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If Trump becomes US President…

Ikebesi Omoding

If Trump becomes US President…

Republican Party's leading candidate Donald Trump has ruffled feathers across the globe

Republican Party’s leading candidate Donald Trump has ruffled feathers across the globe

Having just won atleast seven of the 12 states in the famed Super Tuesday primaries, now looks set to wrap up his party’s nomination for the coming November US general elections. Only two weak things appear to militate against him so far.

First, the billionaire businessman is presumed to be a GOP outsider by the party’s hierarchy and some run-of-the-mill members. Therefore, the other Republican Party contestants, regarded as after him as credible; Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are playing up this card to deny him the nomination. But this flies in the face of the many Republican Party voters, who clearly favour Trump.

So, in the likely event that neither Cruz nor Rubio will manage to wrest the GOP electoral victory from Trump, the party faithful are thinking of a third party candidate, namely, former presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, to stop Trump. But this, too, seemingly is a long shot against Trump.

Secondly, what would stop Trump becoming President of the United States, is Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic Party choice, to contest the November poll, if she beats him to it. A contest between these two clearly shows contrasts in style and substance. Clinton is more Washington Establishment; suave and diplomatic, but in rallying her against Trump, she comes off as dull – and would probably fail to attract the larger section of US voters.

Trump, a former reality TV presenter, is very telegenic and likes to shoot from the hip (lip) in consonance with the American preference for the swashbuckling and gun-toting image of the US Wild West cowboy tradition. He speaks it like it is; and down to earth. He has the rough and tumble messages that the average American wants to hear and be associated with – this is the constituency where the votes are.

That is why his issue of immigration resonates very well in his primaries: preventing Muslims from immigrating to the US; building a wall to lock out the Mexican refugees going across the border to the US – and because of the US-Mexican trade deficit, having the Mexican government pay for the exclusion of their people streaming to the US. These are two outstanding issues that have stuck on the American conscience, but these and other lesser things, he has said, affect relations with other countries, as well. There is now a groundswell of criticism of Trump from the Arab world, Latin America and, even, Europe because of these utterances. But this is what the average American likes to hear.

For Africa, south of the Sahara, Trump has turned his attention mainly to Uganda and Zimbabwe. He has accused Ugandans of being cowards and people who are not able to fight for their democratic rights. He has described Ugandans from the TV footage he has watched as, “running like sheep when they see Police coming”. This is in reference to the on-going Police violence against the people during and following the recent presidential and Parliamentary polls.

Trump has echoed the observation of the European Union’s Eduard Kukan, the Commonwealth’s Olusegun Obasanjo and Citizens Election Observation Network – Uganda’s Livingstone Ssewanyana, who have characterized the elections as falling short of the internationally accepted standards of democratic practice. He says that the poll was a “monumental mess and joke of the year”.

He further says that, “there was no election in Uganda; and Museveni knows that”. In conclusion, he says that were he to become the next President of the US, he would arrest Museveni and “his grandfather, Robert Mugabe, and lock them in prison”; and that the only “true Ugandan patriot is Kizza Besigye”.

Trump says this against the background that the US and Uganda have had very exemplary relations for decades. The same cannot be said for Zimbabwe. Trump would torpedo this Uganda-US relationship and put it on a back burner that would take years to repair after his presidency.

His reference to Besigye echoes with some Ugandans who view that the just-concluded presidential poll was largely rigged in favour of the incumbent, Museveni. And they would like this situation put right before the swearing in of the next president come May. Some of the people who were putting their hopes on the constitutional process; of Besigye going to the Supreme court to contest the outcome of the elections, are having those hopes dashed as Besigye is literally under house arrest and has been blocked from filing his papers in the court.

As it is, what Trump refers to as a joke is continuing to manifest itself on the Ugandan political scene.



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