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.