Leaders should know when to call it quits
SEE ALSO :Zimbabwe to compensate white ex-farmersAt times, the domestic and the international interests are in conflict and, particularly 'revolutionary' leaders end up fighting multi-faceted challenges. Domestically, there are leaders who start as revered individuals with messianic attributes, especially in times of crises. They gain public trust and authority even if they have no statutory powers. On attaining power, they continue to enjoy public trust for as long as things appear to go well only to lose their usefulness when the good times decline. Internationally, some leaders are imposed on weak countries to serve as proxies in protecting the interests of particular master states. These remain useful for as long as they do the bidding of the master state. When domestic and international pressures converge against a given leader, 'uprisings' become the norm. It mostly happens when a leader has overstayed his welcome. It happened with the 'Arab Spring' and various 'colour revolutions' which then appeared natural.
Their influenceLeaders who seemed 'revolutionary' when coming up and in times of crises behaved in one of two ways.
SEE ALSO :Other African strongmen who fellThere are those who consider themselves as transition leaders, laying down foundations before letting others build on their work.These are rare and end up increasing their influence by giving up trappings of power. They read the signs and act to avoid losing the trust of the people. Julius Nyerere in Tanzania quit office once he realised he was losing relevance to the people. Nelson Mandela served one term and quit before losing political clout. Both Nyerere and Mandela remain revered men. Others overstay, then lose touch with the people. This is the case in Nicaragua where Daniel Ortega is under pressure from those who helped him remove the Samoza dynasty in 1979. He played democrat, won elections, lost to Violeta Chamora, and bounced back in 2007. Reelected in 2016, he faces unprecedented political uprisings that undermine his revolutionary credentials.
Civilised coupThere also are uprisings in Venezuela as two men claim to be president; Nicholas Maduro and Juan Quaido who has support of the West. Under Hugo Chavez, Venezuela championed the concept of the 21st Century Socialism. Prof Munene teaches History and International Relations at USIU