As military coups are seemingly taking center stage in Africa, the African Union (AU) has been implored to make sure that democratic, free, fair and credible elections are enforced if it is going to stop coups on the continent.

Renowned investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono says the AU finds its voice only when dictators are removed by armies but remain silent when the tyrants rig elections.

Apparently, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) says the Gabon coup which followed the Central African country’s disputed election last week should be a wake-up call on AU and blocs such as SADC to pin down member states to the holding of credible polls.

Gabon and Zimbabwe both held elections last week with outcomes fiercely disputed by opposition parties which cited grave irregularities that tilted the vote in favour of incumbents and their parties.

In Gabon, the military cited stolen polls as the reasons behind the takeover.

In an interview with a local publication, CCC national spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi said the Gabon experience demonstrated the necessity for regional groups to ensure that member countries conducted credible polls.

Renowned political commentator Elder Mabhunu concurs with the two, says AU should up its game in ensuring credible polls in the continent.

“Coups should never be celebrated, however, if AU fails to ensure credible elections, that is recipe for undesirable change of governments.

“And this leads people to celebrate coups,” he says.

Be that as it may, Chin’ono writes:

Your failure to enforce free, fair and credible elections held according to your own election guidelines is what has promoted coups that are celebrated by African youths.

You only talk when dictators are removed by militaries, but you keep quiet when elections are brazenly rigged.

You have lost credibility in the eyes of many Africans because of your inability to enforce your own election protocols.

Military coups used to be condemned by African citizens, but today they are celebrated by the youth because they have become the only way to remove ruthless and corrupt dictators.

Until you seriously start enforcing your own election protocols, coups will continue to be executed, and there is nothing you will do about it except issuing these useless statements.

This statement means nothing to an African youth without a job, or healthcare, or any prospective future because of a dictator whose family has been in charge of a country for 56 years.

The could have become seductive to such African youths with a hopeless future because of your failures, you have become a joke.

Devious and opportunistic militaries will take advantage of the leadership vacuum that you have created because nature doesn’t like a vacuum which is now being filled by coups.

It is either you enforce your election protocols of free, fair and credible elections, or coups continue.

It is tragic that you have to be reminded of things that play out yearns whilst you just watch. If you don’t want to be concerned by the spectre of coups, be concerned by those that rig and steal elections.