Pius Katunzi Fleeing Tunisia President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali is such a disgrace and traitor to the steel nerved African leaders that the only prize he deserves is scurry from his presidential palace like a cursed rat! What business did this man have in Tunisias presidential seat if he didnt have a formidable and trusted force to quell protests and riots? The man should have nosed about the continent to learn what had kept others like him in power for more than 20 years. If he hadnt been aloof, his colleagues on the continent would have given him a lot of advice on how to handle peoples power. I am sure he would have been advised to create an invisible but efficient Kiboko squad. For your information, Mr Ben Ali, Kiboko squad is a group of volunteers who neutralise hooligans, especially from the opposition. And the beauty of it, you dont have to own this militant group. When the press asks you about their legal status, you just say they are volunteers who are not security agents but are interested in peace. Who told him presidents buckle under peoples power? That happens in Philippines but not Africa! Yes, it is true they voted him into power. But did that mean that they should determine how and when he leaves power, as if the country has no constitution? Ben Ali is panicky yet he laid no claim to democratic credentials. And because he has been known as a man of steel nerves, who would not brook any dissent, he has managed to rule for 23 years. So, what went into his head to succumb to the stupid street pressure put up by a few unemployed doctors, lawyers and other malcontents? Ben Ali is an amazing character. When the Police shot dead a protestor on the streets of the capital, the crowds went into frenzy. The dead man turned into an automatic martyr and Ben Alis legs went jelly. He immediately announced that he would not allow the constitution to give him another term. Therefore, he would stand down in 2014. But this did not calm down the angry protestors. They demanded his ouster. Then he gave more concessions. He not only dissolved his cabinet and called for legislative elections to be held in six months, he also attempted to placate the rioters with some reforms regarding their personal freedoms. Like a bewitched man, Ben Ali went ahead to make promises of more freedoms, including a right to demonstrate. This did it. Tens of thousands rushed into the streets of downtown Tunis on Friday to take advantage of his pledge by calling for his ouster. So, if this man did not commit suicide, what else can one describe his actions as? Didnt Ben Ali know that issues on the streets in the African context are decided by bullets and blood? Why didnt he learn from Comrade Emilio Mwai Kibaki of Kenya? The man stole elections in 2007, but when the people attempted to threaten him out of power with riots, he stood his ground. And it was fairly clear to him; the rioters had decided to kill themselves. When they got fed up, especially when they saw the old man was not about to flee his presidential seat, they gave up and let the son of Jaramogi Odinga, Raila Odinga, negotiate with the help of former UN boss Kofi Annan, a pampered position in cabinet. Comrade Robert Mugabe must be seething with anger too, seeing what Ben Ali has done. Mugabe put a steeled resistance to MDCs Morgan Tsvangirais attempt to snatch power out of his grip. Mugabe has multiple militia outfits that specialise in keeping his seat safe and firm. The liberation war veterans, some of them now basking in the confiscated white farms, were ready to crack a few skulls and break bones of those resisting comrade Bob. Even when the country slid into a record-breaking inflation, Comrade Bob was not bothered. He stood firm until it occurred to Morgan that he had to negotiate for himself and a few of his lieutenants some cabinet positions. But Comrade Bob continued calling the shots. This is what Ben Ali should have learnt from his colleagues who have made it a hobby to cling to power. Was it so difficult to pick up a phone and seek some advice? Ok, if there was a language barrier, Comrade Laurent Gbagbo is nearby in Ivory Coast and he is francophone like Ben Ali. Gbagbo has defied reason, protests, even threats of isolation from West Africa and the UN. Ben Ali has just set a very bad precedent on the continent. History will judge him harshly.