You know, I really think I have psychic powers. Seriously. I think when it comes to African politics, I can predict the future. I say this because for several years now, I have been advocating a new way for Africans to elect their governments. I have been telling everyone who will listen and forcing those who are not interested to pay attention, to how I think African leaders should be elected because really, the current state of affairs is not working.
Let me explain. Currently across the continent, people are encouraged to go out and vote for the party of their choice. Prior to the voting day and as part of the campaign, "politrickcians", their wives and other party officials travel the length and breadth of their country, promising this and that to the people. They come bearing T-shirts, baseball caps and some petty cash.
They rant and rave about what they will do for the people if given power. They erect large billboards and put their faces on T-shirts. They plaster their posters everywhere, adding to the already filthy environment. The people wear the T-shirts, duly listen to all the messages and maybe, based on that or other factors, they decide who to vote for.
Simultaneously, as the various political contenders bypass each other, crisscrossing the country, the Electoral Commission will also be on a huge public campaign to inform individuals of their right to vote, and why they must exercise this right.
So election day comes. People leave their homes early in the morning. Some travel by foot. Others use the deplorable buses available. By any means necessary people make their way to the nearest polling station, and put their thumbprint where it matters. For some, the wait to reach the ballot box can be long, hours and hours, but they stand in the scorching sun and wait for their turn to vote. Satisfied, they go home. "I have had a say," they tell themselves.
Fast forward to days later. The Electoral Commission (EC) calls the media and amidst suspense and tension on the part of the political contenders, the head of the EC makes the big announcement. After going through the votes region by region--or whatever method has been used--the winner is announced. Party X will form the next government. Then begins the war.
The losing party will cry foul and demand a recount. Lots of noise will be made, name-calling will become the norm (actually, the name-calling forms part of the pre-election...