Africa writing her narrative, not the Western media Suzanne Jambo

Africa writing her narrative, not the Western media Suzanne Jambo this 9th November 2021 The international media is at it again, presuming to tell Africans who our good leaders are and who our bad are. Africans already know who our leaders are and who are our rulers. Our leaders are the people's servants who work selflessly and tirelessly to provide much needed basic services as water, food, security, peace, medical services, and education. They work hardest against all odds to overcome hostility and isolation, often by imperialists’ colonial tendencies and their biased media. These Africans are results oriented. We respect them because they facilitate for us to dream, aspire, and innovate. On the other hand, we abhor our rulers who are oppressive, corrupt, with hardly any tangible services, and who often are mere self-enriching war mongers. We also know these rulers well. We don't need the international media to tell us one from the other. Former late Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli who died in March 2021 was a true African leader, not a ruler as portrayed by western media. They wasted no time to skin his dead flesh calling him a dictator to “anti Covid19 lockdown” because of his approach to Covid19. Western media insults our intelligence, our cultures, our values. We respect good African leaders, not rulers. Granted, some may have differed with the late Magufuli over how he handled Covid19, but that did not make him a dictator. Magufuli was a servant leader to his Tanzanian people, he earned their love and respect, he inspired the entire Continent with his exemplary leadership. In barely one term in office, 2016-2020, we all saw how his nation remarkably lessened corruption, reduced poverty, and boosted education. He also robustly emphsized local industrization. Tanzanians saw results in services and infrastructure. Magufuli’s motto of hard work and ethical public service are unmatchable. Sadly, mineral rich-Tanzania would often have a network of local, regional and international crooks who institutionalized corruption. This is no doubt Africa’s most challenging fight; to eliminate such entrenched graft! Renown Kenyan Pan-Africanist and anti corruption champion Dr. Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba aka PLO coined a new phrase “the Magufulication of Africa” meaning the total ultimate cleaning of Africa of corruption. This is who Magufuli shall forever be remembered as, not as projected by bias, arrogant or disrespectful Western media of Africa’s symbol of a corruption-free Continent; Magufuli’s statesmanship leadership legacy! Africa showed their love for Magufuli by mourning him as he was the African national leader, they wished for but now gone. We mourned Magufuli and wrote our narrative on anti graft. Similarly, we are presently experiencing another onslaught by Western media on another respected African leader. “Is Western media gullible, or is it by some twisted choice, they ganged up against Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed?” Consequently, we are seeing a well coordinated “copy and paste” anti-Abiy effort. Simple research manifests that between 1991-2018, the Tigray’s People’s Liberation Front, TPLF dominated the ruling coalition; the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front the (EPRDF). Tragically, like many former liberation movements turned tyrants, the TPLF isn’t a good organization! It doesn’t have a good track record since they ascended to power in 1991. For 30 years it dominated and dictatorially ruled Ethiopia. The TPLF are hardly saints! By 2018 when Ethiopians were fed up with the TPLF’s politics of ethnicity; a volcano about to imminently erupt, unpredictable climate change factors as drought, poverty, diseases and hunger…The TPLF was compelled to handpick Ahmed Abiy, a long standing pro inclusivity of his Oromo people and other marginalised Ethiopians, part of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), Abiy has been a reformist member of the EPRDF coalition government (controlled by the TPLF). Abiy who hails from the Oromo community (Ethiopia’s largest) and married to an Amhara (Ethiopia’s 2nd largest). “Three years, we saw Abiy coming, he has all the right cards.” Quipped one of Africa’s most influential Pan-Africanists, civil society and human rights activist, a close associate in late 2017. Barley a few months in office Abiy won the Noble Prize for Peace in 2019 for his efforts toward attaining peace and international cooperation, particularly for his work to end his country’s long-running border dispute with neighbouring Eritrea. Though TPLF’s selected to premiership, Abiy prioritized all Ethiopians’ unity, common interest and socio-justice issues in governance and progress. He increasingly proved he is a no pushover for the TPLF’s exploits. Henceforth began TPLF’s obstacles and smearing campaigns against Abiy’s brave leadership. Relatedly, and as commonly in Africa, Ethiopia is a federation of nationalities, of which political parties are formed along ethnic or regional lines to reflect and piece together their rich cultures, values and aspirations, ideally under a unity in diversity and equality, neither domination nor human rights violations. However, tragically, such political parties are prone to exploitation and politicization by anyone, including those wishing to confuse and distort for reasons best known to them. So, in recent times, the TPLF took it a notch higher, dangerously and divisively so. During their decades in power, the TPLF perfected the card of politics of ethnicity through politics of favortism while sidelining other communities. This lead stirred up ethnic tensions and occasional violence. Like many dominating organisations, TPLF controlled and dominated politics and the economy and used its representation at reputed international organizations as the UN to safeguard and promote its grip on power and dominance while always looking good at regional and international levels. Majority Ethiopians continue to be in their silent pain for periphery treatment by the TPLF. It further ensured to have their backyard, the Tigray region, militarily guarded by the Mekelle Junta in case the rest of Ethiopia wakes up and demands fairness. All these plus more makes the TPLF a crystal clear case study of a tightly sealed ‘marriage between politicks of ethnicity and manipulation thereof to serve the TPLF monopoly over power and the economy….’ In other words, by practice and association, the TPLF has intertwined the TPLF as an institution to become synonymous with the Tigray people and vice versa, so as to mean the same. Western and regional media are advised to research before making inadequate conclusions at best, or distortion of information leading to panic and disruption at worst. On Saturday 6th November 2021 Ethiopians protested against the BBC and CNN for totally misrepresenting the current Ethiopian crisis and disrespecting their beloved leader. On the other hand, we Africans who know, and without hesitation summed: “Sudan’s military coup and its PM Hamdouk detained by the military, neighboring Ethiopia’s PM Abiy isolated regionally and internationally and a TPLF imminent take over of Addis Ababa….all in ONE MONTH of October 2021, efforts that seem well coordinated and naively reported by external media. I am not condoning Abiy’s shortcomings. He should’ve ended that war in December 2020 as he promised the Ethiopians! His 2021 war was a mistake. He should’ve found ways to divorce the TPLF from the Tigray people. He should’ve preferred diplomacy over war in 2021. He should’ve sustained excellent regional rapport to update Africans on what was going on, after all the AU is HQ in Addis Ababa. Abiy should’ve prevented another war in 2021, especially after former USA president’s “go ahead to Egypt to strike Ethiopia over the GERD…” We ten nations of the Nile Basin are eager to feed our people too. We’ve similar concerns as Ethiopia. Needless to add, it wasn’t a coincidence there was a military coup in Sudan with a soft spoken non-confrontational PM Hamdouk who didn’t take sides with Trump’s order of “strike Ethiopia”. No doubt there seems to be an urgent and dire need to reveal the hidden players behind the sudden volatility of the Horn and East Africa region. It is not a coincidence that both Sudan and Ethiopia are hit hardest in one month of October 2021. For a start this region shares the Nile waters and its sources. PM Abiy is urged to talk to his uncle former Nigerian President Olesgun Absanjo. Africa must hear all sides including Abiy’s side. So far, thanks to western media's shameless biases, the world has been privy to TPLF’s side, their social media stooges, and apologists, as ‘TPLF’s proxy diplomats in international organizations’ (a story for another day). Regardless, we must always make this distinction, the Tigray People are not TPLF! The Tigray people are amazing citizens of Ethiopia as are the Oromos, the Amhara and the Gurage and others. Opportunistic sponsors of the current sharp spike and threats have severely corrupted Ethiopia's ethnic politics. The TPLF and their dangerous regional and external associates are endangering the entire region’s peace and harmony and its chances for peace. *Suzanne Jambo is a veteran South Sudanese political activist, Founder and Chairperson of the 2017 Steps “We64, peacefully”. A founder in the Red Card Movement’s planned 16th May 2019 protests, an affiliate in the August 30th, 2021, nation-wide people’s peaceful protests and a founding member in 2021 CoTOPP, a coalition of “coming together of opposition”


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