With the local government elections set to take place within the next seven months, it is worth considering what impact the recent upsurge in protests will have on the country's political future.
Voting for national leaders has become the global norm in a remarkably short time – in Africa in 1988, only 25% of countries had multiparty elections, but 94% do today. Yet all is not well.
By challenging the courts, King Dalindyebo is testing the degree of impunity with which traditional leaders can get away.
Malawi appears to have learnt nothing from the biggest state corruption scandal that rocked the country two years ago, leading to donors withdrawing their support. The same conditions still remain.
Whenever the crisis in Burundi is discussed, the economy is often overlooked, even though it is central to understanding the backdrop to the most severe crisis since the end of the civil war.
History tells us that while elements of competition and inclusion strengthen multiparty systems, too much of either can be fatal to the process of democratisation.