The Leader of Opposition in Uganda’s Parliament Winnie Kiiza has asked African leaders to respect the views of their citizens especially those expressed through the general elections if they are to avoid civil strife.
This is after thousands of people yesterday gathered to see Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga’s “inauguration as the People’s President in the Kenyan capital Nairobi’s Uhuru park.
In an Interview with The Sunrise Newspaper,Winnie Kiiza said Raila Odinga’s swearing-in is a clear indicator that many African Leaders are disregarding the people’s views which can have serious consequences in their countries.
Kenya’s Raila Odinga is not the only African leader to take matters into his own hands.
Kiiza says that what happened in Kenya is not new to Uganda, because Dr.Kizza Besigye became the People’s President after his electoral victory was stolen.
Two years ago, the Ugandan opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye, a rival of President Yoweri Museveni released a video shot in a secret location in which he inaugurated himself a day before Museveni took office.
“And it is becoming a trend in the region, who knows it may escalate to Tanzania and other countries”- Kiiza warned.
Congratulating Odinga upon his swearing-in, Kiiza warned that the Kenya Authorities and all other African leaders must respect the divergent views as the principle of good governance.
Kiiza warned that if the leaders in the region fail to respect electoral results in their countries, the much anticipated regional integration may not succeed. This is because these leaders are not accommodative to the divergent views as good governance dedicates.
She stresses that manipulation of the electoral results has sharply divided the Kenyan population which can result into civil strife.
On Tuesday, Odinga told his supporters that they have freed themselves from “dictatorial leadership” after swearing himself in as the people’s president”.
Odinga and his followers dispute the results of last year’s election, which was won by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Meanwhile Kiiza applauded the Kenyan Authorities for observing the freedom of assembly, by ensuring that the opposition in Kenya had an opportunity to meet without police disruptions.
Other African Experiences
Also in Nigeria, Moshood Abiola declared himself president when Sani Abacha was in power in the early 1990s. He was arrested and charged with treason and jailed for four years.
In the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, five years ago, Etienne Tshisekedi came second to current leader Joseph Kabila.
There after Tshisekedi decided to organise his own “swearing in” at home after an initial attempt to have him inaugurated at the Martyr stadium in the capital Kinshasa failed. He was later put under house arrest.
In 2016 in Gabon, opposition leader Jean Ping declared himself president and called for a recount of votes, which confirmed that the incumbent President Ali Bongo had won. However, Ping maintained that “the whole world knew that he was the president”.