Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Will the US succeed to kill or suffocate the ICC?

                        Recent outbursts by US president’s National Security Advisor, Michael Bolton against the International Criminal Court (ICC) are but attempts and tell porkies to distract Americans’ attention. Will Trump get away with murder or just recoil and swallow his pride?  The BBC (Sept., 10, 2018) quoted Bolton as saying “we will not co-operate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.” As if it was not enough, Bolton referred to the ICC as an illegitimate court. The US was irked when the ICC indicated that it could investigate American troops in Afghanistan for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. To show how murky and spooky the situation is, Bolton added as he was quoted by the Daily Nation (Sept., 10, 2018) as saying “we will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system.” If the US goes on making good on its promises, it will be patronising itself and toppling itself from its self-proclaimed role of the leader of the free. For, freedom, among others, gyrates around the rule of law and respect of law. And the US, as a sole hegemony currently needs to lead by examples. It needs to preach water and drink water but not wine.
            What looks like apologia pro vita sua, the ICC categorically said it is unfazed by threats from the US. The Daily Telegraph quoted ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda as saying that “the ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law.” Further, Bensouda said that there is a reasonable basis to believe war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed in Afghanistan; thus, that all sides in the conflict would be examined, including members of the US armed forces and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
            By all standards, US’s move is not only a violation of international law and shame but also abhorrent, duplicitous and malodorous. Ironically, when Kenyan authorities refused to cooperate with the ICC when their president and his deputy were indicted, the US condemned the same cheekiness of law it is now barefacedly replicating. Shall the ICC make good on its promises, it means, it will be on the collision course with the current only hegemony. Will the US kick-back and look while its citizens and allies are crucified? Will it too make good on its promises of going after the ICC?  What precedent does the US set, especially at this time some African countries have already agitated and registered discomfort that they’d pull out of the ICC?
            Under injudicious and megalomaniac holier than thou predisposition, the US is once again shooting itself in the foot. What a blow that’s unleashed by president Donald Trump’s administration thanks to his ignorance of law, international law and diplomacy.  Shall Trump survive his self-inflicted wounds resulting from his collusion with Russia among many bloopers; and left in office, the US will suffer even more embarrassment and losses than the already incurred by this apathetic administration.
Losing international clout
            Will the US support and use African countries that have already shown the intention to withdraw their membership from the ICC? What ramifications will this have on conflict, democracy, human rights and the general global geopolitics and realpolitik? Looking at how peace prevailed in Kenya in the elections that followed after the ICC indicted some big cheeses, shall the ICC be butchered, smothered or sabotaged, many conflicts–many countries avoided for the fear of indictments–will surge and wreak havoc to the already fragile situations in countries such as Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Gabon, South Sudan, Sudan and Togo wherein some monocratic rulers use violence to cling to power either by tinkering with the constitutions or unleashing terror to their opponents. The fear–the ICC instilled globally on the to be criminals and human right abusers–still is a deterrence without which many innocent people are likely to suffer viz. being killed, displaced and silenced.
            Even if the US doesn’t kill the ICC, boycotting and disparaging it not to mention referring to it as illegitimate court doesn’t do the US and the world good, particularly at this time conflict revolving around struggle for power and resource control seems to have increased. An ideal example can be drawn from Burundi which saw some violations of human rights after president Pierre Nkurunziza enacted his illegal manoeuvres to tinker with the constitution in order to cling to power. I’d argue that the number of deaths was largely avoided or reduced by the fear of indictment by the ICC. So, too, the ongoing morass in Togo fundamentally became less brutal for fear of the ICC; otherwise the authorities wouldn’t have failed to unleash brutal forces to subdue opponents.
Creating dramas and theatrics
            Additionally, facing a mega scandal resulting from the Russian collusion, Trump’s administration will stop at nothing to see to it that goes away or fade from the minds of Americans. Due to the vulnerability of his presidency, Trump would create any dramas and theatrics in order get a reprieve even temporarily as it is in this gambit. Therefore, by taking on the ICC, Trump is purposely seeking to addle Americans from his scandals, especially at this time his party is facing midterm elections. If anything, this is a ruse Trump has always employed when faced with dangers. However, the upshot here’s simple that the cockerel taught the chicks to poo in the nest. The US must respect the ICC. For, killing it won’t only create more room for big criminals to commit crimes but will also exacerbate conflict. Under the Universal Declaration of Human rights (UDHR, 1948), all human beings are equal and they must be practically and internationally treated so.
Source: The Citizen, Today.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Will Sino-Africa ‘marriage’ help Africa out of penury


           
            Currently, Africa’s like a very beautiful girl that attracts all sorts of suitors thanks to its abundant and untapped resources. The just concluded conference between Africa and China aka Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC 2018) speaks volume on this newly-found love. Despite this love, African countries, as victims of colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism, need to examine and interrogate it carefully and collectively shall they want not to repeat the same mistakes they’ve been making for over five decades.
            There’s a misconception that all flows of Chinese funds into Africa are aid. However, what difference’s there between the colonial eras whereby colonial agents offered African beads in exchange with gold and current China’s neocolonialism? Isn’t China offering Africa a chicken to end up making away with an elephant? There are assumptions that what’s seen as aid’s nothing but a bait for securing businesses for Chinese companies that are scattered all over Africa making a killing. The situation’s worse provided that whatever tenders awarded to Chinese construction companies are supervised by corrupt black colonisers, though not all, who care about their interests but not those of their people. Soon you’ll hear the India-African Forum. Africa now’s losing big time in terms of resources to China and India due to imbalanced trade.
            A major question, among others, we need to ask is: Will the coming of China make Africa’s situation better or just exacerbate it.  The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) CEO, Ray Washburne, warns that Africa’s pointlessly cascading into a debt trap as  Reuters (July 16, 2018) quotes him as saying “we try to have countries realise that they’re indebting themselves to the Chinese.” Again, do the US and the West in general have any moral high ground to counsel Africa about what to do if, at all, for over five decades, have been doing what China’s now replicating? On their side, according to the survey by Ipsos Synovate cited by theDaily nation (5 September, 2018), a total of 38% of Kenyans think that the continued relationship between Kenya and China will lead to job losses. This is only 11% in the relationship between Kenya and USA. The survey also looked into the issue of cheap and substandard goods and came up with the stunning findings wherein 25% of Kenyans think that China will flood the Kenyan market with cheap goods compared to 18% perception of the US. Further, the Guardian (5 February, 2007) quotes former Zambia president Guy Scott as saying that “we’ve had bad people before. The whites were bad, the Indians were worse but the Chinese are worst of all.” Moreover, the Business Insider (July 9, 2015) quotes an Angolan cook Marisa who concurs with Scott as saying that “the agreements with China are a benefit for them and the president and not for us.”
            Additionally, the Ministry of Commerce (2009) notes that Chinese contractors signed construction contracts in Africa worth $40 billion. What does this say? China gave Africa just US$5.7 billion and got away with the tender of US$40 billion which can rake in more money in terms of profit than the one offered apart from creating job for Chinese workers and market for Chinese goods like steel and other garbage China is currently dumping in other countries. Swahili business philosophy has it that you know me and you are my friend but my business doesn’t know you.
            You can see this on how China and India are exporting their jobless people to Africa to take up jobs from Africans not to mention indulge themselves in illicit activities due to not benefiting from the job markets at home. When Shinn and Eisenman (2012) in their book, Africa and China-A Century of Engagement, they conducted interviews about the relationship between Africa and China, and were shocked to find Chinese ditch diggers in Sudan.
            While China and India are exporting their unskilled workers to Africa to take up even menial jobs, Europe’s been doing things differently. It’s always sent technocrats and diplomats who use Africans to do their works. Instead of sending such unskilled troupes, Europe’s been attracting Africa’s experts under the so-called brain drain. As we will see, drain brain is costing and hurting Africa heavily. Arguably, it’s important to note that such loss-making settings don’t only end in brain drain but also in other aspects such as trade, technical assistance and the horse-jockey relationship.
            When it comes to the coming of China and India, I admonish Africa to clutch and latch on this opportunity; and secure a good deal provided that Africa must be reunited: and thereby act as one country instead of acting severally as it currently is.
            Another conduit of robbing; and thereby burdening Africa’s nothing but forcing any country receiving aid, specifically technical aid, to make sure that the said country uses the companies, experts and sometimes, materials from the donor countries. When will Africa use its resources and workforce? Is there any exchange of skills in the business between China and Africa or just creating more dependency for Africa’s peril? These and others are the questions African rulers need to ask themselves before getting to bed with China or India simply because their aid has fewer strings attached it than the West though the effects are likely to be the same even gross than the former.
            In a nutshell, what China and India are doing to Africa has no difference from what the West’s been doing for over five decades of neocolonialism and neo-liberalism. For Africa to benefit from its relationships with the two emerging power, it needs to think out of the box and make sure that it complicates it so that the new suitors can competently compete with the old ones namely the West. Importantly, when it comes to trade what matters is profit but not relationship or any hooey as African rulers wrongly think. Whether Africa’s cascading into a debt trap or not, is the matter of time to accurately tell just soon.
Source: Citizen today.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Lion in your car, what would you do if it were you?


Present defections massacre or the suicide for the opposition?

            Alarmingly speedy defections to the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) the opposition is facing make the heads shake. Thanks to this, Pius Msekwa, columnist and one of the stalwarts of our politics, queries “current defections by opposition MPs and Councillors to the ruling party: is this a strategy to ‘kill’ opposition in parliament?”(Daily News, Aug., 9, 2018). Though Msekwa, carefully and skilfully used the word ‘kill’ to allow everybody to make a judgement and sense of it, what’s apparent about such concerns is opposition’s bereavement. After reading his piece, my crystal ball told me to pen this piece about this strange but expected phenomenon. I therefore, I’ll dwell on the bottom-line of this trend. In doing my autopsy, I can confirm: there’s no any convolution or dearth of the clues of the causes of opposition’s death that’s certain save that what’ll cause it is an issue. To know what’ll kill the opposition, we need to conduct an investigation to ascertain whether this death is homicide, natural or suicide. 
            The following are my findings:
Lowassa vs Slaa effects
            Let’s face it. After former PM, Edward Lowassa invaded, coaxed the UKAWA and got what he wanted; the opposition started a suicide that hastened its journey to the political boneyard.  Just imagine, if they got 39.97 % with Lowassa, what’d have been the situation had they stuck with Dr Wilbrod Slaa? If anything, Lowassa’s became an albatross around CHADEAMA’s and UKAWA’s necks. Or put it, he’s a big stone that sank the opposition as it faces a raging sea. His arrival to the opposition didn’t add up save causing melee that saw juggernauts like Slaa packing and vacating the opposition. This sent signals to the voters on how desperate, double-faced, ill-informed, indifferent and fly-by-night the opposition was. I know those of us who used to support them felt when the man the opposition demonised and whose blood they’re baying for became a diamond in the rough just overnight. There’s no way such strange bedfellows could make it in this fatal embrace.
On his side, Lowassa didn’t bother about losing the presidency. Arguably, he wanted to meet three goals therefrom he came out as a champ. First, he fulfilled his ambition of taking a shot at presidency after the CCM refused to endorse him. Secondly, Lowassa, easily punished the opposition that didn’t only tarnish his image in the CCM but also blew his cover after coming with the list of shame wherein Lowassa featured high. Thirdly, Lowassa knew too well: the opposition’s among the causes-cum-obstacles that authored his fall from grace after unearthing Richmond scam. With such a great role in pulling Lowassa down, there’s no way he’d forgive or forget. He thus, knowingly decided to crucify from within.
Mtulia’s effects
            After Kinondoni MP (CCM formerly CUF), Maulid Mtulia started a high-level defection, won the trust of his new party and the voters; and regained his job, he set the precedent for others to follow. This opened floodgates for the defections we now evidence. Whatever the cause[s] of this defection, the opposition need to rejig its ranks.
Magufulification’s effects
            After hitting the ground running, soon after winning the presidency, Dr John Magufuli started delivering on his promises. Refer to the SGR, the ATC, services such as free education, stable health services and whatnots that can’t be gainsaid. On this, I hear some disparagers saying that they don’t know where Magufuli got the money to purchase planes or finance the SGR they say will incur more debts. Well, I don’t know if this bothers voters in rural areas or a common mwananchi. This reminds me how Kenyan opposition leader, Raila Odinga, replied when one, Dr Bony Khalwale confronted him asking why he didn’t tell the NASA coalition he’d negotiate with his nemesis-turned-ally, president Uhuru Kenyatta and iron out their differences so as to come up with what’s now famously known as handshake. Odinga asked Khalwale what’s logical for both between telling them he’s going hunting or the meat he brought with him after the handshake. For the common mwananchi in Ushetu, Nakapanya, Ngara and elsewhere, what matters is nothing but services. He or she wants to see clinics, flyovers, hospitals, schools, railway, roads and whatnots but not knowing if the money financing or purchasing such things came from the parliament or the statehouse. This is why, when detractors are complaining, Magufuli is busy making good on his promises.
UKAWA’s feebleness and fickleness
            UKAWA’s establishment was fickle and feeble from the outset. It’s built on a shaky footing. Refer to how they’re now faring after losing Buyungu, Kinondoni, and Siha just recently. Methinks the straw that broke camel’s back for the UKAWA is the type of politics they embarked on plus the above effects that sealed their fate. They’re more in urban areas but absent in rural areas where many voters live. This lack of national-wide network and base had its negative effects on them.
 What should they do?
Go back to the drawing board and accept to change according to the politics of the day. The current manner and style in which the UKAWA is operating is hugely counterproductive. Attack Magufuli’s performance based on facts and reality. For example, if the UKAWA thinks there’s corruption anywhere, they’d bring this to the fore.
Look at issues to prioritise and tackle. Instead of complaining, make sure you reach the people you didn’t reach.
Re-evaluate, rejig and rejigger your strategies based on the realities of today as far as Magufuli’s style is concerned. People need services more than anything in the first place.
Commute parties from being private to public parties. Currently, almost all political parties minus the CCM gyrate around personalities but not issues, which is a setback.
Expand your national network by adding up rural Tanzania to the already established urban network.
 Lastly though not least, unite pragmatically but not seasonally under marriage of convenience as it is in the case of the slack UKAWA. Equally, stop witch-hunting. The enemy’s within.
Source: Citizen, today.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

African Reunite or Perish


Is he or she still the one?

This Shania Twain's song, You Are Still the One was hit in the late 90s. For those of us who danced it on the day we tied the knot, this song is still a hit entrenched in our marital history. For us, it has been over twenty years since we entered this business known as marriage. We've crossed many valleys and climbed many mountains. This being the case and said, is he or she still the one?

Friday, 31 August 2018

Mengi na Mbowe ni matajiri au matapeli wa kawaida tu waliojificha kwenye biashara na siasa

MOBWE NA MENGI WAMENIDHULUMU

                

             Kama ambayo mmeona siku za karibuni, makala zilizokuwa zikitoka kila wiki kwenye Gazeti la Tanzania Daima na kijliwe na nyingine kwenye magazeti ya  Nipashe na the Guardian hazionekani  kwenye uga huu kwa muda sasa. Hit ni kutokana na kuacha kuandikia magazeti husika baada ya wenye magazeti haya kunidhulumu pesa nyingi ambazo ni malimbikizo ya kazi za takriban miaka mitatu. Hivyo, utawala wa blog hii unajisikia vibaya kufikia hatua hii ambayo, hata hivyo, haiepukiki. Kila nilipokuwa nikidai pesa zangu, wahariri wa magazeti husika walizoea kuniambia kuwa rais John Magufuli amehujumu biashara zao jambo ambalo naona ni dhuluma longolongo na ubabaishaji hasa nikaingalia haddi za wahusika. 
                  Badala ya kuongelea namna ya kunilipa, ulijengeka uadui wa ajabu. Mfano, wahariri wa Gazeti la Nipashe Gaudencia Mngumi na Edmund Msangi waliongoza katika uhasama huu usiokuwa na sababu yoyote bali dhuluma na kujikomba kwa mabwana zao. Sikutegemea watu  ambao wamekuwa wakijionyesha kama matajiri na watetezi wa haki za watanzania kama Freeman Mbowe na Reginald Mengi wangekuwa dhulumati wa kawaida wanaojionyesha kama watu wema wakati si chochote si lolote.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Trump, when the jig’s up and the game’s up think

          Arguably, when US president Donald Trump’s disgraceful fall from grace started, was wrongly perceived as a storm in a teacup. However, it seems, the game is up; and the jig is up. Following the recent double whammy resulting from the conviction and the guilty plea by Trump’s consigliore, Paul Manafort, (one of Trump’s kingmakers) and his lawyer aka fixer (if not the second black box after Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner) who once swaggered he’d take a bullet for Trump, Michael Cohen respectively, is it time to write Trump’s political dirge? Currently, Trump is heavily grappling with the burden of his undoing resulting from the manner and style by which he came to power aka Russian collusion. His spin-doctors and lynch-pins are likely to be in disarray after the conviction and the guilty plea that have taken two sharks down in Trump’s pond he promised to drain to end up imbuing it  with even more deadly and dangerous sharks and whales.
            Since coming to power controversially, Trump’s administration has always had a cloud hanging over it. Now, the noose is slowly tightening on Trump. Some thought that this was a passing cloud.  However, the cloud seems to have refused to go so as to become an albatross around Trump’s neck. As it vividly seems, Trump either is on his way out of the White House or is praying for the miracles to save his ever controversial presidency. Will he survive? Will the Americans bite the bullet and swallow their pride as they keep their greatly tainted president or boot him out?
            It started to rain on Trump when the bombshell or allegations of collusion with Russia; aimed at helping Trump win the White House, surfaced; and kept on looming as the days went by. To make matters worse, the Chairman of his campaign, Manafort was charged by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team of conjuring up “a sinister plot” early in July (Washington Post, July 8, 2018). To no avail, Trump tried to rubbish and trample on Mueller’s team to end up likely being trumped by it.  Up until 22nd August, the hammer came down as the die was cast after Manafort “was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, one count of failure to file a report of foreign bank and financial accounts and two counts of bank fraud.” It is not easy to tell if Trump, the man who came to power promising to make America great again to end up making it apolitical grit among mountains, has already smelled the coffee as he sees it coming.  Has Trump been able to Make America Great Again (MAGA) by presiding over the regime that saw America’s greatness, quickly dwindles and fizzles out thanks to being a terrible newbie in the White House?
When contacted to air his views on the goings-on, casting aspersions on the development to the actions he has always referred as witch hunt, Trump’s quoted as saying that this act is nothing but an attack on his country. Sadly though, Trump didn’t elaborate. Did he mean he’s the country and the country’s him? This isn’t the language one’d expect from the leader of the self-appointed leader of the free world that’s refused to be free from controversies under Trump.
            To make matters worse, according to the Guardian (August 22, 2018), Cohen was accused of “a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time” which he pleaded guilty to. One of the lies is Cohen’s denial that he wasn’t instructed by Trump to pay and gag two porn stars Trump had affairs with before running for president. Sensing the dangers such perjury would cause to him, Cohen, to save his neck, decided to spill the beans putting Trump in a hot soup. The man who was famously known as Trump’s fixer ended up fixing him. The man known to have what it takes to solve Trump’s problems resulting from his sexual misconducts ended up becoming Trump’s big problem. For, he promised to cooperate with Mueller’s team which means he might have more beans to spill.
            The conviction of Manafort and the guilty plea by Cohen seem to have drably kicked off  the journey of unearthing Trump’s nether world of lies and manipulations that’d see him being booted out after being impeached for obstructing justice, perjury and collusion to sabotage US’s democracy. Verily, this is a very hardest and ultimate test to US’s democracy and pride.  Further, unearthing Trump’s nether world means nothing but pulling him out of power unceremoniously as it was for Richard Nixon who’s forced to bolt out after watertight evidence tied him to wrongdoings while in the White House. After a long time since Nixon’s Watergate surfaced, are we evidencing a Trumpgate or Russianngate if not sexgate?  For, shall Mueller’s nets net Trump and his posse, the US will need to prove what it preaches, wine or water.
Now that the genie is out of the bottle, will Trump survive the blitzkrieg he’s facing or will he just go under? Will he bow out shamefully or arrogantly soldier on and face more onslaughts or hunker for a while as his world crash on him as Mueller’s team zeroes in?
In sum, when Trump astonishingly defeated Hillary Clinton, many were shocked praying that somebody to save the US from self-inflicted wounds. Are Trump’s tribulations the means of saving the US from its political bog resulting from Trump’s blunders? No way can one tell. However, by the look of things, the jig is up and the game is likely to be up too for Trump after digging his own pigpen. This is obviously the matter of time to accurately chronicle; and thereby tell.
Source: Citizen today.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

The late Bekhumzi Luthuli, was he related to the late Bob Marley?


Miaka 18 ya kifo cha Dindo Yogo

Kwa wapenzi wa Sebene bila shaka bado wanamkumbuka gwiji wake Dindo Yongo Mabeli aliyefariki tarehe 23 Agosti, 2000. Leo tumemkumbuka kama wapenzi wake bila kuwasahau wengine waliopotea kwenye muda kama huu kama vile Jean de Dieu Makiese (Madilu) na wengine wengi.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Bobi Wine: Is it the Beginning of the End of Museveni's era



            Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, a Ugandan musician-turned politician, seems to be shaking things up. This youthful Member of Parliament for Kyaddondo has caught  President Yoweri Museveni by surprise not to mention taking Uganda by storm. What has been ongoing in Uganda recently may tell us something we don't know. What we didn't expect is the reaction of the government after facing some resistance. Since Museveni came to power, he has held Uganda at ransom.  So, he is not used to seeing people demonstrate in the street or opposing his edicts. He created a brutal but fickle regime that subjected Ugandans to fear and intimidation. Now, it seems things have changed dramatically. Those he made to be sheep are slowly waking up from the slumber so as to threaten turning tables on him.
              Like his counterpart in Libya, Muamar Gadaffi, Museveni has turned Uganda into his private estate. This has guaranteed him the ownership of Uganda. For, this reason, Museveni doesn't think that there is a time his autocratic and corrupt rule will come to an end. I don't know if Museveni believe even in death. After being in power with absolute power, it seems, power has corrupted Museveni absolutely. Indeed, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
               Now that the cast is die, chances for Museveni's rule to start crumbling are on the agora.  Faced with youths who want changes, Museveni is forced to unleash his military apparatuses to intimidate them and creating more anger and angst. The more he will kill the more will he will encourage to shun the fear and get out to oppose him. This will have domino effects on Museven's aging regime. Like Gadaffi, Museveni may be caught off guard so as to go down quickly and unexpectedly. Like Blaise Compaore, Museveni's ouster may come from unexpected angle, especially if youths stand their ground to see to it that Museveni is packing and hit the road.
In sum, by the look of the things, this is the beginning of the end of Uganda's longtime under Museveni. Bobi Wine may act as Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia whose ripple effects consumed the whole Maghreb leaving many dictators cascading like houseflies from power. Will Bobby Wine become the catalyst that may change the Sub-Saharan Africa starting by Uganda? Time will tell. Is this the beginning of the end of Mseveni? Time will accurately tell.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Yoweri Museveni and the return of Bandaism

            I recently was shocked to hear that the court in Uganda paved the way for Yoweri Museveni to run for president for the sixth time; and keep his grips on power after amending the constitution that put a ceiling on a person who is above 75 years to run for the office.  Remember where you were on 29th January, 1986. How old were you? For the unborn generations, imagine having a single president throughout their lives as if their countries are barren of competent people to serve as president. This is what the story of Ugandan President Museveni–one of the longest serving presidents in the world–who recently was cleared by the court to run for sixth time–ferrets. The 29th January, 1986 is the day Museveni’s sworn in as Uganda’s president soon after defeating a General Tito Okello’s friable regime.
            Museveni came to power when former president Ali Hassan Mwinyi’s just three months in power. Ever since, Tanzania’s had three presidents who served two-five year terms in office; plus the current one who’s been in power for two years. Despite being in power for decades, Museveni’s still hell-bent to keep on lord it over Ugandans. This is what this column calls Bandaism. For those not au fait with Bandaism, it’s the system wherein former Malawi’s dictator, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, barefacedly declared himself president for life; and turned the country into his private estate to mismanage and misuse as he deemed fit.  To his credit, though he’s a stinking potentate, Banda’s straightforward. He didn’t fritter away public money, resources and time to convene charades known as or call his thinly-veiled waffle elections.  Neither did Banda hide behind fake and helter-skelter democracy defined by bedlam, coercion and deceit. His was a stinking autocratic and kleptocratic rule; he and his victims knew. However, Banda participated in elections twice, in 1961 wherein he won; and in 1993 he lost.
            Experientially, Egyptians, Libyans and Zimbabweans know too well the tedium of having a demigod in power for many years. He becomes so recycled and tired that he doesn’t remember even his past self. Such a ruler becomes cast-off and worn-out.  He fails to differentiate between himself and the country. This is why one can say that, for Museveni and the likes, Uganda is Museveni and Museveni is Uganda.  This is why Museveni says that “some people think that being in government for a long time is a bad thing. But the more you stay, the more you learn. I am now an expert in governance.” Museveni sadly failed to underscore the fact that bad boys such as Banda, Blaise Compaore (Burkina Faso), Hosni Mubarak (Egypt), Joseph Mobutu (DRC), Muamar Gadaffi (Libya), Yahya Jammeh and others who–out of their ignorance, myopia and selfishness–were either booted out from power like rabid dogs or overthrown and killed, stayed some longer than he’s done yet ended up proving they knew nothing about governance. Who’d think that Mugabe wouldn’t know the jigs were up so as to self-dress as he did recently by abandoning his party and voting for the opposition he used to demonise in the just ended general elections? What a contradiction-cum-shame? What lesson did the likes of Museveni get from Mugabe’s desperation and shame?
                        Love or loathe me; Museveni needs a help urgently for not learning from the fallen dictators who, like him, wrongly thought they’re bigger than their countries. Geopolitically, Museveni needs somebody to tell him that what he’s been doing’s undemocratic, wrong, and illegal. It doesn’t do Uganda any good. Again, where’ll he get such a person if at all in East Africa and Africa in general tinkering with the constitutions to hang around in power’s become an in-thing? Burundi, Rwanda and, now Uganda, in the EAC, have already degraded their constitutions so as to act as diapers any power or self-seeker can use? Cameroon, Chad, and Equatorial Guinea not to mention countries such as, Lesotho, Sudan, Swaziland, and others whose rulers are more of military or traditional monarchs. Museveni’s move’s given EA a worse tag than other regions in violating the constitutions.  Equally, the African Union (AU)–that’s supposed to take on this crime, circumstantially is in on it; on its last legs many years ago after becoming a palaver for African potentates to congregate and blather.            
            There are many unanswered questions regarding Museveni’s monotonous hooey mission-cum-hoo-ha for Uganda. Why does he waste a lot of public money, resources and time convening shenanigans he called elections instead of just being straightforward declaring he’s president for life like Banda did?  What can he do that he failed to do in his over thirty years in power, especially at this eleventh hour? Museveni has already exhausted everything. He’s already appointed his wife a minister not to mention his son and friends. Like any senior and long-time public worker, when’ll Museveni retire; and play with his grandchildren? What precedent is Museveni setting in his paradigmatic political behaviour gyrating around tampering with the sacred document of the land, the constitution? Why’s he afraid of retiring?
In sum, when’ll Museveni respect and stop tampering with the constitution to stay in power illicitly? If there’s anybody who loves and respects Museveni, must pliably tell him to abandon his useless projects of becoming Uganda’s life president. As a senior public servant, it’s time for Museveni to call it quits and allow new blood and crop to catapult Uganda to the future. Look at how Tanzania’s soaring while Uganda’s swarming. All this is because of the new crop of leaders such as John Pombe Magufuli who’s in high school when Museveni took power not to mention Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed who’s just 10 years old. Out of Africa, Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, who’s only a two months zygote.
Source: Citizen, Aug., 22, 2018.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

RIP MONICA JOSEPH MAGUFULI


Tanzania's president Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli lost his sister yesterday after being admitted at Bugando Hospital in Mwanza. Magufuli is renowned for his love for sick people who he visits quite often whenever he's time. Like any human, he must be in grieving for losing one of his own. This blog offers its condolences to Magufuli family; and prays that God offer them solace at this very hard time. May  Monica's soul rest in eternal peace Amen.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

SEVEN YEARS AGO THIS MONTH WE LOST CEPHAS MASHAKADA

Cephas Mashakada was a musician of his own type cut from another planet. His legacy has never been surpassed. This man from Zimbabwe dug a very big and deep niche when it comes to music, especially gospel music. RIP Brother Cephas Mashakada.

RIP KOFI ANAAN

UN

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Ballot or the Bullet; who won the Zimbabwe Polls?

            When the Zimbabwe Defence Forces packed off former Zimbabwean strongman, Robert Mugabe, for many Zimbabweans, it was a milestone, for some a steppingstone and for others a cornerstone. All depends on where one stands. For common Zimbabweans that have suffered for many years because of Mugabe’s bloopers, the coup was a milestone. For the military and political swashbucklers allied with it, it was a steppingstone to power by all means thereafter as we evidenced in the just concluded general elections. For Mugabe’s nemeses, the coup was a cornerstone for a new dawn that never was.
            Josef Stalin once said that “it is not who votes that counts; it is who counts the votes.” This is what happened in the just concluded elections in Zimbabwe.            
            Revisiting what transpired in Zimbabwe, I may briefly submit as thus:
            Firstly, though in the beginning, especially during the campaigns it seemed that the race was between the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic (ZANU-PF) to me, the game was between the ballot and the bullet as it, later, turned out to be after the results started to announced.
            Secondly, for those who know how many common Zimbabweans have been suffering for over 20 years, the race was obvious that it was between the past and the future in that the ZANU-PF had nothing to offer while the MDC was more of fresh air eyeing the bright future for the country.
            Thirdly, reminding ourselves of how the incumbent president came to power and how he formed his government, no doubt, the race was between those who wanted to decriminalise the coup and those who wanted to return Zimbabwe to constitutionality after faulting how Mugabe was deposed. Let’s face it.  What transpired in Zimbabwe was justifiably and purely a coup d’├ętat although  the junta succeeded in hoodwinking the world asserting that what it did was not the coup but to purge bad and corrupt elements around the president. The argument many analysts asked was: who ordered the army in the street; and what was the climax of the whole thing if not forcing Mugabe to resign; and thereby allow Mnangagwa to grab power instead of the legally supposed person who was the then first vice president Phelekezela Mphoko. In a blatant masquerade of beauty-and-the-beast-like gambit, the army used Mnangagwa–who also thought he used it–to legalise the coup by tramping on the constitution of Zimbabwe. On their side, Zimbabweans were awed by the removal of Mugabe thinking things would change for the better. What a goof!  Actually, the army used euphoric Zimbabweans who were tired of Mugabe to stage and legalise the coup that went on marring the elections. As Blessings-Miles Tendi (Guardian, Aug., 3, 2018) puts it “Zimbabwe was united. This election has divided us again.” Now that the dust has settled a wee bit, is Mnangagwa willing to heal and reunite Zimbabwe once again or just keep on lord it over the country? Does he have what it takes to do so provided that up until now, no one knows who runs the show between him and Chiwenga? Will the MDC easily let it go without a good fight?
            My worries emanate from the following questions have forced me query the entire exercise:
            Firstly, why did the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) delay the announcement of the presidential results by just announcing legislature and county votes?
            Secondly, why did the authority dispatch the military to the streets ending up gunning down six innocent people who were enjoying and exercising their constitutional rights while demonstrations are enshrined in the constitution?
            Thirdly, who ordered the army to the streets between President Emerson Mnangagwa who–for all eight months he’s been in power was campaigning for peace–and his vice president Constantino Chiwenga who toppled former President Robert Mugabe and installed Mnangagwa?Who won in Zimbabwe’s election between the ballot and the bullet?
            When the Zimbabwe Defence Forces packed off former Zimbabwean strongman, Robert Mugabe, for many Zimbabweans, it was a milestone, for some a steppingstone and for others a cornerstone. All depends on where one stands. For common Zimbabweans that have suffered for many years because of Mugabe’s bloopers, the coup was a milestone. For the military and political swashbucklers allied with it, it was a steppingstone to power by all means thereafter as we evidenced in the just concluded general elections. For Mugabe’s nemeses, the coup was a cornerstone for a new dawn that never was.
            Josef Stalin once said that “it is not who votes that counts; it is who counts the votes.” This is what happened in the just concluded elections in Zimbabwe.            
            Revisiting what transpired in Zimbabwe, I may briefly submit as thus:
            Firstly, though in the beginning, especially during the campaigns it seemed that the race was between the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic (ZANU-PF) to me, game was between the ballot and the bullet as it, later, turned out to be after the results started to announced.
            Secondly, for those who know how many common Zimbabweans have been suffering for over 20 years, the race was obvious that it was between the past and the future in that the ZANU-PF had nothing to offer while the MDC was a new fresh air eyeing the bright future for the country.
            Thirdly, reminding ourselves of how the incumbent president came to power and how he formed his government, no doubt, the race was between those who wanted to decriminalise the coup and those who wanted to return Zimbabwe to constitutionality after faulting how Mugabe was deposed. Let’s face it.  What transpired in Zimbabwe was justifiably and purely a coup d’├ętat although  the junta succeeded in hoodwinking the world asserting that what it did was not the coup but to purge bad and corrupt around the president. The argument many analysts asked was: who ordered the army in the street; and what was the climax of the whole thing if not forcing Mugabe to resign; and thereby allow Mnangagwa to grab power instead of the legally supposed person who was the then first vice president Phelekezela Mphoko. In a blatant masquerade of beauty-and-the-beast-like gambit, the army used Mnangagwa–who also thought he used it–to legalise the coup by tramping on the constitution of Zimbabwe. On their side, Zimbabweans were awed by the removal of Mugabe thinking things would change for the better. What a goof!  Actually, the army used euphoric Zimbabweans who were tired of Mugabe to stage and legalise the coup that went on marring the elections. As Blessings-Miles Tendi (Guardian, Aug., 3, 2018) puts it “Zimbabwe was united. This election has divided us again.” Now that the dust has settled a wee bit, is Mnangagwa willing to heal and reunite Zimbabwe once again or just keep on lord it over the country? Does he have what it takes to do so provided that up until now, no one knows who runs the show between him and Chiwenga? Will the MDC easily let it go without a good fight?
            My worries emanate from the following questions have forced me query the entire exercise:
            Firstly, why did the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) delay the announcement of the presidential results by just announcing legislature and county votes?
            Secondly, why did the authority dispatch the military to the streets ending up gunning down six innocent people who were enjoying and exercising their constitutional rights while demonstrations are enshrined in the constitution?
            Thirdly, who ordered the army in the street between President Emerson Mnangagwa who–for all eight months he’s been in power was campaigning for peace–and his vice president Constantino Chiwenga who toppled former President Robert Mugabe and installed Mnangagwa?
            Fourthly, who has real power in Zimbabwe between the duo; and how long will their marriage survive?
            Fifthly, was the ZEC impartial; and how was it formed; and who formed it?  Did the ZEC provide a level playing turf–any sane person can attest to–when it comes to using public resources?
            In sum, now that the electioneering and elections are over as the scrimmages over its validity starts, what should Zimbabwe expect? Will Zimbabweans kick back and expect big things from the regime that has proved to be carbuncular or press on to see that the two good guys come and work together for the benefits of the country that has suffered a lot since its independence? Who’ll be the winner between the ballot and the bullet and the sanity and insanity? The simple is that Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans deserve better.
            Fourthly, who has real power in Zimbabwe between the duo; and how long will their marriage survive?
            Fifthly, was the ZEC impartial; and how was it formed; and who formed it?  Did the ZEC provide a level playing turf–any sane person can attest to–when it comes to using public resources?
            In sum, now that the electioneering and elections are over as the scrimmages over its validity start, what should Zimbabwe expect? Will Zimbabweans kick back and expect big things from the regime that has proved to be carbuncular or press on to see that the two good guys come and work together for the benefits of the country that has suffered a lot since its independence? Who’ll be the winner between the ballot and the bullet and the sanity and insanity? The simple answer is that Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans deserve better.
Citizen, Aug.,15, 2018.