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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

Pre-Independence 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 gain 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.

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;One of the World’s Deadliest Global Pandemic Whose Setbacks Might Take Decades to Redress

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 arguably the Worst Health Crisis in this 4th Industrial Revolution.

 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 1.7 Million People Infected and over 103,000 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.

By NOW; over 5.9 Million People in 188 out of 195 Countries on Earth have been infected with this Virus with over 365,000 People Confirmed to have Died after being Infected with this Virus.Over 2.5 Million People have Recovered from this Disease Globally.

Among the 10 Most Affected Countries in Terms of Infections and Death Toll are:

  1. USA-1.7 Million+ Infected with 103,000+ Dead
  2. Italy-233,000+ Infected with 33,000+ Dead
  3. Spain-240,000+ Infected with 28,000+ Dead
  4. France-187,000+ Infected with 29,000+ Dead
  5. UK-273,000+ Infected with 38,000+ Dead
  6. Brazil-440,000+ Infected with 27,000+ Dead
  7. Germany-183,000+ Infected with 8,500+ Dead
  8. Iran-147,000+ Infected with 7,700+ Dead
  9. India-175,000+ Infected with 5,000+ Dead
  10. Russia-390,000+ Infected with 4,400+ Dead

AFRICA as whole; highly Criticized for Underreporting and Undertesting this Virus has Now Recorded 130,000+ Cases and 3,800+ 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. Egypt-23,000+ Cases and 900+ Deaths
  2. Algeria-9,000+ Cases and 640+ Deaths
  3. Morocco-8,000+ Cases and 200+ Deaths
  4. South Africa-28,000+ Cases and 600+ Deaths
  5. Nigeria-9,000+ Cases and 260+ Deaths
  6. Sudan-5,000+ Cases and 230+ 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

Post-Independence 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. October 1958 France announced Intent to grant Togoland full Independence. April 27,1960 France grants Togoland full Independence and Prime Minister Sylvanus Olympio became the first Leader of now 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

Pre-Independence 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 Independence from France 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

Pre-Independence 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 prior to Full and Official Independence that was granted March 21,1990 the day when the then President of South Africa’s Apartheid  Regime F.W De Klerk 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

Pre-Independence 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 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 Portugal granting Independence to all its Colonies in Africa between September 1974 and November 1975 starting with Guinea-Bissau on September 24, 1974. A Year later on July 5, 1975 Cape Verde followed in Independence 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)

BOTSWANA; 5O YEARS OF PEACE & STABLE DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD’S CORE OF DIAMONDS

Pre-Independence History

Botswana on the Map of Africa

BOTSWANA was known as BECHUANALAND during the British Rule between March 1885 up until September 1966 when it gained its Independence.

Sir Seretse Khama born in a powerful African Royal Family in Bechuanaland known as Bamangwato rose to be the King of Bamangwato at the Age of 4 with his Uncle as the Regent in 1925 when his Father Sekgoma 2 who was the King died. While schooling in London Khama married a White Lady known as Ruth Williams. This sparked Anger among his Bamangwato People with which the neighboring South Africa Apartheid Regime used to influenced his Ouster as King of Bamangwato in 1950 and his subsequent Exile in London.After a series of Protests by his People who refused to replace him; He Khama and his Wife Ruth were allowed to return to Bechuanaland as private Citizens in1956.

In November 1961 Khama made a comeback to the Political Scene with a New Party which he Named ‘Bechuanaland Democratic Party’ with which he alongside other Pro-Independence Nationalists used to further push for Independence. Being an organized idealistic Party; BDP won the 1965 Legislative Elections with a Landslide which saw Seretse Khama rise to become Bechuanaland’s Prime Minister with his Party Secretary-general Quett Masire as his Deputy.

With their Positions, the Two made the final Negotiation for Independence and on 30th September 1966 Bechuanaland was gained its Independence from the British Rule. It was upon this renamed as the Republic of Botswana with Seretse Khama as its first President and Quett Masire as his Vice President as per the 1965 Self-Government Constitution.

Post-Independence Botswana

January 1967 Diamond Rocks known as Kimberlite were discovered at Orapa Central Botswana by a British Diamond Exploration Company known as ‘De Beers’.

The first Multi-Party Democratic General Elections in Botswana were held on October 1969. 77 Candidates in 4 Political Parties contesting to Govern this budding Democracy. The reigning Independence Party that had been renamed to ‘Botswana Democratic Party’-BDP won this Election with a Landslide Victory winning 24/31 Elective Positions. Khama under Parliamentary Democracy was smoothly Re-elected back into Office by the National Assembly. BDP went on to win the 1974 and 1979 Elections with Landslide Victory giving Khama an easy way back to Office.

On 13th July 1980 President Seretse Khama who was 59-years old succumbed to Pancreatic Cancer while in Office. Quett Masire his Vice President immediately took over in acting capacity as per the Constitution; Five Days later Masire was confirmed as the new President in a National Assembly Vote of 18th July1980 with Festus Mogae, Peter Mmusi and Lenyeletse Seretse as his Deputies.

The BDP went on to win the 1984, 1989 and 1994 Elections with Landslide Victory giving President Quett Masire and easy hop from one Term to another. President Masire voluntarily resigned towards the end of his Third Term on April 1998 to engage in Diplomatic Initiatives leaving his Vice President Festus Mogae to take over ahead of the 1999 Elections. Quett Masire an esteemed Statesman and Diplomat died on 22nd June 2017 at the Age of 92-years. Again BDP won the 1999 Elections with a Landslide Victory and Festus Mogae was elected by the National Assembly as the new President. Mogae was Re-elected for his Second Term upon BDP’s Victory in the 2004 Elections.

18 Months to the end of his Second Term Festus Mogae who is now 80-years old  stepped down to allow for Transition leaving his Vice President Lt.Gen Ian Khama the Son of Botswana’s first President to steer the Country ahead of the 2009 Elections.

Again BDP won the 2009 Elections with a Landslide Victory and Ian Khama was confirmed as the new President. It went ahead to win the 2014 Elections this time losing the Popular Vote to the collective Opposition. It nonetheless maintained the National Assembly Majority thus securing President Ian Khama’s Second Term. President Ian who is now 66-Years old also stepped down on April 2018 a Year+ towards the end of his Second Term like his Predecessor to give time for Transition. He chose his 56-Years old Deputy Mokgweetsi Masisi to take over ahead of the October 2019 Elections.

Botswana October 2019 General Election

For the first time since 1969 when BDP took Power it is in this Election slated for 23rd October 2019 going to face a serious Challenge from the Opposition. With its Strongholds weakening since the 2014 Election; BDP is going into this Competitive High-stakes Election without its Significant Strongholds. Former President Ian Khama who still has Influence especially in Central Botswana broke ranks with his former Vice President and Successor President Mokgweetsi on April 2019 over bitter Policy and Ideology differences that have seen President Masisi overturn Key Policies of Ian’s Adminstration. Ian has as a result  quit and left BDP his Father’s Party that made him President and registered his own Breakaway Party known as ‘Botswana Patriotic Front’ on June 2019 which he is now seriously campaigning for alongside UDC (an Alliance of different Parties) which is the main Opposition in a bid to defeat the 50-years old BDP. He recently in a Campaign Rally went on record saying BDP is now a dead Party.

Six Political Parties will contest in this Election with Four of them fielding Presidential Candidates. President Mokgweetsi’s Long-ruling BDP Party is hoping to get confirmed by the Electorate, Mr. Duma Boko via UDC (Umbrella for Democratic Change) which is the main Opposition, Mr. Biggie Butale via the BPF (Botswana Democratic Front) and Mr. Ndaba Gaolathe via the AP (Alliance for Progressives). The Party that will win 29/57 Constituencies which is the Majority in the National Assembly will produce the 6th President of Botswana. Out of 1.6 Eligible Voters only 925,000 have been registered to vote in this Election.

The 4 Presidential Candidates in Botswana 2019 Election
L-R: Duma Boko, Biggie Butale, Incumbent President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Ndaba Gaolathe

Botswana Fact File

  • Botswana is the World’s largest producer and exporter of Diamonds in terms of Value. A recent discovery on April 2019 by a Canadian Diamond Mining Company in Botswana found a 1758 Carat-Diamond which is the Second largest Diamond to be discovered in History
  • Botswana is the Second most peaceful Country in Africa after Mauritius. It is the most Stable Democracy in Africa now flourishing with 50-years of Free and Fair Multi-Party Electoral Democracy often regarded as the epitome of Democracy
  • Despite being among Africa’s Top 25 biggest Countries in Area Size; Botswana is one of Africa’s most sparsely populated Countries now with a Total Population of 2.3 Million People. Kenya which is almost the same Size as Botswana has a Total Population of 50 Million People.
  • Botswana’s GDP currently stands at about 18 Billion U$D with Botswana Pula as the Country’s Currency
  • English is the Official Language while Setswana is the National Language with Christianity being the main Religion
  • Gaborone is the Capital City of Botswana.

Botswana’s Governing Party BDP;in Power since Independence in 1966 was again on October 26,2019 declared the Winner of this Election having Won 38/57 Seats in Parliament (66%) thereby guaranteeing President Mokgweetsi Masisi a smooth sail to a fresh Five-years Mandate. Coming Second was the Main Opposition Party UDC which managed to Win 15/57 Seats. The newly formed Opposition Party BPF Won 3 Seats with AP coming last with 1 Seat at the Country’s Parliament.

(Photos Courtesy)

MOZAMBIQUE; Independence,Rocky Political Journey and Lucrative Natural Gas Prospect

Mozambique Location on the African Map

Struggle for Independence

MOZAMBIQUE or MOCAMBIQUE in Portuguese was a Colony of Portugal since 1752 up until June 1975. Mozambique’s Struggle for Independence gained momentum on June 1962 when Three Mozambican Nationalist Organizations/Parties MANU, UDENAMO & UNAMI converged at Dar Es Salaam merged to form One Party in a bid to intensify the push for Independence. The ‘Mozambique Liberation Front’ famously known as FRELIMO was formed under the Tutelage of Tanzania’s Founding President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere who was their Host since the Portuguese State in Mozambique could not allow such to take place. Sir Eduardo Mondlane was elected as FRELIMO’s first President with Uria Simango as his Vice President. Together with Marcelino Dos Santos, Joaquim Chissano and Samora Machel and the Central Committee returned to Mozambique guided by the spirit of Marxism and demanded Political Independence from Portuguese, an End to Economic Exploitation by the Western Nations and the formation of an all-inclusive Socialist Society of Mozambique.

FRELIMO’s second Congress of July 1968 adopted Marxist-Socialist Policies with Mondlane and Simango being re-elected as Party Leaders. Mondlane would later be Assassinated 7-Months later on February 3, 1969 through a packaged Bomb sent to him as a Gift at FRELIMO Headquarters in Tanzania in what is believed to have been a Conspiracy of Portuguese Agents with the help of some FRELIMO insiders. Simango his deputy took over with assistance from Marcelino and Machel who later on November 1969 ousted him and took control. The duo Marcelino and Machel who had received Military Training intensified Guerilla War against the Portuguese. A Military Coup in Portugal on April 1974 overthrew the Autocratic Regime of Estado Novo. The New Regime in Portugal started Negotiations to terminate the draining Portuguese War in Africa.

Portugal and FRELIMO started Negotiations for Mozambique’s Independence which culminated in the Lusaka Accord of September 1974 that created a Transitional Mozambique Government ahead of Official Independence Proclamation that happened on the 25th Day of June 1975 which was the 13th Anniversary of FRELIMO.

Independent Mozambique

FRELIMO established a One-Party State with its then President Samora Machel becoming the first President of the Newly-Independent People’s Republic of Mozambique. Lourenco Marques is renamed Maputo after Maputo River to become the Capital City of Mozambique.

With the FRELIMO Government facing a huge demanding Task of lifting the New Republic from Poverty, Illiteracy and general Lack of Key Infrastructure and Capacity; a Counter-Revolutionary Movement RENAMO (Mozambique National Resistance) funded by Colonial Prime Minister of Rhodesia (Modern-day Zimbabwe) Ian Smith and the Apartheid South African Regime begins to directly Confront FRELIMO. The Confrontations intensified to become a Fully-fledged Civil War that plagued the Young Nation of Mozambique for 15-Years between (1977-1992) . Characterized by Marxist FRELIMO led by President Samora Machel against  the Rebellious Anti-Communist RENAMO led by Andre Matsangaissa ; This War led to the Deaths of over 1-Million Mozambicans with RENAMO’s Rebel Leader also Killed in the fighting by Government Forces on October 17,1979.

Amid the War; President Samora Machel together with 33 FRELIMO Comrades died in a Mysterious Plane Crash at Mbuzini Hills of Mpumalanga in South Africa on October 19,1986 in what is believed to have been plotted by South Africa’s Anti-FRELIMO Apartheid Regime that was then being led by P.W Botha. No One has been held to account up to this day. Two Weeks after Machel’s death FRELIMO Central Committee elected Samora Machel’s close ally and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joaquim Chissano to take over; Chissano was sworn in on November 1986.

President Chissano introduced drastic changes Key among them changing from Marxism to Capitalism and the start of Peace-Talks with RENAMO in an attempt to end the Civil War. Chissano announced direct Talks with RENAMO on March 1990 and the Negotiations began on July 1990 at Rome-Italy. The Negotiations started bearing Fruits on November 1990 when a New Constitution was enacted. The New Constitution ushered in Democracy and Multi-Party Politics and a Bill of Human Rights. The Talks went on for Two Years and the Leaders of the Two Warring Parties President Chissano and the then RENAMO Rebel Leader Afonso Dhlakama finally met on August1992. The Two signed the ‘General Peace Agreement’ on October 1992 with 7-Protocols in it key among them being  the Ceasefire that brought the 15-Years Civil War to an End.

The first Democratic Multi-Party General Elections were held on October 1994. FRELIMO’s Joaquim Chissano won with 53% followed by RENAMO’s Afonso Dhlakama with 33%. FRELIMO also Won the Majority in the National Assembly. The 2nd General Election was held on December 1999 and FRELIMO Won again.Chissano was re-elected with 52% with RENAMO’s Dhlakama coming a Strong-Second with 47%.RENAMO Protested and Contested this Election at the Supreme Court but their Petition was thrown out. The 3rd  General Election was held on December 2004.President Chissano was not on the Ballot like he had earlier promised to Step down while criticizing his Neighboring Counterparts President Chiluba of Zambia and Mugabe of Zimbabwe  for overstaying in Power. Again FRELIMO’s Candidate in this Election Armando Guebuza won with 63% followed by RENAMO’s Dhlakama with 31%. President Guebuza was again in the 4th General Elections of October 2009 Re-elected with a Landslide Victory of 75% with RENAM’Os obvious Candidate Dhlakama nose-diving with 16%.

The 5th General Election was held on October 2014 with a New FRELIMO Candidate Filipe Nyusi winning with 57% against RENAMO’s obvious Candidate Dhlakama who got 36% in his 5th Unsuccessful attempt to get the Top Job. RENAMO’s insurgency had began in 2013 but it was mildly stopped by a Cessation Accord between Outgoing President Guebuza and RENAMO’s Dhlakama. It intensified after the 2014 General Elections Results that were rejected by RENAMO who demanded Control of 6 out of 11 Provinces of Mozambique which it claimed to have won.

RENAMO’s Longtime Leader and FRELIMO’s Arch-Rival died on May 3,2018 Aged 65-Years in what was reported to have been a Heart Attack.He died in Gorongosa Mountains his Hideout. RENAMO chose Ossufo Momade who was its Secretary General between 2007-2012 as its interim Leader who it would later Confirm as its Presidential Flag-bearer on January 2019 at its National Congress ahead of the October 2019 General Elections. A Military faction within RENAMO led by General Mariano Nhongo rejected his Election claiming it was influenced by FRELIMO and that  Momade was FRELIMO’s Project in the oncoming Election.

On August 1, 2019 President Nyusi signed a New Peace Accord with Momade in a bid to end armed hostilities between Government Forces and RENAMO but RENAMO’s Junta led by Gen.Nhongo have refused to drop their Weapons. Nhongo who claims to Command over 500 Armed RENAMO Junta has vowed to totally disrupt the oncoming Elections if the Nyusi Government will not have negotiated with them directly saying they do not recognize the August Peace Treaty. The Junta heavily concentrated in the Northern Part of Mozambique that is Rich in Natural Gas has actually claimed responsibility on some Acts of Violence being witnessed in the Country in the ongoing Election Campaign Caravans. The Northern Part has been experiencing deadly Conflict Since the discovery of huge Natural Gas Deposits in 2010. Since the start of 2019 Election Campaigns at least 30 People including one Senior Election Observer identified as Mr.Matavel have been reported dead with little intervention from the Government. The Amnesty International has named Civil Society Leaders, Human Rights Activists and the Press as endangered groups in the looming Electoral Crisis.

Mozambique’s Historical Political Arch-Rival Parties To Date

MOZAMBIQUE October 15, 2019 General Election

Mozambique October 15,2019 General Elections

This 6th Multi-Party General Election will again largely be pitting Mozambique’s Independence Party FRELIMO that has been in Power for 44-Years Now against its familiar obvious Opposition Party RENAMO; The Two have been competing for 25-Years since 1994. President Filipe Nyusi will be seeking his 2nd and last Term in Office under FRELIMO; a Party whose Credibility and Influence is fast-waning against a disjointed RENAMO’s disputed Candidate Ossufo Momade. The other Two Presidential Candidates in this Election are Beira City Mayor since 2003 Daviz Simango of the MDM Party; an offshoot of RENAMO. Simango was a RENAMO Member from 1997 until March 2009 when he bolted out to form his own party the MDM (Democratic Movement of Mozambique). The other Presidential Candidate is Mario Albino with his AMUSI Party.

  • There are a Total of 26 Political Parties in this Election
  • 12.9 Million out of Mozambique’s 30.5 Million People have been Registered to Vote in this Election
  • There are over 20,000 Polling Stations spread out across the 11 Provinces of Mozambique
  • This will be the first Presidential Election without RENAMO’s Five-times Candidate the late Afonso Dhlakama who has been FRELIMO’s Arch-rival since 1994
  • Mozambique’s Independence Party FRELIMO that has been in Power since Mozambique’s Independence 44-Years is still the Front-runner in this Election
  • For the first time courtesy of the Maputo August 2019 Peace Accord; Provincial Governors will be directly Elected not Appointed by Executive Decrees
  • In Terms of GDP; Mozambique whose Economy is highly dependent on Agriculture is among the 10 Poorest Nations in Africa with a GDP of 14 Billion USD; This is expected to change for the better with the 2010 Discovery of over 75-Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in Mozambique’s Northern Coast of Cabo Delgado Province. This according to Italian and American Companies at the Center of this Discovery makes Mozambique one of the World’s Top Liquefied Natural Gas Hubs. Commercial Production and Export is set to start in 2024
  • The Country’s Official Currency is known as Mozambican  Metical while the Official Language is Portuguese (Inherited from the Colonial Master) although Native Languages like Swahili, Makhuwa, Sena and Ndau  are also widely Spoken
  • Mozambique’s Main Religion is Christianity although there is also a good number of Muslim Faithfuls

On October 27,2019 Mozambique’s Electoral Commission CNE declared incumbent President Filipe Nyusi of the Long-ruling Party FRELIMO as the Winner of this October 15th Election with 73% giving him a fresh Five-years Mandate.Main Opposition RENAMO’s Candidate Ossufo Momade garnered 21.88% of the Vote. In an Election that saw a Turnout of 50.74% the other Two Presidential Candidates MDM’s Daviz Simango garnered 4.38% with AMUSI’s Mario Albino garnering 0.73% of the Total Valid Votes. The main Opposition totally rejected the final Results of what they termed as the “most fraudulent Election ever” challenging it all the way to the Constitutional Council of the Supreme Court where their Petition was dismissed on November 15,2019. RENAMO said FRELIMO has again violated Mozambique’s Third ‘Peace Accord’ signed on August 2019 between FRELIMO Leader President Filipe Nyusi and Ossufo Momade the Leader of RENAMO by manipulating this Election with Violence, Intimidation and Massive Electoral Fraud thereby putting the Fragile Peace and Calm of this Country at Stake.