It’s now two weeks since I set foot in this beautiful country Costa Rica for my studies. I can’t say much about the country and the people only that Me gusta todo aquí.
But even before a month elapses I read the news that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias is seeking to join the Latin America-Africa syndrome of calling for a new constitution that expand executive powers and get rid of “unnecessary checks” on the president’s authority.
With less than 9 months left in office, Arias can’t run for re-election but his brother and current minister of the presidency — a primer minister of sorts — has openly said he’s interested in running for president in 2014. A new constitution with expanded executive powers would fit him just fine.
That’s all I can pick from the media. And when I told a friend about my worries for this latin American country that has been a island in an ocean of countries facing conflicts, he suspected I might be the one who has exported this idea to Costa Rica. Being Ugandan where we successfully saw the amendment of the constitution to open the lid on presidential terms, my friend suggested I might be the very good Arias advisor.
Costa Rica has not had an army in the last 60 years and it is seen as one of the most progressive countries on South America. But I told my friend I never was part of the group that masterminded the imposition of the whole idea of life presidency on the Ugandan society as if they society never saw enough during the self proclaimed life president Idi Amin. What hurts more today however is that those defending the decision to put our country’s leadership future in uncertainty want to justify. They justified it then by saying we had a good and able leader and therefore if we gave him one more term he would leave and we would have gained so much from him in those five years. But alas! There’s a new tactics and reasons, that his lubimbi will end when his 75. One Ugandan saying goes, “Owahinga ahorobi nawe ayinuka” which means that even the one who ploughs the softest soil still retires.
I hope Costa Rica doesn’t commit the same sin that my country did and might pay dearly for in future.