Democracy, the dictatorship of majority races, tribes, religions and regions: Why Africa must go federal than remain unitary

By Chris Zumani Zimba


africa-map-countries-made-ethnic-textures-22286843There is a general over simplification and perpetuation of a political misnomer to belief and cerebrate that democracy is the ‘rule of the people’ or ‘a government popularly elected by the citizens’. In most parts of the world, this is the only political gospel or funded crusade pupils and citizens are repeatedly taught and proudly sing in schools and communities respectively. Without critical thinking or analytical skills, many people fail to scrutinize the exact core features and meaning of what is termed ‘rule by the people’ or the majority citizens’. Which ‘majority people’ are these? What is the consistent trait of these ‘majority citizens’? And are there chances when and where the ‘majority citizens’ lose an election or power to the ‘minority citizens’?

A critical perusal and analysis from the experiences and practices of democracy in more than 50 countries of the globe, one fundamental revelation is clear; there is a horrified nature and pattern in termed  of what is called democracy i.e. ‘rule of the people’. Basically, it is a legalized, popularized and authenticated dictatorship of the majority citizens based on well-defined national heritage based on four (4) determinants namely: (1) race, (2) tribe/ethnicity, (3) religion/faith and (4) region where those who belong to the minority camps have no or little chance to win power and rule the ‘majority citizens’.

In many countries, even before the first vote is cast and the last one counted, the winners are generally known unless the competing political candidates or parties enjoy the endorsement of and from the majority race/s, tribe/s, religion/s or region/s.  While every candidate or political party seem to have equal chances of contesting and winning in democratic periodical elections, the stubborn fact remains that those political competitors who enjoy popular support or endorsement from the majority national races, tribes, religious institutions or regions are technically preselected and predetermined to form government and rule. The political writings are racially, ethnically, theologically and regionally predetermined in all democracies unless when the political competitors or candidates belong to or are supported by the majority race/s, tribe/s, religion/s or region/s’.

Conceptually, it is empirically fair to redefine democracy as the ‘rule by the government elected or supported by the majority race/s, tribe/s, religion/s or region/s in a given state’ than leaving it plain to ‘rule by the majority citizens or people’.  Realistically and pragmatically speaking, democracy is the ‘dictatorship government’ by, of and for ‘them’-the majority citizens by race, tribe, religion or region and not a government by, of and for ‘us’-the minority by numbers in terms these four variables. And as long as one belongs to ‘us’ and does not belong to or being supported by ‘them’, losing a presidential or parliamentary election becomes an obvious natural experience and foretold political heritage. In most democracies if not all, periodical elections for public office bearers has more to do with race/s, tribe/s, religion/s or region/s than being smart or having the best campaign policies.

Globally, periodical national votes are practically vain ceremonial routines for the minority citizens because, in most countries, elections are designed to merely validate the known truth when we say ‘rule by the people or majority citizens’. From political patterns in more than 50 democracies either presidential or parliamentary democracies, it is now clear that citizens who belong to minority race/s, tribe/s, religion/s or region/s have continued to be politically trapped under the constitutionalized dictatorship of their fellow country folks who constitute dominant numbers in terms of either race, ethnicity, religion or region in the good name of democracy. This is self-evident in Israel, Japan, United States of America, Kenya, Russia, Nigeria, Zambia, Australia, Cameroon, Iran, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Argentina, South Sudan, United Kingdom, India, Zimbabwe, Turkey, Ghana, Brazil, or Botswana.

This article is based on my book that will be published in the last quarter of 2019.

Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Zambian Political Scientist, Policy Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher, Consultant, Public Health and Tobacco Control Advocate. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles. or; +260 973 153 815 for calls or WhatsApp. This article is made possible by Centre for Multiple Democracies, Good Governance and Peace (MDGGP) under Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU). But the views are attributed to the author and not CDU.  

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