One-Man Rule in China: Africa should be worried

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China President Xi jinping at the Summit
China President Xi jinping at the Summit

Power Is sweet, even unavoidable, at times. Call him president, commander-in-chief, head of the security council, party chief, and chairman of everything from innocuous intra-governmental agencies to multi-lateral conglomerates baptized into China’s mainstream socialistic agenda; may be brewing a cocktail too detrimental to the future of democracy in Africa.

Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and in effect the dismantling of the Iron Curtain in the early 1990s that pitted the West against the East, the last of the strong men in Africa had almost collapsed. Zimbabwe and Uganda yielded their adamancy until 2018 when Mugabe was silently deposed. Now, and not unusual, Uganda’s Museveni is demanding a forever regime. Next, it will be South Africa, then Nigeria and finally Zambia. Strong men are not a new phenomenon; they predate the collapse of colonialism and outlive empire building. They are as old as monarchical ceremonialism in United Kingdom and monarchical internalism in Lesotho. In all these forms, strong men government was not a threat to world economic and political equilibrium. Until now.

There are three reasons why we should be worried of the new surge in One-Man Strong Rule (OMS Rule). The rise of China; the democratic naivety under Trump in the US; and the inevitable catalyst for Africa.

First, China is rising, and with it the enshrining into its constitution of the all-mighty-for-life presidency for Xi. By the new constitutional dictates, Xi has been conferred upon such enormous levels of ideological authority that he is to be only equal to Mao Zedong. The New Era so-donned, will empower Xi with “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.” Camouflaged into these so-called glorious words is OMS Rule. Xi will be the undisputed one-man ruler of China – controlling everything from economic forays to thought and reason. Thought and reason are the last to fall. When they do as the case in China now, freedom can permanently wave bye-bye!

China has already penetrated most major economies of the world through its products and services. There is no world trade without Chinese advantage. China is everywhere, any time and in any form. But China had resisted ideological domination or should I put it, had its ideological momentum curtailed due to America’s policing in yester-years. However, with the weakening of American democracy internally under Trump, Xi and China have finally found their inner energy to emerge. And BIG China will emerge.

Second, US has been weakened internally by the Trumpistic policies to mitigate over China’s rising. This is, perhaps one of the greatest defining marks on world politics. Hitherto, the US kept the world sane by preaching, though not always practicing, democratic ideals. To that end, the world found a level of political equalization. Small countries had an olive branch to institute democratic standards and be guided by the Rule of Law (and not of a man). But with this internal moral and political erosion in the US, China will scintillate its own sparkle, and countries, especially in Africa, will again be tempted to return to the vomitus – to the politics of single party dictatorships. Unless America returns to its guardianship of the democratic diadem, there will be no end to which OMS Rule will not scale.

Last, Africa will, again and sadly, be the culprit. Mark my words, it is already happening in Africa. Uganda’s ruling party is pushing for a referendum that could extent President Yoweri Museveni’s rule to 2035. This is in spite of the fact that the opposition parties have objected. And for a good reason – because this will be a declaration of life presidency for the incumbent who has been president since 1986. Uganda’s ruling party will then justify its course of action by citing Xi and the Chinese model. Where is the US, and with it the rest of us 9no pun intended!)?

The demerits of the OMS Rule are intractable. In the least, they insult the collective pollical conscience of the majority, and at best, they undermine democracy at the expense of autocratic rule. The Rule of Law become the Rule of a Man, and freedom is relegated to oblivion. Africa should fight against this evil. Even with over economic advances, an OMS Rule will always lead to bondage, political disfranchisement and intolerance. Africa must resist OMS Rule. The African people must rise up and condemn OMS Rule, no matter the justification. Government by definitive tenure should be the gold-standard, and not life-presidency, no matter how great the leader should be!

By Charles Mwewa

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17 COMMENTS

    • Xi a president with lipstick. Why so many Chinese men use lipstick, is it tribal identity? I saw Chinese guy who cleans at Zambian UN mission looks like red lipstick kaa,I have no guts to

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  1. “Government by definitive tenure should be the gold-standard, and not life-presidency, no matter how great the leader should be!” – Charles Mwewa

    Well spoken ba Mwewa.

    ‘If it is to be, it ,is up to us’ so goes the wise adage.

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    • Why is it well spoken…you are saying that all countries should follow western type of democracy; look at the likes of Libya and Iraq; no sooner is the strong man killed by the west it comes a compete mess. The same would have happened to Syria.

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    • @JayJay,
      Why did I say well-spoken to Mwewa, you ask?

      I am surprised. Clearly, you have either NOT read and understood the premise of the article, but rushed to comment based on your premonitions, and hence failed to address the PERTINENT POINTS raised by the writer, OR you are just trying to stimulate debate but starting on a wrong foot and contradicting yourself.

      It is precisely because of the examples of “the likes of Libya and Iraq” where no sooner is the strong man killed than it becomes a compete mess, BECAUSE there is no Rule of Law. This is a no brainer, JayJay.
      The World, including Zambia, is full of examples of why too much power for too long in Government in the same hands CREATES A BEAST, regardless of how well and reassuring that leader starts off. e.g. KK, Chiluba…

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    • …Chiluba, started off very well, but look at what they became later. Mugabe, Obote, Museven etc… same story. Hitler same story, it’s a long list.

      Life presidency is a dangerous thing. Period.

      Definition of insanity: ‘Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. -Unknown

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  2. I give to Xi jinping this guy has ambitious plans for China imagine a railway line connecting Beijing to Europe and he has Africa indebted to his country for two generations…he is employing Sun Tzu tactics of conquer without firing a single shot.

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  3. This is the future of governance. Long stay in office, middle finger to the west and rapid development. Ask Kagame.

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  4. And Trump has supported the move which makes me suspect that he doesn’t want to leave the white house.

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  5. Why should Africa be worried? its China. In China it is their custom to have longserving Presidents or Chairmen. We have always known this

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  6. @Malema, why Africa should be worried?
    LOL. “He who pays the piper calls the tune”. That is why.

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  7. We should also come up with our own idealogy.How about reviving”The philosophy of humanis”.
    By the way Donald Trump is envious of Chinese style.

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