Monday, November 04, 2013

Idolising leaders raises dictators, says Shakafuswa
By Abel Mboozi
Mon 14 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT

JONAS Shakafuswa says idolising leaders has raised dictatorship tendencies in Africa.

Commenting on a statement by African Forum on Religion and Government (AFREG) chairperson Dr Dela Adadevoh that idolising leaders is bad fellowship, Shakafuswa, the former deputy minister of finance and Katuba member of parliament said many leaders ended up thinking they were gods.

"Usually, we think our leaders are omnipotent. Not all leaders are given by God. Sometimes people come into power by deceit, by all sorts of methods. Those leaders that have been given to us by God do good for the people," he said. "Most of them go into leadership to amass wealth, because they want power. Good people are those who are able to use power for the betterment of the people."

Shakafuswa also said the use of the youth in violent activities by some leaders was proof of their capability to turn into dictators.

"We should go past this thing where we are idolising leaders. We should only praise leaders when they do the right thing and criticise them when they do wrong," said Shakafuswa.

Dr Adadevoh recently said there was need to stop idolising leaders as the trend had discouraged diverse opinions.
Dr Adadevoh also most African leaders no longer practice true democracy because of the current risk of being sent to The Hague.

Commenting on the matter, Zambians for Empowerment and Development president Dr Fred Mutesa said African leaders that respect the rule of law and constitutionalism should not fear being sent to The Hague once they leave office.
He said only leaders that disregard the rule of law should be scared.

"Those that respect the rule of law and constitutionalism should have nothing to fear because nothing will be found against them. It is those who are criminally-minded that should worry," he said.

Dr Mutesa said criminally-minded African leaders should not take the continent backwards, more so that it was making progress in championing democracy and the rule of law.
With regard to the membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) by African states, Dr Mutesa said his party's position was similar to that of the Nigerian government.

"We feel that we should not withdraw. In the first place, nobody forced us to become members of the ICC; we volunteered and in the second place, those cases that have been taken there were taken there by ourselves," he said.
On the issue of transitions on the continent acting as an opportunity for change and transformation, Dr Mutesa said the tragedy of Africa on democracy was that the continent was trying to build democracy without democrats.

"A lot of people we have in power today on the continent are the same people that served in the one-party system, the same people that were used to totalitarian systems. Therefore, to expect much from them is really to misplace our confidence," he said.

Dr Mutesa said the starting point was for the continent to have democrats that are not afraid of competition and dialogue and those that speak the truth all the times.

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