How African Revolutions Unable To Transform African States

By Laku Modi Tombe,
Poverty Africa
March 12, 2015 (Nyamilepedia) — Most  African revolutions which were instrumental in their struggle against colonial rule in Africa and triumph in their quest for independent states end up falling short in transforming African societies especially when we see the existence of acute poverty, several diseases, constant hunger, improper sanitation, poor standard of living, underdevelopment, and bad governance can be attributed to the negative factors that shape their foundations.The Violent Political Culture

One thing that make African revolution’s failed to meet their revolution aspiration is due to their violent political culture which emerged as a result of colonial mistreatment of the masses who were able to garner arm struggl for military action and paid less focus on a coherent national political ideologies for nation building on the assumption that after the violent uprising is over,  everything will be great as long as African are the ones managing and handling African political affairs; without putting into consideration that before the liberation, African culture, norms, values, organizations were destroyed and the society and its people were fragmented into tribal lines to block futures endeavours by the colonialist to make it impossible for the divided masses to build post independent states.

Improper Implementation of Laws

Aside from violent political culture, African revolutions lack respect for their revolutions laws, civil laws, criminal laws, and states laws for the fact that they want to get away with these laws for fear these laws will restrict their behaviours and cannot allow them free ride to do anything they want to do that‘s contrary to the laws.

Instead of developing a permanent respectful constitution that guide state, protect and defend all citizens before the law like we see in South Africa, United States, and Canada, the so call revolutionaries always make their own laws with the help of their own judges and their own lawyers to protect their position and to repress voices in the states that are trying to challenge their authority.

For example in Uganda, Rwanda, DRC to mention few in addition to other countries in  Africa, a change on constitution to allow president to contest in an elections more than 20 times is very common as a result of this improper implementation of nations laws because head of the states in these countries are often above the law compare to their other ordinary citizens.

It is this abuse of law that always generate series of multiple rebellions after rebellions which are frequently formed since the leaders of each successive regimes in post African independent states were not developmentally oriented but are destructive in nature to their countries in various forms of development couple with the killing of one another like what we see in the case of Samuel Doe of Liberia, Moammar Qaddafi of Libya, Joseph Kabila of DRC etc.

Lack of respect to laws make each revolution start from zero in terms of state laws, economic development, social development etc and this create lack of political continuity in terms of programs from each successive regimes which essential learning tool for the success and the failures of government, although our African historian were always generous in compiling and connecting the events of all the regimes.

Ignorance in Party Politics and States Politics

Ignorance in party politics and states politics among African revolution is very common as they cannot separate party politics from states politics because for them both the party and the state is/are one. As a result when a violent revolution that come into power turn to political party, the state belong to them.

That is why in South Sudan for instant, you will notice that SPLM/A cadres are busy brainwashing South Sudanese that SPLM/A/movement or party is South Sudan and South Sudan is SPLM/A movement or party.

In this connection, with ignorance in party politics and states politics, it implies that any person who is not a member of SPLM/A, is not South Sudanese and this party ideology means that for none SPLM/A to reclaim his/her South Sudanese identity, he/she must rebel and destroy the SPLM/A which grab nations-states identity to itself from its rightful owners. Otherwise, without doing so a person will find himself/herself been forced into something he/she dislike.

The politics of Exclusion

From the evolution of our violent political culture, our improper implementation of laws, and our ignorance in party politics and states politics, we produced the politics of exclusion which left African with no common national political unity but a divided political movements or parties which make each party/movement fight for its own interest and that of its members while the collapsing African countries are left for either the same white man we previously fought to gain our independence from or God to take care of them for all us.

Here, as African countries sink deep into poverty, diseases, hunger, poor living standard, underdevelopment, and bad governance, the useless briefcase party’s and their meaningless revolutions are busy clashing with one another whereby each blaming the other to be responsible for the misery of the countries, while some parties/movement are advocating it is their turn to eat and their tribes to rule either because they are the majority or some lame excuses to buy.

Consequently, at the end of this medieval backward political fight, there is no political unity among various political organizations and the concept of patriotism or nationalism is reduced to not only to regionalism but to tribalism and the state is left for God to take care of since we don’t have time for it.

It should be made clear that I am not refuting the violent nature those revolutions aren’t justifiable. Far from it. But the fundamental question which I’m deriving at is that if this factor indicated help liberated African and led to independence, is the action taken during armed struggle a good foundation for the nation-states we have been envisioning? The answer can be yes or no. Yes, in a sense it liberated African from colonial York, and no in the fact that it left African worse than in colonial era because of the psychological deficiencies of violence.

Way Forward

World history shows us records of both violent revolutions and peaceful revolutions that was formed in the past. My proposal and appeal to future African revolutions or parties, regardless of their political culture, is to be aware that revolution is not about destroying all that your opponent have built; revolution is not about taking the entire nation for your organization, but the nation belong to all the good and the bad citizens; revolution does not mean people have to follow you but to walk beside you as equal members who own it; revolution isn’t to produce ignorant citizens but a well informed, educated, responsible citizens capable to protect and defend their sovereignty from internal or external threat; revolution cannot take away people’s dignity but reinforces it.

Though it is hard to avoid violent sometimes in life, let our African revolutionaries put into consideration that it is sometimes difficult for a violent mind to make peace, create order, promote stable in the society but a sober, cool, calm, and collected mind which is free of anger, envy, hatred is a healthy for good of all citizens and nation building. We need to learn on how to refrain from chaotic actions and bad attitudes as possible as we can.

The revolutionaries and party’s futures leaders should know that constitution is the supreme document of the nation with rules and laws that not only governing the state but it is also capable to address cases of crimes, corruption, murder, and citizens rights and responsibilities. Use these things as your opponent’s weakness and leave the rest for the court and judiciary system to finish the rest if we truly honor and respect our laws. The notion which state an individual is innocent until proven guilty, is something we must respect and abide by for the sake of peace for all.

Whereas, we should remind our future party leaders that a political party is an alliance of like minded people who work together to win election and government. Political parties compete against one another for political power and for the ability to put their philosophies and politics into effect and party politics is about the actions or political behaviors motivated by what is best or right for the political party, rather than for the people.

A state is a means of rule over defined or “sovereign” territory. It comprised of executive, bureaucracy, court, and other institutions, But, above all, a state levies taxes, and operate a military and police force.

Proper understanding of these two concepts will enable us separate the political ideology which states that a party is a country and a country is a party.

Political parties leaders need to embrace the politics of inclusion for the new African independent states for the sake of nation’s political unity and national sense of political belonging. This action will promote loyalty and solidarity among citizens to work together on national political matters concerning their countries.

In conclusion, it is time African stop blaming colonial past and understand that with a country come responsibility, you cannot fight to form a country and expect someone to take care of it for you in terms of its economy, its development, its prosperity, and its governance.

Otherwise, our violent political culture; our lack of respect of states laws;  our ignorance on party politics and nations politics; and our politics of exclusion, are some of the psychological deficiencies that we need to address if we are to transform our countries  for the better or else we are doom and will continue to suffer for another 100 years.

You can reach the author at

Post a comment or reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: