Africa – Burundi – Power Struggle And Electoral Process

June 27, 2015

By Padmini Arhant

The East African nation Burundi is forced into political crisis with incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza seeking third consecutive five year term in office after serving from 2005 until 2015.

Burundi constitution allows maximum two terms in office. President Pierre Nkurunziza decision to extend term in office and subsequent measures to compete in the Presidential election has led to public protests with government violent crackdown deploying militia against unarmed citizens and opposition factions plunging the nation into political instability.

Not long ago Burundi was ravaged in civil war over ethnic clashes between Hulu and Tutsi tribes that began in 1993 and ended in 2005.

The election of President Pierre Nkurunziza in 2005 and the administration misuse of power until now evidently prompted unsuccessful military coup followed by arrests and unrest in the country.

Election is meaningful upon the process remaining fair, free, constitutional, transparent and most importantly devoid of corruption and violence. 

Unfortunately in contemporary politics such expectation has become a tall order even though the electoral process without these basic requirements facilitates undesirable and unworthy choices to be elected to power only to abuse authority verifiable in legacy.

Furthermore removal of taxpayer funded extraordinary privileges and benefits in public office including means to earn kickbacks from various deals with economic and other sectors that is a major attraction in the fast track to wealth amassment in politics would skim disingenuous and unscrupulous entities from participation.

Politics would then perhaps attract selfless and genuinely dedicated members to do the needful for the people and the nation.

Additionally, anyone could always engage in community and national service using personal wealth and resources for that would confirm sincerity and commitment rather than aspiring political positions at taxpayers’ expense predominantly to achieve self and vested interests.

The leaderships after completing term in office would be wise to contribute positively as a member of civil society and renounce ambitions that are counterproductive.

The purpose behind constitution is to remind leaders and political members to abide by the rules and not slight the document to suit their convenience.

Any political system governed by hunger for power, fortune and individual goals to prolong self-rule and dynasty violate democracy denying the nation – republic status.

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza stepping down from office enabling other candidates to contest in the Presidential and national election would be honorable and set precedence in the present and future to respect the rule of law exempting none in the country.

The action would save the nation from unnecessary bloodshed and chaos for Burundi could no longer afford or sustain turmoil.

The lawmakers as law-breakers trend are the reason behind dysfunctional government.

The noble path is to lead by example demonstrating loyalty and trustworthiness through deeds not unending desire to claim authority against population will.

The people in Burundi deserve peaceful existence to rebuild lives towards progress and prosperity.

The development across the state possible when national leadership and government engage in constructive role and refrain from unleashing people paid services like police force and army to quell citizens voice.

Prioritizing country over self and political motives is necessary for resolution.

Best wishes to citizens in Burundi in gaining recognition for people choice governance.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant