Term-Limit Changes the Biggest Threat to Democracy in Africa?

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (92) is famous for quirky responses when asked why he has stayed in power since 1980. Asked by journalists whether it isn’t time he said farewell to the people of Zimbabwe, he replied: ‘Why, where are they going?’

On a serious note, he also angrily told journalists who asked about his decades-long presidency: ‘Have you ever asked the Queen that question, or is it just for African leaders?’ According to Mugabe: ‘Only God who appointed me can remove me’.

Is Service Delivery Protest a Meaningful Act of Expression or An Act that Can Just Be Switched Off?

After twenty two years of democracy and 20 years of the Constitution becoming effective; some parts of society in South Africa resort to the use of protests to get their voices heard. It is of concern that these protests are also joined by young people whom the future of this country requires them to be actively involved in equipping themselves with knowledge and skills to be able to engage and be active citizens in the running of the country. A question to be asked is – are these actions a desperate measure to polarise public opinion; are they effective in getting politicians to act?

Funding Democracy - Philanthropy, Social Justice, and the Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court judgement on Nkandla (31 March 2016) has been widely hailed as a major victory for democracy itself, as a turning point in South African constitutionalism. But some have said that it is a sad reflection on the state of our democracy if we see this moment as worthy of celebration, when in fact it is simply the Constitutional Court doing its job. However, it is critical to bear in mind that democracy is not an event, but rather a process. Democratic freedoms, in spite of one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, have to be fought for in South Africa.

NGOs Threaten Court Over Dismissed Mayor

Zimbabwe’s local government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere's decision to fire mainly MDC-T councils across the country could hit a snag after a human rights group threatened a Constitutional Court application.

In a letter to Kasukuwere, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum gave Kasukuwere a week to rescind his decision to fire two Gweru councillors, Albert Chirau and Moses Marecha, early this month or face court action.

Cronje Slammed Over ‘Bush College’ Comments

Is the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) ‘an agent of the Broederbond…a gatekeeper for white supremacist ideology?’

This was one of the questions and comments directed towards the liberal think-tank’s chief executive officer, Frans Cronje, after he tweeted: “UCT’s [University of Cape Town] reputation will take a step downwards after events of tonight. Can it recover or is it doomed to become Cape Town’s ‘bush college’?

Geingob’s Warning to NGOs and Govts

Namibia’s President Hage Geingob, says that Namibia fought for self-determination from apartheid South Africa and will not allow foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or governments to undermine the country’s developmental agenda.
Geingob points out that, “We are conscious that Namibia is the product of international solidarity so we appreciate friendly governments and NGOs who understand and respect our developmental needs but we will not tolerate those who interfere and undermine our pursuit of a united and prosperous Namibia.”

UN Congratulates Lesotho Over Polls

The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki Moon, has commended the Lesotho Independent Electoral Commission for preparing the elections.

Ki-moon has also hailed the Southern African Development Community, which has led efforts to peacefully resolve political challenges in Lesotho.

A surprising result is that the Royal village of Mastieng has gone to the Democratic Congress, despite Prime Minister, Tom Thabane, vowing to protect the monarchy in a case in which the Attorney General is suing the King.

Activism Key to SA Democracy – Heywood

SECTION27, a non-governmental organisation, says activism is central for a democratic country like South Africa as it encourages accountability and engagement to ordinary people.

SECTION27 executive director, Mark Heywood, believes that activism must be linked with the Constitution because it demonstrates change in society.

Heywood adds that activism is a powerful tool that is used by people to voice their problems and challenges in government.

Zim Govt Urged to Tolerate NGOs

Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) says that Zimbabwe should ‘improve’ on creating a favourable environment for independent institutions like Think Tanks for it to realise the ‘great’ development potential it has.

The organisation argues that Think Tanks are critical for national development and in progressive nations they advise governments on policy formulation and implementation.

It says Think Tanks provide possible alternatives in cases of policy failure.


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