Zuma resignation confirms wind of change knocking out dictators in Africa

The resignation of Jacob Zuma as South African President proves that the ‘bad leadership’ era in Africa is gradually coming to an end.

Jacob Zuma’s resignation as President of South Africa is perhaps a pointer to the wind of change permeating Africa—a continent pejoratively referred to as the “dark continent” by the narrow minded.

Zuma resignation proves wind of change knocking out dictators in Africa play Jacob Zuma, in power since 2009, resigned Wednesday ‘with immediate effect’

(AFP/File)

“No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as President of the Republic with immediate effect”, Zuma announced on Valentine’s Day; bringing his nine year reign as President of South Africa to an ignominious end.

null play Zuma was eased out of power by his party, ANC (AFP)

Zuma’s resignation speech arrived after the ANC commenced moves to impeach him over allegations of corruption.

Had he not resigned, the South African parliament and the ANC would still have shoved Zuma aside anyway. His time was essentially up and he knew it.

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Africa rising

Interestingly, as Zuma was delivering his resignation speech, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, was preparing his.

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, Desalegn threw in the towel amid lingering political crisis and unrest in the Horn of Africa country.

Desalegn didn’t think he was the man to see Ethiopia through a wave of violence that has led to the deaths of hundreds since 2015.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn oversaw a smooth handover on the death of former Marxist rebel Meles Zenawi play Ethiopia’s Desalegn had to leave power voluntarily when he couldn’t cope (AFP/File)

“Unrest and a political crisis have led to the loss of lives and displacement of many”, Desalegn said in a televised speech last Thursday.

“I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy,” he added.

The resignations of Zuma and Desalegn arrive on the heels of the forced resignation of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe whose 37-year iron fisted reign was brought to an end by soldiers on November 21, 2017.

On January 21, 2017 Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year dictatorship in Gambia was brought to an inglorious end after he had lost the popular vote to Adama Barrow.

Yahya Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea after being forced out of power last year play Yahya Jammeh is a former Gambian dictator who abandoned ship when he could no longer take the heat (GRTS – Gambia Radio and Television Services/AFP/File)

Jammeh wouldn’t accept defeat until the rest of Africa warned him against playing with fire.

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Before fleeing The Gambia, his tail between his legs, Jammeh had once boasted that he was going to rule his country for a billion years.

“I will deliver to the Gambian people and if I have to rule this country for one billion years, I will, if Allah says so.

“I will not bow down before anybody, except the almighty Allah and if they don’t like that they can go to hell,” Jammeh cussed.

Across the African continent, autocrats and bad leaders are being handed the middle finger by the people. They are being told when their time is up.

New crop of enlightened voters

Africa still has the Paul Biyas (Cameroon President for 36 years), Paul Kagames (Rwanda President for 18 years) and the Gnassingbe dynasty in Togo, however.

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But for a continent once famed for the longevity of its rulers and derided for its Ghaddafis, a new democratic era of younger populations demanding better from the ruling class, is fast taking root.

Supporters of the African National Congress Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa demonstrated against President Jacob Zuma outside ANC party headquarters in Johannesburg earlier this week play The ‘Zuma must fall’ gang finally had its way (AFP/File)

In Africa, the corrupt and rudderless are being frowned at and despised, the arrogant are shoved out of power, there are visible chinks in the armoury of leaders who consider themselves invincible and social media is blurring the divides among once insular countries on the continent.

The average African is a lot more enlightened and understands better what good governance feels and looks like.

null play Cyril Ramaphosa takes over as South African leader (AFP)

Africa’s story is being retold by an increasingly vocal, opinionated, technologically savvy, sophisticated and critical mass. As the Zumas and Jammehs make way, the rest of the continent takes note, birthing something resembling a domino effect.

There’s a wind of change gradually blowing across Africa. And for once, it sounds pretty much like sweet music to the ears.

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