A number of African analysts have been expressing
their views about the recent trend in coalition or unity governments on the
continent after an election. Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka of Nigeria recently
described the unity governments in Kenya and Zimbabwe as illegitimate. He
reportedly said such governments are an attempt by certain African leaders to
retain their grip on power.
Kenyan-born African political writer Ali Mazrui is
director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at the State University of
New York at Binghamton. He said the unity governments in Kenya and Zimbabwe were created under two
Mazrui told VOA
he's willing to accept the Kenyan unity government because
it was created out of necessity.
Kenya, we are dealing with a second term for an incumbent president whose
election was in doubt which caused them tremendous problem, and then he tried
to solve it by having a coalition government. I think can more or less accept
that as a necessity for the moment. But in the case of Zimbabwe, I think that
normally should be unacceptable. There should be pressure to make him step
down," he said.
said the re-election of President Mwai Kibaki in Kenya was not ideal because it
had the country drifting toward a civil war. But he said it was not an appeasement
either but rather a compromise.
can't call it appeasement. In reality the skill of mutual annihilation in Kenya
was much worse than anything experienced in Mugabe. The country was literally drifting toward a
civil war," Mazrui said.
said the casualties from the crises in both Kenya and Zimbabwe were the same,
but Mazrui said President Kibaki's sin was much smaller in skill than the sin
of then President Mugabe of Zimbabwe because of the number of years that Mugabe
had been in power.
South Africa's recent election, Mazrui said he was against the pressure that
eventually led to the resignation of then President Thabo Mbeki because he said
he did not want South Africans to play around with their constitution every
time they were dissatisfied with their president.
described as a bright spot in South African politics the founding of the new opposition
Congress of the People (COPE) party.
bright spot is because the African National Union (Congress) has split, it's
possible that South Africa will now develop a system of government where one
party does not monopolize power for too long. So one healthy situation with
regards to South Africa is that it may moving toward a genuine competitive
political system where there is an alternative party that could be elected if there
is disenchantment with the current party in power," Mazrui said.
the arrest warrants issued against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir by the
International Criminal Court, Mazrui said the concept of the ICC in dealing
with the incumbent heads of states has turned out to have been a mistake and
should be revisited.
to indict and then seek to prosecute has two major failings. First, to
implement it carries the risk of loss of life to a lot of people who have
nothing to do with the problem. Secondly if you sentenced people who are in
power it tends to select people from weaker countries. So I think the concept
of the International Criminal Court in dealing with incumbent heads of states
has turned out to have been a mistake and we should re-examine it," Mazrui