I have been following conversations on social media and in the mainstream media from the time when the former South African President Jacob Zuma was put in prison following cases of embezzlement of public funds.
Thereafter chaos erupted in South Africa and there has been looting of property and several people have lost their lives. Before that, a few years ago, there were cases of violence in South Africa where South Africans attacked and killed people who they knew had origins in other African countries, that was not only shameful but embarrassing as a continent which has complained about colonisation and imperialism of the Europeans. Whenever I compare those two events I almost conclude that there could be a power vacuum somewhere in South Africa and which should be filled as soon as possible.
South Africa, being a country that produced one of the most respected icons in the world the late Nelson Mandela should be one of the most respected countries not only in Africa but also in the whole world, everyone should be yearning to go to South Africa for tourism and for learning one thing or two about the history and what South Africans passed through during the dark days of apartheid. While in school we read novels and also studied history about south Africa but I have also accessed music and other documentaries about the shabby events of apartheid. However it appears after the apartheid south Africa seems to be painting another image that will be seen by the world. I’m sure if we continue like this south Africa as a country could rebranding to yet another shabby sculpture. Of course we shouldn’t forget the dramatic parliamentary sessions of the south parliament that has now turned into comedy skits for some people to watch on internet.
It could be true that the former South African president had a case to answer but I feel there could be a way of handling that matter but not putting him in prison and thereafter spreading the images of him in cells on social media. I’m sure that could be the reason as to why people were annoyed hence thronging on streets. If the incumbent presidents have immunity against any form of prosecution then how about former national leaders? Don’t they have a reputation that ought to protected? In any case for me I think, someone who has ever been a president can be regarded in that esteem. I think that’s why in some countries like United States those people have a number of privileges they enjoy when they retire as Presidents including remaining with security and addressed as President.
Democracy was imported to Africa but Africans now want to use it more than the owners and they want to show that they understand it better than those who brought it. Interestingly they’re ending up embarrassing themselves and it’s a huge shame to us as a continent. Some of these things we do in the name of democracy and other policies show that we are still mentally colonised. It’s as if we think and do things on remote control of foreigners who were here many years ago and who left a shabby image on our continent.
The writer is a deputy RDC Kitagwenda District.
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