Magufulification: Concept That Will Define Africa's Future and the Man Who Makes Things Happen

Magufulification: Concept That Will Define Africa's Future and the Man Who Makes Things Happen

Friday, 7 August 2020


Those who loved his music, still remember him dearly. This is none other than the ace Peter Mpouli Cameroonian makossa legend who died four years ago on 9 August, 2015 aged 48. His hit Romeo Na Julietta was something to reckon with as far as makossa was concerned. RIP Peter Mpouli.


Those who used to love her music must be missing her badly Elise Tchuissa aka Liza T died on 20 June, 2017 aged 48 in Douala after suffering from poverty and malady for a long time. She died a destitute person after her managers ripped her off despite being a very famous musician. I am the fan of her because of her hit Nostlagie that propel her to stardom.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Wednesday, 5 August 2020


Today’s article   is a continuation of the series  of  articles  on  the  general  subject  of  elections;   which  are  intended  to  cover  the  various   aspects  of  the  multiple  issues  relating  to  the  subject  of  elections,  this  being  our  general  election  year.   In  the  last  article,  we  ended  with  the  point  that  “multi-party  democracy  requires  a  strong  opposition”,  by  quoting  the  words  of  former  President   Benjamin  Mkapa,  when  he   said  that  “If  we  do  not  have  serious  political  competition  between  comparable  teams,  we  will  slowly  degenerate  into  political  frivolity”.            
In today’s article we will examine this particular aspect, namely, the   prospect   of having  “comparative  teams”  competing  in  this  year’s  general  election.
Some   lessons from our electoral history.
The possibility of having   two “comparative teams competing in the  election”   appeared,  for  the  first  time  in  the   history  of  Tanzania’s  multi-party  elections,   in  the  results  of    the  Presidential  election  of  2015   when,  out  of  a  grand  total  of  15,193,862  votes,    the  CCM  candidate,  Dr.  John Pombe Joseph Magufuli obtained   8,882,935 votes, equivalent to 58.46%;  while  the  CHADEMA  candidate,  Edward  Ngoyai  Lowassa,  obtained  6,072,848  votes,  equivalent  to  39.97%.    A total of eight political parties participated in that  election. 
However, the results in the Parliamentary election in 264 constituencies provided  a  very  different  picture,  in  the  sense  that  CCM  obtained  73.86  of  the  votes,  equivalent  to 195  Parliamentary  seats;  while  CHADEMA,  the  main  Opposition  party,  obtained  only 13.26%,  equivalent  to  35  seats.
DailynewsThe holding of   multi-party elections   in Tanzania commenced in 1995; in which four political parties participated in the  Presidential  election.  These   were:    CCM; CUF; NCCR-MAGEUZI; and UDP.  The CCM candidate scored 61.8%; followed by NCCR-MAGEUZI, which obtained 27.8%  The  remaining  two  parties  scored  as  follows:    UDP=  6.4% ,   UDP =4.0%. In subsequent Presidential elections thereafter; CCM kept gaining ground  as  follows:  In  the  2000  Presidential  election,  CCM  scored  71. 8%; and   in the 2005 Presidential election;  CCM  scored a  record  high  of  80.2%. 
And in the Parliamentary elections,  CCM  started  in  1995  with  a  handsome  harvest   of  80.2%  of  all  the  Parliamentary   seats.  But even in the seemingly  difficult  2015  general  elections,  CCM  still  obtained  195  constituency   seats  out  of  a  total  264  such  seats;  which  was  equivalent  to  73.86%.. 
What   do these facts reveal?
In my humble opinion, they  reveal  the   basic  fact  that   in  reality,   the  results  of   the  2015  Presidential  election  do  not  represent  the  normal  position  regarding  the  electoral  strength  of  the  Opposition  CHADEMA   party,  which  at  that  time  appeared  to  be  a  “comparable  team”  to  CCM.  
Based on   my own personal experience of  CCM,  I  can  submit  that CCM’s  dismal  performance.  in the 2015 Presidential election, was  facilitated  by  two    adverse  factors,  namely:    (i)  the  ‘self-inflicted  injuries’  that  CCM  had  unwittingly  inflicted  upon  itself  during  that  period;  and  (ii)  the  resulting  windfall  gains  that  flowed  out  of  CCM   into  CHADEMA”s  establishment.
The “self-inflicted injuries” were, primarily, the  lack  of  fairness  in  the selection  process  for  Parliamentary  candidates   by  the  CCM  National  Executive  Committee (NEC).   That organ was  (rightly)  accused  of  having  abandoned    the  principle  of  fairness  in  its  final   selection  process  at  that  level.  Their   wanton, undemocratic action, led to  many  electable  aspirants  to  defect  to  CHADEMA,  because  they  were  forced  to  find  a  new  base   from  which  they  could  proceed  to  achieve  their  valid  ambition  to  enter  Parliament.    Thus, because of their personal popularity  in  their  respective  constituencies;  they  succeeded,  and  got  elected  to  Parliament  on  the  CHADEMA  tickets. 
This is what gave CHADEMA the  windfall  gains, that  gave  it  the  numbers  required  for  it   to  form  the  official  Opposition  in  Parliament;  plus  being  awarded  the  title  of  “Chama  Kikuu  cha  Upinzani”.                                  
And indeed, this was not the first time that CCM  had  unjustly  rejected  electable  candidates  in  its  selection  process.  There are numerous past examples that can be cited to  prove  this  contention;  starting  with  that  of  Dr.  Wilbrod Slaa, a CCM  aspirant  who had  won  a  majority  of  the  CCM  preferential  votes  in  the  Karatu  constituency  during  the  first  multi-party  Parliamentary  elections  in  1995;  but  was  unfairly  denied  nomination.  He immediately defected to CHADEMA, and easily  won  that  election  in  the  said  constituency.  There have been many more such examples  of  unfairness  in  the  nomination  process  thereafter, as  revealed   by   the  complaints  voiced  by  the  affected  candidates.    
That is what must have prompted the current CCM Chairman, President  John  Pombe   Magufuli,  to  introduce  the  new,  transparent  procedures   of  broadcasting  live  the  entire  CCM   nomination  process  for  this  year’s  general  elections.   His new “style” of leadership has replaced the  previous  secretive  process,  which  provided  space  for  ‘gerrymandering’  in  the  nomination  process.     Kudos to Chairman Magufuli   for introducing   these welcome changes.
The influx   of   aspirants seeking CCM nomination.
We will now examine the unusual, unprecedented   spectacle of huge  numbers  of  aspirants  in  this  year’s  Parliamentary   elections  applying  to  be  considered  by  CCM  which,  in  last  week’s  article,  we  promised  to  investigate.                                                              
It was publicly stated by President Magufuli himself, that a  total  of 10, 321  aspirants  had  submitted  their  application  forms  for   all  the  constituencies  country  wide.   What could be the reasons for this  influx  (mafuriko)?
Many  of  the  aspirants  stated  publicly,   that  it  is  “their  love  for  CCM,  its  top  leadership,  and  his  sterling  performance  in  solving  the  country’s  problems  that  had  attracted  them,  with  the  aim  of  securing  this  leadership  position  which  would  enable  them  to  participate  directly  in  these  magnificent  endeavours  to  enhance  the  people’s  welfare  and wellbeing”.                                                                                         
Their declared  noble  intentions  are  most  probably  true,  and  may  indeed  be  the  main  reason  for  this  wave  of   defections  to  CCM;   which  therefore  shows  the  great  amount  of  confidence  and  satisfaction   that  many  people  have  in  President  Magufuli’s  leadership;  plus  the  additional  confidence  that  once  an  aspirant  is  selected  by  CCM,  his  success  at  the  polls  is  almost  assured. 
However beyond that, there must certainly be some   other (hidden)  personal  reasons  that  normally  attract  people  to  vie  for  Parliamentary  seats.   The main one is   the substantial perks associated with  the  membership  of  Parliament.   The other is the desire to seek a more  secure  employment,  which  is  offered  by  the membership  of  Parliament,  which  is  accompanied  by the  acquisition  of  an  enhanced  social  status  within  the  society  (Mheshimiwa).   This, presumably, is what explains why   some of   the Presidential  appointees,  who   fear  that  their   service   may  be  terminated  at  any  time  without  notice,  have   joined   the  race  in  the  Parliamentary  elections.  They are obviously motivated by the desire to  seek  greater  security  of  employment  as  members  of  Parliament,  whose  tenure  is  guaranteed  for  at  least  five  years.
The prospect of having ‘comparative teams.
 We are now heading towards the 2020 general elections  to  be  held  on  Wednesday,  28th  October,  2020.  So, what are the prospects for having ‘comparative teams’  competing  in  these  elections?
We have already seen that in the  2015  Parliamentary  elections,  the  winning  party  CCM  secured  195  seats;  with  CHADEMA  in  the  second  place ,  having  obtained  35  seats.    (CUF got into the third place with 32  seats;  while  ACT-WAZALENDO   and   NCCR-MAGEUZI,   secured  only  1 seat  each).
In the light of the significant changes and  realignments  which  have  taken  place  in  the  intervening  five  years;  it  would  be  fair  and  reasonable  for  the  public  to  expect  similar  changes  in  the  performance  of  the   respective  parties  in  this  year’s  general  election. 
For example, CHADEMA   has already lost its leading position in Parliament  and  status  of  being  ‘Chama  Kikuu  cha  Upinzani’;   after  so  many  of  its  MPs  defected  to  CCM  and  to  some  other  political  parties  during  this  period.    CUF has also lost many of its Parliamentarians, who  defected  to  other  political  parties;  whereas   ACT- Wazalendo,  and  NCCR-MAGEUZI,  have   gained  a  significant   measure  of  new  strength,  as  a  result  of receiving  many  defectors  from  other  Opposition  parties.  
Thus, there is no doubt that an entirely new political landscape  has  been  created,  largely  facilitated   by  two  distinct  factors.   One is   the multiplicity of defections described above; but the other   and  more  important  factor,   is  President  Magufuli’s  sterling  performance  in  managing  the  affairs  of  the  nation,  which  has  garnered  unprecedented  public  support,  not  only  for  him  personally,  but  also   for  his  political  party  CCM.        
In the circumstances of this new political landscape, it  becomes  extremely difficult  to  even  guess  what  results  the  forthcoming  general  election  will  produce,  particularly  in  respect  of  the  Opposition  parties.                                          
 But,  even  in  the  most  unlikely  event  of   these  permutations  and  combinations   producing    a  “team  of  comparative  strength”   to  compete  with  CCM  in  this  year’s  general  elections;  yet,  because  of  the  powerful   ‘Magufuli  factor’  mentioned  above,  the  Ruling  party  is  firmly  guaranteed  to  win  these  elections  quite  comfortably  at  all  levels.   
The  above  mentioned  ‘Magufuli  factor’,  reminds  me  of  the  old  Madisonian  view,  that  is  to  be  found  in  American  Political  Science  literature,  which  is  expressed  in  the  following  terms:-  “The  aim  of  every  political  system  is,  or  ought  to  be,   first,  to  obtain  as  rulers  men  who  possess  most  wisdom  to  discern,  and  most  virtue  to  pursue,  the  common  good  of  society;  and  in  the  next  place,  to  take  the  most  effectual  precautions  for  keeping  them  virtuous  while  they  continue  to  hold  the  public  trust”.  
In that connection, I humbly submit that CCM can  be   justifiably  credited  for  having  found  John  Pombe  Magufuli  as  Tanzania’s  Ruler,  for  he  appears  “to  possess  most  wisdom  to  discern,  and  most  virtue  to  pursue,  the  common  good  for  Tanzania’s  society”.  And that is precisely what creates the  confidence   that  CCM  is  guaranteed  to  win  the  this  year’s  general  elections.
Hence, the prospect of having a  “comparable  team”   to  compete  with  CCM  in  these  general  elections  is,  clearly,  still  far  beyond  the  horizon.  All that can reasonably   be expected, is only the  probability   of  having  a  different  official  opposition  party,  other  than  CHADEMA,  inside  Parliament.                                         
 And regarding this point, I should emphasize that   it is  of  vital  importance   for  the  Opposition  parties,  to  appreciate  the   Official  Opposition’s  positive  role,  as  well  as   its   vital  contribution,  in  the  successful  operations  of  the  multi-party  Parliament. We will return to this important point in  next   week’s   article     
Many voters will vote for Magufuli.
We have referred above to the lessons  that  should  be  learnt  from  the  country’s  past  electoral  history.  One  such   important  lesson  is  in  respect  of  the voting  pattern,  which   strongly  indicates  that  despite  the  general  call  to  the  voters  to  “vote  for  the  party  with  the  best  policies”,   our  voting  history   shows   a  totally  different  picture;  namely  that  voters  in  Tanzania  are  more inclined   to  vote  for the  individual  person,  and  not  for  the  political  party.
This  is  evidenced  by  several  examples,  such  as  that  of  the  2015  defectors,    who  decamped  at  the  last  moment  from  CCM  to  CHADEMA,   and  easily  got  elected  to  Parliament  on  the  CHADEMA  tickets;  plus  that  of   Presidential  candidate  Edward  Lowassa,   whose  last  minute  arrival  in  CHADEMA    suddenly  gave  that  party  some  totally  unprecedented  new  electoral  strength,  that  became   nearly  comparable  to  that  of   CCM.   These examples show that the voters were  obviously  voting  for  the  respective  individuals,  and,  consequently,   the  relevant  political  party  became  the  beneficiary.    
 It is thus reasonable to   expect that CCM will  similarly  benefit  from   the  huge  majority  of  voters  who  will  vote  for  Magufuli   in  this  year’s  general  election.
(Will continue next week).


Lissu Amng'ata Sikio Membe – 𝐒𝖜𝖆𝖍𝖎𝖑𝖎 𝐍𝖊𝖜𝖘Aliponyimwa nafasi ya kugombea urais, waziri mkuu wa zamani aliyeachia ngazi baada ya kukumbwa na kashfa ya ubadhilifu, Edward Lowassa, aliamua kujitoa kwenye chama kilichomzaa na kumlea, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) na kuhamia upinzani ambako alijiunga na Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) kilichomteua kugombea urais akaangukia pua.  Baada ya hapo, kilichotokea kinafahamika. Hata hivyo, si vibaya kugusia ni kwanini Lowassa alihamia upinzani na kugombea urais. Hakuwa na la kupoteza bali lau ima kuukwaa urais au kuonyesha hasira zake. Kadhalika, hasidi wa Lowassa, Bernard Membe, amerudufu kile alichokifanya hasidi wake. Baada ya kunyimwa kugombea urais, japo hakwenda moja kwa moja kujiunga na upinzani, alidhani anaweza kulipiza kisasi na kufikia malengo yake akiwa ndani humo humo. Yake ilikuwa: Tutabanana humu humu." Kwa kiasi kikubwa, Lowassa alifanikiwa kuiadhibu CCM kwa kupata kura nyingi. Tofauti na kipindi hiki, Membe na mwenzake Tundu Lissu wanaotaka kulipiza kisasi, hawataweza kuiadhibu wala kuiumbua CCM kwa sababu, Lowassa alipata fursa tokana na upya wa rais John Magufuli na uchakavu wa CCM ambayo kwa sasa imefufuliwa tokana na utendaji wa hali ya juu wa Magufuli. Hivyo, wawili hawa wataangukia pua. CCM itapata ushindi wa kishindo tokana na mafanikio ya Magufuli. Hivyo basi, wanachofanya wawili hawa, japo ni haki yao ya kidemokrasia, mipango yao, itachacha na kuwaumbua. Sitaki niwahukumu japo wanahukumika kirahisi, wataangukia pua na wameingia choo ya kike kama wasemavyo Dar. Kwa upande wa Zanzibar, hali itakuwa hivyo hivyo kwa maalimu Seif Sharif Hamad. Kwanini wasikengeuke kujiuliza ni kwanini Zitto Kabwe au Freeman Mbowe wametema nafasi hii yenye ujiko na marupurupu kibao? Kwa kujua kuwa kushinda ni ndoto ya mchana, wenye vyama wameamua kugombea ubunge badala ya urais. Isitoshe wanajua kuwa wagombea wao wakishindwa hawatakuwa na uwezo wa kutishia madaraka yao kichama kwa vile hawatakuwa na jipya la kuonyesha zaidi ya kushindwa. Kwa mfano, kwa kujua kuwa ACT-Wazalendo hakina bao visiwani, Zitto ameamua kumwachia Seif, ambaye umri umemuacha, agombee na kujifurahisha lau kutafuta sababu ya kuwa na mantiki kisiasa kwa kuanzisha malalamiko baada ya kubwagwa ili lau aendelee kuwa na ushawishi, kwa maslahi binafsi, visiwani.  Ukisilikiza kwa makini hotuba ya Membe ya kushukuru kuteuliwa na anavyosema lazima Zitto awe bungeni na siyo kwenye serikali, basi unapata jibu haraka. Hata ukisikliza maneno ya Lissu kuhusiana na Zanzibar, unaona wazi jinsi wasivyotegemea kushinda. Anajua fika kuwa Hamad anagombea kwa mara ya sita. Nini anacho au atafanya mara hii ambacho kilimshinda mara tano zilizopita?  Ukiaongezea na ukweli kuwa king'ang'anizi mwingine Prof Ibrahim Lipumba atakuwa kwenye debe, hali inakuwa wazi kabisa.Sambamba na Hamad, ni Lipumba. Naye hana jipya la kuwaambia wapiga kura.Lowassa aliweza kupata wingi wa kura alizopata tokana na upinzani kuungana. Je hali itakuwaje baada ya upinzani kusambaratika na kila chama kuweka mtu wake tena asiye na sera wala mvuto zaidi ya kutaka kulipiza visasi na ung'ang'anizi?  Habari ndiyo hiyo.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Psychosomatically, Perpetrators Can Unconsciously or Otherwise Be Racists

Racism’s grown exponentially since it was invented in Asia and Europe before being exported to other places. Globally, it also has precipitated problems almost in all aspects of contemporary life economically, politically and socially. Further, racism has become another global pandemic that needs to be seriously addressed before creating more problems. I decided to write this piece after one teacher in my locality kindly questions and satirically addresses racism as an endemic and systemic global and local problem. The person was asking if white people might be racist consciously or unconsciously based on how they view some of us who were not born in the West, and if we did, we’ve more melanin than our hosts who see us as foreigners because of that. However, two things, inter alia, defined this phenomenon in the year 2020 as far as global racism nature is concerned. Before the two occasions, racism was there but no collective world efforts were ever exerted against ever since apartheid South Africa was brought down in early 90s not to mention American one. The two things that redefined racism globally are COVID-19 and the death of an American George Floyd in Minnesota in the US resulting from endemic and systemic police brutality and racial discrimination that defines the situation in the West in general. Thus, rekindling the struggle that Black American movement known as Black Lives Matter (BLM). This movement’s been active for a long time. However, this time around, it became bold and vocal so as to cross borders and oceans globally and became a world phenomenon. There is BLM in every continent currently to signify the endemicity of the phenomenon as far as the West and other non-African countries are concerned. It is only in Africa where BLM does not exist simply because Africans do not discriminate white or brown people though in South Africa they discriminate against their black brethren.
Regarding racism, the two happenings have something in common as far as embedded systemic racism is concerned. Floyd was killed by a white cop, Derek Chauvin simply because he was allegedly black despite other things connected to his case. I’m using the word allegedly because we can’t for a fact say that the motive behind this brutal death was the pigment of the colour of the victim, especially if we underscore the fact that there are some narratives that the two knew each other. Circumstantially though the colour of the victims is the motive simply because such killings have been replicated in many places on black people in the west where the authorities seem to turn a blind eye to this recidivism. We don’t know if Floyd did actually commit any offence. For, no court did look into his matter. He thus died an innocent person under the presumption of the innocence as guaranteed by the law locally and internationally. Up until now, we don’t know if Floyd, if he were white, would have died in the same manner he did. Again, we rely on the examples of others who died in the same manner in the hands of the same white cops in the US and elsewhere. Similarly, we don’t know if Chauvin were black would have done what he did. We don’t know how Chauvin felt when he was squeezing life out of Floyd. Though the footings showed that he was acting normally as if he was doing a normal thing for a cop to do. Evidentially, looking at many clips that surfaced after Floyd’s death, we can comfortably posit that his colour––not the offence[s] he is alleged to have committed, if there’s any––was the root cause of his heartless and despicable death.
As for COVID-19, it came to light that blacks and other minority are likely to die in bigger numbers than white not only in the US but in the west in general, which shows how endemic and systemic racism is as far as the pandemic is concerned. Despite that, we can push the envelope in this matter. In concurring with this assertion Bibbins-Domingo (2020) notes that Black males were 4.2 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than White males and Black women were 4.3 times more likely to die than White women in the UK. These risks do not apply to Black ethnicity alone. For, people of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, and Mixed ethnicities also had statistically significant raised risk of death involving COVID-19 compared with those of White ethnicity.  I don’t know how the situation is in Africa when it comes to COVID-19 deaths along colour lines. On colour politics, before the eyes of white racist, whoever is not white is black. Some have added another qualification based on their black-white duality namely, people of colour that includes all who are not white.
Essentially, the above observation is representative of the real situation almost in everything, as prior noted, be it economic, political and social. If anything, this is a colonial legacy the world has made do with for many decades.  Considering the nature of racism in this context, one can start understanding what it means to either be black or white as it was socially constructed in the west for the purpose of bullying and exploiting non-white. I’ve italicized white simply because it is a social construction aims at empowering one and disempowering others. For, white is snow, milk and the likes but not otherwise as far as my myopic lens is concerned. Disclaimer, the author of this piece doesn’t know if he is colour blind or not. Importantly, he’s sure he is colour conscious just like anybody else save that he might be unconscious of being a racist just like some of racists.

            Historically and realistically, racism is the product of universal collective ignorance and perpetual mental diseases be they personal or systemic. We can point at collective Delusional DisordersNarcissistic Personality Disorder, Paranoia, psychosis among other mental ailment associated with racism behaviours. Let me offer an exemplification revolving around a metaphor in order to simplify and put it in the context. Everybody, if not many, know the animals I’m going to use in this metaphor. They are common as pets or foods to most of the people globally. Put another way, critically look at a cow, dog or goat even a rabbit. Ask yourself. Do they smell putrid? Do they brush their teeth every morning like humans do? Do they shower every now and then compared to human beings? Do we discriminate against them? To know who’s superior in this scenario, forget about what’s inculcated in your heads through colonial and criminal education. Are we better than other creatures? Who’s destroying the world today comparably? Do insects need us to live or vice versa; not to mention other nonhuman creatures we, out of our ignorance, like to refer to as beasts? Who need between beasts and humans? Just imagine what’d happen if humans and those animals above exchange their lifestyles. Who will be who? It is obvious that animals are superior to humans when it comes living without depending on sanitary services. Again, because of sickness of the mind, racists don’t compare themselves with those they discriminate. They forget that we’re who we are not because of our abilities to be who we’re. Racists, because of the disease of the mind, don’t know or concur to the fact that our differences are not human engineering as racism is but are beyond our abilities, choices and control.

Why is it possible to discriminate against the human like yourself but not against an animal that isn’t closely related with you? Don’t people love animals more than their colleague humans simply because of colour differentials? Can sane people do this without realizing that such a take is completely ridiculous and inhuman; not to mention how it openly testifies to the mental sickness and ignorance I’m putting forth in this lucubration?  We all are witnesses. Animals of the same species do not discriminate against each other. Elephants, when seeing an enemy, will cooperate to protect the vulnerable. As well, buffaloes will do the same when they see a lion or face any threat. For such reasons and others, that’s why I’m saying that we need to love and educate racists so that we can cure their disease, fear and hatred. That’s why it is very important not to hate racists. Instead, we need to love, assure and educate them so that they can release the fear and ignorance that have become a social pandemic as it currently is exhibited in anomalies such as road rage and the likes. I think this approach is more constructive and peaceful than other violent means whether they’re applied by the perpetrators or the victims. For, at the end of the day, both the perpetrators and victims become the victims of racism however in different manners. Importantly, the duo faces the same dilemma when it comes to lack peace and insecurity resulting from racism. They’re all vulnerable in this manner. They all need peace and security that they lack because of the fear and hatred they’ve towards each other individually and collectively. Underscoring this fact, we, as advanced and civilized and modern humans, need to come together to fight racism as a disease and a sign of ignorance of each other. In doing so, we’d not pathologize the way of doing so.
Source: African Executive Magazine today.

Sunday, 2 August 2020


DAILY NATION - NDULA: Editorial Cartoon. | Facebook

For yet another time, two East African giants are at it. It came to light that Tanzania ordered its airports closed to Kenya's plane as a reciprocal move after Kenya issued its list of the countries allowed to fly in wherein Tanzania was missing. This is not the first, and maybe, the last time for the duo to indulge in such counter-measurements. As neighbours and siblings, the duo needs each other whether they like it or not. The reason behind this kerfuffle-cum-imbroglio is nothing but how the duo addressed COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas Kenya ordered a total lockdown, Tanzania kept everything normal. They both have very good reasons for taking the stance they have taken. For example, is it possible for a poor country to apply lockdown while it does not have financial muscles to take care of its poor people that makes the majority of the population not to mention testing being another thorny issue? While Kenyans have been in the total lockdown so as to affect them economically so as to start facing hunger, Tanzanians have, since the pandemic broke out been doing their activities as usual as they take some precautions. President John Pombe Magufuli has squarely refused to introduce lockdown let alone total lockdown. He once told his people that they need to work hard while others are facing a total lockdown so that, once they start complaining about hunger, they might supply them with food produced at the time they were in a lockdown. Now that the two are at it once again, what should be done? Are the measures the duo has taken appropriate? Are such measures the solution they envisaged to address the problem? Methinks nobody is a cut above the rest as far as how to deal with the pandemic is concerned. Instead, the duo needs to start contemplating talking themselves out of this unnecessary impasse resulting from unnecessary tug of war. For, nobody is right or wrong in this catch-22 situation.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020


LIVE: KINACHOENDELEA MSIBANI NYUMBANI KWA MKAPA - YouTubeIn a  midnight  broadcast  last  Thursday night,  23rd  July, 2020;  President  John  Pombe  Magufuli  announced  the  sad  and  sudden  death  of  former  President  Benjamin  William  Mkapa,  of  the  third  phase  Government  of  the  United  Republic  of  Tanzania.  This  news  was  as shocking  as  it  was  sudden,  for  there  had  been  no  prior news  that  he  was  sick,  or  that  he  had  any  life  threatening  health  problems.  It   later  transpired  that  he  died  peacefully  at  around  10.30 p.m. that  night.               
The   news  of  his  death  was  absolutely shocking   to  everyone  who  herd  it,  but  was  much  more  so  to  those  who  worked  closely  with  him  during  his  lifetime,  including  myself.   However,  that  was  the  wish  of  our  creator,  and  there  is  absolutely  nothing  anyone  could  do about  it.   As  the  Muslim  prayer  says  in  part :  “sote  ni  waja  wake,  na  kwake  tutarejea”.          
 May   the  lord  God  grant  eternal  peace  to  our  dear  departed former  leader.
The  attributes of  former  President  Mkapa.The  late  former  President  Benjamin  Mkapa,  was  a  man  of  many  attributes.             
In  the  first  place,  he  was   well  grounded  in  scholarship.  And  he  used  his  scholarship  generously for  the  public  benefit,  in  accordance  with  the CCM  dictum “nitajilielimisha  kwa  kadri  ya  uwezo  wangu,  na  nitatumia  elimu  yangu  kwa  faida  ya  wote”.    His  latest  scholarly  production  being  his  autobiography  book  titled  My  Life,  My  Purpose”;  which  he  inaugurated  on  the  anniversary  date  of  his  81st  birthday,  12th  November  last  year.  On  that  occasion,  the  print  media,  quite  rightly,  was  awash  with  deserved praises  for  Hon.  Mkapa  and  his  new  book.     Unfortunately  for  me,  because  I  am  currently  nestled  smugly  in  my  cozy  retirement  home  far  away  in  Ukerewe  Island,  I  was  not  able  to  attend  the  occasion,  although  I  had  been  invited  by  personal  letter  from  Mr.  Mkapa   himself.                                                                                                                                
But  I  watched  and   listened  to  the  live  broadcasts  of  that  event;  and,  based  on  the  comments   made  by  President  Magufuli  in  his  televised  speech  delivered  at  that  inauguration   event;  I  concluded  that   Hon  Mkapa’s   book  is  a    ‘must  read’  material;   for  it  is  a  masterpiece  wisdom  tome.                  
His   scholarly talents are  vividly  displayed  in  that   book.   “Curiosity killed  the  cat”,   so  says  one  English  proverb.  Thus,  being  aware  of   Mkapa’s   mastery  of  the  English  language,  I  was  particularly curious  to  see  the  inevitably  fabulous   English  language  in  which  that  book  is  written.   Former  President  Benjamin  Mkapa  was  a  student  at  the  famous  Makerere  University  College  in  Uganda,  at  that  time  known  as  ‘the  University  College  of  East  Africa,  affiliated  to  London  University’ .                        
That  Institution  was,  in  reality,  an  “ivory  tower”,   established  by  the  British  Authorities   in  this  East  Africa  part  of  the  then  vast   “British  Empire”.  (There  was  an  exact  replica  Institution  in  West  Africa,  then  known  as  “The  University  College  of  West  Africa”  based  in  Accra,  Ghana,    also  affiliated   to  London  University;  which  was  catering  for  that  part  of  the  very  vast  British  Empire  “upon  which”,  it  was  proudly  asserted,  “the  sun  never  sets”.                                                        
These  Educational  Institutions  were  established,  partly   for  the  grand  purpose  of  spreading  the  ‘Gospel’   of  British  culture,  language  being  an  essential  component  of  any  culture.  Thus,   the  relevant  University  Authorities  decided  to  introduce  at  Makerere,  a   single-subject   first  degree  programme,   then  known  as  the  ‘B.A.  English  (Honours)’  degree;  and  Benjamin  William  Mkapa   was  one  of  the  very  few  students  who  qualified  for  admission  to  that  programme.     He  therefore  graduated  from  Makerere  with  a  London  University  Bachelor’s  (Honours)   degree  in  English  Literature.  
Both  his  spoken  deliveries,  as  well  as  his  written   texts,   provide  sufficient  evidence  of  his   exceptional    mastery  of  the  Queen’s   language.  Thus,  I  assumed  that  this  particular aspect  would   be  a  dominant  feature  of  his  new  book;  which  is  what  accounts  for  my   curiosity  mentioned   above.  My  curiosity   was  entirely  satisfied  when  I  subsequently  read  the  book.
My  personal  working  relationships  with President   Mkapa.
.In  his  speech  at  the inauguration  ceremony  of  Mkapa’s  book,  President  Magufuli  obligingly  made  certain  candid  comments   regarding  the  ‘huge,  unequivocal,   trust  and  support’  that  he himself  had received  from  President  Mkapa,  during  the  time  when  he  was  a  Minister  in  President  Mkapa’s  Government.   I  too,  have  some   very  pleasant  memories  of  President  Mkapa’s  trust  in  me,  when  I  was  the  Speaker of  Parliament during  the  whole  of  his  ten  years  as  President.  
I  had  been elected  Speaker  of  the  National  Assembly  in  April  1994,  upon  the  retirement  of  veteran  Speaker  Adam  Sapi  Mkwawa.  But  I  was  re-elected  in  1995,  when  Benjamin  William  Mkapa  was  first  elected  to  the  Presidency.    The  two  of  us   served  concurrently  in  our  respective  capacities  for  ten  years,  until  2005.  During  that  period,    we  developed  a  very  close  affinity   in  terms  of cordial  cooperation,  genuine  trust,  and  mutual  respect.  
President  Mkapa  appeared  to have  a  great   deal  of  trust  in  me  personally.  The  first  indicator  of  this  trust  was  when he  was  making  his  choice  of  Prime  Minister  in 1995.   Immediately  after  he  had  settled  on  the  name  of  his  choice,  he  sent  for  me,  in  order  to  seek  advice  on   whether,  in  my  opinion,    since  this  person  was  a  rather  low  profile  politician,   his  choice  would  be  acceptable  to  the  members  of  Parliament   when  it  is  presented  to  them  for  confirmation.  He  said  he was  prepared  to  make  another  choice,  depending  on  my  advice.  I  gave  him  the  assurance  that  he  had  made a  good  choice,  and  that  Parliament  would  most  certainly  endorse  his  choice.     
It  is  also  during  this  period   when  the  death  occurred  of  the  father  of  the  nation,  Mwalimu  Julius  Nyerere,  in  a  London  hospital  on  14th  October,  1999.  As  is  customary,  the  normal  arrangements  were  made  for  paying  the  last  respects  the  body  of  the  late  founder  President  Mwalimu  Nyerere  at  the  National  stadium  in  Dar  es Salaam.  And  because  of  Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  high   personal  social  status  and  world  renown,  this  event   attracted  a huge  gathering  of  distinguished  guests,  including   a  large  number  of  foreign   Heads  of  States  and  Governments. Under  normal  circumstances,  the  funeral  committee prepares  the  obituary  message  that  is  normally  read  out  during  the  funeral  proceedings.  But  no,  not  on  this  occasion,  when  President  Mkapa  decided,   late  in  the  evening  of  the  day  before  the  appointed  day  for  this  function, that  I    should  prepare  the  obituary  statement  and  read  it  out   at  that  function  the  next  morning.         
He  was  obviously  confident  thatI  could  do  it,  even  at  such  short  notice.  And  I   dutifully  accomplished  that  assignment.  
 I  also  remember  how,   in  his  first  term  in  office,    President   Mkapa  sent  me  to  Kampala,  Uganda   on  a  rather  delicate political  mission;  which  was  to help  President  Yoweri Museveni,  to  succeed  in  the  seemingly  difficult  task  of  convincing  his  NRM  Parliamentarians,  to  accept  the  need  for  that country  to  change  to  the  multi-party  political  system.   President  Museveni  had,  apparently,    been   greatly  impressed  by  Tanzania’s  smooth  transition  to  that  system.  Thus,  he  had  asked  President  Mkapa  to  send  a  trusted   envoy to  Kampala,  who  would  help  to  persuade  the  Uganda   NRM   members  of  Parliament  to  see  the  good  side  of  multi-party  politics,  by  explaining  to  them  the  Tanzanian  successful  experience  in  that  regard.    Once  again,  President  Mkapa   decided  to   give  that  assignment  to  me,   another  demonstration  of   his  genuine trust  and  confidence in  me.
Our  close  cooperation  in  running  the   affairs  of  State. 
It  is  presumably  common  knowledge  that  the  Government  of  any  country  is  sustained  by  three  pillars:  the  Government  (the  Executive);  the  Legislature;  and  the  Judiciary.  President  Mkapa  was  of  the  settled  view  that  without  the full  support  of  the  Legislature,  the  Government  would  not  be  able  to  function  effectively.  This  is  because  the  Government  needs Parliament’s  approval  for  its  annual  budgets,  and,  obviously,  without  money  with  which  to  fund  its  social  and  economic  infrastructure  projects,  its  operations   will be  totally  paralyzed.  Similarly,  the  Government  is  enjoined  to  observe  the  rule  of  law  in  all  its  administrative  activities,  and   it  is  only  Parliament  which  is  empowered  to  pass  the  necessary  laws  which  are  required  for  the   country’s  good  governance.  Thus,  without  such  laws  being  enacted  by  Parliament,  the  Government  will be  negatively  impacted   in  its  operations.                                                   
  President  Mkapa  was  keenly  aware  of  these  governance  imperatives.    He  therefore   wholeheartedly  devoted  himself  to  establishing  cordial  working  relations  with  me  the  Speaker,  being  the   Head  of  that  institution.  And  indeed,  we  achieved   many  positive results  because  of  this  close  cooperation,  through  constant  communication  and  consultations.
President  Mkapa  was  a  seasoned  diplomat.
Another  of   President  Mkapa’s  major  personal  attributes,  was  his  accomplishment in  diplomacy.  This  is   evidenced  by  his   deployment  separately  by  the  United Nations  and the  African  Union,  to  mediate  in  conflicts  afflicting our  neighbouring  countries  of  Burundi,  and  Kenya.
The  long  lasting  Burundi  tribal  conflict  has  defied  all  international  efforts  to  find  a  lasting  solution.  During  his  life  time,  Mwalimu  Nyerere  had  been  invited to  make   his  influential  contribution  to  these  efforts,  but  he  died  before  a  settlement  could  be  reached. President  Mkapa  was  subsequently  invited  to  also  make  his  contribution,  which  he  did  with  great  negotiating  skills,  but  had  to  give  up  when  he  felt  that  his  efforts  were  being  wasted,  as  they  were  not  likely  to  produce  the  desired  results. 
However,  he  was  much  more  successful  in  his  mediation  efforts  in  the  case  of  Kenya,  which  had  been  plunged  into  a  serious  political  crisis   as  a  result  of their  disputed  2002  general  elections.  On  that  occasion,  President  Mkapa’s  mediation  team,  which  included  former  Secretary  General  of the  United  Nations  Dr.  Kofi  Annan  from  Ghana;  successfully  negotiated  the  agreement  which  led  to  the  formation  of  a  Government  of  national  unity  in  Kenya,  with  Raila Odinga,  the  leader  of  the  party  that  had  lost  the  election,  being  appointed  Prime  Minister.
President  Mkapa’s  declared  policy  of  ‘Uwazi  na  Ukweli’.
Upon assuming office  after  winning the 1995  Presidential  election,  President  Mkapa  promised  that  he  would  implement  the  policy  of  ‘transparent  Government’.  He  was  of  the  firm  view  that,  in  his  own  words, “in  a  democratic  society,  the  people  have  the  right  to  be  informed about  what  the  Government  is  doing   on  all  issues  of  concern  to  them”;   and,  indeed,  he  faithfully  implemented  this  policy,  by  introducing  the  Presidential  monthly  addresses  to  the  people  through  the  mass  media,  for  the  purpose  of  keeping  the  public  fully  informed  of  what  he  Government  was  doing,  and  why.  He also promptly  established  in  his  Office,  a  Directorate  of  Presidential  Communications;  and  also  directed  that  a  senior  official  be  designated  in  each  Ministry,  whose  main  responsibility   would  be  to  inform  the  public,  through  the  media,  of  what  his  Ministry  was  doing.  Furthermore, he  informed  me  that  he  would  be  coming  to  address  Parliament  frequently,  in  order  to  keep  the  representatives  of  the  people  informed  of  what  the  Government  is  doing. “Uwazi, na  Ukweli”.  May his  soul  rest  in  eternal  peace,  AMEN. /0754767576. 
 I would  like  to  encourage  all  those  who  want  to  pay  proper  tribute  to the  late  former  President   Benjamin  Mkapa,  to  read  his  recent  book,  which  is  available  in  many  bookshops. In that  book  the  author  has  detailed  all   the  results  of  his  endeavours,  both  the  positive  achievements,  as  well  as  the  inevitable  failures.  That book  is  what  says  it  all  about  our  departed  leader.   May his  soul  rest  in  eternal  peace.  
Source: Cd Pius Msekwa,       


Mshairi maarufu wa Kenya na Afrika Mashariki Abdallah Mwasimba hatunaye. Ni pigo jingine kwa Malenga wa eneo hili. Alizimanya na kuzitunza siri za ushairi kama kunga ya familia. Kwa washairi kama sisi, tunajua thamani ya mja huyu katika tasnia hii adhimu na adimu kwa sasa. Malenga wamepungua kwa vile wamepotea. Huyu naye afuatia, nani pengo ataziba? Kwa habari zaidi BONYEZA HAPA 

Tuesday, 28 July 2020


For the courtesy of Mwananchi Newspaper 

Benjamin Mkapa: The Man I knew and Interacted With

The late Benjamin William Mkapa (81) former Tanzania president––who died suddenly on Friday; and will be buried today at Lupaso Village South Tanzania where he was born––was not only my president but also my friend.  Although he was a powerful person, he was the man with who we could exchange emails whenever, as peace scholar and a friend, I needed his ‘nuggets of wisdom’ especially on diplomacy, international issues, mediation and peace mission among many. What a humble human being that did not allow his power and stature to set him apart from commoners! Considering the power Mkapa commanded as a former president or a statesman, many would think Mkapa were an aloft former president. Nope, he was accessible and ready to help whenever and wherever he could. I received the news of Mkapa’s untimely demise as I was preparing myself to go to bed at about 10.00 Central Time. I tried to call his best friend, my friend Cde Pius Msekwa, retired speaker of the national parliament, secretary-General of the TANU and later the CCM, chancellor of the University of Dar Es Salaam and current Chancellor of Moshi Cooperative University and Mbeya University of Science and Technology among many positions he held. Actually, though the phone went through, Msekwa was unable to speak. Later he emailed me saying that he was busy the whole day responding to questions and doing interviews with the media about the late Mkapa whom he knew more than anybody else, as he put it himself. The death of the person that you know at a personal level is shockingly torturous so to speak. It took me time to accept that Hon Mkapa was no more.
            After the news sank in, I had to collect myself and touch base with more friends to see how they received such shocking news. Those who knew our relationship consoled me greatly.
Personally, I came to know and interact with the late Mkapa through my best friend Cde Msekwa with who I co-authored the book on president John Magufuli: Magufulification: Concept That Will Define Africa’s Future and the Man Who Makes Things Happen published by GDY Publishers of Dar Es Salaam. As well, Mkapa inspired us to write this book after he published his magnum opus namely his biography, My life, my purpose: A Tanzanian President Remember (2020). We even wanted him to write its proem, but we declined for fear of overburdening him, especially at the time he was marketing his biography. Importantly, I still vividly remember everything as if it happened just yesterday. When I introduced myself to the late Mkapa, he was then unwell. He just sent me a short email asking me to bear with him so that after recovering, he’d soon touch base with me. And indeed, he did. Thereafter, I was free to ask him any question or help whenever I felt like. His death, at a personal level, had heavy impacts on me as a friend and person who had access to this statesman. More importantly, Mkapa was one of the humblest persons I have ever interacted with, especially as a former president and a statesman. I can put in the same class with other two famous people I have known and interacted with as friends namely, Cde Msekwa and former Kenyan Chief Justice Ndugu Willy M. Mutunga (PhD) who still calls me ndugu whenever we touch base.
At national level, Mkapa was Tanzania’s long-time ambassador, minister for foreign affairs, Mwl Nyerere’s secretary and later a two-term president from 1995 to 2005. Under his stewardship, Tanzania achieved a great deal locally, regionally and internationally. After becoming president, Mkapa showed very high self-confidence so as to be viewed as being aloft and arrogant. He used to say it as it regardless what would follow provided that he firmed up his argument. He was an ace and eloquent debater whose skills of constructing arguments were a rarity in the crop of the leaders of his time. As president, his regime oversaw the liberalisation of Tanzania’s economy after being closed close for three decades of Ujamaa and Kujitegemea or Socialism and Self-reliance that the founder of Tanzania, Mwl Nyerere presided over before handing the baton to Alhaj Ali Hassan Mwinyi whose economic policy was not clear.  When some his detractors complained that he was betraying the goal of socialism, without even cooling his jets, Mkapa told them point blank that the era of preferential treatments were long gone. His was economic competition and competence. It is at this time the Kenyan National Group Media (NMG), according to its chair, Wilfred Kiboro, received invitation from Mkapa personally to do business in the country. Thus, the coming of Mkapa to power opened up Tanzania economy to the international community to invest. However, his policy did not succeed as he wanted it to because most of his lieutenants betrayed him by entering bogus contracts that saw Tanzania cascade economically. To show his humility and trustworthiness, Mkapa  openly admitted his failures and made an apology to all Tanzanians. To cap it all, he documented his apology in his book about his life that I have mentioned above. On top of economic liberalisation, Mkapa created many government institutions such as Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) among others; formed the commission to look into corruption. However, he did not publish its findings.  As well, Mkapa openly pushed Tanzania to paying debts it had accumulated for a long time and returned Tanzania to the map of the world as a capable country anybody could do business with.  
Even before becoming president, as minister of foreign affairs, Mkapa contributed hugely in the formation of post-Amin government in Uganda after Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) repelled Idi Amin’s soldiers after invading Tanzania and thereafter toppled Amin and forced him to exile. As for Kenya, Mkapa became instrumental soon after the 2007 Post-Election Violence (PEV). Under his and former UN Secretary General, the late Kofi Annan, Kenya was able to reach the agreement of forming a Government of National Unity (GNU) under Mwai Kibaki as president and his nemesis, Raila Odinga as Prime Minister. Despite its political animosities and squabbling, the GNU delivered Kenya from the tribal abyss.
Burundi will always remember his as a facilitator of peaceful resolution of conflict after the government and some factions set Burundi to a perilous path. The East African Community appointed Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni as a mediator and Mkapa as a facilitator. Soon Museveni left Mkapa do everything up until the conflict was resolved. Thereafter, Burundi became peaceful up until today.
Back to Mkapa I personally knew, for the entire time I interacted with him, I discovered a very humble and kind person that I did not expect in the person I used to know as president before. As an educated person, he liked logic to guide whatever argument was made. When it came to defending his position, like his mentor, Julius Nyerere, the founder of Tanzania, he was like a lion who would send his opponent shivering. However, once the dialogue was over, the gentle and humble Mkapa would resume his position and warmly intermingle with everybody who approached him.
For those who knew Mkapa as president and a person, it is not easy to contain him in one article or book. Now that he is no more, history will soon start to revisit him and bring forth his unknown treasures as a leader and a human.  Journey Well in your eternal journey Benjamin William Mkapa. Tangulia nasi twaja Mpendwa ndugu Mkapa. Every soul will one day die.
Source: African Executive Magazine today.