Twitter Thread on the American Election by Patrick Gathara

Thanks to Dr. Alexandra Guerson from the University of Toronto who directed me to this “brilliant thread by a Kenyan journalist, @gathara, covering the American elections using the same language American media uses to cover elections in African countries”. ~ Sylvia Petter, Contributing Editor of Fiction (and satire), WordCity Monthly

patrick gathara

Twitter thread by Patrick Gathara

(presented with permission)

#BREAKING  November 1. Polls are set to open in 48 hours across the US as the authoritarian regime of Donald Trump attempts to consolidate its hold over the troubled, oil-rich, nuclear-armed, north American nation. Analysts are sceptical the election will end months of political violence. 

#BREAKING African envoys have called for Americans to maintain peace during the elections and to be prepared accept the outcome of the vote. In a joint statement , the diplomats condemned recent incidents of incitement, violence and intimidation directed at opposition supporters 

#BREAKING A team of African election observers led by the famed explorer, Milton Allimadi, who discovered the Gulu River in Europe, is en route to the seaside capital of Washington DC where they are expected to separately meet with Mr Trump and opposition candidate, Joe Biden. 

#BREAKING Milton Allimadi, head of the African election observer group, urged US media to be responsible in its reporting, and take care not to inflame the already tense situation. “We urge American journalists to preach the gospel of peace and acceptance of election results”. 

#BREAKING The US election comes at a time when the country is reeling from a series of humanitarian disasters including a pandemic that has claimed nearly a quarter million lives and brought its economy to the brink of collapse, exacerbating already fraught ethnic tensions. 

#BREAKING November 2. Businesses in the US capital, Washington, are boarded up as the approaching presidential election sparks widespread tension and fear. The first African journalists to travel deep into the heart of the troubled country report armed militia roaming the streets. 

#BREAKING African aid agencies sound the alarm over the potential for post-election violence to exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in the crisis-wracked US. Aid workers are calling on the international community to do more to protect the civilian population. 

#BREAKING Along with its northern neighbour, the US has long been regarded as an island of peace in an otherwise troubled region and plays host to many humanitarian agencies. The UN also has its headquarters in New York, in the more stable north-eastern part of the country. 

#BREAKING African envoys have expressed concern over local media reports that US President, Donald Trump, intends to declare victory on Monday, a day before the country’s presidential election is held. The envoys urged the autocrat to wait until all votes have been counted. 

#BREAKING Viral images captured by African journalists who have ventured deep into the interior of the troubled US show deserted streets taken over by politically-aligned militia riding in “technicals” just a day before the country’s presidential election.

#BREAKING Kenyans living in politically-troubled, disease-ravaged US urged to stay indoors and not to venture into the country’s interior. A travel advisory issued by the Kenyan government notes heightened risk of election-related tribal violence in central and southern states. 

#BREAKING Fearing an influx of refugees as the ethnically polarized US heads into a divisive presidential election, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appealed for help from the international community while Mexico is reportedly considering paying for a border wall. 

#BREAKING US autocrat Donald Trump threatens to fire the nation’s top medical expert following revelations of a quiet campaign to encourage mask use by his supporters by pointing out that masks allow wearers to publicly root for incompetent racists while hiding their identities. 

#BREAKING African observers and analysts say that many Americans are choosing to vote early and by mail to mitigate the risk of violence on election day. This trend is fueled by reports of police targeting gatherings of opposition supporters heading to polling stations. 

#BREAKING On the eve of US elections, a well-placed source says Kenya will call an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss worsening tensions in the volatile, strategically located Western nation. Top on the agenda will be securing the country’s nuclear stockpile. 

#BREAKING UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, appeals for funds and warns that his agency has little capacity to deal with an escalation of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the troubled US if election-related political violence displaces huge numbers of people. 

#BREAKING As the US heads to the polls, the African Union has urged foreign countries to desist from political interference with the elections which, it warns, could precipitate tribal violence in the ethnically volatile, nuclear-armed former superpower. 

#BREAKING Countries such as Russia have historically been accused of meddling with US elections to prop up authoritarian puppet regimes in the north American nation, which is strategically located close to the Panama canal and considered a gateway into Latin America. 

#BREAKING Viral video of barricades being erected around the presidential palace -known locally as the White House- in the US capital, Washington DC, has raised tensions as rumors spread that incumbent despot, Donald Trump, will not give up power if he loses tomorrow’s election. 

#BREAKING Report by African experts on US politics calls judicial independence the “weak link” in the covid-blighted nation’s democracy, warning of the potential for violence if judges hand-picked by the aging autocrat, Donald Trump, determine the winner of tomorrow’s election. 

#BREAKING The report by the Royal American Society in Accra, Ghana urges African states to make it clear to the ruling US Republican party that they will not tolerate any pressure on American judges to deliver politically convenient decisions in election-related cases. 

#BREAKING The RAS report also warns that private US media is being used by White ethnic elites to manipulate voters and to “deepen ancient tribal hatreds rooted in historical grievances over centuries of displacement, colonial subjugation, slavery and genocide”. 

#BREAKING Kenyan official denies reports that the country has told its citizens in the US to “get out while you can”, says the military is developing plans for an orderly evacuation should the political situation in the crisis-wracked north American nation deteriorate further. 

#BREAKING First group of African journalists to make it into the US tribal heartland files alarming reports of fearful locals arming themselves as the presidential election approaches. The troubled country already has more guns than people, with majority held by private citizens. 

#BREAKING AU statement on US elections expresses “deep concern” over allegations of voter suppression and political violence; urges US officials to ensure “all eligible Americans can vote and all votes count” and to desist from employing “disproportionate force” against citizens. 

#BREAKING Head of the AU observer mission, Milton Allimadi, says the US electoral system “would be an embarrassment in most African countries” and that the continent would be willing to share its expertise and resources as part of a “Marshall Plan” to rebuild democracy in the US. 

#BREAKING Interviews with African expatriates show how Americans are suffering with many fearing to leave their homes due to covid-19 and election-related political violence. “It is heartbreaking to see and sad that the international community is doing nothing to help” said one. 

#BREAKING An African aid worker was overwhelmed by the number of Americans in desperate need following the collapse of the economy as investors flee the disease-ravaged country and the covid-19 pandemic lays waste to small businesses. “We need to hire more volunteers,” she said. 

#BREAKING Monica Juma, who brokered the Brexit peace agreement in the UK and mediated the American Spring uprising in May, is appointed AU High Representative to the US with the mandate to negotiate a power-sharing deal should tomorrow’s presidential elections prove inconclusive. 

#BREAKING Two inspirational Kenyan teenagers establish online non-profit dedicated to easing humanitarian suffering in the US by helping customers shop online directly from struggling US stores forced to close their doors by the covid-19 pandemic and fears of election violence. 

#BREAKING Aid agencies launch “Adopt-An-American” campaign which lets people virtually adopt American kids for a small donation. A website will allow donors to track children’s progress, visit with US families and, as a bonus, tour US homes for an authentic American experience. 

#BREAKING Shocked by the state of the US election system, the AU Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa endorses a “Marshall Plan for Democracy” which will utilize Africa’s vast experience in democratic reform to shore up and rebuild struggling democracies in the West and beyond. 

#BREAKING  AU High Representative Monica Juma calls for calm as she jets into Washington DC, the tension-wracked, barricaded, US capital, on the eve of what many fear will be the most violent elections in recent memory in the troubled oil-rich nation of 330 million people. 

#BREAKING AU envoy Monica Juma is to meet with aging US strongman Donald Trump in the basement of the presidential palace – or White House – where he has barricaded himself surrounded by elite Presidential Guard troops from the country’s fearsome Secret Service. 

#BREAKING Report by independent Lusaka-based democracy support center, Kanegi Foundation, warns of “significant increase” in risk of election-related violence when incumbents seek reelection within severely underdeveloped electoral systems, notes the US “fits the bill perfectly”. 

#BREAKING Speaking to reporters outside the Green Zone – a walled off, militarized area around the presidential palace in the US capital – AU peace envoy Monica Juma urges Americans to remain calm, says strongman Donald Trump’s predictions of street violence are “unhelpful”. 

#BREAKING As the first Election Day votes are cast in the US, Sir Milton Allimadi, who heads the AU election observer mission, says security concerns may make it impossible to monitor voting in tribal districts in the interior of the country which is a hotbed of armed militancy. 

#BREAKING Analysts warn that the fear and desperation created by the deepening US humanitarian crisis, coupled with one of the most tribalized election campaigns in its history, may lift the lid off dangerous ancient ethnic hatreds and grievances that have festered for centuries. 

#BREAKING Sources say AU peace envoy Monica Juma will meet with US autocrat, Donald Trump, in a bomb-proof bunker under the presidential palace within the fortified Green Zone area of the capital to discuss the peaceful conduct of elections in the volatile, debt-ridden country. 

#BREAKING A source in Monica Juma’s team says the AU peace envoy has made a deal with China to offer crisis-torn US some debt forgiveness and to guarantee a comfortable retirement abroad for its aging dictator in return for a credible election and orderly transition if he loses. 

#BREAKING UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges the ruling Trump junta and the opposition in strife-torn US to engage in “constructive dialogue” under the framework of AU-mediated peace talks which aim to create a conducive environment for inclusive and credible elections. 

#BREAKING Following last-minute mediation by the AU, a tenuous peace is holding across the US as polls begin to open for voting in the beleaguered country’s presidential election. The AU has called on Americans to remain calm and to reject politicians inciting acts of violence. 

#BREAKING As peaceful voting continues across the US, political scientists say it may be premature to rule out violence. “In nations at a similar level of democratic development, trouble usually comes after a peaceful day of voting,” says Aplhonse Mjuaji of the Kanegi Foundation. 

#BREAKING “In Kenya, which like the US has had corrupt norm-busting, billionaire Presidents, a long history of elections and a rubbish election system, the violence usually happens after the vote, during counting and tallying, or after declaration of a winner,” Mjuaji points out. 

#BREAKING AU election observer mission chief Milton Allimadi, a famed explorer, has compared monitoring voting in the US to his death-defying search for the source of the Gulu, on the remote island of Great Britain, for which he was made a “knight” (warrior) of the English tribe. 

#BREAKING Outraged Americans take to social media to condemn convoys of foreign photojournalists spotted heading into the dangerous interior of the crisis-wracked US. “They are vulture journalists hoping to capture negative images of our country,” wrote one Trump supporter. 

#BREAKING AU peace mediator Monica Juma urges Americans not to become complacent as the US election moves into the critical counting and calling phase. “The American people should be proud of the first step they have taken today on the long journey to democracy,” she said. 

#BREAKING Ms Juma acknowledged there would be mistakes but said she was proud of how far the US had come. “We do not expect the US to develop the ability to run an election to African standards overnight. It took us years of learning from failures to get where we are,” she said. 

#BREAKING AU observers say they are investigating reports of irregularities in the US election, from polls opening late to equipment malfunction. However, without security guarantees, they cannot venture into the interior of the country where the worst abuses are likely to occur. 

#BREAKING AU peace envoy Monica Juma calls for calm as vote counting gets underway across the strategically located, oil-rich US, which is holding a deeply divisive and potentially violent presidential election in the midst of ongoing political, economic and humanitarian crises. 

#BREAKING Ms Juma, whose mediation efforts set the stage for a largely peaceful vote, called on US media to be responsible when reporting election results and to avoid language that could further inflame the tense situation. “It is better to be sure than to be first,” she said. 

#BREAKING As election results trickle in, UN Secretary General António Guterres asks Americans to be patient and stay calm. African observers warn that continuing efforts by the ruling Republican party to invalidate votes through the courts could hurt the election’s credibility. 

#BREAKING AU peace envoy, Monica Juma, again issues urgent call for calm as tensions rise across the US and hopes fade for a quick, decisive outcome from presidential elections in the troubled, nuclear-armed, north American state which has been hard-hit by the covid-19 pandemic. 

#BREAKING Ms Juma has urged the dueling septuagenarians, incumbent Donald Trump and opposition leader Joe Biden, to rein in their supporters and desist from premature declarations that could erode the delicate peace that is currently holding across the ethnically polarized state. 

#BREAKING The AU renews appeals for calm as US protesters face off with police outside the Green Zone, where embattled autocrat, Donald Trump, is barricaded, in the capital, Washington DC. Tension is high as vote counting continues in the volatile nation’s presidential election. 

#BREAKING Fears of electoral fraud mount as vote counting is suspended in the critical US state of Pennsylvania. AU observer mission chief, Milton Allimadi, urges Americans to stay calm saying it is too early to say whether this is normal or part of a plot to steal the election. 

#BREAKING A highly placed source says AU mediator, Monica Juma, is frantically shuttling between US autocrat, Donald Trump, and opposition leader, Joe Biden, to calm the rhetoric coming from both campaigns after the former accuses the latter of attempting to steal the election. 

#BREAKING Tribal violence rears its ugly head in strife-torn US as clashes break out between supporters of populist dictator Donald Trump and those of opposition leader, Joe Biden, waving Black Lives Matter flags outside the fortified Green Zone in the capital, Washington DC. 

#BREAKING Kenya has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the rapidly deteriorating political situation in nuclear-armed US, as a standoff ensues over the outcome of its deeply divisive presidential election and pockets of tribal violence break out. 

#BREAKING Head of the AU election observer group, Milton Allimadi, accuses Twitter of muzzling his criticism of US autocrat, Donald Trump, after the latter accused his rival, Joe Biden, of trying to steal the election by insisting all votes are counted.
#BREAKING Incumbent US despot Donald Trump prematurely declares victory in controversial elections as vote counting continues, vows to appeal to his hand-picked Supreme Court judges to stop all counting. Many fear that this will incite more tribal violence in the troubled nation. 

#BREAKING Analysts warn that armed rightwing paramilitary groups, which largely support the autocrat, Donald Trump, may take advantage of his declaration of victory and allegations of vote rigging to expand their activities in the US, one of the world’s top 10 banana exporters. 

#BREAKING All eyes are on AU peace mediator, Monica Juma, as the world scrambles to shore up democracy in crisis-wracked US where autocratic president, Donald Trump, is attempting to suspend the presidential elections and declare himself winner before all votes are counted. 

#BREAKING New advisory from Kenya urges all citizens currently in violence-prone central and southern states of the US to contact the embassy in the capital, Washington DC, in preparation for possible evacuation should the political and security situation continue to deteriorate. 

#BREAKING AU peace mediator, Monica Juma, has dismissed as “premature” suggestions that autocratic president Donald Trump and opposition leader, Joe Biden, form a government of national unity to undertake reforms and organize a new election for the sake of peace in the country. 

#BREAKING A source in the Donald Trump campaign says Kenyan legislator, Otiende Omollo, who is in the US to observe the election, has been recruited to join its legal team. Mr Omollo was part of the legal team that successfully overturned the Kenyan presidential election in 2017. 

#BREAKING News of Mr Amollo’s appointment comes as allegations emerge of a software issue affecting counting in the key battleground state of Georgia. A similar problem with vote-tallying software formed a key part of the case Mr Amollo argued in Kenya. 

#BREAKING Pro-democracy protests break out in cities across the US as the presidential vote count is delayed and the aging, authoritarian incumbent, Donald Trump, declares himself the winner. There are fears of a crackdown by police and violence by rightwing paramilitary groups. 

#BREAKING World leaders including Belarussian President, Alexander Lukashenko, and Tanzanian President, John Magufuli, who both recently won re-election in similar circumstances, send congratulatory messages to Donald Trump, say Americans must respect the will of the people. 

#BREAKING AU mediator, Monica Juma, again calls for calm as pro-democracy protests and ethnic violence spread across disease-ravaged US, fueled by a chaotic presidential election and an incumbent autocrat who has declared himself winner and demanded a stop to counting of votes. 

#BREAKING Somalia becomes the latest nation to warn its citizens against travel to crisis-torn US citing the deteriorating political, security and humanitarian situation in the troubled north American state which is overflowing with guns; urges those in the US to return home. 

#BREAKING Africa’s top music stars, including Kenya’s Ben Githae, announce a concert in Nairobi to raise awareness of suffering children in crisis-wracked US and raise funds for the Adopt-an-American humanitarian program which aims to help them earn money through virtual tourism. 

#BREAKING As results from its presidential elections continue to trickle in, Americans have taken to the streets to express their shock and horror over how they voted, with clashes breaking out in cities across the ethnically polarized, disease-ridden, north American nation. 

#BREAKING Statement from AU headquarters condemns post-election violence in the US following a chaotic presidential poll, and urges “all parties” to engage in “inclusive dialogue to preserve cohesion and create a climate of confidence capable of guaranteeing peace and stability”. 

#BREAKING Canada announces Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne is to meet with Mexican counterpart, Marcelo Ebrard, to coordinate a joint response to the political and humanitarian crises in neighbouring US, which threaten to flood both countries with American refugees. 

#BREAKING Joint statement from Canadian and Mexican foreign ministers calls on the UN to urgently intervene to stabilize the “rapidly deteriorating political and humanitarian situation in the US” and demands that any refugee camps be established on the US side of the border. 

#BREAKING “The fact that the US president is tweeting to discredit an election he claims to have won tells you all you need to know about the state of the US electoral system,” says Milton Allimadi, the head of the AU observer mission, in response to a reporter’s question. 

#BREAKING Sources say US strongman, Donald Trump, has barricaded himself inside the presidential palace vowing not to leave unless he is declared winner of the country’s disastrous election. AU mediator, Monica Juma, is currently trying to coax him out with promises of fast food. 

#BREAKING Emergency meeting of AU foreign ministers urges Americans to remain calm as vote counting continues in the troubled nation’s chaotic presidential election, says ethnic violence threatens the reputation of a country regarded as one of the most promising in the Americas. 

#BREAKING Source close to Donald Trump says the embattled US dictator is secretly reaching out to the country’s former colonial master, the UK, for help in crushing the popular democratic revolt threatening to drive him out of power following chaotic presidential elections. 

#BREAKING Pizza delivery man spotted entering the fortified Green Zone in the shuttered US capital, Washington DC – an encouraging sign of progress in internationally mediated talks to get embattled dictator, Donald Trump, to open the doors to the barricaded presidential palace. 

#BREAKING Report from Bonoko Institute for Electoral Democracy blames poor numeracy for delayed vote count in chaotic US presidential elections, notes that in the last two decades, the country’s math scores had stagnated in international assessments of national education systems. 

#BREAKING As the US descends further into violence and political chaos following a disputed presidential election, international observers warn the anarchy could radicalize more Americans and drive them into the arms of local terrorist groups plotting attacks on African targets. 

#BREAKING Speaking to reporters outside the fortified Green Zone in the coastal capital of Washington DC, AU mediator, Monica Juma, says significant progress has been made in negotiations to get self-declared US emperor, Donald Trump, to open the doors to the presidential palace. 

#BREAKING The Mexican Coast Guard is warning Americans against trying to cross the Gulf of Mexico after a boatload of desperate would-be US “migrants” was rescued when their raft capsized as they attempted to flee political violence and a deadly pandemic ravaging their homeland. 

#BREAKING Relatives of US autocrat, Donald Trump, who is barricaded in the presidential palace, are reportedly trying to flee the country as the “American Spring” revolution sweeping the troubled oil-rich nation following disputed presidential elections threatens to topple him. 

#BREAKING Despised by many, the Trumps have monopolized government appointments, corruptly using them to build a global business empire and enrich their friends and associates, many of whom are known criminals, while ignoring the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. 

#BREAKING Weary of the US autocrat’s intransigence, after he barricaded himself in the presidential palace and rejected results from the nation’s presidential elections, African capitals are threatening to impose targeted sanctions on Donald Trump’s family and hardline regime. 

#BREAKING As pressure mounts on US despot Donald Trump to leave his bunker and commit to accept the results of the presidential election, a source within the AU mediation team says a Trump ally has floated the idea of a national unity government with Joe Biden as Prime Minister. 

#BREAKING The source says the proposal for a unity government is not realistic and may be a ploy by the besieged US dictator to get AU envoy, Monica Juma, to sweeten her offer – perhaps by including soft drinks along with fast food – before he agrees to leave the White House. 

#BREAKING Kenyans in strife-torn US told to prepare for evacuation in what may signal a breakdown in talks to get strongman Donald Trump to leave his bunker. More worrying signs as delivery man who earlier entered the Green Zone in the capital is seen exiting with uneaten pizza. 

#BREAKING In apparent fit of rage following failure of talks and withdrawal of of fast food offer, US tyrant Donald Trump posts tweet discrediting the election he claims to have won. Exasperated AU mediator, Monica Juma, urges Americans to stay calm, says talks will resume later. 

#BREAKING As evacuations begin, Kenyans emerge from the interior of crisis-wracked US with terrifying tales of surviving armed extremist militants in pickups flying flags and patrolling the streets, mass hospitalizations and deaths from covid-19, and terrible economic hardship. 

#BREAKING Researchers from the Royal American Society say Donald Trump exemplifies the “big-man syndrome” that has corrupted politics in a culture where leaders were traditionally seen as gods, with their faces carved into mountains and their words preserved as sources of wisdom. 

#BREAKING In chilling scenes reminiscent of the infamous 2011 “rivers of blood” speech by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of then embattled Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, Donald Trump Jr, son of embattled US dictator, Donald Trump, has vowed “total war” to keep his father in power. 

#BREAKING Looking hungry, besieged and isolated, US autocrat, Donald Trump, finally emerges from his bunker to make a brief, defiant statement to reporters at the entrance to the fortified Green Zone in the capital, Washington DC; vows not to leave the presidential palace. 

#BREAKING “Democracy is about people casting votes, not officials counting them,” US despot, Donald Trump tells reporters, calling the continuing vote count in the chaotic presidential election a “coup”, and accusing AU envoy Monica Juma of trying to starve him into submission. 

#BREAKING As the vote count in the country’s chaotic presidential election continues to imperil his presidency, US ruler Donald Trump has for the first time offered to accept the result if he loses and to hand over power to his son, Donald Trump Jr, who he has named Crown Prince. 

#BREAKING AU peace mediator, Monica Juma, appeals for calm as tensions continue to rise in the strife-torn, banana-growing, north American nation of USA, over shambolic presidential elections whose results have been rejected by corrupt, authoritarian incumbent, Donald Trump. 

#BREAKING “Wouldn’t you rather go to Trump University than to the Electoral College?” tweets newly appointed US Crown Prince Donald Trump Jr. as he rallies support from the ruling Republican party for the family’s succession plan should his father lose the presidential election. 

Return to Journal

Patrick Gathara (born 1972) is a Kenyan journalist, cartoonist, blogger, and author. He is also a regularly published commentator on regional and international affairs. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, and The Star.

Gathara is currently a curator for Kenyan news site The Elephant. He is also the author of Gathara Will Draw for Food, a collection of his political cartoons and commentary on the Kenyan political scene.

For comparative purposes dated 4 November 2020

U.S. Embassy Abidjan


U.S. Embassy Statement on Côte d’Ivoire’s Presidential Election

Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie is now completing her first novel where, for a family with a Seventh-day Adventist father and a Mennonite mother, the End Times are just around the corner. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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