Dictators panic as Trump wins

HARARE - Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the American presidential election, despite losing the popular vote, has sent shock waves around the world, with African leaders cautiously welcoming his unexpected elevation to the most powerful political office in the world.

And with the leaders of struggling African democracies still unsure what Trump’s victory means for them and their relationship with Washington, Zimbabwe’s opposition and analysts yesterday urged the billionaire businessman to use his date to deal decisively with dictators on the continent.

Contacted by the Daily News yesterday, President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba declined to both offer congratulations to the US president-elect and to state whether he was looking forward to working with Trump to enhance relations between Zimbabwe and the USA.

“How do you expect us to comment before they have said anything? Americans haven’t commented themselves. It’s not our election, ndeyedu here? (is it our election?)” he asked.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC commended the Americans’ democratic tradition and congratulated the maverick Trump who frequently lambasted dictators around the world in the run-up to the US election.

“Donald Trump could actually prove to be quite a handful to dictators, particularly African dictators. He has got a rather blunt and unconventional way of addressing critical issues.

“During his campaign for the US presidency, he promised to resolutely deal with dictators in various parts of the world, including Africa and dictators should quake in their boots right now.

“However, it’s too early to tell. Let’s wait and see whom he’s going to appoint as his Secretary of State, for example, which will certainly reveal Trump’s foreign policy trajectory going forward,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which was openly rooting for a Clinton win, also said Trump was likely to deal ruthlessly with dictators.

“Trump is a no-nonsense person who cuts through the nonsense and will not hesitate to tell dictators to go where the sun doesn’t shine. In short, they will be trumped,” its spokesperson Jacob Mafume said.

Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) said the shock Trump win reflected the growing anti-establishment wave which was sweeping across the world, while also urging the billionaire tycoon to “uproot Africa’s dictators.”

“It is our wish that he will go beyond politicking and do what he promised,” ZPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said.

On the other hand, analysts said Trump’s administration was likely to continue with Barack Obama’s policies with regard to Zimbabwe.

Professor of world politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, Stephen Chan said: “Africa is not in any sense a priority for Trump, and no one in his current foreign policy team has any African expertise or experience.

“As for Zimbabwe, Trump will change nothing. Sanctions will remain because he has nothing to win by lifting them, and nothing to lose by retaining them. For Trump, Zimbabwe has no importance whatsoever”.

Southern Africa senior consultant at international conflict prevention organisation the International Crisis Group, Piers Pigou said: “One can expect a certain continuity in the circumstances, unless his administration rethinks Africom, in terms of bang for buck which is what he had been promising to review. I don’t think this means any shift or lightening of the current position on Zimbabwe”.

Independent political analyst Takura Zhangazha also said Trump’s position on Africa, though not clear, suggested that he was likely to continue with Obama’s policies.

Analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said Trump’s foreign policy was likely to be biased towards Mexico (immigration), terrorism (Middle East), Trade (China) and military domination (Russia and South Korea).

“For Africa and Zimbabwe, he might want to associate aid with governance by appointing a Secretary for African Affairs who is spiteful of dictatorship,” he said.

Since 2000, America has been locked in a sour diplomatic relationship with Zimbabwe, characterised by targeted sanctions and ugly recriminations over Harare’s poor human rights record.

Still, the US has pumped $8 billion in aid into Africa every year, and the highlight of US relations with the continent has been the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows duty-free entry into the US for certain exports from qualifying Sub-Saharan African countries.

The US/Zimbabwe trade relationship, while minuscule, is tilted in Zimbabwe’s favour.  In 2015, Zimbabwe sent $65 million worth of products to the US, while America exported $49 million worth of goods to Harare, at a time that other African countries exported nearly $480 billion worth of goods to the US under AGOA.

Civil rights campaigner McDonald Lewanika said while the US election had an impact on global geo-politics, “it has to be understood that the election is run on American issues mainly and the mandate of the president-elect will be to serve that electorate which he has promised so much”.

He thus predicted that Trump’s foreign policy would be inward-looking in order for him to secure a second term, adding that Zimbabwe and Africa in general were not election issues and were unlikely to be priorities in a Trump establishment.

“To those in Zimbabwe and elsewhere faced with incumbents and establishments they do not like, the encouragement will be to fight and defeat the establishment just as Trump and his winning coalition have done in America, with or without the helping hand of Trump,” he said.

Senior Africa researcher at New York-based Human Rights Watch, Dewa Mavhinga, said the US president-elect should abandon campaign rhetoric that seemed to reject many of Washington’s core human rights obligations and put rights at the heart of his administration’s domestic and foreign policy agenda.

“Trump has an opportunity to put his often-abhorrent campaign rhetoric behind him and place human rights at the centre of his domestic and international policies.

“At the international level, Trump should focus, especially on the growing global crackdown on civil society and free expression, including in Zimbabwe, Russia, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh.

“His administration should also come up with new approaches to address totalitarian governments like the ones in Zimbabwe and North Korea, and press for an end to growing repression in countries whose governments are increasingly consolidating power,” Mavhinga told the Daily News.

In the meantime, global markets were thrown into disarray as Trump won the US presidential election, shocking traders after polls had indicated that Hillary Clinton would be the victor.

Comments (23)

This was yo headline 8years ago when Obama came in.What happened ,besides sunctions,which he later tried to dismantle ,but a bit too late.This Trump doesnt seem to care a hoot about Africa .He wants to deal wth American problems, economy.Outside US he will centre on Asia ,for oil and stop Iran from developing nueclear power.Thats all.And he can only stop Iran by paying them,simple.Not war.For Africa all he sees is immigrants and beggars that shuld be stopped from entering US.He has no affection for Africa.No feeling.He will be perhaps the 1st US modern president never to have set foot in Africa,for what ,deseases,poverty and killings of women n children, Africans.Who needs to waste time saving Africa from Africans? No time.White lives matter most.

viola gwena - 10 November 2016

At least they have shown us Africans what the word democracy means.As soon as his term is over he won't ask for more but for our African leaders its a different story.So why waste his time on people who support leaders that treat them like slaves.

chimuti - 10 November 2016

All ill thinking , Zimbabwe is Zimbabwe , we cannot bank on Trump , ours is to fight ZANU PF regime which is a huge stubbling block to progress , why should we wast our precious time thinking that Trump will save us . Dictators are voted in by their comrades and through rigging , Trump will stop making his noise soon because he doesn't have powers to determine who are the dictators in this world , dictators can only be stopped through voting them out , not through shouting at them like what this business man Trump thinks , he is now facing politics and he cannot stand in front of the likes of Mugabe powerful politicians in this world , soon he will be told to go back to business and leave politics . Zimbabweans the only way to do away with the sanctions is to line up what has gone amiss, simple- ZANU PF must respect human rights -where is Itai Dzamara and the rest ? Why do we have peaceful demonstrations by opposition parties obliterated ? Where is demorcracy in our country ?

Khalabemgeza - 10 November 2016

Its not on his priority list, he is a reality tv star only does whats glitzy and glamorous. He said when Bush went to Iraq he should have taken the oil. So for those banking on an intervention should know he is not about principle and human rights etc he is about how much can he srcew you and your resources when he is done. The despots around the world will be very comfortable doing deals (paying tribute) with him and he leaves them alone.

Galore - 10 November 2016

@Chimuti , they have shown democracy , which democracy , do you think colonisers know democracy better than us the Africans who fought against their colonial rules ? If they have shown us democracy why do we have so many Americans today on the streets protesting against Trump -- Trump rigged the elections , there is no democracy there , Republicans doesn't recognise democracy but they are the worst racists and dictators of this world- mark my words .

Khalabemgeza - 10 November 2016

they dont comment nokuti kana vanga variivo vakutodaRERUN!

Zvitsva - 10 November 2016

my apologies fellow platformist,i have been too busy to comment,first it was the preparations for the ZIIM-SA binational meeting, now am busy with preparations for november 18 where the president will officially open the iconic vic falls airport which my govt has built despite the hostile sanctions and all,i hope the platformists will excuse me,as zanu pf we welcome donald trumps victory,remember hilary clinton was one of the sponsors of ZIDERA,whilst on the other hand the trump family has already shown their affection for this country as his sons love to hunt in this country,we therefore hope to grow our relationship from there

truth - 10 November 2016

I object to the elevation of Mugabe as a powerful politician He is a bully tyrant and proved to be a failure after 36years of rulership I would say ignoramus and a coward at same time because by not acknowledging the troubles he has caused in Zimbabwe kunyara nekutya because he has nothing to offer us anymore As for building airport in Vic falls -povo inodya airport? You will find the good jobs will be given to anyone affiliated to the first family and whatever revenue we get from tourism will be squandered just like all revenue from gold and platinum mining Citixens wont benefit so truth rega kuzvirova dunduru

Naphiri Chisayi - 10 November 2016

Welcome backubuthi Truth.linjani mfuwethu.uyaphila? We mised yu yungman.

viola gwena - 10 November 2016

Howz the busines out there ,hunting.? Here in Harare things not well wth yo 2 buddies,johnso n kasuku( I forgot his 1st name,) Saveus ,I think.This kasuku needs a shoulder ,yu may need a towel if yu thinking of offering him a shoulder to cry on.He is looking for Amai ,she ditched him.But johnso is hanging around blueroof ,everyday.he sleeps there at the qotas wth mukomana.Anyway welcome back truth.I thot I shuld brief yu mfanami.

viola gwena - 10 November 2016

kkkkkkkk,well @viola,tete if we forgave ian smith for all his crimes against us surely what stops us from forgiving jonso for buying chiefs bicycles with money earmarked for industrial attachees and kasukuwere for selling land to the prophet

truth - 10 November 2016

@viola, your assessment of Trump is something I agree with. Trump has said many times over that he isn't interested in Africa's problems simply because nearly all of them are self inflicted. He is on record as saying, "if Africans elect poor and corrupt leaders then they only have themselves to blame and they must suffer the consequences of their own stupidity and not now expect us to help them, we just don't have the time nor patience for that." I don't think that there will be any niceties exchanged between Mugabe and Trump. A big surprise in the last US election is the fact that many blacks actually voted for Trump and this is in spite of the Western media accusing Trump of being anti black and racist. Truth is that Obama promised huge change but in fact did little or nothing to help black communities.

Mbewa - 11 November 2016

I am not Zimbabwean,but speak in capacity of an African,becuase it concerns us all. What stand out from Trumps' victory is "MONEY".Trump did it for himself,he owes nobody and need nobody in the process. He clearly mentioned in his speech that,those nations who need to come long,they can do so.He has the temerity to try everything and would do anything that pleases him.One thing for sure is that he won't take nosense,I don't see President Mugabe trying Trump as he did in the days of "BUSH Administration". President ,like KAGAME,who is so derogatory ,wouldn't dare TRUMP.Finally,it should be understood that TRUMP's all eyes are in Africa.He wants people from all over the world,including Africa to stop migrating to the Us,instead they start developing their own land.That's where lie his involvement in African politics and African leaders are afraid of that..The reason for mass migration is known and Trump is going to deal with that, starting by erecting wall to Mexican,solving the "Syrian" problem jointly with Putin to redirecting "NATO's' activities and slowing down the African crisis.

Charles Lumanya Saidia - 11 November 2016

@Viola , Truth , Charles Lumanya . Ladies and gentleman , understand the major reason why the majority of Americans voted for Trump , they voted for him as a republican candidate instead of Hilary a democrat candidate just because they had a mandate that they need him to tackle , therefore i don't see Trump going off the given mandate and focusing much on Africa and her issues . African leaders were elected and thats it , Trump will never tell elected leaders what to do . @Truth - having Trump's sons hunting in Zimbabwe doesn't automatically mean that Trump will have a good relationship with us , that is your nonsense in thinking , how many people flies all the way from USA and other parties of the world to hunt in Zimbabwe , what good relationship have they built with us ? What is the difference between Trump's sons and other gold diggers? Please , please guys be realistic . This Trump of yours might fail the Americans and the whole world , stop being so imaginative . Zimbabwe is for ours and waiting for colonisers to change things for us doesn't work , we need to bring change on our own and celebrate such a changes on our own. Stupid people born yesterday , not understanding the reason why we went to the bush and fought , just willing this country to be recolonised , you are the worst sellouts . If we have realised that our leaders are not doing well why should we be opportunists and expect Trump to solve our own problems in our own continent ? Let us be own our own and resolve our own problems , if we have realised we have got dictators , then why can't we vote those dictators off power ? Celebrating Trump's victory for what , didn't you celebrate Obama's victory , did he once set his foot in Zimbabwe ? Lingabo hlanya lapha lina .

Khalabemgeza - 11 November 2016

@Viola , Truth , Charles Lumanya . Ladies and gentleman , understand the major reason why the majority of Americans voted for Trump , they voted for him as a republican candidate instead of Hilary a democrat candidate just because they had a mandate that they need him to tackle , therefore i don't see Trump going off the given mandate and focusing much on Africa and her issues . African leaders were elected and thats it , Trump will never tell elected leaders what to do . @Truth - having Trump's sons hunting in Zimbabwe doesn't automatically mean that Trump will have a good relationship with us , that is your nonsense in thinking , how many people flies all the way from USA and other parties of the world to hunt in Zimbabwe , what good relationship have they built with us ? What is the difference between Trump's sons and other gold diggers? Please , please guys be realistic . This Trump of yours might fail the Americans and the whole world , stop being so imaginative . Zimbabwe is for ours and waiting for colonisers to change things for us doesn't work , we need to bring change on our own and celebrate such a changes on our own. Stupid people born yesterday , not understanding the reason why we went to the bush and fought , just willing this country to be recolonised , you are the worst sellouts . If we have realised that our leaders are not doing well why should we be opportunists and expect Trump to solve our own problems in our own continent ? Let us be own our own and resolve our own problems , if we have realised we have got dictators , then why can't we vote those dictators off power ? Celebrating Trump's victory for what , didn't you celebrate Obama's victory , did he once set his foot in Zimbabwe ? Lingabo hlanya lapha lina .

Khalabemgeza - 11 November 2016

@khalabemgeza,dont be stupid on a public platform,first read and understand @viola contribution and my contribution before whining and writing rubbish,dont expose your foolishness,did i celebrate trumps victory or i just welcomed it?get your head examined

truth - 11 November 2016

1. He promised to put Hillary Clinton in jail. Let's see tghat first and all else will follow! Poor Jealousy Mawarire and Jacopo Mufumi! Ndiactor uyu - it's all play-acting! Poritika!

edmore moto sibanda - 11 November 2016

@Truth -welcoming an amiss Republican leader and nonsensical dictator ,this Trump welcomed on not , he is the worst dictator and far above Mugabe , did the entire Americans welcome this Trump of yours ? Then who are you to welcome a mere business man who doesn't even have the experience to minister 's position , only taken by mob psychology , you might be the stupidiest person on this public platform , very lowermost in thinking , you bank on Trump just because his sons do hunting in Zimbabwe , does that make sense? , does that suggest that you are very wise in this public platform , are you not very stupid and even more than exposing yourself ? You are piece of nothing used to nepotism , now trying to be a brother to Trump's sons . Truth of zero .

Khalabemgeza - 11 November 2016

Trump used fear and rhetoric to win, he won't be able to pull of half the things he said he would. Clinton won't be jailed and that "wall" won't be built in my opinion. As for Trumps goverment in dealing with Zimbabwe: "Zimbabwe lacks two exports, for foreign and American intervention, terrorism and oil" -Peter Godwin.

Young Zimbo - 11 November 2016

Zimbabwe is a sovereign nation which does not fear Trump, if all the other Western Presidents like Obama, Blair failed to overthrow President Mugabe and enact their own puppets governments to further their imperialistic interests who is Trump. Zimbabwe will never be a colony again, so Tsvangirai must go Kumusha and do farming there because he wasnt cut out to be a leader. What type of an aspiring leader who begs from sanctions and plunges his country into suffering. The same contries which claim to be for Universal Human rights are the same countries who violate those rights by stating that they are launching a western intervention for the protection of masses yet in actual fact, the West will be in the process of installing a puppet regime. Trump has to clean his closet first before cleaning the closets of the African continent Presidents.

#BringBackOurFlag - 14 November 2016

Trump like many or rather all us presidents dosent give a hoot about Africa.I dont see any change of the zim sanctions issue it is foolhardy for Zimbabweans or Africans for that matter to expect political changes in their own countries via a Trump Ticket.

pumps - 17 November 2016

Trump is partially believed to be a solution to African dictators. However, he will have a less impact on Africa's economic progress.

Senkumba Fredrick - 2 December 2016

I salute you BringBackOurFlag. It is quite alarming to see grown ups who have cant deal with their failures for the past 16 year. Campaigning and campaigning but chakabuda hapana. What makes you think Trump will suddenly deal with your problems (ousting Zanu PF) now when you failed to do anything pachenyu for almost two decades. Mukai. Zimbabwe will never be a colony again. Besides who is Trump for him to get involved with Zimbabwean politics. Trump akangofanana na President Mugabe vese ma President. Wakamboenda kunodaidza Baba ngana kuti vapindire pa Bedroom affairs dzemumba mako? 2018 elections are coming toda kuona kuti munosunda here.

Wilbur - 26 January 2017

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