Booker Rising says Rwanda's pro-free trade president should respect the term limits and bow out in 2017, instead of clinging to power by running for a third term. African leaders must learn to build institutions, so that they continue after their absence. Andrew Mwenda, a Ugandan libertarian journalist, pens an article for the Daily Nation (Kenya): "Having listened to the opinions of those [within his political party] calling upon him to remain president beyond 2017, Kagame said the reasons many people had given him for staying longer were the very reasons he had to step down. 'People say that I should stay because there is no one to replace me,' he said. 'But if in all these years I have been unable to mentor a successor or successors, that should be the reason I should not continue as president. It means that I have not created capacity for a post-me Rwanda. I see this as a personal failure.'"
The article continues about President Kagame's political dilemma: "Kagame said that given the country’s history, context and current threats, citizens are genuinely feeling insecure and need stability above everything else. The fears expressed by ordinary people and other high officials in government and the opposition should not be rubbished as baseless, Kagame said, but should be used to put in place measures to address them. He also challenged RPF leaders to address the issue of limited citizen confidence in the party compared to the one they show in the president. Yet those calling on Kagame to stay beyond 2017, however justified their fears may be, are falling into the trap the president’s critics are praying for. For those who hate Kagame, removing term limits will be the best opportunity to argue that he is an ordinary African despot seeking to cling to power at all costs. In the cacophony of accusations and criticisms that will result from such a move, any reasons for the amendment will not be heard. No person is acutely aware of this than Kagame himself, and it seems many of his critics who pray he stays beyond 2017 so that they can attack him underestimate his strength of character."
More: "The challenge facing the leaders of RPF is which course to take. One example is Russia’s Vladmir Putin, who respected term limits and withdrew from the presidency to become Prime Minister and later returned to the presidency. The second is Nelson Mandela, who left the presidency and the party and did not seek to play any important leadership role. The third example is Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, who retired from the presidency but for the next 10 years remained chairman of the ruling party and therefore in a position to play a vital role in national politics. Those close to him say Kagame is an admirer of Nyerere and Mandela, but prefers the former over the latter. Therefore, he is most inclined to accept a hybrid of both nations’ experiences, picking the good in both. To this end, the Putin option is out of question. That leaves the South African and Tanzanian experience."