By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, May 25, 2016 – ZIMBABWE’S opposition political parties have bemoaned what they say are declining levels of democracy on the continent, adding that there was nothing to celebrate for the African citizens who are living in abject poverty.
The continent Wednesday celebrates Africa Day, a day which is celebrated to commemorate 52 years since the Organisation of African Union (OAU), now African Union (AU), was formed.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu told RadioVOP it was saddening that the continent remained poor when its leaders were extremely rich.
“It is a pity that as we celebrate Africa Day, Africa is still led by dictators who have little if no respect for the African people. We are led by leaders who are extremely corrupt,” he said.
“Citizens still live in poverty. Out of the 1.2 billion people in Africa, 90% are living in poverty. African leaders should take stock from their past mistakes and make sure they inspire confidence on the African population.”
In a statement, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti said African democracy was still in intensive care unit noting Africa was being affected by the “third term syndrome”.
“With over five decades after the first meeting of the OAU, democracy is sadly in intensive care on the continent.
“While soon after independence it was the tragedy of military coups that scarred the face of African governance, now it is the third term syndrome and the curse of rigged elections,” said Biti.
PDP bemoaned that Africa had instead become a hot bed for dictators.
“The result of these two twin evils has been that Africa continues to be saddled by a failed generation of leaders driven by the will to power.
“Across Africa, tin pot dictators such as Paul Biya of Cameroon, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Omar al-Bishar of Sudan, Theodore Basongo Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, Pierre Nkurunzinza of Burundi, Idriss Deby of Chad and Dos Santos of Angola continue to be permanent features of failed African leadership,” saying they were problems affecting Africa.
The opposition noted that the greatest failure in Africa could be seen in the Zimbabwean context where President Mugabe had literally dragged the country into the abyss.
“However, the greatest story of failed and lethargic leadership is to be found in Zimbabwe where President Mugabe in his advanced years is determined to drag the nation with him to his grave,” he said.
ZAPU spokesperson Mjobisa Noko concurred with the other parties noting that the African dream as espoused by the founding fathers of Africa had lost its meaning.
“The Africa that Kwameh Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda and other African luminaries is has lost its track. Dictators have taken over destroying everything good about Africa. The African dream has been lost, we need to go revisit the dream,” he said.