The relentless violence and aggression that have marked Narendra Modi’s prime ministership are not ends in themselves but tactical manoeuvres to accelerate the process of economic restructuring by distracting or deflecting potential opposition, as well as creating a miasma of fear that empowers Modi to restructure with minimal blowback.
Since 2015, the Tanzanian government has been pursuing a policy that prioritises economic development over political and human rights. However, the government’s vision of a new Tanzania has strained its relationship with Western countries, which have raised concerns about the deterioration of human rights and the closure of civic space in the country.
The Tanzanian Police Force has been a major obstacle in people’s efforts to fight for justice and democratic reforms. Its heavy-handed approach towards the government’s opponents and dissidents has allowed the government of President Magufuli to pass draconian laws that suppress citizens’ rights and freedom. Is it time to overhaul Tanzania’s law enforcement agency?
There are at least three fundamental reasons why it is improbable that there will be BBI-inspired constitutional amendments before Kenya’s general elections in August 2022: one, the amendment procedure is long, onerous and complex; two, a broad and genuine political consensus is required; and three, the constitution explicitly creates checks against unconstitutional constitutional amendments.
COVID-19 has forced news organisations to adapt to changing times; many are closing down or letting go of their employees. Can journalism be declared redundant at a time when it is needed the most?
The current COVID-19 pandemic has shown why pro-democracy movements in Zimbabwe should disentangle themselves from the fallacious promise of neoliberal democracy and the magic of the market. Democratic politics should be about delivering public goods and services, including quality healthcare, not about servicing markets.
The forced and brutal eviction of thousands of people from a low-income settlement in Nairobi at the height of a curfew has raised questions about what owning land means in a city where the procedures to acquiring property are notoriously dicey and confusing, and often dependent on a patronage system.
The 30th Saba Saba anniversary comes at a time of great political apprehension, with the country in the throes of an economic meltdown and in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic. With the elections that will determine who will be Kenya’s next president just two years away, the country is slipping back into those bad, black days of Moi and Moism.
The seismic Saba Saba event was the first serious organised challenge to repression through defiance in Kenya. However, thirty years on, many of the people who were at the forefront of the movement have died or have been accommodated by the rapacious state. Nonetheless, the struggle for people-centred democracy continues.
Despite various setbacks, devolution has produced tangible results and demonstrated that Kenyans are determined to have a form of governance that is responsive to people’s needs and desires. In many ways, devolution embodies the spirit of Saba Saba.