Must read - Jenerali Ulimwengu at his best


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The real tragedy of Cote d'Ivoire is that we've seen this so many times before

By JENERALI ULIMWENGU

The tragedy that has become Cote d'Ivoire is unfortunately one of those déjà vu situations that continue to haunt the African continent.

We have been here before, in Zimbabwe, in Kenya, in Zanzibar, and in many other places where stoic societies suffer without exploding.

Cheating at polls is nothing new; almost all our countries engage in electoral fraud, some more subtly, others more crudely.

The more egregious samples have come from Harare and Nairobi, and now Abidjan, where cheating has become more transparent and in-your-face.

It's this brazen nature of electoral rape that especially worries one.

It's as if we have grown a species of humans who, in spite of all the talk about ending impunity and the threat of international sanctions, still believe that they can do what they pretty much wish.

The vote thieves have employed different styles. There are those that have simply removed ballots in favour of one candidate and turned them in favour of another, quite simply.

There are those whose manner is more wholesale, who strategically remove whole populations from the electoral process, annul results from entire polling stations, impound hundreds of ballot boxes and run into the night, et cetera.

Then there are those who tally the ballots, gaze upon the results, hate what they see and take out a fresh piece of paper, scribble more convenient numbers and proceed to announce their "results" and their "winner."

In the Zimbabwean case, the style was simply not to announce the results.

For a continent that is not renowned for creativity, in this area we are great inventors.

There is certainly nothing African about this type of cheating - remember the pregnant "chads" in Florida? - but the Africans have embraced it with gusto.

It may soon be written into our constitutions, that whoever happens to be in power can steal votes the same way he has been raiding the national Treasury.

We even have a tested script ready for what happens, blow for blow: An election is held; the incumbent loses; he is declared the winner; the people riot; the international community cries foul; babysitters are trotted out to go and clean up after the naughty brats of the moment; the babies are brought together and talked into forming a government of "national unity."

Thus the thief and the rightful proprietor shake hands and become partners, now free to quarrel at close quarters.

Half a century after putative Independence we are still toddlers, dependent on a clutch of babysitters who now seem to be on some AU, EU or UN roster: Kofi Annan, Thabo Mbeki, Joachim Chissano, Graca Machel.

In Haiti - another miserably African country - naughty children would be quieted at night by being told that tonton (uncle) Macoute would come from the hills and snatch them.

Macoute, a mythical ogre, found shape in Papa Doc's terrifying secret police.

In our time and place, that Uncle Macoute has taken the form of Louis Moreno Ocampo, of ICC fame.

But this our Macoute is not just yet interested in vote stealers, who may, come to think of it, be at the very heart of all the demons that Ocampo seeks to exorcise.

It may be high time that the committee of baby sitters and Macoute Ocampo got together and compared notes with a view to tackling their problem at source.

In the case of Kenya, for instance, it may be futile to prosecute those who whipped up sectarian violence without at the same time dealing with the authors of the botched elections that were, honestly, the casus belli of the fracas.

In the meantime, at least we can congratulate the African Union and the West African economic bloc on their declared position on the Cote d'Ivoire fiasco.

Time was when the continental body and its regional partners would helplessly look on such events as the internal concern of squabbling toddlers, an attitude that helped feed the culture of impunity.

Jenerali Ulimwengu, chairman of the board of Raia Mwema newspaper, is a political commentator and civil society activist based in Dar es Salaam.

E-mail: jenerali@gmail.

Chanzo: The East African
 
VoiceOfReason

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What Can I Say...... The is a very deadly Virus which has infected africa...
 
Mtego wa Noti

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Mtego wa Noti

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ndefu mno hafaf katumia bombastics na hapa sina dikshenari...ntaisoma baadye nikiwa na silaha za maangamizi...
 
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ndefu mno hafaf katumia bombastics na hapa sina dikshenari...ntaisoma baadye nikiwa na silaha za maangamizi...
Ni kweli na hasa kama una chingereza cha UPE
 
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Nilijua tu mnaojiita wasomi wa cku hizi mtachemsha,elimu zaman bwana hadi raha...
 
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AU; EU and UN..... A bunch of IMBECILES
 
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African leaders need prayers... Generali has said it all. We are truly unsure of our destination. Our future is within nobody's hands!
One day after the celebrations of 49th years after TZ independence, my colleague, the Caucasian posed a question to me on how i celebrated the day. I simply said, "there is nothing to celebrate, we are just commemorating the day and remembering the day the founders of our nation set us free from the torture and exploitation of the invaders (the British)". Then, the second question came, "are you better of now, or when you were under colonial era"? This was rather trick. I quickly said, "at least now we are free".
Is this what we wanted? Just to be free? We wanted total independence; the freedom to equally share the wealth of our beloved nation. The freedom to mutually decide on our own destiny, not inviting Ocampo to do it for us!! The freedom to.... the list never ends
Our leaders seem to fake our freedom
 
Mtego wa Noti

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Mtego wa Noti

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Ni kweli na hasa kama una chingereza cha UPE
Chingereza cha St. Kayumba...na walimu wetu wa voda fasta...nikishapata Longman dikshenari yanguntakuja kuianza hi document ya ulimwengu..maneno mengine mwalimu wetu hakutufundisha kabisa, sijui jamaa kayatoa wapi?...
 
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Nyani Ngabu

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To end the leadership gridlock they will work out a deal that will keep Laurent Gbabo as president and Alassane Ouattara as vice/deputy president or prime minister. The precedent has already been set in Zimbabwe and Kenya so why not follow it?

It's pitiful.
 
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To end the leadership gridlock they will work out a deal that will keep Laurent Gbabo as president and Alassane Ouattara as vice/deputy president or prime minister. The precedent has already been set in Zimbabwe and Kenya.
Not in Côte d'Ivoire, I very much doubt it.... these people are not afraid of wars they have been there before.... am afraid there might be some innocent casualties.... Just because ya uroho wa madaraka na umimi wa wachache
 
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Nyani Ngabu

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Not in Côte d'Ivoire, I very much doubt it.... these people are not afraid of wars they have been there before.... am afraid there might be some innocent casualties.... Just because ya uroho wa madaraka na umimi wa wachache
Are you saying that they have had a civil war before? Surely that doesn't ring a bell...
 
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Bu he doesnt touch on the just ended TZ elections! Is he happy about them...?
 
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Speaking of hypocrisy ... .... Ulimwengu went round in circles without mentioning his cahoots at Magogoni. He was quiet all this time but he thinks he can get credit for shifting the agenda and cry foul for what is happening somewhere else another Chama Cha Majambazi pandikizi. ... .... Mtumikie kafiri upate mradi wako.
 
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Jenerali Ulimwengu is probably one of the top 5 Tanzanian writers alive today. Also in the same list are James Mpinga, Fili Karashani, Mkumbwa Ally and Benjamin Mkapa. The writing is impeccable and I learned the meaning of two new words from Jenerali's writing that I had to look up in the dictionary -- putative and casus belli.

I always enjoy reading Jenerali's works. He has real talent. But, I was a rather surprised why he didn't cite Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania's October 31 election fiasco among Africa's election thieves. Jenerali only mentioned Zanzibar in passing, but I think being a Tanzanian, he should have devoted at least 3 paragraphs in his column to explain to the world how Kikwete and his ruling party RAPED the electoral process.

I read Jenerali's previous writings in The East African and was thoroughly impressed with his analysis on CCM hat-trick of own goals etc, but I think he did his readers an injustice in this brilliant piece on Ivory Coast by not mentioning the Tanzanian election.
 
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Are you saying that they have had a civil war before? Surely that doesn't ring a bell...
Yes my friend look below:-
After achieving its independence from France in 1960 the Ivory Coast, or Côte d'Ivoire, became a model of political stability and economic prosperity, avoiding many of the pitfalls that plagued other African nations experiencing the difficulties of sovereignty. The country, which was divided religiously between a predominately Muslim north and predominately Christian south, was united under the strong leadership of Felix Houphouet-Boigny. During his presidency from 1960 to 1993, Houphouet-Boigny cultivated close political ties with West that insulated the Ivory Coast from the turmoil associated with the military uprisings and Marxist experimentations that characterized the region. By maintaining an environment of stability, the Ivory Coast was able to develop its economy, attracting foreign investment and becoming the world's largest producer of cocoa.
In an effort to democratize the country, political opposition parties were legalized in 1990. Houphouet-Boigny won his first contested election, beating out the candidate from the Ivorian Popular Front (IPF), Laurent Gbagbo. Upon Houphouet-Boigny's death in 1993 his successor, Henri Konan Bedie, came to power. Bedie's rule faced a number of difficulties including economic pressure from falling world market prices for cocoa and coffee, internal corruption that steeply reduced foreign aid, and mounting political opposition. When Bedie placed restrictions on opposition party candidates before the 1995 election, those parties boycotted. Despite winning the election, the legitimacy of his administration was damaged. During preparations for the 2000 presidential election Alassane Ouattara, a Muslim who had served as Prime Minister under Houphouet-Boigny announced his intention to run, sharply dividing the nation along religious and ethnic lines.
Before the election could take place, the Ivory Coast experienced its first military coup. On 25 December 1999, General Guei ousted Bedie, who was forced to flee to France. Following the bloodless takeover, Guei formed a new government and promised to hold open elections in late 2000. Tensions increased when the General's handpicked Supreme Court disqualified all of the candidates from the 2 major parties by establishing the criteria that all candidates had to have 2 Ivorian parents and never have held a nationality of another country. This barred Ouattara and his Rally of Republicans party, or Rassemblement des Republicaines (RDR), from running after courts declared that his mother was from Burkina Faso. The RDR called for a boycott, setting the stage for low election turnout in a race between Guei and Front Populaire Ivoirien (FPI) candidate Laurent Gbagbo. When early polling results showed Gbagbo in the lead, Guei stopped the process, claimed polling fraud, disbanded the election commission, and declared himself the winner.
Within hours Gbagbo supporters took to the streets of Abidjan, the main port of the Ivory Coast. A bloody fight followed as crowds attacked the guards protecting the presidential palace. Many gendarmes and soldiers joined the fight against the junta government, forcing Guei to flee. Gbagbo, who was thought to have been the real winner of the election, was declared President. Having been excluded from the election, Ouattara's supporters, the RDR, took the streets calling for new elections. More violence erupted as forces loyal to the new government joined the FPI youth to attack RDR demonstrators. Hundreds were killed in the few days that followed before Ouattara called for peace and recognized the Gbagbo presidency.
On 7 January 2001, another coup attempt shattered the temporary calm. However in March 2001, Ouattara and Gbagbo met for the first time following the violence between their supporters and agreed to work together towards reconciliation. Local municipal elections later in March 2001 were conducted without violence and with the full participation of all political parties. The RDR, who had boycotted the presidential and legislative elections, won the most of the local seats, followed by the Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI), which was the party of former President Bedie, and the FPI. Some economic aid from the European Union began to return by the summer of 2001, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) re-engaged the government. Questions remained surrounding severe human rights abuses by the government during the presidential and legislative elections of 2000. Once such instance occurred at Yopougon where police allegedly rounded up and executed 57 northerners during an election campaign in 2000. All over the officers involved in the incident were acquitted. In August 2002, President Gbagbo formed a de facto government of national unity that included the RDR party.

THAT WAS THE BEGGINING THERE HAS BEEN UNREST SINCE THEN
 
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There are those whose manner is more wholesale, who strategically remove whole populations from the electoral process, annul results from entire polling stations, impound hundreds of ballot boxes and run into the night, et cetera.
Ulimwengu bana.....yaani anawataja akina JK, Kilavu na Makame hivi hivi!
 
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Chingereza changu cha St. Kayumba...na walimu wetu wa voda fasta. Maneno mengine mwalimu wetu hakutufundisha kabisa, sijui jamaa kayatoa wapi?...
Ntamwandikia email article hii airudie kwa Kiswahili kwenye gazeti la Raia Mwema ili hata JK aielewe vizuri maana Kikoloni ni janga la kitaifa kwa kweli!
 

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