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Democratizing or Reconfiguring Predatory Autocracy? Myths and Realities in Africa Today

Tuesday 11 August 2009, author(s)-editor(s) Tatah Mentan

The celebrations that heralded democratic change in the 1990s in Africa have gradually faded into muffled cries of anger and attendant violence of despair. Almost everywhere on the continent so-called democratic leaders are openly subverting the people’s will and disregarding national constitutions. Ordinary people find themselves removed from the centres of power, marginalized and reduced to helpless and hopeless onlookers as political leaders, their friends and families noisily enjoy the spoils of impunity. From Nigeria to Zimbabwe, Kenya to the Ivory Coast and Uganda to Cameroon, the writing is on the wall.

The experiment with democracy has blatantly taken a dangerous nosedive.

There is a crisis of honest, committed and democratic leadership, in spite of the advancements in education and intellectualism of the populace, and despite the influences of globalization and new understandings of governance. In this brief volume, Tatah Mentan makes an incisive diagnosis of how the “security forces” brutally crush protests against bids to stay in power through corrupt electoral practices as well as how opposition voices have been hunted down and crushed or intimidated into graveyard silence.

This is a clarion call for Africans to embrace the values of People Power in synch with the dictates of the current global imperatives. There is no place for visionless leadership. Africans need to raise their voices to recapture their freedom.

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ISBN 9789956558575 | 90 pages | 203 x 127 mm | 2009 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback