Democracy is not a bottle of Coca-Cola which you can import. Democracy should develop according to that particular country. I never went to a country, saw many parties and assumed that it is democratic. You cannot define democracy purely in terms of multi-partist parties. —Julius Nyerere (June 1991 in Brazil when asked about single and multi-party democracy).
European and American missions in Africa has been questionable by many critical thinkers, from what they say and what they actually do. Their interests is far more deeper from what they actually says, they rarely care about Africa’s interests but Europe’s and America’s corporate interests, it’s not all about what they say but what they want after saying that, further more they stand to benefit from nothing if their unfavorable candidate win in free and fair elections and they will benefit if their favorite candidate win without free and fair elections. This has been not about the so called democracy, but on which candidate will secure Europe’s and America’s interests here in Africa.
Here are two good examples of how Europeans’ and Americans’ election observers were exposed as tools to fool Africans that there is indeed democracy in Africa.
Observers from African Union, the European Union, the Commonwealth Nations and the United States-based Carter Center all endorsed the results of Kenya’s August 8 2017 elections.
Former US secretary of state John Kerry, Head of the Carter Center’s Mission, applauded the process as “free fair and credible ” despite “little aberrations here and there. ”
Less than a month later, those aberrations, which include 5 million unverified ballots, led Kenya’s Supreme Court to annull the presidential election, overturning the “victory” of incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta. In his statement, the then NASA flag bearer, Raila Odinga said “With this courageous verdict we put on trial the international observers who moved fast to sanitize fraud. ”
Judges in Malawi had taken more than 10 hours to read their 500-page decision to annull the 2019 elections and called for a new ballot within 150 days, from this month February.
Their judgement described “widespread systematic and grave” irregularities including significant use of correction fluid to alter the outcome.
The incumbent president, Peter Mutharika, was declared the narrow winner of the May election with 38% of the vote, followed closely by Lazarus Chakwera with 35% and Saulos Chilima in third with 20%.
Saulos Chilima following court ruling said “for international observers, if what they are going to continue to do is election tourism, we should scrap it. It is better than a cartel protecting each other. But if we want to continue with them, let’s redefine their role. It should not be a tick-the-box exercise. ”
Chikwera was equally critical:“We have always had mixed feelings about what observer missions do. They scratch the surface, and yet they think know what they’re doing. Almost like an exercise in futility and all they want to do is maintain the status quo and find excuses for things that are going wrong and are actually pushing the country deeper in the mire.”
The European Union’s Election Observation Mission had 83 observers reporting from 342 districts of Malawi, in addition to Commonwealth observers under Thabo Mbeki.
Their headlines released shortly after election read “Well-managed inclusive transparent and competitive elections, but compaigns was marked by tensions and unlevel playing field. ”
The EU went on to state; “The process was largely well organized by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and voting on election day was Well-managed. ”
Mbeki leading Commonwealth Observer Group praised the election saying the election had been handled with “professionalism and dedication. ”