Heko Rais Magufuli

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Are African constitutions still sacrosanct?

Image result for photos of museven being sworn in
            The constitution of any country is a crucial part of it; it is the one that creates and guides the country in whatever it does. Recently, modern-day uber-greeds proved to be on top of the game vis-a-vis cling to, grabbing, and usurping power. They committed treason of tinkering with the constitution. Ironically, while individuals entrusted to protect, respect and uphold the very constitution tamper with and defecate on it, they call their insults against their people democracy and the will of the people! Which people are these?  Criminals in cohort with their parties or movements, for many years, have used the term ‘people’ to legalise their delinquency. Such criminality has held Africa to ransom. For Africa to move forward, the majority citizens need to rebel against whomever tampers with their constitution.
            Citizens need to stand up and speak out that nobody’s above the law. For, this is a loophole many stinking tin-pot dictators–who tinker with the constitutions of their countries under many ruses such as finishing off the job as if their countries are their private estates–use. They swear to uphold the constitution to end up underholding it; to do justice to end up doing injustices and to respect the constitution to end up disrespecting it by tinkering with and trampling on it. They swear by their foreign gods–as they ignore African ones–to end up selling their countries to foreigners.
             American former president Abraham Lincoln warns us saying that “don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” This proves: the constitution isn’t only sacrosanct but also paramount. Again, do citizens know this centrality of their constitutions a few misguided and narrow-minded bêtes noires can tamper with and get away with murder for the peril of the masses?
             As Albert Einstein puts it, “the strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.”  This is different from what transpired recently in many countries that allowed their potentates to tinker with their constitutions in order to illegally remain in power, plunder and lord it over the citizens as they wish.  If anything, this is counter developmental by nature.
             I wonder if the things people say make sense to themselves let alone to others. For example, apart from the constitution, one of the symbols of the nation is its national anthem. Uganda’s has some lines “united, free, for liberty; together we’ll always stand.” Do the majority of Ugandans who sing this song on many occasions know really what they mean; and what their national anthem stand for? How, if, for many times, have they allowed themselves to be taken for the ride as they evidence their strongman defecates on their sacrosanct document? Does Uganda constitution and those of the countries whose dictators tinkered with have any sacrosanctity left in them? Who is to blame?
            The same applies to Burundi whose national anthem has a stanza that reads
Our Burundi, sacred heritage from our forefathers,
Recognized as worthy of self-government,
With your courage you also have a sense of honor.
Sing the glory of liberty conquered again.
            Where’s self-government if the constitution is abused? Is there any glory of liberty amidst constitutional abuses? Do Burundians know what they sing and hold dear as a nation that says “acceding to independence with honorable intentions” Do such honourable intentions still exist whereas a single power-hunger individual can take the entire country for a ride and get away with it?

            The other day, I heard some mentally-sick boobs espousing the same treason we’ve evidenced been committed in Uganda and other countries. They want our constitution defecated on in order to usher in cult and skinny politics revolving around individuals. To hell with them; may they perish! Any leader or ruler who’s a man or woman enough must protect, respect and uphold the constitution by putting it above power hunger and whatever nonsenses constitution abusers and supplanters use to dupe their unsuspecting people. Jacob F. Roecker once warned that “the greatest threat to our Constitution is our own ignorance of it.” Aren’t those whose constitutions are tampered with ignorant of their constitutions and the danger to themselves? Who’ll save them from themselves? Whoever call themselves leaders or whatever who don’t respect the constitution are criminals who have no right to be in office. Such criminals need to be behind bars irrespective of the power they wield. How many criminals do we’ve in our offices; and for how long will Africa go on making do with such criminality; and collectively and massively become accomplices?
Source: Citizen, Jan., 17, 2018.

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