A member of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption Daniel Batidam has said the posture of African leaders towards dictators on the continent makes it appear as though they desire to be one.
According to him, until the former Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe was removed from power, he was highly regarded and admired by most African leaders.
Commenting on the challenges of democracy on the African continent, the anti-graft advocate told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Friday that Africans need to develop their own brand of democracy which will be responsive to their peculiar circumstances.
“The democracy we are practicing in Africa is influenced from the West. There is a fundamental problem of appreciating the challenges we are having in practicing democracy in Africa. There are some kingdoms that are very powerful in our country [Ghana] such that they influence our political processes. Meanwhile, we say Chiefs shouldn’t be actively involved in Politics. If you ask me, I will say we still haven’t got an African Brand of Democracy. This is not to say there are no universal values and or concepts,” he said.
He continued: “Most of the time when we mention Democracy, we are looking at countries that hold elections…Democracy goes beyond that. Sometimes, the claps and cheers given to Mugabe when I sit in AU meetings amaze me. Until Mugabe’s removal from office, at the AU Summit, some sleeping Presidents will wake up just to listen to him and what he has to say”.
Also contributing to the discussion, a policy analyst with the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Franklin Oduro said Africans cannot absolve themselves blame in the ills that happen to them.
“Even though we can blame the International community, we have to look at the kind of leaders we endorse before we blame the International Community. As Africans, if we do not get our leaders to do the right things, we cannot blame others much. We need to strengthen Civic Education before, during and after elections. Citizens are to know that they are supposed to demand results from leaders who are servants to the nation”.