THE QUESTION OF LEADERSHIP IN AFRICA, WHY PRESIDENTS CLING TO POWER: THE CASE STUDYOF UGANDA AND THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

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The purpose of this study was to identify major reasons as to why African leaders stay in power for long. It was an overarching purpose of this study to determine why democracy in Africa is still at its infancy stage and the paper sought toachieve this objective by reviewing the cases of DRC and Uganda; whose political class has been dominated by authoritarian and undemocratic leaders. The study uses a qualitative research methodology where data is founded on secondary sources such as archives, libraries and government databases. Data collected was analyzed using grounded theory; which is an approach to data analysis intended to lead the discovery of new theoreticalconcepts or understanding about the phenomenon under investigation. Findings of this research mainly focused on major reasons why African leaders stay in power, and the first reason identified was lack of constitutional change. This reason was supported by cases of YoweriMuseveni in Uganda and DRC's Joseph Kabila. The second reason identified was egocentric attitude, with Uganda's Idi Amin and DRC's Mobutu Sessekocase. The third reason is fear of unknown in that incumbents have fear of losing connections and presidential privileges.

Besides, the study focused on the political and economic effects of lack of democracy in Uganda and DRC. The political effects of lack of democratization in Uganda include increase in corruption, emergence of weak opposition, and lack of fair and credible elections. The economic effects include rise in levels of poverty and surge in unemployment. Similarly, the political effects due to lack of democracy in DRC include frustration of the civil society, increasing presence of UN military and increase in corruption. The economy of DRC has been affected by lack of democracy, in that Zairians are suffering from high cost of living fueled by ever-increasing inflation. The paper will discuss ways of ensuring democratization in Africa, and findings that will be useful to policy makers in governments.

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