By Hama Tuma
Cursed are we are, as they often say, we Africans have produced a new virus that is presently holding the world in awe. Remember when they said Africa gave the world HIV, the Nile Virus, the Tsetse fly, dengue and Ebola? As for the last one, there is no doubt it as ours as famine as it loyally and exclusively killed thousands of Africans and not dared touch the Chinese and other foreigners who populate Western Africa.
The new virus is not sexually transmitted like HIV. It involves love but not the carnal variety. The TT virus is purely African. Mexico and now Brazil (Swine flu, Zicas) have tried to be the source of this or that virus but with little success. As George Bush Jr. said “Africa is one sad diseased nation”. We agree. We do have the tendency to give the world new viruses and calamities. The TT virus is as African as cassava, matoke, iguale, kisra and injera –seriously and determinedly African. It has not been seen outside of Africa. As expected from a self-respecting African virus it is busy killing hundreds and determinedly wreaking havoc and provoking genocide. We cannot ask more from a decent African virus. We had in the past, back in the sixties actually, the OP virus which boldly and unequivocally referred to the one party system and the arbitrary and confirmed limitation of democracy and the multi-party system. The carriers of the OP virus, the likes of Sekou Toure, never denied they had it but rather succumbed to it and caused many deaths.
The TT virus or the Third Term virus in its proper name is more deadly and presently flourishing. It has no respect for due process or the so called Constitutions, actually empty documents in most African countries. It is covered up as democratic, a result of the elimination of the other OP virus and the establishment of democracy. A number of elections are to be held in Africa in 2016 and quite a few of them are victims of the TT. Some naive souls hope that as this new virus spreads old ones will vanish or decrease. It is not true–even in Uganda the AIDS curse persists. Democratic pretensions aside. Africans have been ruled by dictators even after the one party system was declared dead and Eastern powers gladly labeled their puppets democratic. The case with Clinton, male and female, who praised ruthless dictators in East Africa and the Horn as democratic ones. In reality, these places had and still have functioning one party systems wrapped in around a fiction of democracy and multi partism. Some of them have avoided this charade but most indulge in it and rig it all the way (with those in Addis Abeba winning by one hundred percent much to the joy of Barack Obama who hailed it as a democratic election).
Back then when the dictators posed as democrats and adopted Constitutions without any significance they had included articles on rights and on two term presidential terms. Oh yes, like Bwana America. The more cunning ones did not limit their power to any term. The other corrupt dictators thought two terms would be enough to fleece the population and plunder the countries enough. Biya, Obiang, Sasou Nguesso, Bongo, Omar Gelleh, Bashir. Kagame ,Museveini were then afflicted by the TT virus. Lo and behold, they loved it. TT is laced with power and that is highly addictive, more than heroin and cocaine say those in the know. TT promises money, huge money. Just check the wealth of Obiang, Sassou and Biya for a starter. The high is exhilarating and no rehab other than a revolution can serve as a cure. The TT virus is devastating.
Africans are more often than not naive. They thrive on illusions, they imagine they have rights, they give slack to dictators all the time, and they even believe that the predators have good intentions towards them all. So they sometimes take the so called Constitutions very seriously. When Mueveini tried to change it and gave himself the legality to run amok with the TT virus they protested and TT killed many .Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, and others have followed. Burundi is on the verge of a bitter civil strife and genocide because the TT virus affected the dictator and since of love of, and addiction to, power is more potent than common sense the man has reelected himself for a third term and had brought the country to the brink destruction. Game is prepared to enjoy the virus and stay in power till 2034. Cameroun’s Biya and Sassou Ngueso are old and decadent men but the virus has not enable them to say enough. More significantly, the victims of the TT enjoy the full support of the West that makes the right noises about democracy but practices the double standards and supports dictators aligned to it. Thus, while Obama hypocritically talked tough on those seeking third terms he also spoke in favor of an obviously rigged election that gave the practically single party rulers a 100 percent victory. And Kagame and Museveini are Washington’s allies while others embrace France. Omar Gelleh of Djibouti want to have his own FT virus as he plans to be given a fourth term but it seems poor health and Western dissatisfaction (he gave China a naval base at a hefty price) may not allow him to enjoy the FT all by himself. After all, Gelleh is not Bashir for that matter.
Many more victims of the TT virus will appear in Africa where havoc has been brought by the new colonizers. The devastation brought on Libya and its consequences are evident. The Arab spring (from Tunisia to Egypt) has been winterized by force. Egypt and even Tunisia are examples. This and the war situation in Syria created by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the West has turned back on all of the perpetrators via what they call the migrant crisis which continues to expose their dark and hypocritical core. Can we expect the TT virus to attack the West? Variations have been witnessed in some ex-Soviet regions. Variations but the real TT deal stays African. Only we Africans have been chosen to suffer it. Could we say the West is jealous and envying us for our own special TT virus? We cannot put it past them. After all, most of the dictators, meaning those with the TT virus, are their babies in one way or another.