubt is the thing that puzzles me a lot. It confirms the intellectual gap in our educated people and the political elites in their analysis of Politico-Social matters.
Democracy too is not one size that fits all things and each democracy should be examined as a separate unique evolving social affair of a given Nation/Country.
This is something dearly respected in Europe but always despised in Africa. Germany, France, UK all have different systems of democracy with one essence maintained just like in the original East African Countries of Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.
Why should European observers think democracies in these East African Countries should be assessed using their standards which I clearly stated are equally not uniform and NOT perfect?
The failure to have common politician grounds in African democracies
This is the third issue causing unending disputes in elections in Africa. The absence of common talking points is serious in that violence, hate speeches and all other forms of dirty practices emanate from this cause.
Democracy requires common denominators on which all Political conversations should be centered. The issues like Patriotism, Pan-Africanism, National Values, National Goal, National Interests, etc are supposed to anchor political engagements with all political camps observing them but only deferring in-terms of policy options about them.
Unfortunately, in African democracies, such common grounds/denominators are completely lacking or their observance completely ignored by the Politicians and their supporters.
Every political Organization or party does its things as if the Country only belongs to its members whose desires should underpin everything in it.
Disputes always arise because of the divergent approaches taken by each political party and its supporters that treat opposing camps as enemies but Not political competitors of ideas on the same common issues. There is a need to whip our Politicians on the significance of having common grounds in our politics.
The Western Influence
Unlike USA & European Countries whose National Elections are not influenced by foreign Countries, all elections in Africa will always have Candidates directly supported by Western allies.
These allies and the Western media will always push narratives to support their preferred Candidates. We have seen this in the recent Elections in Tanzania where the Western Agents like Robert Amsterdam and Western media openly sided with Candidate Tindu Lissu of the Chadema party.
We are seeing it in Uganda whereby the same Western Allies and Western Media are siding with Candidate Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert aka Bobi Wine.
So, the unnecessary interference of the West in African elections cause disputes by raising actions of the State Agents to neutralize these Foreign Surrogates and their funding channels.
The taking of elections as a Do or Die matter
In Africa, everyone who contests in an election wants to win at all costs. This insane appetite to win dirty or clean erodes the observance of moral decency in election processes.
People will lie, kill, insult, blackmail, and even rig just to make sure they have advantages over their Opponents.
In the 2018 hotly contested by-election in Arua, one of the Candidates had to bring 2000 voters from outside the Municipality to secure a result in the best interest of the Candidate. You can imagine someone doing such kind of things.
You go mobilize voters from the neighboring Constituencies to register as voters in Arua Municipality to be able to secure a good result.
The malpractices we saw in NRM primary elections, the allegation of selling flags in NUP or getting sexual favors before female opponents were allegedly given NUP had their causes in this madness of Candidates wanting to win at all costs in election processes. This is something Africa must find a way to minimize disputes in elections.
A weak Candidate or political Organization/party without structures will also want to claim victory even when all evidence available is to the contrary. This is what FDC has constantly done in Uganda despite failing to raise just 50% of MPs or Chairperson LCV in one election cycle.
In most cases, the parties or Candidates that fail try to rely solely on deception anchored by disinformation campaigns usually built around a lie of massive rigging without showing any proof.
Power of Incumbency
In Africa, Incumbent Leaders have too many powers that make it impossible to defeat them.
The Incumbent is the Commander in Chief of Armed Forces who has legal freedoms of changing Commanders of Armed forces in the midst of an election. Can suck any Senior Government Official at any time as the appointing authority. These grounds make Officials including elections to protect their Individual Interests by playing to the tune of the Incumbent.
The unlimited powers of the Incumbent have always been an area of dispute in elections in Africa
The recent Elections in Ghana had this very issue raised as the reason for rejection of the outcomes of the Leadership of Opposition party National Democratic Congress, NDC of Mr. John Mahama. This particular Candidate obtained 47.4% of valid votes cast against his opponent Nana Akufo Addo of the New Patriotic Party who got 51.6% according to the official results announced by the Electoral Commission boss of Ghana.
The above main factors and others will always cause disputes in African elections. However, we must accept the red reality that no democracy in Africa is beyond 50 years. All these democracies in Africa should be considered young and allow them to grow in their own ways just like democracies in the USA & European Countries.
MATUA JOB RICHARD
NRM CADRE/COORDINATOR OF NRM MEDIA ACTIVISTS IN UGANDA (NALI CORE MEDIA CADRES)
Twitter ( Where I am more active) @JobMatua
Morn . I woke up to a very Nice Feeling that I was in our Airbus not any other carrier but Uganda Airlines!!! God Bless our Nation
Etiang to fly plane to Uganda
An hour before the plane took off from Toulouse, Chief Pilot Capt Michael Etiang told UBC TV that it was an honor to be flying the new bird home. (Etiang is son of former long serving Minister Paul Etyang from Tororo)
"There has been a lot of training we have gone through and a lot of effort by government to acquire a machine like this. It is a good chance for us to make our mark in international aviation, give passengers a more direct experience of travel to wherever they want to go. It will reduce the risk of exposure to COVID by going through many airports."
He added that, "For myself it is a real honor. I have always wanted to be a pilot, and this is a culmination of a long dream."
Etiang hailed government for reviving Uganda Airlines, which he said is an opportunity for the country's flag to fly high around the world.
"I need to thank the Government. The president for his commitment. He made a promise to revive the airline and he has followed through on that, and for that we all owe him a deep debt of gratitude. I thank parliament for approving the funds, the public for supporting us and all my colleagues at Uganda Airlines for trying to create something new. The Airbus is a fantastic aircraft, very automated and is at par with any other machine. All glory to God," he said.