Delonising Education

Delonising Education

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Will Bashir Budge?



          Looking at how the West helped the Arab Spring in the Maghreb, one can smell a rat when it comes to African spring. The West doesn’t take it seriously so as to add up to people’s demand for the fall of dictators. Take Libya, for example, had the West pooh-poohed protesters as it currently is in Sudan, the late Muamar Gadaffi would have still be in office after brutally thwarting the demonstrators the same way Omar Bashir is doing in Sudan today. However, by the look of things, Bashir seems to have run out of tricks he applied for over three decades to hold on power.
            Sudanese ended the year 2018 in style. The world recently saw Sudanese rising up against their long-time dictator that’s been in power for three decades. They want a change of government that would bring a democratic and responsible government elected by the people. After suffering many years of brutality, corruption and miseries under Bashir, Sudanese decided to say enough is enough. As a coalition of professional unions (Associated Press, December 27, 2018) say it, “today, we the Sudanese people ... have crossed the point of no return on the path of change.” Will there any point of return despite the West giving Sudanese a cold shoulder? The Sudan Tribune (December 28, 2018) answers the question maintaining that “the Sudanese popular uprising is inevitably victorious.” When will Bashir pack and hit the road? Nobody can exactly tell despite the writing on the wall.
            Sudanese seem to have become impatient and tired of Bashir after subjecting them to intimidation and manipulations for many years. As it was in Libya, nobody would think Gadaffi would easily fall. Again, this was made possible by a powerful hand of the West that used the uprising to settle scores with Gadaffi.  Now, should Sudanese wait for the West to come to their aid or just press on? Chances are that the latter is the option due to the fact that they seem to have become sick and tired of indignity Bashir subjected them for a long time. The Washington Post (January 6, 2019) cites one protester, Aseel Abdo saying “I simply feel like we’ve been living without dignity. People are standing in endless lines for bread—the elderly and even children. I have girlfriends who would spend the night at the petrol station waiting to fill up their cars.” This angst speaks volumes as to where Sudan is heading as Bashir’s grip on power hangs in balance.
            To gauge what should be expected out of this standoff, we need to know the force behind the uprising. As oft-aired, when the price of bread shot up, Sudanese found that, apart from having no hope, the regime had no alternative whatsoever. Instead of bringing bread and other essentials down, the cash-strapped government invented imaginative enemies to appease the Sudanese to no avail. Up until now, the government seems not to gate it as it faces the mass that is mad enough to chew nails. Despite this precarious situation, like any cliff-hanger, Bashir seems hell-bent to cling unto power come hell or high water.  However Bashir has witnessed many uprising since taking power, the current one is far and few between comparably. This is why many think that this is the beginning of the end of Bashir’s long-time dictatorship.
Source: The African Executive Magazine today.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Why flogging a dead horse known as the EAC?

        
  Looking at how rickety and ever seething the the East African Community has always been since its inception, one can comfortably foretell it’s seemingly demise. When’ll this happen? History and time can accurately tell. The current bottleneck revolving around many things including animosity between or among some members,   colonial-sired sovereignty and the lack of a vision for true unity, among others, has a lot to tell. So, too, the history of the EAC since it was conceived soon after independence has a lot to tell.
            The EAC I died after Idi Amin toppled Milton Obote in Uganda in 1971 and as per one of the brains and founders thanks to being in the upper echelons of the then ruling party the TANU,  one Pius Msekwa (Daily News, June 28, 2018),  the death the EAC so, too felled Mwl Julius Nyerere's dream of forming a federation of East Africa. The same way, the current bottleneck swooping from Burundi accusing Rwanda of sabotaging it is likely to allow history to replicate  itself again. Currently, the authority in Bujumbura isn’t happy about how the EAC members have addressed its concerns.
            Apart from simmering misunderstandings between Burundi and Rwanda, the EAC has never performed well thanks to every member to want to have its cake and eat it. This is where the crux of the problem lies. Instead of striving to unite member states and thereby form a single country, every country’s clang on and lilted with its myopic interests.  One thing humans are good at is not learning from history. One’d think; the demise of the EAC I would have forewarned members not to repeat the very same mistakes of not striving for true unification of the region. Again, why’s it been impossible to actualise the union?  This isn’t a simple question. However, the major stumbling block is power hunger among the leaders of the member states. For, every president wants to remain president even when his or her people want a full unification of the EAC member states. Have we ever tried this? Who wants to touch such a burning button, especially our leaders for the fear of losing their powers they seem to owlishly have monopolised?
            Another thorny issue is how to use resources found in the area wherein some countries have more than others. For example, Tanzania has many more sources of resources such as minerals; land and peaceability compared to others with encumbrances such as conflicts, huge population, lack of true democracy, landless population, tribalism and the likes. I for one, as a Tanzanian, if asked what’s good for the EAC, I’d offer one and only one logical condition; member states must quickly and truly unite and form a unitarism, federalism, or confederalism with revolving presidency, or whatever they may settle for but not the current hoax, the EAC. For, it is nothing but a burden that’s refused to decolonise itself and do away with colonial carryovers and mentalities emanating from the division and the partition of Africa. This is because Africa knows how weak it has been so as to become vulnerable before the preying imperialists that divided and weakened it.
            Time for petite imperial presidencies is long gone shall Africa aspire to move forward competently and confidently.  With the united EAC, some chronic burdens such as distrusts, landlessness and lack of democracy in some member states, rancour among members and tribalism will practically be baulk at and nipped on the bud easily. If you clinically look at EAC members, it is only Tanzania and slightly Uganda that have fewer burdens and have been along each other through thick and thin. For example, Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda suffer tribal bouts while South Sudan is currently fragile thanks to an ongoing violent conflict with a smell of tribalism as well. The other day, I laughed a lot when Somalia, with its scars, wanted to be allowed to join the EAC. What’s it bringing in; if we face and own it, that others want? This business of unification must be seen in purely mutualistic but not altruistic or parasitic manner.
            Arguably, when those interested in having a single united country known as the EAC or whatever agreed upon, especially the countries that have no susceptibility, must step up their game and remind those with vulnerability the importance of doing so. Their resources and peaceability are the bargaining chips they have to chirp in the dialogue. For, accepting the union is likely to profoundly help vulnerable countries more than any others. This is why, if every country keeps on pulling severally, countries like Tanzania and Uganda that comparably have no ills can form their own united country and ask other countries such as Mozambique and Zambia, which, apart from having land, moderate population, and peaceability, have resources to bring to the table. Methinks what’s blinded our people to fail to press their presidents to go for a united EAC is good language of doing business.  If we observe the situation for a long run, we need to have a single country that can preclude the above mentioned ills some members have. And it must be clearly stated that those countries need countries that have no baggage than the later need them.
             Pulling severally instead of doing so together creates, furthers and reinforces distrusts among the member states.  Hypocrisy and vainglory aside, the existence and the logicality of the EAC have always been the realms of fiction so to speak. It is time to think big and go for the total unification of member states to form one country or kill the EAC instead of waiting for it to die a natural death that’s currently foreseeable.
Source: Citizen tomorrow.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Disloyalty, perfidy and slapdash avant-garde, it can’t be CCM

          After reading Jenerali Ulimwengu’s piece in the East African (Dec., 24, 2018) with hoopla, wondering why the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) attended the conference that brought together revolutionary parties in Namibia recently, I sort of found myself laughing and wondering how easily some of us tend to disremember if not to play-act. To bring everybody in a bigger picture, Ulimwengu, my former employer and mentor in journalism I awesomely adulate and respect’s castigating the CCM and the current government for abandoning the onus envisaged by Mwenge “to shine without our borders and bring hope where there is despair, love where there is hate, and dignity where there is spite.” For whose interests was the Mwenge to shine without our borders if not ours first?  To accentuate an unclothed reality, we need to twig the fact that today’s situation’s totally different after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
            Let’s ponder together. If Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, for example, can recognise Israel (BBC, July 29, 2013) and  decide to talk peace with Israel, who’re we?  Further, in 2016, Egypt and Morocco signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), which obliges signatories to live peacefully among themselves (Xinhua, Sept., 6, 2016). As if it isn’t enough, the BBC (Nov., 6, 2018) discloses that in October, 2018, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife met the Sultan of Oman on a surprise, eight-hour visit - the first of its kind in over two decades. Who’re we? Should we eschew Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Oman as well simply because they decided to liaise with Israel?  How do we draw a line between national and international obligations and rights?
             The answer and rationale for queries above are simple that the above countries aim at protecting their national interests but not international ones.  Fortunately, president John Pombe Magufuli put it categorically clear that he wouldn’t  trade our national interests with those of  the others who can’t, likewise, reciprocate shall  our interests be in a peril. Although self-determination is a right of and for any and every humankind, methinks; charity begins at home.  Those who think that we need to keep on bleeding for others that won't  bleed for us should remember a raw deal our brethren are getting in South Africa, the country we sacrificed and toiled for to end up turning our people into makwerekwere or aliens. I don’t wonder if I remind others and myself that during the Kagera war nobody’d believe that Libyans and Palestinians would support Idi Amin (Citizen, October 14, 2014). Once bitten, twice shy. Magufuli, like anybody who cares, remembers this.  If the mahatma like Nelson Mandela, geared by the interests of his people, decided to wholeheartedly work with the Boers to see to it that South Africa’s rid of apartheid, who’re we?
            Further, Ulimwengu chirps “I am talking of the new-fangled “friendship” with the kingdom of Morocco, to the detriment of the people of Western Sahara, and with the Zionist state of Israel, at the price of abandoning the suffering people of Palestine.” Whose interests our government is to consider first between those of two mentioned entities and ours?  Ulimwengu must remember. Palestinians once sold Tanzania two conked-out planes to raise money. Who’re we to replicate this by paying with economic opportunities the duo’s to offer?
            Moreover, Ulimwengu queried if the CCM’s still a revolutionary party. The answer’s simple and clear in its name not to mention the efforts President Magufuli is undertaking to free Tanzania from wanton beggarliness and dependency while it sits on immense source of resources. So, too, this answers Ulimwengu’s query “so, why did Tanzania’s ruling CCM attend a meeting of former liberation movements?”
            Additionally, it’s on record. The Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) later the CCM played a very central role in liberating many countries globally. For the sake of argument, even if the CCM’s abandoned its sacrosanct onus on liberation, which isn't; and not the case, still boasts the accolades of once contributing hugely to the cause. Arguably, attending the said conference, apart from having nothing to contribute to its sister parties, the CCM could still deservedly learn either through listening, being reprimanded, queried or just keeping mum as it did. This is its right as it’s for Ulimwengu to task the CCM. Importantly, we need to be realistic vis-à-vis our national interests. If Palestine’s Arab brethren have decided to cooperate with Israel, who are we? Compare the economy of Egypt, Morocco and Oman to ours. Who are we? Besides, when we talk of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, despite being African, like their cousins in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and ironically even Sudan, have never felt to be Africans. Remember how our black brethren running away from miseries in the Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) are discriminated against and sold as slaves. Methinks, candle love that’s always defined Africa needs to come to an end.
            In sum, Ulimwengu and the likes need to know.  Under the current world order, economy plays a greater role than politics. Times for politics to be everything and above everything are long gone. I’d, thus, like to humbly submit.  There’s neither disloyalty and perfidy nor other emotive and loaded jargons in dealing with Israel and Morocco. And the CCM’s still a ground-breaking party per se.
Source: Citizen, today.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Istimela Singishiyile au Treni Iliponiacha

Kama Treni Iachavyo Stesheni, Mwaka 2018 Nao Unatuacha kwa Wale Waliobahatika Kuuaga na Kuona Mwaka 2019. Nawatakieni Heri ya Mwaka Mpya 2019 nikiwaburudisha na Amaswazi Emvelo bendi ya Muziki toka Afrika Kusini iliyosifika miaka ya 70 na 80.

phansi naphezulu Those below and above

Udunyisiwe lomhlaba
Umhlaba owondla umuntu
Njengesibungu esidunjini
Lunamandla ulwandle
oluvovwe itswayi wuqhembu
esweni lenhlanzi.
Icwebile inkanyezi
egqamile emkhathini,
imbade esiswini sesibhakabhaka gebhezi.
Ngobukhosi ukhozi
lwenyuka ngamaphiko egolide
phezu kwempilo ephansi.
Umnyama umgodi wembongi,
Imvukuzane evukuza ingekho
intunja yokungena nentuba yokuphuma.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Stiegler’s Gorge and modern international chicanery



          When President John Pombe Magufuli decided to walk tall with a big stick by refusing to chicken out to international shrieks against the construction of the recently signed 2113-megawat Stiegler’s Gorger hydro-electric power project, international media started a blitzkrieg against him under various ploys. The Global Construction Review (GCR) (July 4, 2017) quotes Magufuli as saying that he is not going to listen to the ploys by the people who speak about impacts on environment without facts on the grounds. While some so-called environmentalists are hollering, Egypt, which secured the $3B tender to construct the dam is quoted by the Egypt Today (October 21, 2018) saying that “the dam will ‘make Africa proud.’”
            The first ploy revolves around environmental concerns. Phew! Why environment is an issue when an African country tries to emancipate itself from whatever dependence? Why doesn’t the same apply when it comes to the looming global warming the West’s caused when it was creating the capital and pulleys for their current development? Who is boycotting and taxing, say, the United State to cut down its carbon emission not to mention other superpowers such as China, India and others whose role in causing this havoc is great?
            Let’s face it. Who’s endangering environment between the one who seeks to construct the source of relatively cheap electric and the one who wants to stop him? Why don’t we become clean about this by being sincere? How many thousands of trees do our people fell daily due to the lack of electricity that’d eradicate this phenomenon? Does this need to have a PhD in environmental science really? How many Tanzanians are going to kiss goodbye the use of charcoal and switch to clean energy after the project is actualised and finalised?
            Interestingly, some of those opposing the project are our own! For example, the Citizen (December 11, 2016) cited a veteran journalist, Attilio Tagalile wondering how and why we’re ‘killing’ our plants while others are protecting theirs. What comes first between trees and humans and who or what use who or what? As per president Magufuli, Tanzania is the only country that wholeheartedly set aside over 30% of its territory to conservational and environmental purposes.
            According to the BBC (December 12, 2018) the Stiegler’s Gorge was named after a Swiss engineer who wanted to construct a dam in 1907. Had Stiegler not been killed by an elephant, today, the Stiegler’s Gorge would have been puking money to benefit a foreign national. I suggest that this famous Gorge be decolonised by being renamed either to its original name, Rufiji Gorge or whatever the authorities responsible deem fit.
             After becoming aware of Stiegler’s drive to construct a dam, I tried to find if the so-called international community barking at Magufuli today did stand up to the project as it is currently doing under different pretexts.
            Another reason propounded is that the project, according to the WWF, the global environmental body, cited by the BBC above “will also endanger the livelihoods of some 200,000 people.”  Again, since when foreign entities have become concerned about the rights of our people while the same have kept mum when we were colonised?  When will we see our own needs and rights without necessarily waiting for foreigners to see them? Who knows the people between ourselves represented by our government and these foreigners? Logically, nobody knows what our country needs than the government the people elected to do their business. Poland recently flatly refused to butcher its coal industry noting that it's in the interests of its people.
            Again, nobody denies that there won’t be any environmental ramifications to the people living around the project. Importantly, when we weigh the damages and achievements, the latter outweighs the former. Had the government refused to redress the people to be affected or address their concerns, complaints against it would be legit. Even when there are some issues, methinks our country, as an independent entity, has its own means and mechanism of addressing them.
            Another reason comes from the so-called conservationists who argue that the area is a UNESCO world heritage site! Heritage site for whom if Tanzanians, who legally and naturally own the area in question, cannot be considered or listened to? Who’s the world without us and our needs?  Do we matter in world’s affairs so as the world to equally matter to our affairs? What’s the world done to address our power glitches? Do we need to really speak softly and carry a big stick or just ignore everything and meet our goals? As once president Magufuli put it, if the Stiegler’s Gorge project were a uranium mine project, all these brouhahas would be nominal.
            Another reason given revolves around tourism in that the Selous Game Reserve is going to be adversely affected. Well, who decided on what to be done with our resources? If tourists bring money to our country, it is upon us to decide what we need first between power self-sufficiency and tourdollars tourists bring in?
Source: Citizen, today.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Psychosis in the name of human rights needs to be interrogated openly

          There’s is a looming big danger, a very big one. Neoliberalism, under West dominant grand narrative, is slowly and systematically turning humans into cyborgs if not yahoos or yoyos. Among many things that made Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer, famous is his phrase “nonsense upon stilts” he coined when he took legal fictions on. Recently, Dutch positivity guru, Emile Ratelband (69), left the world aghast when he argued that “we live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can’t I decide my own age?” Ratelband went before the court seeking to change his date of birth to boost dating prospects by 20 years. Thus be declared 49 years old. For, he feels he’s 20 years younger than he actually is.  As per Ratebland, this is how he feels; and he needs this to be legalised and recognised altogether. However, he lost the case after the court holding that “granting the request would cause “all kinds of legal problems” by effectively erasing 20 years of events” (BBC, Dec., 3, 2018). Luckily, the court took Ratelband’s sapience with a grain of salt. It threw the case out and the Judge maintained that “Mr Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly.” But again, under what law shall he act according to his wishes accordingly?
            However farfetched and insane this can sound, Ratelbland’s take’s some nuggets of wisdom. Why’s it possible for, say, a male to feel he’s a woman and accepted but not when the same feels he’s younger than he actually is. Suppose I feel I’m president or king and wishes to be recognised as thus.  Suppose my wife feels she’s a male and would like me to be his wife but not a hubby and vice versa. Suppose, I feel I’m an animal; therefore, entitled to marry an animal. I feel I’m an angel; thus I’d be treated as such etc. Shall I be granted all these supposed rights? Here’s where the can of worms, if not Pandora’s Box, is opened.
             Ratelband’s argument is simple and clear.  If same sex persons are legally allowed to enter the institution of marriage, why stopping him from being what he feels and likes to be? Importantly, Ratelband move’s nothing but a critique to excessive human rights the world is now venturing into without necessarily agreeing on how to go about this thorny issue that revolves around colonialism and holier than thou wherein some civilisations of the world are bulldozed and ignored by the current Western dominant grand narrative. Shall this wave of undefined and one-sided and over-discretionary human rights go on unabatedly; we’ll end up being colonised if not creating more conflicts.
            Interestingly, all sorts of the so-called human rights seem to be a one-way traffic in that they all come from the West. When’ll Africa donate the same instead of being just a recipient of whatever comes regardless it make sense or not? Names, gadgets, systems, and policies, however fake and toxic they’re and whatnot, all are imported! Does it mean that Africa doesn’t have functioning brains not to mention feelings and wishes just like others? Show me anything whose origin is Africa in these human rights, politics and religions of the world? Is Africa truly free in such circumstances?  Why’s it possible for a person to change his or her gender but it becomes impossible to change his or her age? Is it logical really to be guided by our feelings and wishes however mad and untenable are?
            How long will Africa continue to be a world’s wastebasket if not an experimental object for whatever quacks to come and experiment on? Does this need donors and gurus to ponder upon really? Sadly though, our luminaries interrogate them, we shamelessly volley innuendos and vitriols at them while what they’re trying to do’s pull Africa out of this desperation and humiliation. Uh, it is kind of discouraging the way we treat these who doubt such superimposition. How many of such daring leaders and thinkers does Africa have today; if we truly face it? Again, for myopia, Africa seems not to get it at this precarious time its livelihood and future are on the line. Where are our Benthams today who fearlessly interrogate this wave of unpractical human rights? Aren’t we humans capable of standing for our human rights that are compatible with our culture, values and ways of life?
            Waffing aside, while this disregard to human culture, mores, values and intelligence that’s ongoing, we seem to have sheepishly accepted to be hijacked so as to keep mum for our peril. Sadly, our intellectuals seem to buy into this ploy either for the fear of being shunned or reprimanded if not looking bad. We need an international healthy dialogue on the matter to see to it that we come up with an international modus operandi on how to go about this dangerous school of thought.
            Like Bentham, we’d not cower when it comes to defending our values and ways of life. For, we’re duty bound to do so shall we aspire to save our civilisation. If those thinking otherwise are entitled to their rights and views, we too are. This is bottom line today.
Source: Citizen, today,
 

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Congrats Mengi however there's a dark side

            I recently saw you laying the foundation for M-Pharmacy in conjunction with an Indian investor (Citizen, May 6, 2018). I was overwhelmed and elated though a bit challenged, as I will explain later after congratulating you on such a milestone for yourself and the nation at large.  I was elated to note that there are some Tanzanians, particularly indigenous ones, who truly understand President John Magufuli’s drive for the industrialisation of our country. Seeing Mengi donating a building to the Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) a few months ago (Nipashe, January 31, 2018), I also was as well elated and challenged. First, Tanzania needs many Mengis who can invest in their country and drive their economy instead of letting foreigners to do so as it has been since the country acquired its independence over five decade down the line.  We need such people who understand our country’s drive for industrialisation. Again, we need Mengis who are not quacks or swindlers. 
            Secondly, I urge the government to support such people who are ready to spend their money and time and use their skills to bring about development to their country. Indeed, this shows how Magufuli’s government is pro-investment. Moreover, I think this is an irony to detractors and all who are despising Magufuli’s dream-cum-vision of industrialising Tanzania. So, too, this move will help our country from needless dependence for things we can produce locally.
            Apart from helping the country from wasting a lot of Forex importing medications we can produce locally, the said factory is likely to create jobs for our people.
            Further, Mengi’s move, apart from being an example for indigenous Tanzanians, will act as a motivation for others to seize whatever opportunities to build and develop their country. Importantly, Mengi’s move shows that if we decide, we can.
            Despite all accolades, mzee Mengi, there is a dark side looming over his name that he might or mightn't be unaware of. As I am writing this open congratulatory note, I contributed to two of Mengi's newspapers, the Guardian on Sunday and Nipashe Jumamosi for three years consecutively without being paid even a dime. Our agreement was that I be paid 30,000 per piece that makes the sum I was making to be 240,000 monthly. If you take this amount and multiply by 36 months, you can know how much you owe me. As any human being and citizen, I think, I have the right to be paid so that I can do my part of development of my country and mine the same way you are doing.  When I pressed my editors to pay me, they said that things are not well thanks to Magufuli. They didn’t give any understandable explanations provided that currently, whenever somebody wants to avoid paying a loan will tell you the same story of Magufuli as if Magufuli has scooped money from his or her pocket
            I don’t know if Mengi knows that there are many contributors facing the same predicament as mine. I wonder how they make end meet, especially for those who hugely depend on writing as their means of living.
         Mengi is not alone facing this dark cloud resulting from incompetent employees who do not tell their bosses the truth. The same applies to other media houses. In addition, the same reason offered is Magufuli. For example, I have been contributing to theTanzania Daima for over ten years with two weekly columns. As I am writing, I've already stopped after working without being paid for over three years now. I take this opportunity to address the government as well to see to it that local businesses including media houses are supported. For example, they need adverts from the government that is the biggest advertiser. By supporting the media houses and offering them adverts, they will be able to pay their small workers who are treated like homunculi simply because they have no voice or they are unable to create pompous occasion for the high and the mighty to take note of them. Instead of being treated like no-brainers by concealing their concerns or viewing their demands as hot air or hooey revolving around vainglory and grand standing when they agitate for their rights, the high and mighty should underscore the fact that without such small men and women, their successes would not be realised.
            In a nutshell, to ndugu Mengi, please take this challenge and work on it to see to it that your drive for development and justice are practical and far-reaching mainly to those directly connected with your success as it is the case of unpaid contributors to your media empire. It doesn’t add up to create new jobs while those with old jobs are going without being paid.
Thanks once again for showing the way and being ready to help as you did with the TWCC among many you have already helped and supported. Truly, charity begins at home.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Picha ya leo: Moja ya Urithi wa Thamani wa Mzee Pius Msekwa


 Kwa wapenzi na watunzi wa vitabu kama mimi, mtu anapoandika kitabu huwa anatengeneza kitu ambacho kitaishi muda mrefu hata baada ya yeye kuwa ameondoka. Mmoja wa watu wanaonivutia sana walioamua kutumia fursa na uwezo wao kutengeneza urathi usiochuja si mwingine ni rafiki yangu mzee wangu na mtunzi mwenzangu mzee Pius C. Msekwa ambaye baada ya kustaafu anautumia utajiri wake wa maarifa kuelimisha jamii kupitia makala na vitabu. Hapa komredi Msekwa anaonekana akizindua kitabu chake kiitwacho Uongozi na Utawala wa Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere ambaye hakuwa mwalimu wake tu bali mentor wake; ambaye kadhalika mchango wake kwa taifa si haba.
Juzi juzi alipoteuliwa kuwa mkuu wa chuo kikuu cha Mbeya cha Sayansi na Teknolojia, nilisoma kwenye mtandao wa Jamii Forums watu wengi wakilalamika kuwa inakuwaje Komredi Msekwa awe na vyeo viwili tofauti na falsafa ya rais John Pombe Magufuli aliyemteua. Hata hivyo, wakosoaji walisahau kitu kimoja; Komredi Msekwa si mtu mwenye njaa wala mwenye tamaa ya madaraka na mali. Nadhani, kwa tunaomfahamu unyenyekevu wake na kujitolea, alipokea wadhifa huu kwa sababu ya kumheshimu rais. Nakumbuka alipoteuliwa, alinitaarifu.  Kwa wanaomjua, Komredi Msekwa hajapewa ajira wala ulaji bali mzigo wa kusaidi taifa kutokana na utashi, utayari na uzoefu wake.  Kitu ambacho wengi hawakifahamu ni kwamba nyadhifa alizo nazo Komredi Msekwa si ajira bali heshima inayomgharimu muda wake wa kustaafu. Kama Komredi Msekwa angelikuwa mpenda madaraka si angeendelea kugombea ubunge na kupita tu. Mbali na hayo, Komredi  amejitofautisha kama mpenda jamii ambaye anapohitajika huwa hakatai. Isitoshe, tukiangalia kizazi cha sasa kilichojaa wapigaji, kwanini tusimpongeze Komredi Msekwa kwa kuwa tayari kutwishwa majukumu. Nadhani hili linajibu swali ambalo wachangiaji wengi kwenye mtandao wa Jamii Forums waliuliza: Inakuwaje rais amteue mtu mwenye umri zaidi ya miaka 80 na kumuondoa profesa Mark Mwandosya mwenye umriu wa zaidi ya miaka 60? Nani kasema ujuzi inazeeka? Isitoshe wote wawili si wasaka ajira bali viongozi waliotumikia taifa kwa uaminifu na ufanisi mkubwa na kwa muda mrefu. Hivyo basi, kwa kusherehekea na kuonyesha kufaa kwa Komredi Msekwa, nimeamua kumpamba kwenye blog hii leo lau watu waweze kutambua uwezo wake mkubwa si wa kuongoza tu bali hata kufikiri na kuweka fikra zake kwenye maandishi kwa ajili ya vizazi vijavyo.
      Kwa namna komredi Msekwa anavyojituma au tuseme anavyo-punch laptop yake kama asemavyo, sijui taifa letu lingeneemeka vipi kama viongozi wetu wote wangemuiga? Kwa kuangalia namna Komredi Msekwa alivyochangia katika uongozi wa taifa letu, nimechagua picha hii iwe picha maalumu na muhimu ya kufungia mwaka. Komredi Msekwa aka Rock, nangoja kwa hamu kusoma vitabu vyako viwili ambavyo najua uko unavimalizia. Komredi Msekwa, hongera kwa kazi pevu na tafadhali, endelea kuelimisha umma kupitia maandishi na mchango wako visivyo kifani.

Magufuli’s frugality a lesson to Africa

john magufuli
           When, for yet another time, President John Pombe Magufuli shelved the Uhuru Day celebrations, nobody’s shocked. For, this isn’t his first, and conceivably, the last time for him to do so as long his has always been development first. Since coming to power, ingeniously and unfailingly, Magufuli’s been conscious and frugal when it comes to spending public funds. Soon after hitting the ground running, President Magufuli stopped parliamentarians from outlaying at about Tshs.300 million which he trimmed down to 25million and the balance went to buy 300 beds and 600 bed sheets. Banning kujipongeza or self-congratulatory parties that’d have had charbroiled such a humongous amount unnecessarily, at least, contributed something precious to the paupers of our country. Ça y est! So, the first lesson we can get here is the fact that Magufuli’s practically always eyed on the development of the country first.
            Further, Magufuli had Uhuru Day on ice after giving directions that the day should be spent on cleaning backyards. The Lusaka Times (Nov., 26, 2015) quotes Magufuli as saying that “it is so shameful that we are spending huge amounts of money to celebrate 54 years of independence when our people are dying of cholera.”  The money saved was directed to repairing Ali Hassan Mwinyi road in Dar es Salaam, which, like any other roads and the city, was notorious for ruts and traffic jams. Apart from causing troubles and suffering for city dwellers, unrepaired roads cost a country economically. For, much specious time is wasted in traffic jams not to mention environmental and health dangers. For 57 years of our independence, if e at least, commemorated Uhuru Day in every two years, over 30 would have been repaired. And if our MPs would have deferred their self-congratulatory parties completely, methinks all of our hospitals and clinics would have had more than enough beds and bedsheets. Our schools would not have been running on empty as far as stationaries, labs, teachers’ emoluments and salaries and whatnot are concerned.
            If we face and own it, how can a poor country like ours that depends on begging, grants and handouts commit such a sacrilege of misspending its taxpayers’ hard-earned money and remain practically prosperous and stable by any logical standard? Ironically, when a country spends such money under whatever pretexts, leaders don’t care let alone being miffed even a wee bit.
            How many bridges, clinics, flyovers and underpasses, hospitals, schools, kilometers of roads, universities, water projects and the likes and whatnots we’d have had today had Magufuli’s predecessors acted and thought the way he does? It is unfortunate; what’s been ongoing in Tanzania’s but a typical replica of what’s been ongoing in Africa since gaining flag independence.
            Compare all celebrations Tanzania and Africa have presided over and spent on since independence. How much, for example, Tanzania would have saved had it consciously avoided unnecessary extravagance and jollities? As a nation, we’ve already burned billions wantonly if we remind ourselves of the days we’ve been commemorating by burning billions of shilling annually. There are annual celebrations such Jamhuri, Mashujaa, Muungano, Labour Day, the nativity of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) (which is no longer celebrated nationally), Zanzibar Revolution and you name it, for over 50 years down the line. What’s bottom line of wasting money to such commemorations if it isn’t extravagance showed by a begging nation whose economy, livelihood, social services you name it are derelict?
            All these celebrations burn money that would be directed to other important areas such as development, education, health etc. had we been cautious about our expenditures. Mathematically speaking, if we peg every occasion at Tshs 950million times seven celebrations per annum times, at least, 25 the half of the entire time we burnt the monies, we get US$166, 250,000,000 or US$72,314,539.0334 for one country at the current exchange rate. Notably, this amount does not include the money every division, district, and region spent for the whole time these days were celebrated nationally.  Suppose we extend this to the entire continent. We get 8,312,500,000,000 that’s equivalent to US$3, 615,735,126.429 all lost to extravagance and vainglory! If we consider how strong many African currencies were at the time of independence, the amount and value squandered may duple or treble so to speak.
            If anything, this is one of colonial carryovers our colonial monsters left for us to blindly and mindlessly finish ourselves by committing an economic suicide dynamically, endemically and systematically. This shows us that Africa’s wherewithal to live honorably shall it collect and spend its income reasonably and sanely.  This said, there’s a lesson in Magufuli’s frugality not only for Tanzania but also for Africa and all poor countries that still burn their taxpayers’ hard-earned dosh on colonial leavings thoughtlessly as indicated above even after becoming independent.
Source: Citizen, today.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Economic lessons for Africa from ‘Operation Korosho’

Ghanaian first president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah once wanted Africa to have its own cartels for its produces as the way of controlling its economy and getting away with colonialism, economic colonialism and dependency. Actually, Nkrumah wanted to start with Cocoa, Ghana’s chief product. Nkrumah says that Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neocolonialism whose soil is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Africa’s impoverishment. For Nkrumah, Africa’s development and true freedom revolve around, among others, the economics. His slant however, was socialism, which gave him a bad name so as for him and this cause be betrayed by some of his own people. Thanks to the politics of the time, under a polarising situation Nkrumah didn’t succeed. He’s toppled by the West as the strategy of safeguarding its interests in Africa. The East, under the then USSR, didn’t help which is not only sad but also ironic.
Now over fifty years down the line, President John Magufuli seems to have rekindled Nkrumah’s dream for the economic decolonisation of Africa shall Africa take note. His recent Operation Korosho speaks volumes on this. Although there are still some doubts and worries about the stance Magufuli took, at least, there are some good news and lessons altogether. One of them is the fact that Africa lacks leadership that’s self-confidence and the spirit of trying things not to mention lack of cooperation. Magufuli move shook the world cashew market though temporarily. How’d it be shaken had all African cashew producing countries follow suit? Although the so-called world markets tend to bully Africa, they inescapably depend on it.
The Kenyan Standard (Nov., 23, 2018) quotes Michael Stevens, a commodities trader at Scotland-based Freeworld Trading, as saying that “the price of the commodity has risen to $3.80 per pound from $3.50 in the last seven to ten days” after Magufuli started Operation Korosho. However, the price is likely to fall after bigger producers start harvesting their nuts.
The second big and important lesson we need to learn from Magufuli’s stance is the fact that Africa still needs the cartelisation of its produces. And this needs a daring spirit. To know what Africa needs to do that it was supposed to do just soon after gaining independence as Nkrumah envisaged, consider the following scenarios. Consider the humongous share of minerals an other raw materials that Africa produces and supplies to the world. What do you see? Of course, you see the same grungy picture. All the so-called international-cum-world markets of our minerals are in either America or European capitals! Con men and con women in Brussels, Paris, Rome, London and elsewhere who pretend to know more about, for instance, tanzanite (a precious stone only mined in Tanzania on earth), gold or diamond get away with a lion share of profits while our people are sinking in penury.
Don’t forget their ever corrupt and narcissistic nephews in the upper echelons of power in Africa from whom Magufuli’s identified himself. Africa must form cartels for its minerals and other products in order to control their supply based on the demand the way the Gulf States and other oil producing countries do with their oil under the Organisation of Petroleum Countries (OPEC). Our minerals and resources are our oil. Our fertile soil is our oil. Thus, we need to use whatever comes of it to our advantages and needs. This is what economic decolonisation means for Africa shall it start thinking positively. We don’t need the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank (WB) to see and underscore this thorny fact. We all hear all brouhahas of free market and free trade. How free are the markets and trade if at all one portion of the globe has been exploiting another for decades?
Ironically, when it comes to stuffs like automobiles, chemicals, machines you name it that Africa imports, the situation is the same. The difference’s that those exploiting our raw materials for such goods make more bucks as we lose a lot so as to make the whole charade a twofold-profit making business for them as we suffer a double tragedy in this monkey business. All stuffs that Africa imports are extortionately expensive compared to what it produces and exports. Again, these folks swindling and exploiting Africa full well know that Africa produces what it can’t eat and eats what it can’t produce like a chicken. In a simple parlance, Africa’s like a chicken on the table before Western countries. A chicken can be robbed of its eggs. Yet, it can’t free itself from such brutal life. For, it’s nowhere to go apart from having a small cranium and small brains to conceive emancipation. The chicken’s always a dupe. For, despite being robbed of its chicks or eggs, it keeps on wondering around the table where its chicks or eggs are eaten just like African rulers do by spending much time and money begging from the table whereat their resources and toils are eaten. Look at it this way as far as neocolonialism based on exploitation works. It isn’t a big deal to grow or sell products in Western countries where farmers enjoy subsidies and stable markets. But doing the same in Africa is but a headache. These guys benefit in two way-traffic-like business. Africa, sadly, loses in all two types of businesses.
If anything, what Magufuli did is what’s been missing in Africa's economic practices and psyche. Time for Africa to have its own cartels for its products is now; and Magufuli’s shown the way. Thus, Operation Korosho is nothing but a great lesson for Africa if it wants to detoxify its economy.
Source: Citizen, today.