Anjan Sundaram

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An image of Rwandan President Paul Kagame on the window of a bus, Kigali, Rwanda, July 30, 2017. Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images.

Today, millions of Rwandans are casting their votes even though they know in advance the election’s outcome: President Paul Kagame will win by a landslide, extending his rule to at least 2024, for a total of thirty years in power. President Kagame even declared he would win weeks before the vote.

Friday’s result is certain because President Kagame has ensured he has no real opponents. A new challenger, Diane Rwigara, was targeted by misogynist smears that included nude pictures, allegedly of her, widely circulated on Rwandan social media. When she still insisted on running, election authorities barred her. An opposition politician who criticized Kagame’s agricultural policies was recently found with his throat slit and eyes mutilated.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Joseph Kabila of Congo inspecting corn produced with the help of South African farmers in 2015. Credit John Bompengo/Associated Press

President Joseph Kabila of Congo shows no sign of stepping down. He reached the end of his constitutional two-term limit last year, but after months of delays for which Mr. Kabila blamed incomplete voter lists, one of his ministerial colleagues argued that presidential elections — estimated to cost $1.8 billion — are an expense Congo cannot afford.

Mr. Kabila’s dallying has led to consternation in Congo and around the world that he is violating Congo’s constitution and setting himself up as a president for life. The United States government, a major donor to Congo, imposed sanctions on senior Congolese officials last year in an apparent effort to pressure the president.…  Seguir leyendo »