African Commentator Says Trump Sounds Like An African Politician

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Written by Dana Sanchez

African commentators are having a little fun at the U.S.’s expense in the bizarre remaining weeks leading to the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election, and Republican party candidate Donald Trump bears the brunt for many of their jokes under the hashtags  and .

“Accusations of election rigging. Threatening to jail opponent. Xenophobia. Nope, not a developing country but US of A ” tweeted Imran @TheAfroIndian.

#Nov8AfricanEdition originated with Nigerian tweeters, who painted humorous but scary scenarios, Voice of America reported.

Like this tweet by Elnathan John @elnathan_john:

Zuma and Buhari in joint statement warn that Trump attacking Clinton could trigger to civil war and destabilize region #Nov8AfricanEdition

And this from Ryan Cummings, who runs the Signal Risk consultancy:

Mexico shuts border with US as thousands flee widespread outbreaks of political violence #Nov8AfricanEdition

“It’s something you wouldn’t expect in an established democracy such as that in the United States or pretty much anywhere else in the developed world,” Cummings told Voice of America. “… The claims that are being that are being made, the whole demeanor of Donald Trump in the run-up to the ballot – it’s something one would regularly associate with an African politician.”

The U.S. often criticizes African countries about elections not being free and fair, sometimes even imposing sanctions. Donald Trump claiming the U.S. vote could be rigged lets Africans turn the tables via social media, NPR reported.

“Trump has given Nigerians opportunity to mock America and get some emotional release from dwelling on our own failures,” Remi Adekoya ‏@RemiAdekoya1 tweeted
#Nov8AfricanEdition.

Threatening to jail his opponent is a tactic that has been used in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda and other countries after contentious elections, Voice of America reminded readers:

Trump also has been accused of sexual assault, as has South African President Jacob Zuma. And his boasts about his sexual appetites and conquests have been compared to remarks by Yahya Jammeh, longtime authoritarian leader of the tiny West African nation of Gambia.

“Donald Trump stands for family values…..unfortunately the Gambia Family values,” tweeted Peter Toupin @PeterToupin.

Trump’s warnings that the Nov. 8 poll will be rigged against him and his calls to violence prompted this tweet from No Wahala @ItsNoWahala:

“Dear Mr. Trump, you sound like an African dictator. We don’t want your Jollof.”

The U.S. is a model of democracy for many African countries, and Trump’s actions leave Kenyans amused on the one hand, and not on the other, said Tom Maliti, a journalist with the Kenya-based International Justice Monitor.

“There is an element of laughing at the U.S.” he told Voice of America. “But the fact that Trump is raising doubts about the legitimacy of the election process itself is no laughing matter for Africans.

“Candidate Trump may not realize this, but the American system has been imitated, adapted and taken up by a variety of African countries … most countries, that is,” Maliti said. “And therefore, the U.S. has stood as the model for African countries that either have had democracy for decades or are in the process of instituting a democratic culture in their countries.”

There were tweets about Obama amending the constitution and going for a third term because he’s the only man fit to rule the U.S., and tweets about the U.S. imposing a social media blackout like Ethiopia did recently over protests.

A headline in a Reuters report read as follows: “Trump’s rigged election comments a ‘gift to dictators’, say Africans.” Here’s more of the story:

To opposition figures in Africa, and in other parts of the world that lack the 240-year U.S. history of peaceful transitions of power, Trump’s assertion that November’s U.S. presidential election will be “rigged,” and his declaration that he may not accept the outcome, are dangerous words.

Long-serving rulers who have faced U.S. criticism in the past are already using Trump’s remarks to counter Washington’s pro-democracy message.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in power for 30 years, won re-election to his seventh term in February. U.S. officials accused his government of arresting opposition figures, harassing their supporters and intimidating the media.

Trump’s comments, said Museveni’s spokesman Don Wanyama, “should be an eye-opener to them. As they sit down to lecture other countries, they should realize that it’s not easy.”

“Democracy is a process and it really takes time.”

In Kenya, 1,500 people were killed in a wave of ethnic bloodletting unleashed by disputes over the result of a 2007 election.