Monday, 19 November 2007

Facing corruption head on.

Brouhahas, rigmarole, denials, altercations, accusations, dicta, lies and what not are still highly looming in our country. Hue and cries are heard. What we wrongly thought to be a passing cloud has immovably clung onto and hovered above our politics! Wananchi are at hammer and tongs to see to it kinajulikana. They crave to know which’s which and who’s who in this tremulous turmoil.

The country is dichotomized-in the on-going allegations of corruption- between those who deny and defend especially in the upper echelons of powers, those whose stand against it as the result of their political affiliation and those living like kine (cows)- their opposition is geared by their melancholic lives. The mwananchi is confused and needs right and reasonable answers. For, in this game of elephants, he is the one that suffers much. It is indeed hecatomb to mwananchi whose money and resources are abused and misused altogether.

There are those who support the government. It is made by their party despite the muggy live they’re living! Others oppose. Because they are in the opposition. Others -especially rural dwellers- are even neutral! It is not because they are foolish or ignorant. They have -for decades- been left out of the business of governing the so-called their country!

In facing corruption, today, I would like to address Buzwagi scandal. For, it still has a couple of potholes which need to be bunged up. We’re told there was nothing illegal even unusual in its signing! Why are we re-opening books on the same if what we were told was true? I think it is a first multibillion contract to be unusually signed in the hotel in the city where we have embassy.Was it sign there (not in the embassy) for fear of perching eyes? Was there any person (s) who did not like the public to know he was there? Who is this person and why didn’t he want us to know? We need to know this person and why he did hide himself and avoid using our embassy to do business of the government.

We know. Nazir Mustapha Karamagi, the minister responsible, is a signatory. Who else was with him? Where was the Prime minister (kingpin), who is the second head of goverment when this contract was entered in? Was he at home or abroad in a neighboring country?Due to the information circulating on-line and partly touched by one Mwanahalisi Weekly, it came to light that one of the top most senior officers of the government-Edward Lowassa, secretly attended the signing of the contract and he did not want the general public to know he did due to his hand in other ghost deals. Should we pooh-pooh these revelations as rumors as the authorities firstly did in the first scandals reminiscent to the recurring BoT and other multibillion-conduits-cum scandals which later turned to be true? Where was the president on the day this contract was signed? Was he at home or abroad even in a neighboring country or in the country?Can our embassies wherever the president or premier was adduce the time tables of these two officials and the activities they were doing?

I am not intending to bring in the vice president. He is not mentioned in the list of shame. The guy is clean so to speak. I am discussing the duo (president and premier). Because they featured high in the list of shame and they are human beings employed by -and accountable to- wananchi among whom I am one. So I don’t hope them to become pugnacious in accepting this. After all they are the government. Can the general public be told of where these two officials were and what their passports say about the material day the contentious and dubious contract was signed?Can those responsible check the records of Churchill hotel where the said thing was signed on the material day? Can they check some banks in London if there was any money stashed there?

If we smartly deal with Buzwagi contract, we can unveil what forced the minister to sign the contract in the hotel and not in the embassy as per standard procedure. For those still remember how the polonium-210- related death of former KGB agent, Alexander (Sasha) Litvinenko in London in 2006, the method MI6 and Scotland Yard used to trace the killer, can help us to crack this puzzle. My take on this is: if the general public still thinks the whole and true story is untold yet, we should then hire Scotland Yard to do this. Why did Karamagi sign the contract in Britain? Is it true that he was there for other businesses than THAT of signing the contract? What does his time table say? What was his mission to Britain apart from that of signing contract which he said was imminently by the way? Did he go on his volition or of the other party (Barrick)? Who was jockeying this road show on this material day between Karamagi and Barrick?

The general public need to know -after the president they expected to take right actions against corruption- caught cold feet. So if he does not want to act, he too should be investigated especially in the business he and his premier were doing on the material day the contract was signed.Why didn’t the parliament want to know such details and facts about Karamagi’s presence in London that coincidentally happen to "collide" with the signing? If we go back to the versions Karamagi and Barrick gave about why it was inevitable to sign the same abroad, are they consistent?

Quering goes on. Did the parliament corroborate these two versions? But who still have confidence in the Bunge which is busy playing bungee? Who can trust the Bunge which convene as party committee to slaughter all bills which have no benefit to the party? Barrick said: if the contracted were entered, there would be negative impact on our economy and reputation to attract investors! But when did Barrick become government machinery so as to be a spokesperson of its?As for, Karamagi he said point blank: Lazima kuchangamkia wawekezaji!There is a very vital question that has never been answered: why did he sign the new contract before reviewing the much complained about old ones-which recently were thrown to the agora again for the same purpose of "reviewing"?

People still wonder! They want to know: how minerals, precious and hard ones, can be accorded treatments worth tomatoes and bananas which go bad quickly? What does this unnecessary hurry tell or imply?Are our minerals so much useless and valueless that they are accorded such desperate treatments? What is it rotten between our minerals and the brains that make them look like trash?By averring that the above officials be investigated should not be taken as targeting anybody.

There are the like of Thomas son of Dydimus who asked Jesus to show him his wounds so that he could believe. Doing this inflates a keg powder in that: it quenches public thirsty for the truth. Who is like Jesus today to doubt why he is doubted? After all, they promised us to be our servants not our masters. They promised accountability and transparency for both sides. We thus fulfill our duty as they do theirs.We need to quench palpable thirsty of the silent public which- as experience shows, when they get tired- can turn tables against anybody. The jeering and agitations reported recently during the "explanation of the budget" should act as reminder for us. And by answering above murky questions about the business of those two officials- which in essence they do on our behalf- we’ll be giving them defense shall time come to for everybody to be counted as it is currently in the case of former president, Benjamin Mkapa in which case some quarters are contemplating to sue.

Again rulers should never rely much on the current powers they command, we can amend our constitution and they can surely find themselves in the purgatory on earth.Who thought Mkapa would become deaf and enfant like so as to depend on the mercy of his junior president to let him off hooks? This is not a good situation for our former presidents to be in. To avoid this embarrassment for the nation, something has to be done. And this is nothing but to create the environment of check and balance in whatever we shall suspect irrespective of the "size" of the office of the person.

We thus urgently need to unravel these mysterious deals creating headaches to our nation while others are making bombs without toiling. Of necessity, it must be our tall order to see to it that we do away from this awkward situation. Mkapa’s tribulations must be an eye-opener. Though the man is not telling us, he wishes he should have heeded the calls by his critics especially when the macabre Net solution group scandal -involving his relatives surfaced. He’s been cornered and squared-off suffering alone whilst those who used him and benefited are safely and coolly enjoying their time and loots!

Off cuff- What does the government say with regards to the recently revealed rip-off of BoT at the time shortly before the 2005 general elections? Instead of catching a cardiac arrests, the government needs to come clean and be counted if at all it still has any legality to rule our country (not misrule and ruin it).

Tolerating corruption and liability outfits is as perilous as dancing with the devil. In the end there will be casualties. Who deserves or wants this?

By the way, why should we die of poverty while some few are chopping our dollars? It can’t be. Can it be? What do I know? Let’s think up.

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