Loading

Posts by admin

WHY TANZANIA PRESIDENT JOHN MAGUFULI MAY BE RIGHT IN HIS UNCONVENTIONAL APPROACH TO COVID-19 AFTER ALL

-EDITORIAL-

“There comes a Time when One Must take a Position that is neither Safe nor Politic nor Popular but he Must take it because his Conscience tells him it is Right”-Martin Luther King Junior.

Dr. John Pombe Magufuli; the President of Tanzania seems to have exactly taken this Position in his Response to a Virus that has literally brought the entire World to its Knees; Corona Virus Pandemic. President Magufuli who holds a PHD in Chemistry has taken this Position from a Point of Scientific Finding, Rationale and Religious Intervention.

His deepest Conviction to the Position he has taken came early on May when  Samples collected from a Goat, a Pawpaw Fruit and a Bird then sent to a COVID19 Laboratory in Tanzania disguised as Samples from Human Beings Tested Positive for the Corona Virus. Other Samples from a Sheep and another from Engine Oil turned Negative, one from a Jackfruit turned Inconclusive with another one from a Rabbit turning out Indeterminate. This damning Flaw led to the Suspension of the Country’s Head of Laboratory. Further testing of COVID-19  was also suspended and the Country has not given a Status Update since April 29th when the Country had reported 509 Cases and 21 Deaths.

The President also declared 3 Days of National Prayer on April 17th .After these 2 Events; President Magufuli declared the defeat of Corona Virus. He called on the People of Tanzania to continue with their Lives as they did before the Outbreak albeit with subtle Vigilance. The President has categorically disregarded and refrained from making some key Responses being made against the Virus across the World like imposing Lockdowns, Border Closures, Curfews, Banning Social Gatherings, encouraging Social distancing and the wearing of Face Masks.

He is actually on record making mockery of the use of Lockdowns and Face Masks .On April he went on record cautioning Tanzanians and the Country’s Ministry of Health against the use of Face masks from Foreign Donors whose Intention behind such Donation they don’t know. He said some of those Face Masks have been found to be laced with the Virus itself. On May he said those Country’s that have imposed Lockdowns will have a Serious Food Shortage Next Year since their People have stopped being Productive. He said such a Time will be an Opportune Moment for Tanzania to help them with Food. In his most recent Address on July 20th Magufuli reiterated that “Tanzania is safe and that is why none of us here is wearing a Face Mask;Corona Virus has been eliminated”. President Magufuli says Corona Virus is a War like many other Wars across the World.

The Mystery of Corona Virus

As it is; Corona Virus is not just a Pandemic or a global Health Crisis; It is equally a global Mystery and Misery. That up to this moment in time Scientists have not been able to unravel the Origin or Source of the Virus and how it got to Humanity, Its Cure/Treatment is a Reason enough for Anyone to have an Opinion, Inference or take a Position like the one taken by President Magufuli.

That we are in a Time of War and this Virus is a Bioweapon made in a Laboratory as we have all heard in the bitter ongoing Accusations over the Virus Origin and its Laboratory Conspiracies between China where it said to have originated and the USA-now the Worst-hit Country is a Possibility that cannot be ruled out. The Chinese Government is under fire especially from the USA for allegedly covering up the Virus Outbreak and unleashing it to the World.

The sequence of Response right at Get-go to now the Advisory on how it’s contracted and spread, Testing, Precautionary Measures, Mitigation, Medication/Therapeutics and Management of this Disease by the World Health Organization and other Health Regulatory Bodies has been severely Criticized, Questioned and put to to test and Interrogation. An Independent, Impartial and Comprehensive Inquiry on W.H.O.’s International Response to this Pandemic established on May is Underway. The US has officially began the Process of Withdrawing itself from the WHO over how it managed this Outbreak from its Start sometimes at the end of 2019. The Withdrawal of the US from W.H.O is likely to see dire Paralysis if not Collapse of this Global Health Institution; the US is by far its biggest Funder. The US President has repeatedly said the WHO was biased and it thus bungled its Response letting what they had the Power to Contain run out of Control to become what it is Today.

Most recently the Number of Confirmed Cases and Deaths globally has also been questioned. Pundits have said the actual Numbers could be 10 Times high while some Critics have argued that No single Death can be directly attributed to the Virus. Nothing really seems to be Certain about this Pandemic and as such Anything could be Certain about it.

The Fanciful Optimism on the Vaccine’s Way

On April 23th the WHO Director General said that “Our Global Connectedness means the Risk of Re-introduction and Resurgence of COVID-19 will Continue. Ultimately, the development and delivery of a safe and effective Vaccine will be Needed to fully Interrupt Transmission”. As to whether the World will get a Vaccine for this Virus the Answer is Yes. With at least 165 Vaccine Candidates across the World, 27 of them already in various Stages of Clinical Trials; Ultimately the World shall for sure have a Vaccine or even Vaccines for this Virus. Big and Fundamental Questions on possible COVID_19 Vaccine (s) however remain Undetermined. Will a Vaccine really be the Panacea to completely bring this Pandemic to an End? There is no known Vaccine with 100 Efficacy and Effectiveness; Corona Virus Vaccine is highly unlikely to make History as One with such Efficacy. Will we really get a Vaccine that can generate Lifelong Immune Response/Sterilizing Immunity to COVID-19 or will this end up being a Case of Regular Vaccination and Re-Vaccination against the Virus? How safe will such a Vaccine be? the Speed at which the Vaccines are being developed casts huge doubts over their Effectiveness and Safety.

The Mumps Vaccine for instance was developed within a period of 4 Years and it’s the fastest developed and approved Vaccine. That Scientists are determined to develop a Vaccine for nearly 8 Billion People and have it Approved in about 12 Months is a Matter of some great Concern. Throughout History, Development and Approval of Vaccines are known to take up to 15 Years. Again who will be Vaccinated first? the Logistics of Producing, Distributing and Vaccinating 7.8 Billion People are Mind-boggling. What Guarantee is there that this Virus will not have Mutated by the time we have an Approved Vaccine for it ready for distribution?

Another Hurdle in the way of a COVID-19 Vaccine is the heated Politics, Half-Truths, Propaganda and Conspiracy around those who are developing and Funding the development of a Vaccine and this has already started. The ongoing Clinical Trials have faced and are facing Strong Resistance in some Quarters over alleged Conspiracies. A Vaccine for the entire World shall surely be met by intense Interrogation, Debate, Propaganda, Concerns, Conspiracy Theories and Politicization.

On August 3,the W.H.O Director General Dr.Tedros said that a Number of Vaccines are now in phase Three Clinical Trials and that we all hope to have a number of Effective Vaccines that can help prevent People from Infection. He however admitted that there is No Silver Bullet and there might Never be.

So will a Corona Virus Vaccine (s) Eliminate Corona Virus?; the Answer is arguably NO. What such a Vaccine (s) will do is to Stop further Escalation of Corona Virus Pandemic; It’s Prevalence, Morbidity, Mortality and Fatality; If this luckily becomes the Case; It can and shall only happen over Time not Immediately as the General Public has been made to believe.

Back to Magufuli’s Approach

Why is President Magufuli’s Unconventional hence Controversial Approach to COVID-19 Pandemic likely to Vindicate him Eventually?

Words alone cannot express the Toll and Damage COVID-19 Pandemic has Occasioned on the World’s Economic, Social and Cultural Life. This Pandemic has literally brought the World to its Knees, Subjugating One of the most advanced Human Civilization the World has ever seen.

From afar; President Magufuli’s Approach to COVID-19 seems Ignorant but it’s actually Not. The President and the Country’s Ministry of Health do Acknowledge the Reality of Corona Virus and the Dangers it Poses to the Country and its People. The President is on Record telling his People to continue observing Anti-COVID19 Precautions while his Government continues working to bring the Outbreak under Control. On April and May President Magufuli told the Country that the Plague of COVID-19  is going down though it’s not completely under Control. He talked of decreased Hospitalization and Recoveries. He urged Tanzanians to continue Praying and Observing all the Precautions and Advise from Medical Authorities.

President Magufuli maintains that a Sovereign Country like Tanzania cannot allow itself to be Ruled or Controlled by Corona Virus. He said the Country has had to deal with other Viruses in the Past, they did Overcome them and Corona Virus is no different and Life must go on. He noted that Fear and Anxiety around COVID19 is worse than the Virus itself. He urged Tanzanians not to instill Fear into each other.

BASICALLY: by not declaring a State of Emergency, putting Tanzania and Tanzanians into Lockdown, Closures, Curfews, Cessations of Movement and Businesses, Stringent Restrictions on Socio-Economic and Cultural Life; President Magufuli simply wanted the People of Tanzania to calmly at their own pace; acknowledge the Reality of Corona Virus as any other Disease Outbreak in the past that would probably strike and linger on for a forseeable Future.

His Unconventional yet Composed Approach has helped Tanzania avoid the Devastating Toll and Effects the Virus has had on the Economic, Social and Cultural Life of other Nations who took a Disruptive Dire Emergency kind of Approach to the Outbreak.

Some Social Issues Pundits across the World have argued that the World Overreacted to COVID-19 Outbreak blowing it out of Proportion to the Point of making it a Global Pandemic. Observing all the current Precautions plus those expected to come should the W.H.O declare COVID-19 as an Airborne Disease as per the recent Recommendation from some 239 Global Scientists; It would Literally would mean stopping Life and Living as we know it and that is Unthinkable.

With the Current Projections, Hypothesis and Revelations; That the Virus was already circulating across the World way before the first Case was officially Reported. That the actual Number of Cases in each Country are over 10 Times higher than those Reported or Confirmed. That Millions especially the Young and Healthy Population have probably caught the Virus and beat it without Diagnosis and any form of Treatment. That over Half of Global reported Cases have fully Recovered. That over 80% of reported Deaths are People who had Pre-existing Health Problems or Comorbidity. These among many other Revelations and Emerging Evidence clearly indicate that Corona Virus is a Disease that we should have Calmly learnt to Live with; a Disease that we might eventually learn to live with while protecting our most Vulnerable Demographics or those who are at a Risk of getting a Severe form of this Disease. This without Unnecessarily disrupting Life and Living like we have done; This as we wait and hope for an effective Vaccine and Therapeutics to Combat and  Possibly Eliminate it.

AS TO WHETHER; President Magufuli’s Unconventional Approach to COVID-19 will Successfully Stand the Test of Time with its Costs; It’s a Matter of Wait and See.

AS TO WHETHER; the Disruptive, Stringent Dire Emergency Approach to COVID-19 taken by very many Countries across the World will Prove to have been Prudent with its Costs; It’s also a Matter of Wait and See!.

(PHOTOS COURTESY)

MALAWI Goes Into High-stakes Presidential Rerun Amid Corona Virus Pandemic

Malawi Colonial History

  • 1891: British Colonialists occupy Nyasaland (Today Malawi)
  • Rebellion against British Colonial Rule began on January 1915 led by Reverend John Chilembwe (the Chilembwe Uprising) .Chilembwe’s Revolution was short-lived as he was captured and killed on February 1915. His Revolt for a Free Nyasaland however continued
  • Nyasaland Pro-Independence Nationalists led by Levi Mumba and Frederick Sangala formed the ‘Nyasaland African Congress’-NAC on October 1944 as a Vehicle to agitate for Independence
  • October 1953; British Colonialists merged the Territory of Nyasaland with their Northern and Southern Rhodesia Territories (Today Zambia and Zimbabwe). Nyasaland Nationalists began protesting against the Merger and On July 1958, Kamuzu Banda who had just been elected to lead the NAC led Street Protests against the Merger. The Protests led to a deadly Confrontation with British Authorities who banned the NAC and all other Nationalist Organizations in Nyasaland. Kamuzu and many other Nationalists were arrested and detained under a State of Emergency declared on March 1959
  • Soon after his release from Prison; Nyasaland Nationalist and the first Nyasaland African Lawyer Orton Chirwa and other Nationalists in consultations with Kamuzu whho was still in Prison formed ‘Malawi Congress Party’-MCP (a leading Party in Malawi to this Day) late in 1959.MCP’s Objective was to take over where NAC had reached in the Struggle for Independence
  • On April 1960 Kamuzu Banda was released from Prison and was immediately rose to lead MCP. Independence Negotiations began in Earnest and on August 1961 Legislative Elections were held in readiness for Independence. MCP won all the elective Seats against UFP and CLP Parties
  • On February 1963, Nyasaland became a Self-governing Territory with Kamuzu Banda as the Prime Minister. On July 6,1964 Nyasaland Regained full Independence as Malawi.

Malawi Post-Independence History

  • July 1966; Malawi became a Republic with Kamuzu Banda as the first President of the Republic. By as early as September 1964, Kamuzu Banda then a Prime Minister had already started his unleashing Authoritarian Traits by Firing his Cabinet Ministers who differed with him a move that other Cabinet Ministers resigning in Protest against his Style of Administration leading to a Governance Crisis in a very Young Nation. Upon rising to Power as President in 1966 Kamuzu Banda declared Malawi a One Party State to enhance his Authoritarian Rule.
  • In 1970 the MCP made him its President for Life. Later in 1971 Kamuzu Banda declared himself Malawi’s President for Life.
  • President Kamuzu Banda Violent Clampdown on Opposition and Dissidents increased. At one time he was quoted saying those who oppose him should be “Food for Crocodiles”. His Rule was largely an Authoritarian One-Man Show.
  • Banda’s Health started deteriorating in 1993 amid increasing Protests over his Repressive Regime then being led by Catholic Bishops.
  • A Constitutional Referendum on System of Governance after intense Pressure for Multi-Party Democracy was held on June 1993 and 67% Voted for an End of Kamuzu’s One Party Regime.
  • The first Multi-Party Democracy Elections in Independent Malawi were held on May 1994. The United Democratic Front-UDF that had also participated in the Push for Multi-Party Democracy under its Founder and Leader Bakili Muluzi won both the Presidential and Parliamentary Vote. This marked the End of Kamuzu’s 31-Years Regime. After his humiliating Defeat in the 1994 Elections which he Vied in his 90’s; the sickly Banda finally retired from Politics
  • On November 26,1997 Kamuzu Banda was announced Dead in a South African Hospital where he was being treated for a Respiratory Illness. Although his Regime is largely remembered for his High-handedness, Violent Clampdown on Dissidents, Arrests and Torture of those who Opposed him and even Summary Executions of his fierce Critics; Kamuzu Banda is also remembered as Malawi’s Founding Father and Independence Negotiator, he is also credited with laying some Basic Foundation Infrastructure for Malawi and establishing a New Capital City of Malawi in Lilongwe from Zomba although his Critics say his Regime was tainted with Corruption. His Loyalists say he was simply a Strict Ruler and an Advocate of Women Rights.

Bakili Muluzi Regime

  • Upon assuming Office, President Bakili Muluzi a Businessman promised Democratic Reforms and Freedoms and he began his Rule by freeing Banda’s Political Prisoners. These Reforms helped Muluzi to Win a Second Term in Office in the June 1999 Elections. Credited for introducing Democracy and Fundamental Freedoms in Malawi and the Revival of Malawi’s Diplomacy, Muluzi’s Regime was also tainted with Corruption that would see him arraigned in Court by his Successor later on July 2016. His Attempt to run for a controversial Third Term in Office and Succession Wrangles within his UDF Party also marred his Legacy. After the Succession Wrangles, the Party finally settled on Bingu Wa Mutharika as its Candidate for the May 2004 Elections. Bingu Won against 4 other Candidates to become Malawi’sThird President.

Bingu Wa Mutharika Regime

  • Bingu; an Economist launched an Anti-Corruption War immeadiately after taking over. His War against Corruption did not augur well with some UDF Honchos who felt threatened. Disagreements within the Ruling Party over Mutharika’s Style of Leadership saw Mutharika resigning from the Party to form his own ‘Democratic Progressive Party’-DPP on February 2005. The UDF launched an Impeachment against Mutharika on June the same Year but he survived. Mutharika started cracking the whip after surviving an Impeachment by firing, arresting and charging his Vice President Cassim Chilumpha who was the then the Leader of UDF with Treason. Later on October 2009 the Court reinstated Chilumpha as the Vice President.
  • On May 2009 Bingu was Re-elected for a Second Term. Instead of fixing an ailing Economy, Bingu started engaging in Populist Activities like his July 2010 Attempt to Change the National Flag of Malawi a move that Angered Malawians. His High-handedness within his DPP Party also angered a section of Malawians. All these led to Street Protests against his Regime in 2011. His attempt to quell the Protests led to the Deaths of at least 20 Malawians a move that again strained Malawi’s Relations with its biggest Donor the UK who reacted by stopping Donations to Malawi a move that did hurt and already hurt Economy.
  • On April 5,2012 at the Age of 78, President Bingu Mutharika suffered a Heart Attack and was Pronounced Dead on arrival at a Hospital in Lilongwe. Malawi’s State Media said he had been flown to South Africa for Treatment. Although the self-styled Chief Economist of Malawi did not live up to his Economic Hype, he is remembered for his Revival of Tobacco Farming in Malawi. His Anti-Corruption War would later be put on the Spot by a 2009-2012 Audit Report by NAO that said over K90 Billion was lost through IFMIS between that Period.
  • Joyce Banda the then Vice President assumed Power immediately as per the Constitution.

Joyce Banda’s Short-lived Reign

  • Upon assuming Office, President Joyce Banda continued with the Purge on Corruption. She at one time on October 2013 sacked her entire Cabinet after Revelations of Malawi’s biggest Financial Scandal in History; the $ 32 Million Cashgate Scandal.
  • This particular Scandal that is believed to have started in the Government of her late Predecessor started marring her Adminstration dimming her Chances of getting Elected in the May 2014 Presidential Election. The Opposition then being led by Bingu Mutharika’s Brother Peter Mutharika who she had sacked from Cabinet used this Scandal to campaign against her Administration accusing her of masterminding it to fund her Election Campaign a Claim she termed as Baseless.
  • On the May 2014 Peter Mutharika; a former Law Professor Lawyer and former Minister in 3 different Ministries through his late Brother’s Party DPP defeated Incumbent Joyce Banda with 36% to Joyce’s 20%. Joyce actually came Third after Lazarus Chakwera who garnered 28% of the Vote.

Peter Mutharika’s Regime

  • Although his first Term was faced by National Challenges of devastating Floods and Famine; Peter Mutharika’s Regime has also been marred by Unfulfilled Promises he used to sway Malawian Voters notably his Promise to Construct 5 New Public Universities, Completion of the Shire-Zambezi Waterway, Revival of Rail Transport among others. He has also been adversely mentioned in Corruption for instance in the Zameer Karim Scandal. Various Audit Queries at Capital Hill MDAs have revealed loss of Public Funds. His January 2019 Promise to build 2 Stadiums for Malawi’s Oldest Football Clubs (Nyasa Big Bullets and Forward Wanderers) largely seen as a Populist move to get him Re-elected on May 2019 received widespread Condemnation from the Public with Majority asking him to first fix the Essentials like the Country’s ailing Healthcare.
  • These among other Controversies of his first Term in Office saw Mutharika’s falling out of favour with Malawians as evidenced by the Results of the Controversial May 2019 Presidential Election that he narrowly Won with 38% against 35% from his Main Challenger since 2014 Dr. Lazarus Chakwera. The Results of this Election were highly disputed with Widespread Mass Protests against Mutharika’s controversial Victory. The Chair of the Electoral Commission-MEC Jane Ansah who was being accused of rigging in favor of Mutharika resigned amid Pressure from the Public.
  • MCP’s Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and MTP’s Saulos Chilima who had been Announced Third in the May 2019 Election filed a Petition to have Mutharika’s Victory Annulled. In a Landmark Historic Judgement of February 3,2020; Malawi’s Constitutional Court Overturned the entire Election and ordered a Fresh Presidential Election that is now set to be held on June 23,2020.
  • Mutharika’s controversial Moves have increased towards this Election. He for instance on March 13 sacked his entire Cabinet, later on March 19 he sacked the Country’s Chief of Defense Forces Lt.Gen Nundwe who was widely acclaimed for protecting Malawians in their Protest against Mutharika’s May 2019 Victory. This was the 4th time he was changing the Country’s CDF.  Mutharika’s Government is also on the spot for trying to force the Country’s Chief Justice into an early Retirement 18 Months to his due Retirement. Justice Andrew Nyirenda led the Court that Annuled President Mutharika’s Re-election on May 2019 Victory. This Move has however been blocked by the High Court. Although his Government has brought down the rate of Inflation over the Years;These among other recent Controversies like Importation of K3.2 Billion Cement from Zambia and Zimbabwe against the Policy of ‘Buy Malawi-Build Malawi’ have continued to lower his ratings and Chances of securing Re-election ahead of an Election that is set to be hotly contested.

Malawi’s June 23,2020 Presidential Election

  • In this particular Rerun President Peter Mutharika has chosen the Son of the Country’s second President one Austin Muluzi who is the current Leader of UDF as his running Mate in a bid increase his Chances of securing his second and last Term against a strong united Opposition. Mutharika now 80-Years old has promised to develop Malawi to the Levels of US,UK and Canada. During the May 2019 Presidential Elections Campaign he had promised to develop Malawi to the levels of Singapore and South Africa.
  • Mutharika will be going head-to-head against a strong united Opposition;’Tonse Alliance’ under his Arch-rival 65-Years old Theologian and MCP Leader Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and his running Mate 47-Years old Saulos Chilima who is the current Vice President of Malawi and Leader of UTM. Chilima came a strong Third behind Chakwera on the May 2019 Election. Chilima was reinstated as the Country’s Vice President by the Constitutional Court on its February 3,2020 Ruling; President Mutharika had fired him on November 2018.
  • The other little known Candidate in this Presidential Election is an Accountant one Dominico Sinosi Kuwani of the MMD Party.
  • 6.8 Malawians are registered to Vote in this Election across Malawi’s 28 Districts. Half of all the registered Voters are Young People under 35-Years.
  • This particular Presidential Rerun will take place under a New Electoral Commission-MEC now being led by Dr.Chifundo Kachale.

Malawi’s June 23,2020 Presidential Election Results

On June 28,2020 at Midnight;Lazarus Chakwera was Declared the Winner of this Election with over 2.6 Million Votes-59% beating the Incumbent Peter Mutharika who came a Distant-second with 1.7 Million Votes-39%. This was a Historic Feat for both Malawi and Africa. Dr.Chakwera and his Vice President Dr.Chilima were Sworn in later the same Day as President and Vice President. Although Peter Mutharika did not Concede Defeat,he bowed out peacefully.

Malawi Fact-File:

  • Malawi is a Land-locked Country in South Eastern Africa Great Lakes Region bordered by Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique.
  • With a GDP Per Capita of $389 according to recent World Bank Data; Ranking Position 172 out of 189 World Nations on the 2019 Human Development Index; Half of Malawi’s 19 Million People live below the International Poverty Line of $1.25 a Day.
  • Malawi is still classified as a ‘Least Developed-Low Income’ Country. The Country’s main Economic Activity is Agriculture which accounts for up to a Third of its GDP.
  • Tobacco is Malawi’s main Export accounting for over 55% of its total Exports.
  • Lake Malawi or Lake Nyasa and Lake Malawi National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site are among Malawi’s Top Tourist Destinations.
  • Malawi’s National Languages are English and Chichewa of the Chewa People who are the largest Ethnic Group in Malawi.
  • Over 80% of Malawians are Christians although other Faith/Religions like Islam are still practiced in the Country.
  • Malawian Kwacha-MK is the Country’s Currency.
  • Lilongwe is the Country’s Capital City since 1965 when Malawi’s Capital City was moved from Zomba.
  • To-date; Malawi has reported over 750 Cases of the Global Corona Virus Pandemic and 11 Deaths. The Campaigns of this June 2020 Presidential Election have seen large Crowds milling around Campaign Caravans with zero regard to Anti-Corona Virus Pre-Cautions. This has raised Concerns of a possible escalation of this deadly Virus in Malawi.

(PHOTOS COURTESY)

AFRICA DAY 2020

TODAY is Africa Day-2020; Today 57-Years ago, 32 Leaders of 32 African Countries that had Re-gained their Independence met in Addis Ababa for the very First Historic Independent African Leaders Summit. This Fateful Summit ended with the formation of the ‘Organization of African Unity’ (OAU)-Today Known as the ‘African Union’ (AU).

Each of the 32 Leaders in this Summit made Great Historic Speech but the Speech below made by Ghana’s Founding Father H.E President Kwame Nkrumah; a Courageous Anti-Colonialism and Anti-Imperialism Crusader, a Selfless and Visionary Pan-African stood out, stands out and shall forever stand out as the Ideal of African Unity and African Dream.

“Your Excellencies, Colleagues, Brothers and Friends;

I am happy to be here in Addis Ababa on this most historic occasion. I bring with me the hopes and fraternal greetings of the government and people of Ghana.

Our objective is African union now. There is no time to waste. We must unite now or perish. I am confident that by our concerted effort and determination, we shall lay here the foundations for a continental Union of African States.

A whole continent has imposed a mandate upon us to lay the foundation of our union at this conference. It is our responsibility to execute this mandate by creating here and now, the formula upon which the requisite superstructure may be created.

On this continent, it has not taken us long to discover that the struggle against colonialism does not end with the attainment of national independence. Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs; to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo-colonialist controls and interference.

From the start we have been threatened with frustration where rapid change is imperative and with instability where sustained effort and ordered rule are indispensable. No sporadic act nor pious resolution can resolve our present problems. Nothing will be of avail, except the united act of a united Africa.

We have already reached the stage where we must unite or sink into that condition which has made Latin America the unwilling and distressed prey of imperialism after one-and-a-half centuries of political independence.

As a continent, we have emerged into independence in a different age, with imperialism grown stronger, more ruthless and experienced, and more dangerous in its international associations. Our economic advancement demands the end of colonialist and neo-colonialist domination of Africa.

But just as we understood that the shaping of our national destinies required of each of us our political independence and bent all our strength to this attainment, so we must recognize that our economic independence resides in our African union and requires the same concentration upon the political achievement.

The unity of our continent, no less than our separate independence, will be delayed if, indeed, we do not lose it, by hobnobbing with colonialism.

African unity is, above all, a political kingdom which can only be gained by political means. The social and economic development of Africa will come only within the political kingdom, not the other way round.

Is it not unity alone that can weld us into an effective force, capable of creating our own progress and making our valuable contribution to world peace? Which independent African state, which of you here, will claim that its financial structure and banking institutions are fully harnessed to its national development?

Which will claim that its material resources and human energies are available for its own national aspirations? Which will disclaim a substantial measure of disappointment and disillusionment in its agricultural and urban development? In independent Africa, we are already re-experiencing the instability and frustration which existed under colonial rule.

We are fast learning that political independence is not enough to rid us of the consequences of colonial rule. The movement of the masses of the people of Africa for freedom from that kind of rule was not only a revolt against the conditions which it imposed. Our people supported us in our fight for independence because they believed that African governments could cure the ills of the past in a way which could never be accomplished under colonial rule.

If, therefore, now that we are independent we allow the same conditions to exist that existed in colonial days, all the resentment which overthrew colonialism will be mobilized against us. The resources are there. It is for us to marshal them in the active service of our people.

Unless we do this by our concerted efforts, within the framework of our combined planning, we shall not progress at the tempo demanded by today’s events and the mood of our people. The symptoms of our troubles will grow, and the troubles themselves become chronic. It will then be too late for pan-African unity to secure for us stability and tranquility in our labors for a continent of social justice and material wellbeing.

Our continent certainly exceeds all the others in potential hydroelectric power, which some experts assess as 42% of the world’s total. What need is there for us to remain hewers of wood and drawers of water for the industrialized areas of the world?

It is said, of course, that we have no capital, no industrial skill, no communications, and no internal markets, and that we cannot even agree among ourselves how best to utilize our resources for our own social needs. Yet all stock exchanges in the world are preoccupied with Africa’s gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, copper and iron ore.

Our capital flows out in streams to irrigate the whole system of Western economy. Fifty-two per cent of the gold in Fort Knox at this moment, where the USA stores its bullion, is believed to have originated from our shores. Africa provides more than 60% of the world’s gold.

A great deal of the uranium for nuclear power, of copper for electronics, of titanium for supersonic projectiles, of iron and steel for heavy industries, of other minerals and raw materials for lighter industries – the basic economic might of the foreign powers – come from our continent.

Experts have estimated that the Congo Basin alone can produce enough food crops to satisfy the requirements of nearly half the population of the whole world, and here we sit talking about gradualism, talking about step by step.

Are you afraid to tackle the bull by the horn? For centuries, Africa has been the Milch cow of the Western world. Was it not our continent that helped the Western world to build up its accumulated wealth?

We have the resources. It was colonialism in the first place that prevented us from accumulating the effective capital; but we ourselves have failed to make full use of our power in independence to mobilize our resources for the most effective take-off into thorough-going economic and social development.

We have been too busy nursing our separate states to understand fully the basic need of our union, rooted in common purpose, common planning and common endeavor.

A union that ignores these fundamental necessities will be but a sham. It is only by uniting our productive capacity and the resultant production that we can amass capital. And once we start, the momentum will increase. With capital controlled by our own banks, harnessed to our own true industrial and agricultural development, we shall make our advance.

We shall accumulate machinery and establish steel works, iron foundries and factories; we shall link the various states of our continent with communications by land, sea, and air. We shall cable from one place to another, phone from one place to the other and astound the world with our hydro-electric power; we shall drain marshes and swamps, clear infested areas, feed the undernourished, and rid our people of parasites and disease.

Camels and Donkeys No More

It is within the possibility of science and technology to make even the Sahara bloom into a vast field with verdant vegetation for agricultural and industrial development. We shall harness the radio, television, giant printing presses to lift our people from the dark recesses of illiteracy. A decade ago, these would have been visionary words, the fantasies of an idle dreamer. But this is the age in which science has transcended the limits of the material world, and technology has invaded the silences of nature.

Time and space have been reduced to unimportant abstractions. Giant machines make roads, clear forests, dig dams, lay out aerodromes; monster trucks and planes distribute goods; huge laboratories manufacture drugs; complicated geological surveys are made; mighty power stations are built; colossal factories erected – all at an incredible speed. The world is no longer moving through bush paths or on camels and donkeys.

We cannot afford to pace our needs, our development, our security, to the gait of camels and donkeys. We cannot afford not to cut down the overgrown bush of outmoded attitudes that obstruct our path to the modern open road of the widest and earliest achievement of economic independence and the raising up of the lives of our people to the highest level.

Even for other continents lacking the resources of Africa, this is the age that sees the end of human want. For us it is a simple matter of grasping with certainty our heritage by using the political might of unity. All we need to do is to develop with our united strength the enormous resources of our continent.

What use to the farmer is education and mechanization, what use is even capital for development, unless we can ensure for him a fair price and a ready market?

What has the peasant, worker and farmer gained from political independence, unless we can ensure for him a fair return for his labor and a higher standard of living? Unless we can establish great industrial complexes in Africa, what have the urban worker, and those peasants on overcrowded land gained from political independence? If they are to remain unemployed or in unskilled occupation, what will avail them the better facilities for education, technical training, energy, and ambition which independence enables us to provide?

There is hardly any African state without a frontier problem with its adjacent neighbors. It would be futile for me to enumerate them because they are already so familiar to us all. But let me suggest that this fatal relic of colonialism will drive us to war against one another as our unplanned and uncoordinated industrial development expands, just as happened in Europe.

Unless we succeed in arresting the danger through mutual understanding on fundamental issues and through African unity, which will render existing boundaries obsolete and superfluous, we shall have fought in vain for independence.

Only African unity can heal this festering sore of boundary disputes between our various states. The remedy for these ills is ready in our hands. It stares us in the face at every customs barrier, it shouts to us from every African heart. By creating a true political union of all the independent states of Africa, with executive powers for political direction, we can tackle hopefully every emergency and every complexity.

This is because we have emerged in the age of science and technology in which poverty, ignorance, and disease are no longer the masters, but the retreating foes of mankind. Above all, we have emerged at a time when a continental land mass like Africa with its population approaching 300 million is necessary to the economic capitalization and profitability of modern productive methods and techniques. Not one of us working singly and individually can successfully attain the fullest development.

Certainly, in the circumstances, it will not be possible to give adequate assistance to sister states trying, against the most difficult conditions, to improve their economic and social structures. Only a united Africa functioning under a union government can forcefully mobilize the material and moral resources of our separate countries and apply them efficiently and energetically to bring a rapid change in the conditions of our people.

Unite we must. Without necessarily sacrificing our sovereignties, big or small, we can here and now forge a political union based on defense, foreign affairs and diplomacy, and a common citizenship, an African currency, an African monetary zone, and an African central bank. We must unite in order to achieve the full liberation of our continent.

We need a common defense system with African high command to ensure the stability and security of Africa. We have been charged with this sacred task by our own people, and we cannot betray their trust by failing them. We will be mocking the hopes of our people if we show the slightest hesitation or delay in tackling realistically this question of African unity.

We need unified economic planning for Africa. Until the economic power of Africa is in our hands, the masses can have no real concern and no real interest for safeguarding our security, for ensuring the stability of our regimes, and for bending their strength to the fulfilment of our ends.

With our united resources, energies and talents we have the means, as soon as we show the will, to transform the economic structures of our individual states from poverty to that of wealth, from inequality to the satisfaction of popular needs. Only on a continental basis shall we be able to plan the proper utilization of all our resources for the full development of our continent.

How else will we retain our own capital for own development? How else will we establish an internal market for our own industries? By belonging to different economic zones, how will we break down the currency and trading barriers between African states, and how will the economically stronger amongst us be able to assist the weaker and less developed states?

It is important to remember that independent financing and independent development cannot take place without an independent currency. A currency system that is backed by the resources of a foreign state is ipso facto subject to the trade and financial arrangements of that foreign country.

Because we have so many customs and currency barriers as a result of being subject to the different currency systems of foreign powers, this has served to widen the gap between us in Africa. How, for example, can related communities and families trade with, and support one another successfully, if they find themselves divided by national boundaries and currency restrictions? The only alternative open to them in these circumstances is to use smuggled currency and enrich national and international racketeers and crooks who prey upon our financial and economic difficulties.

Our Resources

No independent African state today by itself has a chance to follow an independent course of economic development, and many of us who have tried to do this have been almost ruined or have had to return to the fold of the former colonial rulers.

This position will not change unless we have a unified policy working at the continental level. The first step towards our cohesive economy would be a unified monetary zone, with, initially, an agreed common parity for our currencies. To facilitate this arrangement, Ghana would change to a decimal system.

When we find that the arrangement of a fixed common parity is working successfully, there would seem to be no reason for not instituting one common currency and a single bank of issue.

With a common currency from one common bank of issue, we should be able to stand erect on our own feet because such an arrangement would be fully backed by the combined national products of the states composing the union. After all, the purchasing power of money depends on productivity and the productive exploitation of the natural, human and physical resources of the nation.

While we are assuring our stability by a common defense system, and our economy is being orientated beyond foreign control by a common currency, monetary zone, and central bank of issue, we can investigate the resources of our continent.

We can begin to ascertain whether in reality we are the richest, and not, as we have been taught to believe, the poorest among the continents. We can determine whether we possess the largest potential in hydro-electric power, and whether we can harness it and other sources of energy to our industries. We can proceed to plan our industrialization on a continental scale, and to build up a common market for nearly 300 million people. Common continental planning for the industrial and agricultural development of Africa is a vital necessity!

So many blessings flow from our unity; so many disasters must follow on our continued disunity. The hour of history which has brought us to this assembly is a revolutionary hour. It is the hour of decision.

The masses of the people of Africa are crying for unity. The people of Africa call for the breaking down of the boundaries that keep them apart. They demand an end to the border disputes between sister African states – disputes that arise out of the artificial barriers raised by colonialism. It was colonialism’s purpose that divided us. It was colonialism’s purpose that left us with our border irredentism, that rejected our ethnic and cultural fusion.

Our people call for unity so that they may not lose their patrimony in the perpetual service of neo-colonialism. In their fervent push for unity, they understand that only its realization will give full meaning to their freedom and our African independence.

It is this popular determination that must move us on to a union of independent African states. In delay lies danger to our well-being, to our very existence as free states. It has been suggested that our approach to unity should be gradual, that it should go piecemeal. This point of view conceives of Africa as a static entity with “frozen” problems which can be eliminated one by one and when all have been cleared then we can come together and say: “Now all is well, let us now unite.”

This view takes no account of the impact of external pressures. Nor does it take cognizance of the danger that delay can deepen our isolations and exclusiveness; that it can enlarge our differences and set us drifting further and further apart into the net of neo-colonialism, so that our union will become nothing but a fading hope, and the great design of Africa’s full redemption will be lost, perhaps, forever.

The Dangers of Regionalism

The view is also expressed that our difficulties can be resolved simply by a greater collaboration through cooperative association in our inter-territorial relationships. This way of looking at our problems denies a proper conception of their inter-relationship and mutuality. It denies faith in a future for African advancement in African independence. It betrays a sense of solution only in continued reliance upon external sources through bilateral agreements for economic and other forms of aid.

The fact is that although we have been cooperating and associating with one another in various fields of common endeavor even before colonial times, this has not given us the continental identity and the political and economic force which would help us to deal effectively with the complicated problems confronting us in Africa today.

As far as foreign aid is concerned, a United Africa should be in a more favorable position to attract assistance from foreign sources. There is the far more compelling advantage which this arrangement offers, in that aid will come from anywhere to a United Africa because our bargaining power would become infinitely greater. We shall no longer be dependent upon aid from restricted sources. We shall have the world to choose from.

What are we looking for in Africa? Are we looking for Charters, conceived in the light of the United Nations’ example? A type of United Nations Organization whose decisions are framed on the basis of resolutions that in our experience have sometimes been ignored by member states? Where groupings are formed and pressures develop in accordance with the interest of the groups concerned?

Or is it intended that Africa should be turned into a loose organization of states on the model of the Organization of American States, in which the weaker states within it can be at the mercy of the stronger or more powerful ones politically or economically and all at the mercy of some powerful outside nation or group of nations? Is this the kind of association we want for ourselves in the United Africa we all speak of with such feeling and emotion?

We all want a united Africa, united not only in our concept of what unity connotes, but united in our common desire to move forward together in dealing with all the problems that can best be solved only on a continental basis.

We meet here today not as Ghanaians, Guineans, Egyptians, Algerians, Moroccans, Malians, Liberians, Congolese or Nigerians, but as Africans.

Africans united in our resolve to remain here until we have agreed on the basic principles of a new compact of unity among ourselves which guarantees for us and our future a new arrangement of continental government. If we succeed in establishing a new set of principles as the basis of a new charter for the establishment of a continental unity of Africa, and the creation of social and political progress for our people, then in my view, this conference should mark the end of our various groupings and regional blocs.

But if we fail and let this grand and historic opportunity slip by, then we shall give way to greater dissension and division among us for which the people of Africa will never forgive us. And the popular and progressive forces and movements within Africa will condemn us.

I am sure therefore that we shall not fail them. To this end, I propose for your consideration the following: As a first step, a declaration of principles uniting and binding us together and to which we must all faithfully and loyally adhere, and laying the foundations of unity, should be set down.

As a second and urgent step for the realization of the unification of Africa, an All-Africa Committee of Foreign Ministers should be set up now. The Committee should establish on behalf of the heads of our governments, a permanent body of officials and experts to work out a machinery for the union government of Africa.

This body of officials and experts should be made up of two of the best brains from each independent African state. The various charters of existing groupings and other relevant documents could also be submitted to the officials and experts.

We must also decide on a location where this body of officials and experts will work as the new headquarters or capital of our union government. Some central place in Africa might be the fairest suggestion, either in Bangui in the Central African Republic or Leopoldville [Kinshasa] in Congo. My colleagues may have other proposals.

The Committee of Foreign Ministers, officials and experts, should be empowered to establish: (1) A commission to frame a constitution for a Union Government of African States. (2) A commission to work out a continent-wide plan for a unified or common economic and industrial program for Africa; this should include proposals for setting up: a common market for Africa; an African currency; an African monetary zone; an African central bank; a continental communication system; a commission to draw up details for a common foreign policy and diplomacy; a commission to produce plans for a common system of defense and a commission to make proposals for common African citizenship.

Ethiopia Shall Stretch Forth her Hands unto God; Africa must unite!”.

UNFORTUNATELY, Sir Nkrumah’s Dream and Grand Vision of an Africa United in Fact and Indeed did not Prevail. This Fateful Summit was divided into 2 Factions; the Casablanca Group led by Nkrumah of Ghana, Modibo Keita of Mali, Sekou Toure of Guinea, Gamal Nasser of Egypt, Ben Bella of Algeria, King Hasan 2 of Morocco and Crown Prince Hassan Rida representing King Idris of Libya who wanted One United Government for One United Africa ‘there and then’ against the Monrovia and Libreville Group led by Felix Boigny of Ivory Coast and William Tubman of Liberia and 23 Others who wanted a gradual Approach towards African Unity. On May 25,1963 the Monrovia/Libreville Group prevailed and the Summit ended in a Compromise; the formation of a Weak-kneed ‘Organization of African Unity-OAU that is Today known as the ‘African Union’-AU. Until then to this Day; the Grand Dream of One Africa United in Fact and Indeed remains just that; a Dream!.

BURUNDI-Turbulent Country goes to a Key Election amid Corona Virus Pandemic

Colonial History

YEAR 10,000-15,000-Hutu and Tutsi People settle in present Day Burundi to form Urundi Kingdom.

1890-Urundi Kingdom and neighboring Ruanda Kingdom (Present Day Rwanda) are annexed into One Urundi-Ruanda Territory by Germans. The Germans rule the Territory for 26-Years until 1916 when Belgium Forces invaded and captured the Territory driving Germans out. The League of Nations later in 1923 gave Belgium Mandate to govern the Territory.

Agitation for Independence begins in the 1950’s.1960 Prince Louis Rwagasore the eldest Son of the then King of Urundi Mwambutsa IV-a Tutsi Monarchy starts mobilizing People under his “Union of National Progress-UPRONA” to demand for Independence from Belgium Colonialists. Under intense Pressure and Resistance Belgium Authorities give way for for Legislative Elections on September 1961 in readiness to leave the Territory. Prince Rwagasore Party UPRONA won 58/64 Seats making him the first Prime Minister of the Territory. A Month later, PM/Prince Rwagasore was Assasinated on October 13,1961 at a Hotel in Bujumbura in what is said and believed to have been a Scheme by Belgian Authorities. His 2 young Children died mysteriously a few Months later. On October 2018 the Government of Burundi openly accused Belgium saying Belgium Authorities were “True Backers in the Assassination of Prince Rwagasore” who is Today Celebrated in Burundi every Year as a Hero of Independence.

July 1,1962-Urundi-Ruanda Territory Regained their Independence as separate Territories; Republic of Rwanda and and Kingdom of Burundi. An Attempt by Belgium to join the 2 Territories towards Independence fails amid escalating Tension and deadly supremacy Battle that claimed Thousands of Lives between Hutus via Parmehutu Movement and Tutsis UNAR Movement in their struggle for Independence. The UN urged Belgium to grant the 2 Independence as separate Territories in a bid to calm the Tension.

Post-Independence History

A new Independent Kingdom of Burundi is established still under Tutsi Monarchy led King Mwambutsa IV. Violent Conflict between Hutu and Tutsi across Burundi and Rwanda leaves Thousands Dead between 1963 to 1966.

May 1965 Legislative Elections saw a big Victory for the Hutus. King Mwambutsa a Tutsi was expected to Appoint a Hutu Prime Minister as a result. His failure to do this creates Anger among the Hutus. The then Army Chief General Michel Micombero a Hutu leads an unsuccessful Coup to Oust King Mwambutsa forcing him to flee to Exile in Switzerland on October 1965. On March 1966 King Mwambutsa from Exile names his Son as the Heir to the Throne. A young King Ntare took over to continue with his Father’s Reign on July 1966. 5 Months later King Ntare gets Ousted by General Micombero on November 1966 forcing him to also flee to Exile.

General Michel Micombero declares himself President bringing Burundi’s Monarchy to an End technically becoming Burundi’s first President. The Ouster of King Mwambutsa and his Son King Ntare angered the Hutus and they started rebelling against the Tutsi-led Government under General Micombero. On March 1972 deposed King Ntare returns to Burundi amid escalating Hutu Rebellion. The Hutu Rebels even came to a point of declaring their Independent Territory of Martyazo within Burundi. Ntare who had been placed under House Arrest was Killed on April 29,1972. This triggered the first Genocide in Burundi when General Micombero ordered Violent quashing of the Hutu Revolt. Between 150,000-300,000 Hutus were killed in what is Today remembered as Ikiza or Ubwicanyi Genocide.

November 1976-Opponents of General Micombero within the Army led by Colonel Jean Baptiste another Tutsi Army Officer lead a successful Coup to overthrow Micombero’s Regime. Although Col.Baptiste also ruled with an Iron Fist, his Regime is credited for some Hutu-Tutsi Calm and Reconciliation Efforts and some Economic Structures in Burundi. While on a Trip to Canada, Col.Baptiste was Overthrown by Major Pierre Buyoya another Tutsi Army Officer. Major Buyoya promises to mend Relations between Hutu and Tutsi Tribes. He did not live up to his Promise and this triggered another Hutu Uprising in 1988 leading to the Killing of Tens of Thousands most of them being Hutus.

Buyoya created a Commission to carry out an Inquest into the Violence. The Commission came up with a New Constitution that advocated for a Non-Ethnic Government in 1992. The very first Democratic Multi-party Elections were held on June 1993 and Melchior Ndadaye a Hutu Intellectual won with 66% defeating incumbent Major Buyoya who came second with 33%. True to Democracy, Major Buyoya stepped down and Ndadaye was sworn in on July 1993. In a bid to have a United Country President Ndadaye Appointed a Tutsi Woman Sylvie Kinigi as his Prime Minister. Barely 3 Months into Office, his Attempts to Unify the 2 Warring Hutu-Tutsi Communities did not augur well with the Tutsi-dominated Army. On October 21,1993; Soldiers layed Siege to his Palace in Bujumbura and shot him severally leading to his Death. The Murder of President Ndadaye sparked another a Genocide and Civil War that lingered in Burundi for over 10 Years between October 1993-August 2005. Francois Ngeze a Hutu Civilian took over as an acting President for One Week before the Army moving in to replace him with Ndadaye’s Prime Minister Sylvie Kinigi who was installed as an acting President between October 1993-February 1994. Technically, Sylvie became Africa’s first Woman President.

February 1994-the Parliament Appointed former Agriculture Minister Cyprien Ntaryamira a Hutu as the New President. Again this did not augur well with some Elements in the Tutsi-dominated Army. Barely 2 Months into Office, a Plane carrying President Ntaryamira and his Burundian Counterpart Juvenal Habyarimana also a Hutu was shot down towards Kigali Airport in Rwanda on April 6,1994 killing both and Everyone on board. This sparked Rwanda’s 100 Days Genocide that claimed the Lives of 800,000 People most of them from the Tutsi Community.

Sylvester Ntibantunganya  then then Leader of Burundi’s Parliament took over as President in an acting Capacity between April 1994-July 1996 when former President Major Pierre Buyoya overthrew him and took Power. Major Buyoya a Tutsi appointed a Hutu Vice President one Domitien Ndayizeye in a bid to calm the Civil War. On June 1998 President Buyoya saw the Promulgation of a Transition Constitution that created a Transitional Government after Negotiations then being led by Tanzania’s first President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. April 2003, President Buyoya stepped down and his Vice President Domitien Ndayiyeze took over as per the Transition Agreement. Burundi Peace Talks were by then being led by South Africa’s late President Nelson Mandela after the Death of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere on October 1999. President Ndayiyeze ruled until August 2005 when he handed over to former Hutu Rebel Leader then Minister for Good Governance and now the sitting/outgoing President Pierre Nkurunziza after the signing of the final Peace Agreement; Arusha Accords signed on August 2000 under the Chief Negotiator Sir Nelson Mandela. This marked the start of a Ceasefire to a deadly Civil War that is estimated to have claimed the Lives of up to 300,000 Burundians this time across the 2 Main Hutu and Tutsi Communities and even from Burundi’s Smallest Community; the ‘Twa’ People between October 1993-August 2005.

President Pierre Nkurunziza Autocratic Regime

After Victory in Legislative Elections, Nkurunziza’s CNDD-FDD Party Appointed him the President and he was Sworn in on August 26,2005. Fast-forward to 2010, Nkurunziza is sworn in for a Second Term after a disputed Election that he ran against himself. All Candidates withdrew citing Intimidation and lack of Transparency after a Violent Campaign pitting Nkurunziza’s Regime Forces against the Opposition. Nkurunziza was Announced the Unopposed Winner of the June 2010 Election with 91%.  His main Rivals among them Agathon Rwasa also a former Hutu FNL Rebel Leader who had already gone into hiding dismissed the Election as Sham.

Nkurunziza went to rule for another 5-Years until 2015 when he was expected to step down as per the 2000 Peace Accord. To the Shock of Everyone, Nkurunziza decided to blatantly violate the Terms of an Accord that ended a dealy Civil War by running for a controversial Third Term using a controversial Court Ruling on May 2015 and what is believed to have been a staged Coup to illegally cling on to Power. In another boycotted Poll, Nkurunziza ran alone garnering 70% of the Votes. This sparked yet another deadly Conflict that claimed the Lives of at least 1,200 People forcing over 400,000 others to flee their Homes between 2015 to early 2019. Using his Regime Forces and a State-sponsored Youth Militia known as ‘Imborenakure’; Nkrunziza unleashed Terror in a Violent Clampdown against Opposition, Critics, Civil Society and the Media with arbitrary Arrests, Detentions, Torture, Abductions and Summary Executions to stamp his Authority. The deadly Conflict and Violence before and after 2015 saw the ICC approve an Inquest on November 2017 a Month after Nkurunziza leading Burundi to become the first Country ever to leave the International Criminal Court-ICC Statute on October 2017. In a Controversial Referendum of May 2018 that was also characterized by significant Violence and Boycott; Nkurunziza’s Government introduced Constitutional Changes increasing Presidential Term Lengths from 5-7 Years and Provisions to revise Ethnic Quotas. These Two Amendments being contrary to the Dictates of the Arusha Peace Accord of 2000. September 2018 Nkurunziza’s Government declared 3 UN-Human Rights Officials as Persona Non Grata revoking their Visas to Burundi. The 3 were investigating the Impact of the Violence that started in 2015 and their preliminary Findings accused Nkurunziza’s Government for violating Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity.

Burundi May 20,2020 General Elections

AMID a deadly escalating Threat of the Global Corona Virus Pandemic; a highly Infectious/Contagious Virus that has already claimed the Lives of 320,000 People with another 5 Million battling with the Disease in Hospitals across the World; Burundi is set to Vote in a New President to Succeed Incumbent Nkurunziza and a New Parliament this Wednesday May 20,2020. Burundi has To-date reported 42 Cases and 1 Death from this Virus after less than 1000 Tests across the Country’s 11.8 Million People. This Number does not represent the real CoronaVirus Situation in the Country which according to Critics and various Burundi Health Officials who have spoken on a Condition of Anonymity is escalating.

Burundi Government has been seriously criticized for playing down the Threat of this Virus and covering up the real Situation in the Country. On May 12,2020 the Government ‘World Health Organization’ Officials in Burundi as Persona Non Grata ordering them to leave the Country by May 15th without Reasons for their Expulsion. Photos of Thousands of Burundians crowded in Campaign Rallies without Face Masks or any form of CoronaVirus Precaution have raised Criticism to the Government for exposing its Citizenry to the deadly Virus. The President’s Spokesperson Jean Karerwa is on record recklessly playing down this real Threat by saying that Burundi has signed a special Pact with God and will hence be spared by this Pandemic.

Presidential Race

According to Burundi’s Electoral Commission CENI Chair Pierre Kazihise,5.1 Million Burundians have been registered to Vote across Burundi’s 18 Provinces. Described as the first competitive Election since 1993; the Race for the top Job shall be a tough Test on Democracy in a Turbulent Nation without the Incumbent President Nkurunziza on the Ballot. The Test is further exacerbated by lack of Free Independent Media in Burundi and lack of Independent International Observers due to Corona Virus Restrictions.The Government also blocked accesss to all Social Media Channels at the Dawn of Election Day.The run-up to Today’s Election has also been marred by Significant Violence and Intimidation with 67 documented Killings,Arbitrary Arrests and Torture according to ‘Ligue Iteka Human Rights Watch Group’ Report.

President Nkurunziza has chosen his Loyalist, retired Army General also a former Hutu Rebel Militant 52-Years old General Evariste Ndayishimiye to succeed him via the ruling CNDD-FDD Party. Gen.Ndayishimiye has previously served  as Burundi’s Security Minister and Head of Military Affairs in Nkurunziza’s Office. Another Key Candidate in this Race is Nkurunziza’s longtime Rival 56-Years old Agathon Rwasa who led Presidential Elections Boycott in 2010 and 2015 leading to Violent Confrontations with Nkurunziza Regime forcing him to hide or flee to Exile on several Occasions. Mr.Rwasa also a former FNL Hutu Rebel Leader is now the Leader of CNL-main Opposition Party and the Deputy Chair in Parliament. Another key Candidate is 69-Years old former President Domitien Ndayizeye vying under KIRA-Burundi Coalition.

The other Candidates are;

  • 66-Years old Mr.Leonce Ngendakumana via FRODEBU Party
  • 55-Years old former Vice President under Nkurunziza’s Government Gaston Sindimwo via UPRONA Party
  • 48-Years old Francis Rohero via the Orange Movement
  • 46-Years old Cleric and Social Activist Dieudonne Nahimana via the New Generation Movement

President Nkurunziza shall however remain in Office until August 2020 since he took Oath on August 2015. He is expected to hand over to the Winner of this Presidential Election come August. On March 14,2020 Nkurunziza signed into Law a Bill that shall elevate him to become Burundi’s ‘Supreme Leader and Guide to Patriotism’; Whoever wins this Election shall be bound by this Law to consult him on Matters National Security and National Union.Critics say this is a Scheme to maintain his Grip and Manipulation of State Power even after leaving Office. The Bill also comes with a Reward of $530,000 and a deluxe Villa Mansion as Retirement Benefits from State Coffers.

*On June 8,2020 at the Age of 55;Pierre Nkurunziza was Announced Dead after suffering a Heart Attack according to Government Statement.Unconfirmed Reports however said he might have contracted Corona Virus from his Wife Denise who was receiving Corona Virus Treatment at a Hospital in Nairobi when Nkurunziza was Announced Dead.His Wife recovered and was among those Present during his State Burial on June 26,2020.*

May 20,2020 Presidential Election Results

The Results of this Election were released on May 25,2020 and to Nobody’s Surprise Nkurunziza’s CNDD-FDD Candidate Gen.Evariste Ndayishimiye was declared the Winner with 68.72%.His main Challenger,Burundi’s Long-time Opposition Leader Agathon Rwasa was announced Second with 24.19%.The other 5 Candidates were announced as follows;Gaston Sindimwo with 1.64%,Domitien Ndayizeye with 0.57%,Leonce Ngendakumana with 0.47%,Dieudonne Nahimana with 0.42% and Francis Rohero with 0.20%.

Mr.Rwasa vowed to Contest the Results within Burundi’s Judiciary and take the same to the East African Court of Justice should he fail to get Justice from Burundi Courts.”We have Won this Election and I can demonstrate.We won’t negotiate this;the People’s Choice must be respected”-Mr Rwasa said in an Interview.He also claimed CNDD-FDD Regime has ran Burundi’s Economy down while isolating the Country from the rest of the World. “The Results proclaimed by CENI are not Credible.They are Prefabricated from Massive Fraud.We have all the Evidence and the Real Figures of this Election.We will seek Justice”-Mr Rwasa’s CNL Party said in Statements.

Burundi Fact-file

  • Burundi is a Landlocked  Country in Central-East Africa; It is the 5th Smallest Country in Mainland Africa
  • With a GDP Per Capita of $217 according to 2018 World Bank Data; Ranking Position 185 out of 189 Countries in the World on the 2019 Human Development Index it is estimated that close to 80% of Burundi’s 11.8 Million People live below the International Poverty Line of $1.25 a Day.
  • In terms of GDP Burundi is still categorized in the list of ‘Low Income-Least Developed Countries’
  • Coffee is Burundi’s main Export accounting for close to 70% of its total Exports according to ‘Trading Economics’ followed by Tea and Cotton in Agricultural Exports. In Mining the Country also produces Tin, Tungsten, Gold and other Earth Minerals that earns the Country over 50% of its Foreign Exchange Earnings according to the Ministry of Mining July 2019 Statement.
  • Fresh Water Lake Tanganyika; the World’s Longest Lake found within Burundi, DRC, Tanzania and Zambia is among key Tourist Destination in Burundi.
  • The Hutus and Tutsis are the main Tribes in Burundi; Hutus make over 85% of the Population with the Tutsis making 14% while the smallest Tribe the ‘Twa’ makes about 1% according to Population Demographics.
  • Burundi’s National Language is Kirundi; French and English are the Official Languages.
  • Christianity is the dominant Religion although other Religions and Faiths are allowed in Burundi.
  • Burundian Franc-BIF is the Country’s Currency.
  • On January 2019, Burundi’s Parliament voted to have the Country’s Capital City moved from Bujumbura to the Ancient Urundi-Burundi Kingdom Capital in Gitega where according to President Nkurunziza is more Central within Burundi compared to Bujumbura. Bujumbura however remains the Country’s Economic/Commercial Capital.

(Photos Courtesy)

CORONA VIRUS:World’s Worst Global Health Emergency With Untold Devastation.

WITH nearly half of the World’s Population now in some form of  #StayAtHome Confinement and Lockdown with the few allowed to move around Ordered to wear a Face Mask. With the Global Airspace virtually Closed and all Local and International Travel halted; a Situation that Economists have said will cost Global Airlines a Loss of over $ 312 Billion.With all Key National and Global Social,Cultural,Economic,Sporting,Educational/Curriculum Events,Causes and Courses halted and some Postponed indefinitely.With Global Oil Prices plummeting to an all-time Low forcing OPEC to drastically cut Production.With the International Monetary Fund-IMF Warning of an impending Global Recession worse than that caused by the 2008 Financial Crisis. With the Global GDP in 2020 set to shrink by 3%; the Worst Decline since the Great Depression of 1930 according to IMF. A View that has been reiterated by United Nations-UN Chief Antonio Guterres who has said that a Global Recession of Record Dimension is a near Certainty. With Sub-saharan Africa headed for a Recession last experienced 25-Years ago according to the World Bank. With Millions already rendered Jobless by the Economic Upheavals caused by this Pandemic. With the UN Labour Force Agency-ILO estimating that this Pandemic might see over 195 Million Fulltime Formal Economy Workers lose their Jobs with a Whopping 1.6 Billion Workers in the Informal Economy or nearly half of the Global Workforce staring at the Loss of their Livelihoods. USA; the World’s largest Economy has already seen over 40 Million People file for Unemployment in just 6 Weeks between March to May 2020;this is the largest and most dramatic unemployment Claims since 1967 when America’s Labour Department started recording unemployment Claims Data. With OXFAM International Warning that this Pandemic might push Half a Billion People to Poverty if Mitigation Measures are not put in Place. #CoronaVirusPandemic is the Worst Global Health Emergency and Crisis as Confirmed by the World Health Organization.

 The United States of America as the biggest Funder of the ‘World Health Organization’-W.H.O has already Announced a Decision to stop funding the Operations of W.H.O. President Donald Trump has said that the W.H.O ‘Failed in its basic Duty’ ‘called it wrong’ ‘they missed the call’ and gave ‘faulty Recommendation’ especially its Advice on ‘Travel Restrictions’ and as a Result ‘blew it up’. The President said the action of halting US’ Funding to W.H.O will be followed by a Probe on ‘W.H.O’s Role in severely Mismanaging and Covering up the Spread of Corona Virus’. President Trump Allies have accused W.H.O of relying on ‘Faulty Information about COVID-19 from the Chinese Government in the early Days of the Outbreak at its original Epicenter in #Wuhan China thereby misleading the Global Community in terms of averting and mitigating the Effects and Intensity of this Outbreak’. The US is currently the Worst-hit Country in terms of Death Toll and Confirmed Cases of #COVID_19 with over 5 Million People Infected and over 162,000 Deaths. China the original Epicenter of this Virus has been highly and widely Criticized for hiding the Truth in terms Total People infected with this Virus and the Total Number of People Killed by this Virus. According to its Official Data which has been rarely changing; the Total number of Infections remain at 83,760 and 4636 Deaths according to rare Update made on April 17th. When asked by Reporters on April 16,2020 why the US has the highest Number of Infections and Deaths in the World; the US President Donald Trump responded saying, “Do you really believe those Numbers in this vast Country called China?, does Anybody really believe that?, some Countries are in big big Trouble and they’re not reporting the Facts and that’s up to them”- he said. On April 17th President Trump Tweeted “China has just announced a doubling in the number of their deaths from the Invisible Enemy. It is far higher than that and far higher than the U.S., not even close!”. Critics led by Exiled Chinese Business Tycoon Guo Wengui have claimed without Evidence that China at its Peak of CoronVirus towards the end of February 2020 had already recorded 50,000 Deaths and 1.5 Million Cases.

Well; It is only Prudent Now in Retrospect to Critically look at how this evolved from a ‘Mysterious Pneumonia’ in Wuhan-China to a Deadly and Devastating Global Pandemic that it is Today. The Origin of this Deadly Virus remains Unknown. Up to this point in Time it remains a Matter of heated Debate, Theories, Mysteries and Controversies. Some Scientists say it came from Bats sold in Wuhan Animal Market to Pangolins then to Human Beings. Critics claim that this Virus originated from ‘Wuhan Institute of Virology’ where it was either Accidentally or Deliberately leaked and unleashed on Human Beings. The Governments of China and USA are on record accusing each other of Plotting this Outbreak. On March 12,2020 Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian Tweeted “2/2 CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!”. This was followed by US President Donald Trump who on March 17,2020 Tweeted “The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!”. This was later followed several Tweets where President Trump continued calling this Virus “Chinese Virus”; when asked by Reporters why he calls it Chinese Virus, President Trump said “it comes from China, I want to be accurate”. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also on record calling Corona Virus “Wuhan Virus”.In a Press Conference on April 30,2020;US President claimed without giving details that he had ‘seen Evidence linkig CoronaVirus to a Laboratory in Wuhan-China.When Reporters asked him if he had seen anything giving him a high degree of Confidence that the ‘Wuhan Institute of Virology’ was the origin of the Outbreak he replied “Yes I have”.

We now take an Objective Look at Key Dates, Happenings, Hints and Leads that show Instances where the “World Health Organization-W.H. O” and the Chinese Government dropped the Ball in Opportune Moments when this Virus could have been easily Contained at its Original Epicenter in Wuhan-China. Key Dates and Events that have Characterised this Pandemic. One of the Main Mandate of #WHO as the Chief Director and Coordinator of International Health is to Protect the World from Health Emergencies and Risks through Surveillance, Preparedness and Response.

  • According to Government Data seen by “South China Morning Post” the very First Case of a Human Being with what is Today known as #CoronaVirus can be traced back to November 17,2019 in a 55-Years old Chinese Man from Hubei-China. By December 20,2019 the Total Number of Cases had reached 60. On December 27,2019 Zhang Jixian; a Doctor from ‘Hubei Province Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine’ told Chinese Health Authorities that the Disease was caused by a New CoronaVirus.
  • According to ‘Lancet’- a Medical Journal Report by Chinese Doctors from Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan; the first Confirmed #COVID19 Case was Recorded on December 1,2019.
  • December 30,2019- a 33-Years old Chinese Doctor, Li Wenliang who was working at a Hospital in Wuhan sent a Message to his Colleagues Advising them to wear Protective Clothing while at Work to avoid being infected by a Virus that he said looked like SARS. 4 Days later Dr. Wenliang was accosted by Police, detained and forced to sign a Statement accusing him of making ‘False Comments that severely disturbed the Social Order’; He was forced to Denounce his Warning as an Unfounded Rumour. 8 other People were already in Custody being questioned for allegedly spreading Rumours about the strange Virus in Wuhan. Later on January 30,2020 Dr. Wenliang was diagnosed with Corona Virus after having serious Cough and Fever. 7 Days later the Virus Killed him on February 7,2020. An inflamed Debate and Anger flooded Weibo; Chinese main Social Media criticizing Chinese Government for silencing and punishing an innocent Whistleblower whose Warning if it had been taken seriously would have sparked Action to Contain the Virus and save Thousands of Lives.
  • December 31,2019- after noting Cases of Strange “atypical Pneumonia” in Wuhan-China (according to Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center Spokesperson Chuang Jen, ‘atypical Pneumonia’ is what is commonly known as SARS in China); Taiwan’s CDC sent an Inquiry Email to their Chinese Counterparts and W.H. O’s International Health Regulations and Monitoring Framework seeking Information about the Illness in Wuhan and its Possibility of Human-to-Human Transmission as is common with SARS. Chinese CDC did not respond to Taiwan. On the other hand, WHO later acknowledged Receipt of the Taiwan Inquiry; in a Simplistic way WHO replied to Taiwan saying it would relay their Inquiry to its Experts. W.H.O did not make Taiwan’s Inquiry Public; It also did not pass on an Alert or Warning to other Countries as it is required. Under Pressure from China, WHO has To-date refused to admit Taiwan as one of its Member States. China still considers the Self-governing Island of Taiwan as part of its Territory.

When Taiwan Health Experts asked Chinese Authorities to allow them to make an Independent Health Inquest on those who had Contracted the “Pneumonia” in Wuhan and at the Market where this Illness is suspected to have Originated; their request was rejected. Taiwan Government sensed Danger and immediately activated Emergency Response within its Territory by Screening Everyone coming in to Taiwan from Wuhan and Mainland China. This is how #Taiwan has managed to avoid Corona Virus escalation in its Territory despite sharing a Border with China. To-date Taiwan has only 450 Confirmed Cases and 7 Deaths.

  • January 14,2020-The ‘World Health Organization’ Tweeted; “Preliminary Investigations conducted by the Chinese Authorities have found No Clear Evidence of Human-to-Human Transmission of the Novel #CoronaVirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China”. This Tweet has from that Date to now sparked intense Debate on Why W.H.O published this Information when there was already Preliminary Findings that the new CoronaVirus had the same Characteristics with SARS which has high Human-to-Human Transmission.
  • January 20,2020-China via its Health Ministry Confirmed Human-to-Human Transmission of #CoronaVirus in its Guangdong Province. The Total Number of those Confirmed with this Disease had by then reached 258 according China’s State Broadcaster CCTV. The Death Toll in Wuhan had by then risen to 6 according to the City’s Mayor. South Korea, Japan and Thailand had each Confirmed a Case of this Infection in their Countries with all the 3 having arrived to these Countries from Wuhan. These were the very first Cases of this Infection out of China.
  • January 31,2020-W.H.O declared Corona Virus  a Global Emergency. “The main Reason for this Declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other Countries”-W.H.O Director General Dr. Adhanom Tedros. This Virus had by this Date spread to 18 other Countries with almost all the Cases being with People arriving from Wuhan-China. Dr. Tedros praised the ‘Extraordinary Measures’ taken by Chinese Authorities in Combating this Virus but said there was no Reason to limit Trade or Travel to China. “Let me be Clear; this Declaration is not a Vote of No Confidence in China”- he said in a Statement. By this Date the Virus had spread to all Provinces in China with 7711 Cases and 170 Deaths.
  • February 4,2020- “We reiterate our Call to all Countries Not to impose Restrictions that Unnecessarily Interfere with International Travel and Trade. Such Restrictions can have the Effect of increasing Fear and Stigma with little Public Health Benefit”- W.H.O Director General Dr. Tedros said in a briefing to the United Nations Executive Board in Geneva. The Virus had by then reached 23 Countries with only One Death outside China. The Infections in China had by this Date risen to 17,238 with 361 Deaths.
  • February 9,2020- Corona Virus Death Toll in China surpassed that of the 2002-2003 SARS Epidemic. By this Date China had 37,000 Infections and 811 Deaths.
  • February 11,2020- W.H.O gave Corona Virus an Official Name. “We now have a Name for the Disease; SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19”- W.H.O DG Dr. Tedros told Reporters at Geneva. By this Date the Deaths in China had surpassed 900 with Infections rising over 40,000.
  • March 11,2020- the World Health Organization-W.H.O declared COVID-19 a Global Pandemic. “In the past two Weeks, the Number of Cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold and the Number of affected Countries has Tripled. We have therefore made an Assessment that COVID-19 can be Characterized as a Pandemic”-Dr. Tedros said in an International Press Briefing. By this Date there were more than 118,000 Confirmed Cases in 114 Countries across the World with 4291 People Dead. “This is not just a Public Health Crisis, it’s a Crisis that will touch every Sector; So every Sector and every Individual must be involved in the Fight”- Dr. Tedros added.
  • “We know that in some Countries COVID-19 Cases are doubling every 3 to 4 Days. However, while COVID-19 accelerates very Fast, it Decelerates much more Slowly in other Words, the way Down is much Slower than the way Up”-Dr. Tedros said in a Statement on April 13th. (It for example took 3 Months for the first 1 Million People to get infected i.e between January-April 2nd ;It just took 15 Days for another 1.2 Million People to get Infected that was by April 17th. It took 3 Months and 10 Days for the first 100,000 People to die from this Virus i.e between January-April 10th; It just took 15 Days for the Death Toll to Double to 200,000 by April 25th.By April 1st over 80,000 New Cases have been Reported Daily)
  • April 13,2020- “Our Global Connectedness means the Risk of Re-introduction and Resurgence of #COVID19 will Continue. Ultimately, the development and delivery of a safe and effective Vaccine will be Needed to fully Interrupt Transmission”-Dr.Tedros. According to W.H.O’s April 13,2020 Statement there are already 127 Institutions working with W.H.O in the development of COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • April 22,2020-“Make no Mistake:We have a long way to go.This Virus will be with us for a long Time.Most countries are still in the early stages of their Epidemics and some that were affected early in the Pandemic are now starting to see a Resurgence in Cases.People understandably want to get on with their Lives because their Lives and Livelihoods are at stake.That’s what WHO too wants and that’s what we are working for all Day Every day But the World will Not and Cannot go back to the way things were.There Must be a “New Normal”-Dr.Tedros
  • April 27,2020-“This Pandemic is far from Over.W.H.O continues to be concerned about the increasing Trends in Africa,Eastern Europe,Latin America and some Asian Countries.As in all Regions,Cases and Deaths are Underreported in Countries within these Regions because of low testing Capacity”-Dr.Tedros
  • May 6,2020-“The Risk of returning to Lockdown remains very Real if Countries do not Manage the Transition extremely Carefully”-Dr.Tedros Warning as Countries across the World begin easing #CoronaVirus Restrictions and Confinement Measures especially in Western Europe where the Rate of new Infections and Deaths seem to have Peaked. “As we work on responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic,We must also work harder to prepare for the next one.Now is an Opportunity to lay the Foundation for Resilient Health Systems around the World.That includes Systems to Prepare and Respond to emerging Pathogens.If we Learn anything from COVID_19, it must be that Investing in Health now will Save Lives later. History will Judge all of us not only on whether we got through this Pandemic but also on the Lessons we learned and the Actions we took once it was over”-Dr.Tedros
  • May 13,2020-“This Virus may become just another Endemic Virus in our Communities.This Virus may Never go away.HIV has not gone away but we have come to Terms with the Virus.I think it is important that we are realistic;I don’t think Anyone can predict when or if this Disease will disappear.We do have One great Hope;If we do find a highly effective Vaccine that we can distribute to Everyone who needs it in the World we may have a Shot at eliminating this Virus”-WHO Health Emergencies Programme Executive Director Dr.Mike Ryan. In what now seems like a Campaign by W.H.O to mentally prepare the World and Humanity to learn to live with this Disease in what they recently called a “New Normal”;Dr.Ryan noted that even for Diseases that have effective Vaccines like Measles,they still exist amongst Humanity Today. There are more than 1000 Potential Vaccines being developed right now but Experts have underscored the Difficulty of finding One that is effective against CoronaViruses.
  • July 7,2020-The World Health Organization acknowledged ’emerging Evidence’ on the Possibility of Airborne Transmission of Corona Virus.”The Possibility of Airborne Transmission in Public Settings especially in very specific Conditions;Crowded,Closed,Poorly Ventilated settings that have been described Cannot be ruled out”-WHO COVID-19 Technical Lead Maria Kerkhove said in a Press Briefing.This was Contrary to her earlier Assertion on March 22,2020 where she categorically Tweeted that “COVID-19 is Not Airborne”. July 7,2020 Acknowledgement was in Response to a “Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal” Open Letter to the WHO by 239 Scientists from 32 Countries outlining Evidence that floating Virus Particles can infect People who breath them in.The Scientists wanted the WHO to acknowledge the Evidence of Potential Transmission of COVID_19 through the Air and Update their Response in the Fight against Corona Virus Pandemic.”It is not a Secret but Agencies seem to be afraid to talk about the Airborne Nature of the Virus.They do not want to talk about Airborne Transmission because it is going to make People afraid.The best Vaccine against Fear is Knowledge and Empowering People to take Care of Themselves”-Professor Donald Milton (a leading Scientist in the Joint Letter to the WHO). The WHO Director General Dr.Tedros in Press Briefing said “the Outbreak is accelerating and We’ve clearly not reached the Peak of the Pandemic.It took 12 Weeks for the World to reach 400,000 Cases;Over the Weekend,there were more than 400,000 Cases across the Globe”.
  • August 3,2020-“A Number of Vaccines are now in Phase Three Clinical Trials and we all Hope to have a number of Effective Vaccines that can help Prevent People from Infection. However,there is No Silver Bullet at the moment and there might Never be.For now stopping COVID-19 Outbreaks comes down to the basics of Public Health and Disease Control.Testing,Isolating,Treating Patients,Tracing and Quarantining their Contacts.Inform,Empower and Listen to Communities.Do it all”-Dr.Tedros.

By NOW; over 19.5 Million People in 190 out of 195 Countries on Earth have been infected with this Virus with over 725,000 People Confirmed to have Died after being Infected with this Virus.Over 12 Million People have Recovered from this Disease Globally.

Among the Most Affected Countries in Terms of Infections and Death Toll are:

  1. USA-5 Million+ Infected with 162,000+ Dead
  2. Brazil-3 Million+ Infected with 100,000+ Dead
  3. India-2.1 Million+ Infected with 43,000+ Dead
  4. Mexico-470,000+ Infected with 52,000+ Dead
  5. Italy-250,000+ Infected with 35,000+ Dead
  6. Spain-305,000+ Infected with 29,000+ Dead
  7. France-230,000+ Infected with 30,000+ Dead
  8. UK-310,000+ Infected with 46,000+ Dead
  9. Russia-900,000+ Infected with 15,000+ Dead
  10. Peru-440,000+ Infected with 20,000+ Dead
  11. Iran-350,000+ Infected with 18,000+ Dead

AFRICA as whole; highly Criticized for Underreporting and Undertesting this Virus has Now Recorded 1.1 Million+ Cases and 23,000+ Deaths. The World Health Organization on April 17th Warned that #Africa might be the Next #COVID_19 Epicenter after China and Europe.The World Health Organization-#WHO Africa made Public their #COVID19-Africa Prediction Modelling Findings on 7th May 2020.The Findings says that between 29-44 Million #Africans could get Infected by #COVID_19 with between 83,000-190,000 of them Dying from this Disease in the first Year of #CoronaVirusPandemic in Africa.
As at Now,the most affected African Countries in terms of Confirmed Cases and Death Toll are:

  1. South Africa-545,000+ Cases and 10,000+ Deaths
  2. Egypt-95,000+ Cases and 5,000+ Deaths
  3. Algeria-34,000+ Cases and 1,200+ Deaths
  4. Morocco-29,000+ Cases and 400+ Deaths
  5. Nigeria-45,000+ Cases and 1000+ Deaths
  6. Sudan-12,000+ Cases and 700+ Deaths
  7. Cameroon-18,000+ Cases and 400+ Deaths
  8. Ghana-40,000+ Cases and 200+ Deaths
  9. Kenya-24,000+ Cases and 400+ Deaths

TOGO;60 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE WHERE A FATHER & A SON HAVE RULED FOR 53 YEARS & NOW SET TO EXTEND A FAMILY REGIME TO 2030

Colonial History

1884-Scramble for Africa; Germany occupies Togo and the Volta Region of Ghana together as its German Togoland Colony. German reigns for 3 Decades until 1914 when France and Britain Forces invade and overrun German Forces Capturing the Colony in the Run-up to the first World War. The Togoland Territory gets split into 2; British Togoland and French Togoland via the League of Nations 1922 Mandate.

Residents of British Togoland whose Territory was jointly Administered by British Gold Coast Authorities vote to join Gold Coast (Ghana) on May 1956 Referendum in the Run-up to Ghana’s Independence in 1957. French Togoland became an Autonomous Republic within the French Union by a Statute formalized by the October 1956 Referendum that was disputed by UN-General Assembly and some other local Political formations who accused France of manipulating the Process. Nicolas Grunitzky who was Pro-French Regime was Appointed as Prime Minister of this Colony still under France’s Authority.

A UN-supervised Universal Suffrage Parliamentary Election was held on April 1958 and Sylvanus Olympio a Key Togo Independence Activist won majority of Seats via his Committee of Togolese Unity-CUT Party making him a UN-recognized Prime Minister of the Territory still under French. His brother In-law Nicolas Grunitzky with his “Togolese Party of Progress-PTP” Allies lost in this Election.April 27,1960 Togoland Regained Independence and Prime Minister Sylvanus Olympio became the first Leader of the Republic of Togo getting fully confirmed by Togolese People as Togo’s first President in Unopposed April 1961 Elections. A bitter Nicolas Grunitzky and his Anti-Olympio Allies started plotting against Olympio’s young Government; Olympio realized their Plans to unseat him and in a bid to Arrest them, Nicolas fled to France where he continued plotting Olympio’s Downfall.

Post-Independence History-Olympio’s Grand Vision For Togo Exterminated At Get-go

President Sylvanus Olympio who was an Economist by Profession steered the young Nation on an upward trajectory striving to end France’s Neocolonial controls over Togo a move that didn’t augur well with the Paris Regime under President De Gaulle who had managed to put all former France Colonies under an Economic, Cultural and Military Yoke via the fateful 1945 Pact for the continuation of Colonization that he made all France Colonies to sign into as a Pre-condition for Independence.

In 1962 President Olympio approved the formation of Togo’s Central Bank to create an Independent Togo Currency in a move that would see Togo stop using the France controlled CFA-Franc. This continued to worsen his Relations with the Paris Regime that responded with Intimidation by demanding the young Togo Government to pay France 800 Million Francs as Cost incurred by France’s Colonial Regime in developing Togoland (Colonial Debt) in order to let Togo make its own Currency. President Olympio mobilized the Resources of the young Nation and managed to raise this colossal amount for France but De Gaulle wouldn’t let Togo slip off Franafrique control.

In a larger Scheme to unseat Olympio; France brought back Togolese who were in French Colonial Army led by Sergeant Generals Bodjolle and Eyadema Gnassingbe and directed them to ask President Olympio to Reintegrate them in the Togo Army. Suspicious of their Motive President Olympio rejected their Request. With the help of Paris Regime, the Two Organized Mutiny to topple Olympio. On the Night of January 12,1963 when President Olympio was planning to leave to Paris to officially sign Togo out of the Neocolonial CFA-Franc Monetary Zone the Two led Armed Mutineers to attack and kill Olympio in his Official Residence but luckily President Olympio managed to flee to America/USA’s Ambassador to Togo Residence which was adjacent to his Residence.

The then France’s Ambassador to Togo Henri Mazoyer called America’s Ambassador the following day to enquire whether Olympio was hiding there. America’s Ambassador to Togo Leon Poullada had left the Residence but promised to confirm this once he arrives at the Residence. On his way back to the Residence Poullada met the Mutineers who were baying for Olympio’s Blood in the Streets. Upon arrival at the Residence Poullada saw the stranded Olympio at the Yard. He got into the House and after a series of Phone Calls between him and Mazoyer he came out and left the Residence leaving the terrified Olympio alone in the Residence.

Within a short while the Mutineers stormed the Residence and out came with Olympio. They shot him 3 Times outside Poullada’s Residence killing him in cold blood. General Eyadema Gnassingbe publicly bragged about having pulled the killer trigger on Togo’s Independence Activist and Founding Father on January 13,1963. Sylvanus Olympio became the first President of Independent Africa to be Assassinated.

President Nicolas Grunitzky Short-lived Military Puppet Reign

The Mutineers Coup Committee immediately announced Olympio’s Arch-rival Nicolas Grunitzky who was in Exile at Paris as Togo’s New President. Grunitzky ruled Togo for 4 Years until January 1967 when General Eyadema Gnassingbe who was part of the Committee that made him President toppled him out of Office. Grunitzky again fled back to Paris where he would later die in Hospital after a grisly Car Accident in 1969.

General Eyadema Gnassingbe-Togo’s Life President

Former Colonia French Army Sergeant General Eyadema Gnassingbe installed himself as President of Togo on April 1967. For a whopping 38-Years;Strongman General Eyadema who survived a couple of Coup Attempts reigned with an Autocratic hand wielding Absolute Power with a Cult of Personality. Although he is credited with starting Togo’s Phosphate Mining Industry that stabilized Togo’s Economy in 1970s,his Reign is mostly characterized by Corruption, Tribalism, Human Rights Abuse, Crashing, Arbitrary Arrest, Detention and Torture of Dissenters and Opposition, Extrajudicial Killings and the 1998 Massacre that saw Amnesty International Publish a damning Report titled Togo Rule of Terror on May 1999. In 1997 Eyadema reportedly spent over $2 Million from Togo’s troubled Economy to celebrate his 30-Years in Power. In 2002 Eyadema used Parliament to arbitrarily scrap out Presidential Term Limit in order to extend his Reign in 2003 Elections oblivious of his sudden Death thereafter. This would however work in favor of his Son who would be backed by the Military to illegally take over from him immediately.

Gnassingbe Junior-The Unending Family Dynasty

His Reign came to a sudden End after his sudden Death from Heart Attack on February 5,2005 at the Age of 70-Years. After his Death the Military immediately announced his then 39-Years old Son Faure Gnassingbe as his Successor against a Constitutional Dictate that would have seen the then Leader of Parliament Natchaba Outtara take over as an Acting President. The Parliament quickly convened the following day to make an Amendment to Rubber-stamp Faure’s Takeover. This saw widespread Protests in what Togolese said was a Military Coup.

A Presidential Election was conducted on April 2005 in a bid to calm the Protests and Faure Gnassingbe was announced Winner against 6 other Candidates in a disputed Election which Diplomats and Observers cited Intimidation and widespread Illegalities and Irregularities. The subsequent Post-Election Clashes claimed the Lives of close to 500 People, over 40,000 fled the Country amid Violent Confrontation between Protesters and Security Forces. A Government of National Unity negotiated at Burkina Faso on August 2006 calmed the Protests.

Another Presidential Election was held on March 2010; Faure under his Father’s ‘Rally of Togolese People’-RPT Party was again declared the Winner. The Opposition Protested Electoral Fraud but the Constitutional Court confirmed the Results and Faure was in for his Second Term. The next Presidential Elections were scheduled for April 2015 and Faure was all set to contest for a Third Term.

Prior to the 2015 Elections, Opposition Parties MPs presented a Bill in Parliament to Re-introduce Presidential Two-terms Limit that had been abolished by Faure’s Father President Eyadema in 2002 but the Bill was defeated by Faure’s Party that had Parliament Majority. They again tried to introduce Constitutional Reform Bill on November 2014 but they were defeated again. Consequently, they mobilized Togolese and took to the Streets in Protest against Faure’s imminent Third Term but their Protest was violently quelled by Security Forces.

The April 2015 Presidential Election went on and Faure was again declared Winner with 58% this time under his new Party Union for the Republic-UNIR Party. His key Rival since 2010 Jean Pierre Fabre came second with 38%. Fabre disputed the Results but didn’t file a Legal Complaint. The Constitutional Court validated the Results and Faure was sworn in for a Third Term on May 2015.

On May 2019, Faure’s Party cunningly introduced a Bill in Parliament capping Presidential Term Limit to Two-5 Year Terms without Retroactive Application meaning Faure can now comfortably vie for two fresh 5-Year Terms in 2020 and 2025 which now clears the way for him to extend his Family’s Regime in Togo up to 2030 where he and his Father shall by then have ruled Togo for a Record 63 Years consecutively!.This Machination was passed alongside yet another obnoxious Amendment that now guarantees all former Presidents Immunity and Impunity from Arrest, Detention and Prosecution for Acts committed during their Reign. There were a series of unsuccessful Street Protests to stop President Faure from running for a Fourth Term in this February Election.

TOGO February 22,2020 Presidential Election

  • There are slightly over 3.5 Million Registered Voters who on this particular Saturday shall cast their Votes in over 9000 Polling Stations across Togo’s 5 Administrative Regions
  • There are 7 Presidential Candidates led by 54-Yrs old incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe who shall be facing a disunited Opposition led by his main Challenger since 2010 68-Yrs old Jean-Pierre Fabre, Former Prime Minister 66-Yrs old Agbeyome Kodjo, 73-Yrs old Tchaboure Gogue, 53-Yrs old Georges Kuessan, 60-Yrs old Mohamed Traore and 56-Yrs old Komi Wolou
  • CENI the Electoral Commission shall announce the official Results with provisional Results expected Six days from the Election Day according to its Boss Chambakou Ayassor; The Results shall then be forwarded to the Constitutional Court for Validation
  • There are fears of a fraudulent Scheme after Reports that Mobile and Internet Services shall be disrupted on the Election Day; A key Independent Observer Group and Catholic Church Monitors have been barred from monitoring this Election
  • On February 24,2020;Incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe was to No-one’s surprise Announced the Winner of this Election with 72% clearing way for him to extend his Family’s 53-years Rule by 5 more Years.Former Prime Minister who had on February 23,2020 claimed to have Won this Election with 57% was Announced Number 2 with 18%.

Quick Togo Fact-File

  • With a GDP Per Capita of $672 ranking at number 156/196 Countries in the World; Togo is still classified as one among the Least developed Countries and Low Income Economy/Countries . Over Half 55% of Togo’s 8.2 Million People live below the International Poverty Line of under $1.25 a day
  • Togo’s main Export include Phosphates, Cement, Sulphur, Rocks, Salt, Gold, Precious Metals and Crude Oil all in relatively small Production
  • Koutammakou; a Landscape in North Eastern Togo that is Home to Batammariba People and their striking Mud Tower-Houses known as Takienta is largely seen as Togo’s Symbol. This Region is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Togo is Home to over 37 Ethnic Groups; the EWE, KABYE/KABRE and MINA are respectively the 3 Main Ethnic Groups in both Numbers and Influence
  • Togo’s official Language is French; EWE and KABRE are used as National Languages due to their large number of Speakers
  • 29% of Togolese are Christians, 20% are Muslims while 51% observe Indigenous African Beliefs
  • Lome is Togo’s Capital/Largest City
  • Togo alongside 8 other West Africa and Central African Countries still use the 75-Years old Neocolonial France-controlled CFA-Franc Currency that was imposed on all former France Colonies in the fateful 1945 Pact for Continuation of Colonization. There are plans to this Year  replace it with a New Currency ‘Eco’ that shall still be Pegged to Euro and Guaranteed by Paris Banque de France just like the CFA-Franc. This Agreement was announced by current France President Emmanuel Macron on December 2019 in what he said is a Plan to Rebuild France’s Relations with its former Colonies.

(PHOTOS COURTESY)

LIBYA Post-Gaddafi;9 Years Spiralling Civil War amid a Deadly Succession Power Struggle

Key Fact: Libya is Home to about 6.8 Million People and has Africa’s Largest Oil Reserves and 9th Globally

From the Nasty National Transition Council that was used by America, France, Britain, Canada and their NATO Allies with Authority from the UNSC to Criminally Topple and Kill Libya’s Revolutionary President Col. Gaddafi and Destroy Libya in 2011 Civil War to its Successor the General National Congress to its Successor the House of Representatives and its Rebel Status Quo Faction to now the current Tripoli-based UN-brokered Government of National Accord-GNA that is again on the brink of a Violent Collapse in the face of its Powerfully backed Benghazi-based Rival Government in Eastern Libya under a Rebel Libya National Army-LNA Faction; LIBYA is slowly teetering to a full blown Civil War if Swift, Responsive, Collective and most importantly NON-ALIGNED Redress Measures shall not be taken.

The LNA Rebel that has since April 2019 taken control over Two-thirds of Libya is being led by a 76-Years old Military Strongman, a US-Libya Renegade one Khalifa Haftar who returned to Libya in 2011 to join the UNSC-NATO backed Rebels in overthrowing his former Boss and Mentor President Muammar Gaddafi. The Tobruk-based House of Representatives appointed him to lead the LNA. The UN-backed Government that has been cornered in Tripoli Stronghold is being led by 59-Years old Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj .

Impact of Libya’s Destruction in 2011

With Backing from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Russia, France, UK and US the LNA Militia has been on a Violent Military Offensive across Libya in a bid to overthrow the Tripoli-based Government-GNA. The beleaguered GNA is only receiving most of its Support from Turkey and some few other Nations like Italy and Qatar. The 10-Months Clash between these two Rival Forces has so far led to Deaths of over 1000 People with Scores left nursing Injuries, at least 150,000 People have Fled their Homes amid the heavy Gunfire, Airstrikes and Destruction. The December 12,2019 Haftar Order of a Final Decisive Battle to capture Tripoli has made an already tense situation worse.

Turkey via its President Erdogan being the greatest supporter of the besieged Tripoli-GNA Government invited Russia’s President Putin who supports Haftar to Negotiate a Ceasefire in Libya on January 8,2020 at Istanbul. The two gave a joint Statement calling for a Ceasefire which the two Warring Forces in Libya heeded as from January 11,2020. Both Turkey and Russia have huge Interests and Investments in Libya. The two later invited Al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar to Moscow for further Negotiations and to sign the Ceasefire Agreement. On January 14,2020 Haftar who had already started defying the Ceasefire had gone to Moscow with his UAE Advisors (UAE is his main Supporter) left without signing the Agreement which Sarraj had already signed. President Erdogan vowed to teach him a Lesson should he continue with his Offensive against GNA in Tripoli.

International Libya Peace Conference-Berlin

Another Peace Conference organized by the United Nations after several calls for the same by UN-Libya Envoy Ghassan Salame on the Libya Crisis happened on January 19,2020 in Berlin Germany. Speaking at a joint News Interview with President Putin in Moscow on January 11,2020 German Vice Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed Berlin City as the Venue of this Conference saying the Goal of this International Libya Peace Conference is to give Libya a Chance to be a Sovereign Peaceful Country. She expressed hopes that the Peace Initiative started by Turkey and Russia will bear Fruits after the Berlin Conference.

Both Haftar and Sarraj attended this Conference but they did not meet face-to-face;German’s Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas acted as their Intermediary.Heads of States/Countries around Libya’

‘s Conflict, UN Secretary General Antonio Guteres,European Union President Ursula Leyen, African Union Chair Moussa Faki,Arab League SG Aboul Gheit,US Secretary of States Mike Pompeo,AU High-level Committe on Libya Chair President Denis Nguesso alongside Presidents Putin, Erdogan, Macron,UK PM Boris Johnson,Elsisi,Tebboune were among the Dignitaries Present.

KEY RESOLUTIONS

  1. Strict adherence to the UN Arms and Troops Embargo on Libya
  2. Demobilization;Countries who have been providing Military Support to Rival warring Parties (Proxy War) to withdraw their Troops and Armament
  3. Drafting of a Permanent Ceasefire Agreement between the Warring Parties (LNA-GNA);Once ratified the Ceasefire shall be closely monitored,Truce Violators to be penalised by the UNSC
  4. Disarmament and De-escalation of Rival fighting Militias
  5. Start of a Political Non-Military Solution for Libya Crisis

WARLORD Khalifa Haftar started violating this Berlin Call for Ceasefire immeadiately with Mortar Attacks on January 20,2020. His Militants have ever since been blatantly violating the January Ceasefires with heavy Bombardments,Gunfire,Shellings and Airstrikes mainly targeting Tripoli’s only functioning ‘Mitiga Internmational Airport’,several Residential areas,Trade and Business Centers as he continues with his Offensive to capture Tripoli and Topple Al-Sarraj’s Government.

His Bombardments have between January 12 to March 1,2020 claimed the Lives of at least 23 Civilians,over 2 Dozens left nursing Injuries with significant damage to both State and Private Infrastructure.It has also adversely affected the Life and Livelihoods of Tripoli Residents who now live in Panic and Fear amid sporadic Shellings.Oil;Libya’s main source of Income has also been adversely affected since January 18th when Haftar Militants blocked major Oil fields and Terminals leaving the recognized Government with meagre Resources to run the Country.

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council on February 24,2020;PM Al-Sarraj decried the United Nations and International Community Failure to stop the ongoing armed Hostility and Violence in Libya.”Many have lost Lives,Families have been displaced,Children have been Orphaned because of the Aggression perpetrated by the War Criminal Khalifa Haftar”-he said at the Council meeting.

The February 28,2020 Missiles Bombardment near Mitiga Airport which happened amid another collapsed Geneva UN-sponsored Talks to solve Libya’s Crisis is the heaviest since January. Huge blasts and smoke caused Panic that saw the Airport operations halted temporarily.2 People were injured amid Evacuations.

MAJORITY of Libyans and War Crisis Pundits now say that the “United Nations Support Mission in Libya” that started operations on September 2011 has failed in its Mandate to restore Cohesion,Peace,Political-Leadership Order and Sanity in Libya.Its Boardroom Talks,Diplomacy,Statements,Calls,Condemnation,Warnings and Declarations amid unending Turmoil,Torment and Armed Hostilities is an Indictment to the Futility of its Mandate and Mission.The March 2,2020 Resignation of the Mission’s Special Envoy Mr Ghassan Salame on grounds of what he seemed to allude to as a complicated and insurmountable Task that was even taking a toll on his Health is again a more clear signal of a failed Mission.

(Photos Courtesy)

ALGERIA; AFRICA’S LARGEST COUNTRY WHERE CITIZENS ARE DEMANDING TOTAL REBIRTH OF THEIR COUNTRY’S POLITICAL, LEADERSHIP CONTEXT & RATIONALE

Colonial History

1529- An Ottoman Turkish Admiral one Hayreddin Barbarosa invades and conquers the Hafsid and Zayyanid Berber Dynasties of Algeria capturing the Town of Algiers (Algeria’s Capital City Today) and establishes a new Ottoman Empire Province/Territory. The Ottoman Regency rules this new Province for Three Centuries until 1830 when the Kingdom of France then under King Charles X invades, conquer and capture Algeria from the Ottoman Regency.

France makes Algeria their Colony. The defeat of France Forces by German Forces in 1940’s World War 2 gives Algerian Nationalists Courage to start pushing against France for their Freedom and Independence; The Push gains momentum to become the ‘Algerian War for Independence’ by 1954. Algerian Nationalists led by Ahmed Ben Bella, Mohamed Boudiaf, Mostefa Boulaid, Larbi M’hidi, Rabah Bitat, Mourad Didouche, Hocine Ahmed, Krim Belkacem among others came together to form the ‘National Liberation Front’-FLN that on November 1954 began serious War for Independence backed by the newly Independent Egypt under President Gamal Abdel Nasser who had good relations with the FLN Leader Ahmed Ben Bella.

After a brutal 8-Years War for Independence that according to Algerian Sources led to the Killing of over One Million Algerians; Algeria secured its Freedom and Regained its Independence on July 5, 1962 ending 132 Years of French Rule. This was formalized by the signing of ‘Evian Accords’ between France and Algeria’s Provisional Government/FLN on March 18, 1962 and a subsequent Independence Referendum of July 1, 1962.

Post-Independence History

A Power struggle within the Provisional FLN Government saw the Army through its Chief Houari Boumedienne intervene backing the Revolutionary FLN Leader Ahmed Ben Bella who then became Algeria’s first President on September 15, 1963. The new FLN Government under President Ben Bella banned Political Opposition and made Algeria a One-Party State immediately after getting into Power.

The Relationship between Army Chief Boumedienne who was also serving as Ben Bella’s Defense Minister and his Boss President Bella started getting strained in Bella’s Second Year in Power. President Bella wanted to relegate the Army’s Influence in Power while Boumedienne wanted the Army to remain at the Center of Power. Suspicion between the two grew and in a bid to save himself from an imminent Sacking,Col. Boumedienne assisted by a Youthful Foreign Affairs Minister in Ben Bella’s Cabinet one Abdelaziz Bouteflika organized a Military Coup which they successfully executed on June 1965 overthrowing President Ben Bella.

Through a Military Council;Col. Boumedienne took Power on July 1965 and abolished the Country’s Constitution Order until 1976 when he introduced a new Constitution. A Presidential Election was organized on December 1976 in which Boumedienne was the only Candidate with FLN as the only Party which saw him Re-elected unopposed. Boumedienne remembered for his Industrialization Policies ruled until December 27,1978 when he died after being in a Coma for several Weeks.

Rabah Bitat a Freedom Fighter and FLN Founder Member who at the time of Boumedienne’s Death was the Majority Leader at Parliament was named as the Interim President a Position he held until February 1979 when Col. Chadli Bendjedid who was Boumedienne’s Defense Minister was appointed by the Military to succeed Boumedienne amid succession struggles.

Algeria’s Parliament removed ban on formation of new Political Parties complete with a Multi-Party Act of 1989 amid Economic Hardship and Inflation Protests. At least 22 New Parties were formed. The first Multi-Party Local Government Elections were held on June 1990. A newly formed controversial ‘Islamic Salvation Front’-FIS that wanted to make Algeria an Islamist State won with 55% against Independence/Ruling Party FLN 28%. In a subsequent General Parliamentary Election of December 1991 FIS gave the Ruling FLN a huge challenge winning an overwhelming Majority in Parliament. Upon realizing that FIS was on the Verge of massive Victory the Military Government intervened and annulled the entire Election banned FIS and arrested its Leaders. It also forced its Military Head of State Col. Bendjedid to dissolve Parliament and step down. A Military State Council HCS chaired by Mohamed Boudiaf also a former Freedom Fighter/FLN Founder Member took over Power.

This among other contentious Issues led to what is remembered as the ‘Algerian 10-Years Civil War’ pitting the Military Government and Armed Islamic Rebel Groups between December 1991-February 2002.

The HCS Military Head of State Mohamed Boudiaf was assassinated by one of his Bodyguards believed to be acting on orders from Islamic Rebels on June 29, 1992 while giving a TV Speech leaving the Country in Shock. Ali Kafi was named by the Military as the new HCS Chair/Acting President until January 1994 when the then Defense Minister Col. Liamine Zeroual was named to replace him. Col. Liamine would later be confirmed President through an Election held on November 1995 where he amid the Civil War Tension won against 3 other Candidates as an Independent Candidate.

In another Presidential Election of 1999 President Liamine said he would not be on the Ballot. He urged the Military and other State Officers to stay neutral. This Election had 7 Candidates all who withdrew from the Race 24-Hours to the Election leaving only one Candidate former Foreign Affairs Minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika who they said had Military backing and there were Schemes in place to rig him in. Incumbent President Col. Liamine dismissed their claims and the Election went on with Bouteflika winning unopposed to take Power on April 1999.

President Bouteflika brought in several Measures like the Law on Civil Concord, Negotiations with Islamic Rebels and Freeing of Jailed FIS Leaders among other Measures helped bring the 10-Years Algeria Civil War that according to Reports had claimed the Lives of over 100,000 People to an End.

A Presidential Election was held on April 2004 and Bouteflika under a new Party RND was Re-elected with a Landslide 85% against 5 other Candidates. Former Prime Minister Ali Benflis who was running under the Independence Party FLN came a distant Second with 6% in a Election that Observers said was fairly transparent.

President Bouteflika with Challenges of Insurgent Rebel Groups and Al-Qaeda Terrorism managed to see Algeria Economic Recovery and Stability post the 10-Years Civil War. Algeria’s Parliament unanimously (500/529) passed a Constitutional Amendment that abolished Presidential Two-term limit to allow Bouteflika to run for a Third Term in bid to allow him finish his Peace and Economic Recovery Mission.

Bouteflika was elected for a Third Term on April 2009 with a Landslide 90% against 5 other Candidates. Madam Louisa Hanoune who had made History as Algeria’s first Woman Presidential Candidate came second in this Election with 4% under her ‘Workers Party’. Bouteflika lifts a 19-Years State of Emergency on February 2011 in a bid to calm Protesters who were protesting Economic Hardships and Inflation.

April 2013 Bouteflika suffers a Stroke and goes to seek Treatment in France for 3-Months. The ailing President Bouteflika launches his bid for a Fourth Term a move that sparked ‘Barakat’ (Enough Now) Protests; Algerians demand his Retirement.  In a Presidential Election of April 2014 the ailing Bouteflika who had rarely campaigned won with 82% with backing from the Independence Party FLN in an Election that was boycotted by the Opposition who claimed the whole process was flawed. Former PM Ali Benflis who ran as an Independent Candidate came a distant Second with 12%.

Barakat Protests continued after this Election with Protesters demanding a new Political order.

2019 Algerian Uprising-End of Bouteflika Regime

#ALGERIA #ALGERIE #AlgeriaUprising #AlgeriaRevolution 2019 #Algerians #Algeriens 

Bouteflika’s troubles began on February 2019 when from a Wheelchair where a Stroke had confined him announced his bid to run for a Fifth Term. With the Country still reeling on Inflation, Unemployment, Corruption and State Repression; Thousands of Algerians of all Ages bombarded the Streets first demanding Bouteflika’s immediate Resignation. The Protest intensified in both Numbers and Demands with Protesters now demanding a Total Political and Government Makeover; the Resignation of all top Government Officers under Bouteflika and his Power Cabal (Le Pouvoir). They said Algeria’s Government and Governance System has since Independence been under the Influence of a Powerful Cabal led by the Military, Business Tycoons and a Selfish Elite; they demanded Total Exit/End of this Oligarch. Even the Military could not save Bouteflika; it also joined the People in calling for Bouteflika’s Resignation through its Chief General Ahmed Gaed Salah who said Bouteflika’s Illness had rendered him incapable of carrying out his duties as President.

In just 5 Weeks of Protest, the 82-years old ailing President Bouteflika on State TV announced his Resignation on the Night of April 2, 2019 Four Weeks to the official expiry of his Fourth Term bringing his 20-Years in Power to an Anticlimax.

The Chair of Parliament’s Upper House and Bouteflika’s Ally/Loyalist 78-years old Abdelkader Bensalah who had actually been representing the ailing Bouteflika in Public took over immediately per the Constitution as an Interim President of a Caretaker Government for 3 Months ahead of a fresh Presidential Election. This however did not calm the Protesting Algerians even as the Army through its Chief promised to fulfill all their Demands.

A Presidential Election scheduled for July 4, 2019 upon the due end of Abdelkader’s Interim Period was again postponed as no viable Candidate had presented their Candidature throwing the Country into a Constitutional Crisis amid escalating Mass Protests. 79-years old Army Chief Gaid Salah who was seen as the main Power Broker since Bouteflika’s toppling expressed support to Abdelkader to remain at the helm until a new Election Date is agreed upon. December 12, 2019 was finally set as the new Presidential Election Date after some Dialogue and Consultations in a bid to find a conclusive Solution to the unabated Protests. The Army has promised Fairness and Transparency in this Election saying it shall not support any Candidate.

Algeria’s Tense, Uncertain and Disputed December 12, 2019 Presidential Election

The ‘Algerian Independent Election Monitoring Authority’-NIEMA through its Chair Mohamed Chorfi has out of 23 People who had expressed their Interest cleared only 5 to compete in this Election. The 5 include two former Prime Ministers, 74-yrs old Abdelmadjid Tebboune and 75-yrs old Ali Benflis, it also includes two former Ministers, 60-yrs old former Culture Minister Azzedine Mihoubi and 57-yrs old former Tourism Minister Abdelkader Bengrine. The Fifth Candidate 56-yrs old Abdelaziz Belaid is the Leader of El Mostakbal Movement. 24.4 Million People are registered to Vote in this Election across Algeria’s 48 Provinces (Wilayas).

All the 5 Candidates have been strongly opposed and rejected by the Protesting Masses who are mainly Youths in their 20’s and early 30’s who have said the 5 are all part of the Power Cabal that they have been protesting to leave the Political Leadership Arena. They have vowed to boycott and disrupt this Election should it go on as currently constituted. They want this Election to be postponed for the Third Time until all Bouteflika-Era Faces including the Influential Army Chief leave the Stage for proper Institutional and Democratic Reforms. The Army maintains an Election is the only way to end this Deadlock.

Several Influential Politicians and Leaders in the former Regime of Bouteflika have been arrested, prosecuted and jailed for various offences; Notably Two former Prime Ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal have been Jailed for Corruption. President Bouteflika’s younger Brother Said Bouteflika who was seen an influential figure behind Bouteflika and two former Intelligence Chiefs have also been sentenced to Jail by a Military Court for what the Court called a Scheme to undermine the Army and Plotting against the State. Many other former influential People are in Detention awaiting Trial in sweeping reforms to deal with Corruption, Economic Crimes and Saboteur which are some of the main reasons behind the ongoing 10-Months Streets Protest.

Algeria December 12,2019 Presidential Election Results

74-Yrs old former #Algeria Prime Minister and two times Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune was declared the Winner of this Presidential Election with 58.15% on December 13 and Sworn in as Algeria’s New President on December 19, 2019.Coming
Second was former Minister Abdelkader Bengrina with 17.38% followed by former Prime Minister Ali Benflis with 10.55% followed by former Minister Azzedine Mihoubi with 7.26% with Abdelaziz Belaid coming last with 6.66%. 9.7 Million #Algeriens out 24 Million Registered Voters casted their Votes in this Election that was characterised by Mass Boycott and Anti-Election Protests in what the Protesters said was a Mockery of their 11-Months Streets Protest in Clamour for Change.Electoral Commission NIEMA said Voter Turnout stood at 39%.

Algeria’s unabated Hirak (People’s Uprising);Friday Protests continued even after this Election with Friday December 27,2019 marking the 45th consequtive Friday of Demonstration.The Protesters who rejected these Results saying they’re a Product of a Sham Process and a Mockery of their 11-Months Clamour for substantial Change have vowed to continue with their Protests until all their Demands are fully met;they have also rejected President Tebboune’s Call for Dialogue.The Protesters are also demanding the Release of all those who have been arrested,detained and convicted as a result of these Friday Protests.
This People’s Uprising that began on February intensified on April when it Toppled ailing President Bouteflika who was seeking a 5th Term.Tebboune like the other Candidates was part of Bouteflika’s Regime as a Minister and Prime Minister and had already been rejected by Protesting Algerians whose main Reason for Protest is against what they call ‘Powerful Cabal/Oligarchy’ led by the Military that has killed Democracy by imposing Leaders on them since Independence.Tebboune a Loyalist of the late Influential/Powerful Army Chief Gen.Gaid Salah who was seen as #Algerie ‘s De Facto Leader and main Power Broker since the Fall of Bouteflika until his sudden Death 5-days after Tebboune’s Inauguration as President took over from Abdelkader Bensalah who was the acting President since the Fall of Bouteflika.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune-Algeria’s New President

Algeria Fact File In Brief

  • Algeria located the Maghreb Region of Africa is the biggest Country in Africa and 10th in the World in terms of Land Area; It currently has an estimated Total Population of 42 Million People.
  • Only 12% of Algeria’s Land is inhabited which is in the Northern Part along the Mediterranean Coast where over 80% of Algerians live; Over 80% of Algeria which is the Southern Part is covered by Sahara Desert
  • #Algerians in the relatively small Arable Land grow Cereals mainly Oats, Wheat and Barley; Algeria is in fact the biggest producer of Oats in Africa and Home to the biggest Oat Market in Africa. It’s also one of the biggest grower/producer of Dates and Cherries in Africa.
  • Hydrocarbons mainly Oil and Gas are the Backbone of Algeria’s Economy with the two being the top Export Industries; Algeria is among Africa’s Top 3 Largest Producer and Reserve of Oil and Gas. Africa’s largest Oil Company Sonatrach is located in Algeria.
  • Algeria currently has a GDP of $178 Billion making it the 4th Biggest Economy in Africa; in terms of GNI Algeria is an upper middle-income Country. Algerian Dinar is the Country’s Currency.
  • Algeria’s official Languages are Arabic and the native Berber/Tamazight Language. Despite being a former Colony of France, French has no official status in Algeria although it’s one of the many other Languages spoken in Algeria.
  • Algeria is an Islam Country where close to 99% of Algerians are Muslims; Islam is in fact Algeria’s State Religion Constitutionally. There are very few Christians, Jews and other Faiths/Religions in Algeria.
  • Algeria is Home to 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which together with the extensive Sahara Desert are major Tourist attractions.
  • Algeria’s National Football Team ‘Les Fennecs’ named after ‘Algeria’s National Animal-the ‘Fennec Fox’ is the reigning Champion of Africa Cup of Nations-AFCON Football Title

(Photos Courtesy)

NAMIBIA: FROM GERMAN RULE TO THE HANDS OF APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA REGIME; TO INDEPENDENCE & STABLE DEMOCRACY

Colonial History

1886- Germany annexes ‘South West Africa’ Territory (Today Namibia) after signing a Treaty with Portugal and Britain. An Uprising against German Occupation led by Herero and Nama People in this Territory leads to a deadly Clash with German Forces resorting to brute Force to suppress the Rebellion. A 4-Years bloody Confrontation between 1904-1908 leaves 80% of Herero People and 50% of Nama People Dead in what is Today remembered as ‘Herero-Nama Genocide’.

May 1915 shortly after World War 1 where Germany was the biggest Loser, the British Union Apartheid Government of South Africa begins Military onslaught against the German Regime in a bid to dethrone them and occupy this ‘South West African Territory’. Overwhelmed and Outnumbered the German Forces retreated and finally surrendered this Territory to South Africa on July 1915 after controlling it for 3-Decades. The league of Nations gave South Africa official Mandate to govern ‘South West Africa’.

Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo via ‘Ovamboland People’s Congress’ alongside Sam Nujoma, Jacob Kuhangua, Louis Nalengani, Emil Appolus and Lucas Haleinge founded ‘Ovamboland’s People’s Organization’-(OPO) on April 1959 as a Nationalist Organization to demand ‘South West Africa’s’ Independence from Apartheid South African Regime that had made this Territory One of its Provinces. Sam Nujoma was elected to lead this Organization after its first Congress.

Herero Chiefs Council led by Chief Hosea Kutako formed ‘South West African Union’-SWANU on September 1959 to act as an Umbrella Resistance Movement against South African Rule. Jariretundu Kazonguizi was elected to lead SWANU with support from OPO which had joined SWANU to unite for One Struggle for Independence.

After talks between Nujoma, Kazonguizi and a Herero Scholar Mburumba Kerina who were at the United Nations General Assemby in New York to Petition the United Nations to compel South Africa to grant ‘South West Africa’ Independence courtesy of Herero Chief’s Council; the Idea to transform OPO into a National Liberation Movement was agreed upon and on April 1960 OPO was transformed into ‘South West Africa People’s Organization’-SWAPO. Sam Nujoma was elected to lead SWAPO. The UN General Assembly of 1961 made a demand to the South Africa Regime to end its Control over ‘South West Africa’ but the high-handed Apartheid Regime could hear none of that.

In 1962 SWAPO founded its Military Wing (South West Africa Liberation Army) marking the beginning of what is Today referred to as ‘Namibian War and Struggle for Independence’ that went on all the way to 1989. The United Nations General Assembly again in 1968 made formal Recognition of SWAPO as the Sole Legitimate of ‘South West African People’; It also adopted Mburumba Kerina’s Proposal to rename ‘South West Africa’ to NAMIBIA as it’s known Today (derived from the Word NAMIB which means ‘a Vast Place’ in Nama Dialect.

With South Africa’s grip to Namibia growing weak under SWAPO’s unabated onslaught, Local and International Pressure to cede control over Namibia especially from the ‘Western Contact Group’ at the United Nations Security Council; a Ceasefire Agreement was announced on August 1988 at Geneva-UN Premises. This was further solidified by the December 1988 ‘Tripartite Accord’ between Angola, Cuba and South Africa on Troops Withdrawal. The UN sent a Peace Force to monitor the Agreement and oversee a Free Transparent Election towards Namibia’s Independence.

A Constituents Assembly Election was held on November 1989 and SWAPO through a successful Campaign led  by Current President Hage Geingob Won  41 Seats (57%) with its main Challenger DTA (Democratic Turnhalle Alliance) Winning 21 Seats to the Assembly in what became Namibia’s first Multi-Party Elections where a Record 10 Parties Contested. Hage Geingob a former UN Secretariat Political Affairs Officer and Member of SWAPO’s Central Committee was elected as the Chairman of this first Constituent Assembly which he lead in formulating and adopting Namibia’s Independence Constitution on February 1990. The Results of this Election saw Sam Nujoma unanimously declared as Namibia’s first President with Hage Geingob as his first Prime Minister.On March 21,1990 Namibia Regained its Independence. F.W De Klerk;the then President of South Africa’s Apartheid Regime accompanied by South Africa’s Independence Icon Nelson Mandela who had just been released from Prison and 20 other Heads of State witnessed Sam Nujoma and Hage Geingob Swearing in to respectively become the first President and Prime Minister of Independent Namibia.

Post-Independence Namibia

President Sam Nujoma ruled on; On December 1994 Namibia’s first Post-Independence Elections were held and SWAPO Won with a Landslide Victory with 53/72 Seats in Parliament. President Nujoma got his first Direct Mandate from the People Winning the Presidential Election with 76%; his only Competitor One Mishake Muyongo from the main Opposition Alliance DTA got 24% with his Party Winning 15-Seats.

A controversial Namibian Constitution Amendment courtesy of SWAPO’s Majority in Parliament was made on November 1998 to allow President Nujoma to contest for a Third 5-Years Term. Future Presidents after Nujoma would however remain restricted to Two Constitutional Terms. Namibia’s Second General Elections were held on November 1999 and Nujoma was again Re-elected with 76% this time against Three Competitors from DTA, COD and UDF Parties. SWAPO still managed to retain its Dominance with 55/72 Seats.

President Nujoma’s Party SWAPO through its then Secretary-general Hifikepunye Pohamba announced on November 2001 that President Nujoma had declared his Plan to step down at the end of his third Term in 2004. On September 2002 President Nujoma demoted his Prime Minister Geingob to a local Government Minister amid Succession Strife upon which Geingob decided to Resign from Government. On the General Elections of November 2004; President Nujoma’s chosen Successor One Hifikepunye Pohamba won the Presidential Election with striking 76% like his Predecessor against 7 other Candidates. His Party SWAPO  maintained its Dominance again Winning 55/ 72 Seats in Parliament.Namibia’s 4th General Elections were held on November 2009 and President Hifikepunye was Re-elected with 75% for his Second and Last Term with SWAPO Winning 54/72.

The 5th General Elections were held on November 2014 and the then SWAPO Vice President and President Pohamba’s Prime Minister Hage Geingob who he had Appointed on December 2012 was elected to Succeed him with a landslide Victory of 86% beating 8 other Candidates. SWAPO again maintained its Dominance in Parliament with 77/96 Seats against 15 other Parties.

Namibia’s November 27, 2019 General Elections

NAMIBIA’s 6th Post-Independence General Elections are set to be held on November 27, 2019. 78-Years Old President Hage Geingob will be seeking his Second and Last Term as President against 10 other Candidates who have been cleared by the Electoral Commission ECN to contest for the Top Job. Independence Party SWAPO in Power since 1990 will be seeking to maintain its Dominance in Parliament against 14 other Parties.

President Geingob’s Two Main Challengers according to Special Voting conducted on November 13th, general Perspectives and Projections are seen to be one 62-Years Old Panduleni Itula; a Member of SWAPO since 1970’s who has rebelled and is now running for the Top Seat as an Independent Candidate. Another Key Challenger is main Opposition Alliance ‘Popular Democratic Movement’-PDM (formerly DTA) Candidate 42-Years Old McHenry Venaani who recently received backing from ‘United People’s Movement-UPM in a bid to Challenge both President Geingob and SWAPO. There is only one Female Candidate who has become the first Woman to run for the Top Job in this Country; 57-Years Old former Social Worker Esther Muinjangue under NUDO-Party.

There are slightly over 1.3 Million Registered Voters who will be casting their Votes in 4241 Polling Stations across 121 Constituencies within Namibia’s 14 Regions.

Namibia November 27,2019 Election Results

INCUMBENT 78-Years Old President Hage Geingob was declared the WINNER of the 2019 Presidential Election with 464,703 Votes out of the Total 826,198 Valid Votes Casted which is 56.3% securing his Second and last 5-years Term as President. This is a sharp decline from 87% that he garnered in 2014 when he came to Power.
Independence/Ruling Party #SWAPO led the National Assembly Election with 63/96 Seats which is also a sharp decline from 77/96 Seats it Won in 2014;For the first time in Namibia’s History SWAPO lost its overwhelming Majority in Parliament. Main Opposition Party PDM managed to win 16 Seats up from the 5 it won in 2014. A new entrant the ‘Landless People’s Movement’-LPM managed to win 4 Seats. 8 other Parties that contested in this Election managed to win a Seat or Two. 4 other Parties in this Election did not win any Seat.
Voter Turnout stood at 60% which is also a sharp decline from 72% recorded in 2014.
Geingob’s closest Rival Panduleni Itula came a strong Second with 242,657 Votes or 29.4%. Main Opposition Candidate McHenry Venaani of the PDM came a distant Third with 43,959 Votes or 5.3%. Namibia’s first Female Candidate Esther Muinjangue of the NUDO managed 12,039 Votes to become Position 6 out of 11 Candidates.

Namibia Quick Fact-File

  • Namibia currently has an estimated Total Population of 2.5 Million People who according to World Bank ‘Income Inequality’ Report live in the Second Most Economically Unequal Country after their Neighbors South Africa. It means the Gap between the Rich and the Poor in Namibia is the Second highest in the World after that of South Africa.
  • Namibia’s estimated 15 Billion Dollars GDP is mainly built around Mining with Namibia being Africa’s biggest Producer of Uranium in Africa and 4th in the World. Diamonds, Gems, Copper,Precious Metals and Jewellery are also Mined in Namibia. Fishing and sale of Boats, Fishing and Floating Vessels is also a robust Indusrty in Namibia where ‘Namibian Dollar’-N$/NAD is the Country’s Currency
  • Namibia is Home to the World’s Oldest and most Ancient Desert; the Namib Desert which is estimated to be about 80 Million Years Old
  • Namibia’s Namib Desert has the World’s highest Sand Dune known as Dune 7 which towers at 383 Meters high
  • The November 2014 Namibia General Election which was done using ‘Electronic Voting Machines’-EVMs made Namibia the first African Country to conduct a General Election Electronically
  • Christianity is the main Religion with Namibia’s Official Language being English; a Local Language known as Oshiwambo by the Ovambo People is spoken by at least Half of Namibia’s Population
  • Namibia’s Capital City is known as Windhoek which means ‘Windy Corner’ in Afrikaans.

(Images Courtesy)

GUINEA-BISSAU; GLIMMERS OF STABILITY IN ONE OF AFRICA’S MOST IMPROVERISHED ECONOMY UNDER INCESSANTLY TURBULENT DEMOCRACY

Colonial History

1446: Portuguese arrive and occupy the Present-day Territory of Guinea-Bissau as part of their Cape Verde Territory; they started using this New Coast Territory as a Key Slave Trade Joint to a point of making it a Slave Coast where Locals and other Africans captured elsewhere were bundled in transit to Europe and America.

This Territory is later in 1879 separated from Cape Verde to become a separate Portuguese-Guinea Colony. In 1951 Portugal declared Guinea-Bissau as one of its Provinces just like Cape Verde as starts issuing Africans in the Two Colonies Portuguese Citizenship; this is the point at which the Agitation to Resist Portuguese Dominance and Assimilation began. The first African Nationalist Movement to emerge in Anti-Portuguese Colonization was the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) founded on September 1956 by a Renown Pan-African Revolutionary and Agronomist one Amilcar Cabral born in Guinea-Bissau to a Guinea-Bissau Father and a Cape Verde Mother. He founded this alongside other like-minded Nationalists like his Brother Luis Cabral, Aristides Pereira, Fernando Fortes, Julio Almeida, Elisee Turpin among others. They would be later joined by Women Freedom Fighters led by Carmen Pereira and Titina Sila. Carmen Pereira would later make History by being the very First African Woman to become President in Independent Africa;She briefly served as Guinea-Bissau’s Interim President on May 1984 during a Constitution Transition Period.

They began their pursuit for Independence in a peaceful style but the repressive Portuguese Colonial Regime responded with brute quelling Force, Violence and arbitrary arrests. Of note is the Pidjiguiti Massacre of August 1959 when Portuguese Forces opened Fire on Guineans employed at the Pidjiguiti Port in Bissau who were demonstrating because of Oppression and low Wages where over 50 were killed with many others left with serious injuries. This among other heinous Acts meted on Africans in both Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde made PAIGC to change tack to Armed Resistance marking the start of Guinea-Bissau’s War and Struggle for Independence.

With support from Cuba, USSR and China who helped PAIGC Freedom Fighters with Arms and Training making their Resistance strong for the Portuguese Forces. With the coordination between their fellow armed Comrades in Resistance from Mozambique and Angola under the Conference of Nationalist Organization of Portuguese Colonies their Resistance grew even stronger.

By 1967 PAIGC Freedom Fighters had managed to regain control in over Two-thirds of Guinea-Bissau with Portuguese Forces retreating to the Coastline. On October 1972 PAIGC held an indirect National Assembly Election that resulted to a Guinea-Bissau People’s Assembly and a Government Structure in their Stronghold in readiness for a full Takeover and Independence. Unfortunately on January 20, 1973 at Conakry in their Neighbouring Guinea where PAIGC had one of its Offices their Leader Amilcar Cabral was finally Assassinated by a PAIGC Guerilla identified as Inocencio Kani with Instructions and backing from the Portuguese Regime who had on several Occasions tried to Capture and Kill Amilcar Cabral in a bid to destabilize PAIGC and thereby stop their Push for Independence.

A Military Coup on April 1974 at Lisbon-Portugal overthrew the Autocratic Regime of Estado Novo and the New Government that took over started Negotiations to end the already weakened Portuguese Hold on African Colonies. This saw the End of Portugal’s Colonial Empire in Africa between September 1974 and November 1975.On September 24, 1974 Guinea-Bissau Regained its Independence. A Year later on July 5, 1975 Cape Verde followed and the then leading PAIGC Members one Luis Cabral (Brother to the slain Amilcar Cabral) and Aristides Pereira became the first Presidents of Independent Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde respectively.

Post-Independence Guinea-Bissau

The Two immediately began Talks to merge their Newly Independent States that had a common History but unfortunately President Luis Cabral was overthrown in a November 1980 Military Coup led by a former PAIGC Guerilla and his Prime Minister one General Bernado Vieira. This killed the Unification Dream and marked the start of Guinea-Bissau’s Political Tribulations.

Bernado Vieira began his Reign via a Military Council until 1984 when a New Constitution was adopted amid growing Pressure for Multi-party Democracy led by Aristides Menezes via his Democratic Front among other similar Movements. The ban on Political Parties was lifted in 1991 ahead of a General Election of August 1994. The Elections saw President Vieira get a Democratic People’s Mandate with 52% of the Votes casted against Mr. Kumba Yala of the Social Renewal Party-PRS who got 47%. This was the first Post-Independence Multi-Party Election that saw 8 Candidates contesting for the Top Job in Guinea-Bissau.

On June 1998 President Vieira fired his Military Chief of Staff one Ansumane Mane a move that triggered a Violent Rebellion between Rival Forces in the Army. The Parliament on November 1998 passed a Motion demanding Vieira’s Resignation which further worsened the Situation to Civil War. President Vieira’s Forces were subdued by those of his Rival General Ansumane and Vieira fled to Portugal on June 1999.The Supreme Military Council named his former Prime Minister Satumino Da Costa was named the acting President of PAIGC and Parliament’s Leader Malam Sanha as the acting President ahead of the November 1999 Election to replace Vieira.

The then Leader of Opposition Kumba Lala of the PRS Party Won this Election and was sworn in as the new President on February 2000. General Ansumane Mane was on November 2000 Killed by Forces Loyal to President Kumba after bitter differences between the Two. Kumba’s Reign was still troubled by his strained relations with his Ministers, Political Instability, Stagnant Economy and Civil Unrest. He would later on September 2003 get Ousted in a Military Coup over what the Junta said was general Incapacity.

The Junta appointed a Civilian transitional Government led by Henrique Rosa as the Interim President and Artur Sanha as his Prime Minister in a bid to return the Country to Stability and Constitutional Order. The Two oversaw the March 2004 Legislative Elections and July 2005 Presidential Elections.

The July 2005 Presidential Elections saw two dramatic Appearances; Ousted President Kumba Lala returned to the Scene despite his ban from Politics and was cleared to run. Ousted President Bernado Vieira returned from Exile and was also cleared to run by the Supreme Court despite Charges levelled against him during the 1998/1999 Civil War that saw his Ouster. His former Party PAIGC that had already expelled him backed former Interim President Malam Sanha in this Election. Malam Sanha Won this Election with 35%, followed by Vieira with 28%, Kumba Lala came third with 25% meaning a Second Round for the Two Top Contenders. Kumba Lala backed Vieira in the Second Round and Vieira Won with 52% with his Rival Malam Sanha coming close Second with 47%.

Vieira got back to Power as President but this time round it would end disastrously for him. Attempts on his Life began on November 2008; suspecting Mutiny from his then Military Chief of Staff and his long-time bitter Rival General Batista Tagme, Forces loyal to him Killed General Batista on March 1, 2009. In Retaliation, disgruntled Forces loyal to General Batista killed him the following Morning on March 2, 2009 while trying to flee a Coup.

Raimundo Pereira the then Leader of Parliament immediately assumed the Office of the President as an Interim President according to the Constitution ahead of a Presidential Election in 90-days. A Presidential Election was held on June 2009 and former Interim President Malam Sanha under PAIGC defeated former Ousted President Kumba Lala with 63% to 36% in a Second-Round Vote.

President Sanha was Diabetic and his Health started deteriorating soon after ascending to Power. On January 9, 2012 while in Hospital at Paris President Sanha died. The then Leader of National Assembly and immediate-former Interim President Raimundo Pereira returned to Presidency again in Interim Capacity ahead of another Presidential Election in 90-days.

A Presidential Election was held on March 2012 and Carlos Gomes Junior Won with 48% followed by former Ousted President Kumba Lala with 23%. A Second-round Vote was set for late April but before this repeat  Presidential Election, Interim President Pereira was Ousted by the Military and Mamadu Kuruma the Chair of the Junta took over alongside Manuel Nhamadjo as the designate Interim President. The Junta also arrested Gomes Junior and Kumba Lala and cancelled the scheduled repeat Election between them. The Junta promised a Presidential Election in Two Years. On April-May 2014 a Presidential Election was held and Jose Mario Vaz under PAIGC was declared Winner with 62% against Junta-backed Nuno Gomes Nabiam who got 38% in a Second-round Vote. A few days to this Election, former Ousted President and PRS Party Founder/Leader Kumba Lala died of a Heart Disease.

An Economist and former Finace Minister in Jose Mario Vaz locally known as Jomav was sworn in as the New President on June 2014 promising reforms in the troubled Democracy/Economy.

November 24, 2019 Presidential Elections

A Presidential Election is set to be held on Sunday November 24, 2019 8 Months after the March Legislative/Parliamentary Elections that were Won by the Independence Party PAIGC. 62-Years old President Mario Vaz who is the first President to finish a Presidential Term since Guinea-Bissau’s Independence is in this Election seeking a Second Term as an Independent Candidate after falling out with PAIGC the Party that brought him to Power. The Party expelled him on August 2015 when he fired his then Prime Minister over what he called breach of Trust throwing the Parliament and the Government Systems into Chaos. He recently on October 29th again fired his Prime Minister Aristides Gomes  and Appointed a New one Faustino Fudut; Gomes refused to step down amid escalating Political and Electoral Unrest in the Country until ECOWAS intervened to stop President Vaz from effecting this Change. President Mario has been sacking his Prime Ministers from time to time since the day he took Office in 2014;He has so far worked with 7 Prime Ministers.

In this Election he will be competing with 11 other Candidates (all Male) led by his main challenger and former Prime Minister one 56-Years old Domingos Pereira who has the blessing of the Ruling Party PAIGC and two-times former Prime Minister 70-Years old Carlos Gomes Junior locally known as ‘Cadogo’ who recently returned from Exile in Portugal where he fled after the 2012 Military Coup. Carlos had won the first-round of March 2012 Presidential Election that was cancelled with a Military Coup thereafter. Other Candidates are another former Prime Minister to President Jose Mario who is also an Army General one 47-Years old Umaro Sissoco and 53-Years old Nuno Nabiam who came Second in the April 2014 Election.

There are slightly over 760,000 Registered Voters out of Guinea Bissau’s Total Population of 1.8 Million People who are expected to Vote in this Election across the 8 Regions of Guinea-Bissau.

November 24th Presidential Election Results

Two former Guinea-Bissau Prime Ministers managed to beat their former Boss President Jose Mario Vaz in the November 24th Presidential Election securing their place in a decisive Run-off Election between them scheduled for December 29th,2019.This is because none of the 12 Presidential Candidates managed to garner 50% of the Votes for a Clear-cut Victory in this first Round.56-yrs old Domingos Pereira under the Country’s Independence/Largest/Ruling Party #PAIGC led with 40% followed by 47-yrs old General Umaro Sissoco who got 28%.Incumbent President Jose MarioVaz who was seeking his Second Term in Office came a distant Fourth with 12% according to Electoral Commission CNE Chair Pedro Sambu. This first round was quite peaceful with a significantly high Voter turnout with Voters/Citizens expressing high hopes for a Rebirth of their Politically and Economically troubled Country.

The December 29,2019 Presidential Election Run-off saw Embalo turn tables on Pereira garnering 53% to Pereira’s 46% .Domingos Pereira rejected this Outcome saying the Election was marred by Fraud alleging that Votes surpassed the number of enrolled Voters at some Polling Stations.He lodged a Petition at the Supreme Court to have Embalo’s Victory Annulled but it was thrown out on January 12,2020.The Court said he should have first filed his Complaint with the Electoral commission which declared Embalo Winner with 53%.The Electoral Commission CNE dismissed Domingos claim of Electoral Fraud and Irregularities.This Court would later order the Electoral Commission to Recount the Votes after another Petition by Pereira.CNE complied and after the Recount it again confirmed Embalo’s Victory with 53% on February 25,2020.Embalo then went ahead to take Oath of Office as the New President of Guinea-Bissau in a Lowkey Evening Event on February 27,2020 at a Hotel in Bissau before the Confirmation of his Victory by the Supreme Court.The outgoing President Jose Mario Vaz attended this Oath Event which Domingos Pereira decried describing it as a Coup organised by the Duo to defeat Justice.

Some Major Issues and Facts In Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau continues to battle with Challenges of deep-seated Poverty, Corruption, Poor Governance, Incessant Political Instability and Turmoils and Drug Trade and Trafficking. Since Independence 45-Years ago Guinea-Bissau has seen 6 successful Military Coups and at least 15 thwarted Military Coups. Guinea-Bissau has also been made a Den of Drug Trafficking and Trade where well-connected Drug Lords from South and Latin America in Collusion with Corrupt Guinea-Bissau Authorities and Political Class who take advantage of Guinea-Bissau’s weak Security Apparatus, Porous Borders and Poor Law Enforcement Institutions to make the Country a Narcos-Transit Den for Drugs and Narcotics destined for Europe and other Parts of the World including Africa. Guinea-Bissau was in fact named as Africa’s Narcos-State by the United Nations in 2008.

In terms of Gross National Income which currently stands at $750, Gross Domestic Product currently at $1,429 Million and the number of People living below the Poverty line currently close to 70% of the Total Population; Guinea-Bissau is still among some of the Poorest Nations in Africa and Globally. Over 80% of the Population is dependent on Subsistence Agriculture with Food Insecurity and Malnutrition still a major Challenge according to the World Food Program.

Guinea-Bissau main Export is Nuts in form of Cashew Nuts, Coconuts, Peanuts, Brazil Nuts with Cashew Nuts being the Top Export and Foreign Exchange Earner. Fishing is also a significant Industry in this Country. There is also plenty of Timber in this Country. The Minerals Potential of this Country remains largely unexplored.

One Key Tourist attraction Site in Guinea-Bissau is the Bijagos Archipellago which is a group of 88 breath-taking tranquil Islands, Islets and Beaches off its Coast with Magical Ancient and Unadulterated Culture, People and Traditions, a rich Flora and Fauna Biodiversity that remained intact even in the face of Portuguese Colonization. The UNESCO in 2013 named Bijagos Archpelago as a World Heritage Site, a Sanctuary and Biosphere Reserve.

The Official Language here is Portuguese inherited from their Colonizer although Guinensi which is Portuguese Creole is widely used as the Country’s Lingua-Franca. About 45% of the Population are Muslims with 22% being Christians; the rest are Traditionalists. West African CFA Franc is their Currency. Bissau the Country’s Capital City is the biggest City in this Country; Its Name was added to the Country’s official Name Guinea-Bissau to differentiate it from its Neighbor Guinea-Conakry (former French Colony) which is also identified with its Capital City Conakry.

(Photos Courtesy)