Incoming African leaders should avoid governing their countries by fiat or decrees because that is an abrogation of democracy, says former Zambian republican president Rupiah Banda.
Mr Banda has cautioned African leaders against falling into the temptation of using powers of the office of the president to seek revenge and retribution against their perceived political opponents because that would easily disrupt the unity of nations.
Despite having been blocked by the state to travel to South Africa for the Boston University African Presidential Roundtable meeting in Johannesburg, Mr Banda also advised new African leaders against getting disconnected from the grassroots saying should there be a crack in the relationship between the leadership and the unions, and citizens; the danger was that democracy would be under threat.
Mr Banda said although there was enthusiasm among the citizens to vote, their expectations could easily be distorted by populism warning that should governance fail because of the lack of fulfilling promises, there would be disenchantment and rejection of democracy.
In a speech that should have been delivered by Mr Banda had he attended the meeting, and obtained by the Daily Nation, the former president said the struggle for power in any country could be better maintained within the civil context of establishing rules, credible and independent orgainisations.
Mr Banda said that the organisation of political parties was critical to the growth of democracy and the running of the official apparatus of the governance system.
The former Head of State has observed that good governance was based on the framework for social organisation that he said was based on fairness, rules, accountability, pragmatism and a strict separation of powers.
Mr Banda said the success of democracy in Africa should be anchored on national unity, forgiveness and post-election multi-party cooperation as opposed to seeking revenge to the perceived opponents of the ruling political class.