“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.