When will some African leaders become civilised? By Editor 13th March 2011 Editorial Cartoon For five decades, post-colonial Africa witnessed the mushrooming of brutal dictators like General Macias Nguema, Idi Amin Dada, Jean Bedel Bokasa, Mobutu Seseseko, Robert Mugabe, Muammar Gaddafi and many more. During that period, too, Africa has been bedevilled by a chain of brutal civil wars which cost millions of lives as well as causing great human rights violations and underdevelopment. Some rebel-leaders-turned democratic leaders have solid grounds to justify their fight, but majority of them were just propelled by the lust for power and looting of resources. But in that category also, were characters that weren't propelled by the patriotic or nationalistic spirit, but were creations of the colonialists who loathed the emergence of a stable Africa after they were forcibly or diplomatically chased out of the continent. At the end of the 20th century, Africans especially the civilians, paid a heavy price caused by dictatorship and civil wars. However, many Africans finally saw hope coming when internal and external forces forced the continent to introduce multiparty democracy and good governance as the major pillars of development in the 21st century. While a lot of things have changed positively during that period, we still have leaders who have purposely decided to be presidents for life. They include Gaddafi, Yoweri Museveni, Robert Mugabe and Paul Biya. Capitalising on their role in toppling the previous brutal regimes plus the lust for power and wealth, these leaders virtually thrust upon themselves the divine right to rule forever till they were silenced by death. Some have stayed in power for a quarter century, while others are nearing half century, but they still don't want to quit voluntarily. Others have just stayed for five years but when they are defeated democratically at elections, they mobilise their soldiers to rig the votes and finally protect the rigged ballots by the barrel of the gun like what we have witnessed in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ivory Coast. But when their people decide to riot, demanding regime change, these dictators will be the first to blame the West or in the Libyan case, Al Qaeda. Since their minds and hearts are full of darkness, and their eyes blinded by the stolen billions, they are not ready to see that they are the cause of their downfall. It's an undeniable truth that this generation of greedy and egoistic leadership paints a negative image of Africa. Today television stations around the world are showing angry youths protesting various brutal regimes in Africa instead of showing how the green revolution is taking place around the continent, for uplifting the livelihoods of the continent's peoples. In yesteryears, these TV stations aired the images of dead, bodies of mainly women and children butchered or killed in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Siera Leone, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Angola and South Africa. Today, Africa spends a lot of resources to heal the wounds and scars left behind by brutal regimes instead of committing them on worthy causes like combating poverty, hunger anger and diseases. The question we are compelled to ask loudly and angrily today: When will some of African leaders become civilised? Why do they cling to power for decades even when their people are against them? How long shall Africa continue to nurture these kinds of leaders? Two words are missing from this editorial: Kikwete, Tanzania.