With veteran opposition stalwarts such as Uganda’s Kizza Besigye and Kenya’s Raila Odinga fading away after years of pitting the government on its feet, there is a new crop of youthful prospects who seem to be ready to fill the space.Being part of the opposition in Africa has proven to be a lifetime career for those politicians who take that route. But with the new crop of youthful opposition can one say all this is about to change? Let’s take a look at some of the most formidable names in the opposition camps across Africa and weigh their chances of becoming presidents and eventually forming government.
Julius Malema (37 years)
Julius Sello ‘JUJU’ Malema is the commander in chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) a radical far-left and communist leaning political party which he formed on July 2013 after a protracted power struggle in African National Congress that led to his expulsion from the party.Popularly known as the god of South African politics, Malema has strategically established himself as a serious presidential candidate in the 2019 elections with his EFF party expected to pose a serious threat.
An advocate against white monopoly capital,expropriation of land without compensation and state capture he has become a constant headache to white capitalist launching constant wars with the Oppenheimers and Rupperts who own a significant share of South Africa’s wealth.
Spearheading the Gupta scandal that lead to the resignation of President Zuma. Accused of poisoning the South African Youth and sowing racial division with his ” Shoot to kill/ Kiss the Boer” anthem he sings at EFF rallies urging the black youth to seize white settler farms. His battle with President Cyril Ramaphosa on his alleged role in the death of miners in Marikana and protection of white monopoly capital.
Known for his never ending controversies from congratulating Raila Odinga on his ‘Swearing in’, supporting Mugabe when he expelled white settlers in Zimbabwe to fighting corruption and state capture in South Africa.He has brought pomp and color to South Africa’s political sphere with EFF trademark wear, red overalls and gumboots.
He previously served as the president of the ANC Youth League from 2008 to 2012. Malema occupies a notably controversial position in South Africa public and political life.
His critics paint him as a reckless populist with the potential to destabilize South Africa and to spark racial conflict.
What does the future hold for him? Pundits say his presidential hopes can still be considered a success story only if he presents a practical plan to address South Africa’s sociopolitical grievances other than embracing the general broad stroke rhetoric of social justice. Some ANC loyists say that he could be president of the southern Africa country only if he merges his party with ANC and runs for presidency on an ANC ticket.
So far malema has sucessfully managed to end the terms of two South African presidents prematurely, he has said apart from money Ramaphosa isnt popular lacks a constituency and he will make mince meat out of him in the 2019 elections. He has promised his supporters that what happened to Morgan Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe won’t happen to him
Cleophas Malala. (33 years)
The script writer rose from through the political ranks starting from the bottom as a Member of County Assembly (MCA) Mahiakalo ward,Kakamega County, the lowest elective position to a Senator in a span of 5 years shows he is a force to reckon with in the political corridors. Rubbing feathers the wrong way with the who is who in the former western province has only proved to work on his favor. Known for his youth empowerment activities across the county which proved to be a key factor facilitating his easy win against trade unionist Seth Panyako who ran on an ODM ticket.
It all started in 2015 when he brought fourth corruption scandals of the first governor of the county Mr.Oparanya in front of his party leader,Raila Odinga since then the political star of Malala has been rising and if the controversial swearing in of the former PM is anything to go by, then Cleo will be a pain in the neck of the old dogs in Luhya politics whom he has accused of not taking the regions development needs to heart with the closure of sugar factories and pan paper which contribute significantly to the regions economy.
His recent appointment as the deputy minority whip, open defiance to his partly leader, Musalia Mudavadi and his onslaught against Mudavadi and Wetangula who have been the regions political linchpins shows he is and was still Orange Democratic Movement by heart and action only that he feared Mr. Oparanya who is ODM’s deputy party leader might use his position to rig him out in the ever chaotic party nominations forcing him to seek refuge in Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC)
Edwin Sifuna (37 years)
A young accomplished city lawyer known for his Pro bono cases pitting the activists and bloggers against the state has seen him visit nearly all the police stations and courts rooms. A late comer the Nairobi senate race where he came second to the current Senator Johnson Sakaja. His initial quest for Kanduyi parliamentary seat flopped after he controversially lost to former Bungoma County assembly speaker John Makali.
His recent confirmation as the Secretary General for ODM, a position he had appointed himself immediately Ababu Namwamba left to join Labour Party of Kenya has positioned himself amongst the top echelons of the country’s political players.
Nelson Chamisa (40 years)
The current Movement for Democratic Change -Tsvangirai (MDC-T) acting president and member of the house of assembly for Zimbabwe for Kuwadzana. A career politician at the age of 40 having been in active politics with the MDC since 1999 he has won the heart of many through his charismatic speeches and eloquence.
His threat in uprooting independence party ZANU-PF has made Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, ‘The Crocodile’ to call on war veterans to play a central role in the legislative and presidential election campaign scheduled for late August,2018
A political student of the late Morgan Tsvangirai may just be the leader Zimbabwe has waited for to reawaken the once economic powerhouse. His party has made numerous blunders in carrying out party nomination opting for consensus instead of party primaries with party officials accused of giving tickets to unpopular candidates mostly relatives and girlfriends. Will this cost MDC-T the presidency or will The crocodile misuse state machinery like Robert Mugabe to stick to power by all means, only time will tell.
Bobby Wine (36 Years)
Known as Uganda’s ghetto president, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu popularly known as Bobi wine, may just be the change Uganda needs. Outsmarting Museveni and his policemen sneaking in and out of parliament after police barricaded roads outside his home due to his opposition to extension of Presidential term limits on one occasion abandoning his vehicle and bodyguard to ride on a motorcycle to parliament.
Death threats have also come his way with a grenade attack on his home by the state to send him a message an occurrence that never shook him as he wrote to his bank to return to sender the ‘age limit’ money that the presidency had dished out to legislators to support presidential term limit extension.He proved that he is beyond reproach and offered hope that there can still be honesty in politics.If he maintains his zeal in the fight against corruption and social injustices he will likely be a formidable opponent to Museveni who may not leave the Presidency anytime soon compared to veteran opposition leader Warren Kizza Besigye Kifefe.
Ali Hassan Joho (42 years)
The Mombasa governor has been silent lately though he was Odinga’s wing man during the swearing in. A man whose academic qualifications have made headlines more than the flooding in the country is a darling to many with political analysts claiming he might inherit Raila Odinga’s political empire and capital, making him the heir apparent.
His academic credentials aside Sultan or 001 as he is fondly referred to rose form a garbage collector, MP to a Governor controlling Kenya’s second largest city. The Sultan is definitely coast region and muslim community best bet in ascending to presidency, a seat he has expressed interest in the 2022 election.
Mmusi Maimane (37 years)
The leader if South African’s opposition party, Democratic Alliance, rose to national prominence in 2011 when he vied for the mayor seat in Johannesburg but failed, however, he helped build the party’s support base in the region.
The politician cum pastor was elected as Deputy Federal chairperson in the 2012 Federal election.In 2014, he became the first black male to hold the position of leader of position. With majority of the white population in South African not so welcoming to Julius Malema, Maimane is their lesser evil.
Marius Redelinghuys.( 30 years)
Marius first became involved in party politics during the 2006 local government elections and was also involved actively in student politics while back at the varsity.Known for fighting against white supremacy something he made it clear on his Facebook post even captioned “blacks are right to mistrust whites” was at the centre of public discourse and national debate with various newspapers and political talk shows using it to build their agenda and arguements. A member of the opposition party Democratic Alliance he has been accused by his fellow whites of speaking the same language with Julius Malema with deep undertones that he might be headed to the EFF.