Africa Must Deal with Its Blats

Africa Must Deal with Its Blats

Saturday, 3 June 2023

Congrats Zim on ‘Inventing’ Patriotism Law

Although it’s long overdue, I can’t wait to see how it’ll pan out. I nevertheless congratulate Zim’s authorities on birthing a new bill lauded as a patriotic law. Africa needs such creative rulers who can enact laws that’ll help them to munch freely no matter what. I’ve some good reasons to clap such innovation. 
        Firstly, who wants to rule people who can holler or mutter about everything? Who’d like to hear every-so-often some unpatriotic ‘crooks’ call for the apprehension of the likes of gold mafioso syndicate? To do away with such ‘psychosis’, those in upper echelons of power, need to come up with simple solution of gagging such worrywarts who disrespect and expose the good rulers of Zim.
        Secondly, when the land is in an electoral mood, those aiming high to remain in high places must make sure that they’re on the top of the game. You call such a raw law a patriotic law that can protect even those who are unpatriotically patriotic as well from saying unsayable stuff. We call this winning without any fracases. You enact the law that’ll put off whoever plans to disgrace or dispute you or disclose your dirty linens. 
        Thirdly, underscoring that most of earthlings are becoming unpatriotic, you patriotically instruct the party and other organs under your control, to myopically come up with something to make everybody patriotic. To do so shrewdly, just define the law and its terms in your own terms. 
        Look at the bill in question. It clearly and nicely stipulates that “any citizen or permanent resident of Zimbabwe (hereinafter in this section called “the accused”) who, within or outside Zimbabwe actively partakes ... in any meeting whose object the accused knows or has reasonable grounds for believing involves ... military or other armed intervention in Zimbabwe ... subverting, upsetting, overthrowing or overturning the constitutional government in Zimbabwe; shall be guilty of wilfully damaging the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe and liable to:-(i) the same penalties as for treason, in a case referred to in paragraph (a); or (ii) the same penalties as for subverting constitutional government.” What a beautiful piece of law!
        Looking at how timorous the bill’s, even haters abroad who met and instigated some evil foreign powers that issued sanctions against the mighty Zim’ll be sternly dealt with soon if not later. The law’s clear.  To be safe, all Zims and permanent residents must keep mum before they’re shown why birds don’t pee-pee. And this is truly patriotism. Zims as patriotic people, need to praise and protect the secrets of their rulers. This is where all lies about the gold Cosa nostra come in. How can foreign media know what’s happening in Zim and come with their lies to lecture Zims and tarnish its good name? This is dangerous and totally unpatriotic. Its major aim is to create bad blood between the mighty powers that be and the earthlings.
        As I sign off, I must say. Patriotic law’s so epic and terrific. It must add another legal requirement that all earthlings are duty-bound to defend, love, and protect the high and the mighty in the upper echelons of power. Former Uganda patriotic philosopher, Idi Amin once said that the duty of the earthlings is to love their rulers without questioning any action good or otherwise, they commit since when rulers eat, they do so on behalf of the earthlings. And this is what this patriotism’s all about. Join me to disclaim, sorry, to acclaim, patriotic law.
Source: Independent Zimbabwe today.

The power of a woman

A mother should not have to give up her life to create one

At birth, more boys than girls are born on our planet. Even though men have a lower life expectancy than women, the gender ratio in the world has hovered around 102 males to 100 females.

Of course, these statistics vary from one country to another. But what stuns me as someone who studies gender, culture, law and society is the resilience of girls and women in a very tough world for the female gender.

        What are the consequentialist bases for this outcome? Are women simply stronger – in the broader usage of that term – than men? Are men, in reverse, simply weaklings who rely on economic, social and political power to keep women subordinated? If so, why hasn’t that changed?

        Any man who has been in the presence of childbirth can attest to the power of a woman. I have been several times and I can report that the experience was awesome. But there was one important takeaway for me – I think I would simply die there and then if I had to give birth.

        The effort was so herculean and utterly stupefying that I still marvel at how women do it, and often crack a smile when the baby takes its first breath on the planet. The ability to carry the child to term and then bear the excruciating pain of childbirth is a testament to a woman’s superior strength. Those two things alone should make every boy and man kiss the ground on which women walk.

        On top of it all, there are the challenges that come in the aftermath of giving birth. Nursing the child, often in solitude without help. In some cases, the dangerous onset of post-partum depression has led some women to suicide, or even infanticide. This phenomenon in particular is not well understood and women often find themselves struggling with it alone.

        In many societies, post-partum depression is stigmatised, making it even harder for women to talk about it, or seek help. And yet women fight through these debilitating conditions to bear and nurture more species of the male gender than the female one. But do boys and men recognise these enormous sacrifices, or are they simply taken for granted?

    Then there’s the cultural piece. We teach girls and women – in all religions and cultures around the world – that they are lesser beings. We in fact tell them to “submit” to the male gender. 

Wedding vows 

In Christian wedding vows – echoing Ephesians 5:22-25 – Paul directs wives to “submit” to their husbands and for husbands to “love” their wives. There’s no doubt here that the husband (man) is being cast as the head of the family, and that the wife (woman) must accept the direction and the leadership of the man. Mind you this edict is given without regard to the task or the ability of either the husband or the wife. A brilliant wife must, perforce, submit and obey a stupid man.

        Even if we as humankind are so dimwitted, there’s no reason we should accept such an obviously morally indefensible and undemocratic concept. It’s an idea that goes against all logic because it gives all power to the husband (man) simply because of his gender, which really is only about his anatomy and genitalia.

        I don’t want to be crude, but male genitalia has never been known to possess any brilliant brain cells. If anything, male genitalia often corrupts a man’s better sense of judgement and morality, warping his thinking. We should not run households based on the hereditary leadership of male genitalia. I know many girls and women who are far superior beings to many if not most, men.

        This problem goes to the way we socialise male and female children in the home, at school and in society at large. We teach girls to serve and to tend to house chores while we let boys play outside. We even give different gendered holiday gifts to children. We will often give a toy gun to a boy but a sewing kit to a girl.

        We are socialising them for gendered roles – the gun is the symbol of a violent conqueror but the sewing kit is the indelible image of a stay-at-home homemaker. One is a master, the other a servant. It’s out of these roles that boys and men culturally expect to have dominion over girls and women, and even to “correct”, that is, beat them. 

        This breeding of misogyny and the naturalisation of hetero-patriarchy is by far the biggest reason for excluding girls and women from the public square and confining them to the private sphere. It’s the cultural justification for domestic and gender-based violence and for the rape of girls and women by strangers and even their husbands in marriage.

        In fact, it’s one of the cardinal reasons some cultures believe a husband can never rape his wife. And yet with all these limitations and the treatment of women as chattel, our mothers, sisters, wives, and aunts are the reason boys and men are here. It’s a wonder they live longer than men. More power to all girls and women!

   Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School, The State University of New York. @makaumutua.

Source: Sunday News tomorrow.

S5 / 00:58

Thursday, 1 June 2023

Revisiting the political history of Zanzibar

“History is too important to be left to Historians alone”, so the gurus said.  This is the month of June, 2023.  The  lovers of our country’s political history may be interested in this little piece of  our country’s  history; which  is that on June 24th, 1963;  Zanzibar was granted the status of “self-government” by the British colonial Authorities.  This was the final constitutional  step,  on the way to Zanzibar’s independence.
        Under  the  colonial system of  governance;  Zanzibar was categorised as a “Protectorate”, which meant  ‘a country  which was ruled by another Authority, but under British government protection’. And in the case of Zanzibar, that  other ‘ruling Authority’  was the Arab Sultan.
        Thus, according to the relevant historical records, the  ‘Zanzibar Protectorate’ was granted that  constitutional status on June 24th, 1963; and was soon  followed by the granting of independence to that  same Arab ruling Authority, on 10th December, 1963.
This record may help to provide a better understanding  of  the basic reason for the ‘glorious revolution’ which removed that  imposed  Sultan’s  government, only a month later during the night preceding January 12th, 1964. In  other words,  it was a heroic rejection of  this new form of colonialism.
        However, this little piece is only a “curtain raiser”, before the  main presentation, which will focus  on a different matter  whose title is  “The progressive growth and development of Kiswahili as the language of communication in government business,” We will now direct our readers’ attention to that other matter.
        We must first recognise and appreciate, the Kiswahili language’s   positive critical role, and its immense contribution, to the relatively easy success of  the liberation movement in Tanganyika in achieving the country’s independence from  British colonialism; for it  was this language which enabled Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, together with  his TANU colleagues and associates;  to reach all the areas of this geographically vast country, in order to deliver the  ‘message of liberation from colonialism’  directly to the people living in those diverse areas, and  belonged to more than a hundred different  ethnic groups, each having its own language or dialect.  But fortunately, at least the majority of them could understand these liberation messages that were delivered in Kiswahili.
The  growth and development of Kiswahili.
In my article of last week in this column, I referred, albeit very briefly, to the directive that was issued by President Julius Nyerere, in January 1963, to all government establishments; to use Kiswahili, instead of English, in all official government business communications.
        But this directive was not merely ‘whimsical’, or a sudden wish by President Nyerere to do something that was unusual or unnecessary.  His was a well thought out design for  the country’s transition to the official use of the  national  language in all  the  young  nation’s government, and  other public affairs  transactions.  This is clearly demonstrated by his  decision to address the first  Parliament in Kiswahili, on the occasion of its  official opening under the new Republican constitution, on 10th December, 1962; which was quickly followed by the January directive referred to above.
        Thus, it was in the process of  implementing  that directive, that  the National Assembly formally resolved,  on 12th February, 1963; to adopt Kiswahili as the official communication medium in  our Legislature.
        This was a complete departure from past practice, when  all parliamentary proceedings had been conducted solely   in English.  Indeed, it is for that reason that  it had become necessary to  administer  an  oral “English language proficiency test” for those MPS who had been elected to the ‘Independence  Parliament’, in  September 1960, whose curriculum vitae  showed that they had not  completed  even  primary education. Bibi Titi Mohamed, who had been elected to represent the Rufiji constituency, was the only one who required to take this test, which she did, and passed.
As a result of this National Assembly resolution, we had to take fast action to look for appropriate Kiswahili words for the parliamentary technical words and phrases which had no Kiswahili equivalents at that material time.  
          However, in some cases, this conversion to Kiswahili became a process of “trial and error”; in the sense that  some  of such technical names and phrases had no Kiswahili equivalents;  a fact which made it necessary for us to invent, or  create, our own such equivalents.
        Thus, for example, we had to find a Kiswahili name for the institution  itself,  i.e. the ‘National Assembly’, or ‘Parliament’, for which we created the  single word ‘BUNGE’. And for the description  “Member of Parliament”, we adopted the  word  “Mbunge”. For the  Honourable “Speaker”, we initially adopted the word “Khatibu”; but that was soon discarded, for being  unsuitable. Instead of which we created the word “Spika”. We also had to find  Kiswahili equivalents for phrases like the “Order Paper”, for which we adopted the words “Orodha ya Shughuli za Bunge”; Government  Bills”; for which we adopted the words “Miswada ya Sheria ya Serikali”; “Government  Motions”, for which we adopted the phrase “Hoja za Serikali; et cetera.
        Those were the humble beginnings of the use of the Kiswahili language, as a medium of communication in government business transactions. It has been a long journey, to where it is today; when it has been adopted as one of the official languages of communication in some of the international forums, such as the ‘East African Community’, the ‘Southern African Development Commission’, and the ‘African Union’.
Mwalimu  Nyerere’s   efforts in promoting Kiswahili
The story of the growth and development of Kiswahili would  certainly  be  incomplete, without mentioning Mwalimu Nyerere’s personal role and efforts that he invested in its promotion.
His  eagerness to promote Kiswahili, seems to have been  partly  based on his own sincere  love for this language; and this is evidenced by his early adventures into the rather exclusive  field of Kiswahili poetry; as well as in his  astonishing  efforts in translating  some of the ancient  scholarly  and  highly sophisticated  works;  namely the New Testament of the Holy Bible;  and  two of William Shakespeare’s famous Plays, Julius Caesar; and The Merchant of Venice. With regard to his adventures into Kiswahili poetry, I can  vividly remember the piece which he penned in welcoming Tanganyika’s independence, which was appropriately titled  “Kulikucha kuchele, na kulala kukomele”.
 The publication which contains  the Kiswahili version of the New Testament, is titled “Tenzi za Biblia”.                            
And in respect of his astonishing efforts  in translating  these heavy, scholarly literature  volumes;  there are two aspects which are truly amazing. The first wonder, was just how he was able to  render so many lines of dense Shakesperian  old  sixteenth century English verse, into Kiswahili.
        This, perhaps, provides proof of the richness of the Kiswahili language, in the sense that it is capable of  being used even in such highly  sophisticated and scholarly  undertakings. But the second wonder, was how he managed to get sufficient time  for  concentrating  on these  intellectually demanding tasks, when at the same time, he was already engaged heavily in the political business of liberating the country from British colonialism; plus putting the new nation on a proper footing, following the achievement of independence. But that was Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the founder President, and father of our nation.
 But  Kiswahili  was not  as a language of instruction in schools
We are, presumably, all aware  of the  serious discussions  which  are currently taking place regarding the use of Kiswahili as a language of instruction in the country’ education system. This same matter was also raised at one point during Mwalimu Nyerere’s presidency; and  I happen to have been directly  involved. It occurred during the preparations for a  meeting of the TANU National Executive Committee, that was  scheduled  to be held  in  April, 1974;  in  Musoma.
        This meeting had been convened, primarily  for the purpose of giving  consideration to  proposals for some major reforms, that were intended  to be introduced  in the country’s entire  education system,  with the aim of achieving the goal of “Education for Self-Reliance”  that had been announced in the 1967 ‘Arusha Declaration’ policies.   
        That meeting was also expected to consider proposed reforms  in  the procedure for students admission to the University of Dar es Salaam, for that  same purpose of incorporating the need for  self-reliance at  the tertiary  education level.
        I was then the Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam, and President Nyerere  had asked me to prepare  a  ‘Discussion Paper’ which would help to  guide the deliberations of that important meeting.  
         The Minister of Education,  Reverend  Simon  Chiwanga,  had  got wind of my assignment,  so he asked me  to include  his  Ministry’s  proposal to make Kiswahili the medium of instruction in  the country’s  entire  education system.
        I of course obliged, and crafted it in  the following words: “That Kiswahili shall be progressively introduced, to replace English as the medium of instruction,  in  the country’s entire education system, including  the secondary and tertiary levels”. Thus, when  my assignment had been done and completed, I submitted the final draft  to Mwalimu Nyerere, for his scrutiny and approval, or other instructions.
        That is when he called  me to  express  his strong disapproval of  Minister Chiwanga’s  proposal. Therefore, I  deleted it from the  ‘Discussion Paper’ that was presented  to the Musoma  TANU  NEC meeting. But during the meeting itself, Mwalimu Nyerere  disclosed  that this proposal had been suggested to him,  and explained why  he had rejected it. “We cannot avoid training our students in  English, for English is the Kiswahili of the world today;  and we will only be doing  irreparable harm  to  ourselves,  if we remove it from  our education system”;  he said.
        That position may probably have  drastically  changed  by  now; so we can only wait to see the outcome of the on-going discussions regarding this matter. We may now return to the point of the vital contributions that Kiswahili has made generally;  and  look at the    fundamental contribution which was made by Kiswahili  in facilitating  the country’s governance, which should also be  properly  appreciated.  This was in respect of promoting public acceptance of new major development policies; and thus made their enforcement very much easier.  This includes the new policy of Ujamaa, which was introduced by  the “Arusha Declaration”, in February 1967; which introduced new words and phrases like: “Jitegemee, usiwe mnyonyaji,“usiwe kupe; or“Usiwe bepari,  Ubepari ni Unyama”; et  cetera.
        All such words and phrases emerged spontaneously, and were being enthusiastically chanted especially among the youth;  as  a way of demonstrating their full support for the new‘Arusha Declaration’  policies; and they greatly assisted in creating a clearer public understanding of the true meaning  of these policies; and this greatly  helped to generate  higher compliance levels.
 Enter President John Pombe Magufuli
It was the late President Magufuli who secured the acceptance by the Southern Africa Development Commission (SADCC) of Kiswahili to be used as one of its official languages of transacting its business.  
        The late President John Pombe Magufuli was, apparently, also  a  keen lover of Kiswahili; for in his State Banquets, which he hosted for Foreign Heads of State who visited Tanzania, he always proudly used Kiswahili   in his welcoming speeches. His contributions to the spread of Kiswahili to other countries include his efforts in ‘marketing’ Kiswahili in the countries which  comprise  the South African Development Commission (SADCC).
Source: Daily News today.

Thursday, 25 May 2023


President Nyerere’s motive was entirely ideological, as we shall see presently,  in the paragraphs that follow  below. When  Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere first  ascended to  the Presidency  of the Republic of Tanganyika in 1962;  and  subsequently  of the United Republic of Tanzania  in 1964;  he  deliberately avoided living  in the  Magogoni  IKULU,  in Dar es Salaam.   Why did he do that? Well, the only  reason that  I know,  is that it was  because he had a very strong  aversion  to being  associated with  the symbols of the ‘shameful’ colonialism; and  he  wanted to have all such symbols  completely obliterated from the innocent minds of the young generation of  what  was now  the independent country of Tanganyika (before its Union with Zanzibar).           
            Today’s presentation will attempt to  throw some light  on this historically  important matter; in  order to enable  the stakeholders, and  observers, to fully  appreciate the  importance, and political significance, of the grand  ceremony which was held in Dodoma last Saturday, of inaugurating the new IKULU at Chamwino;  in the government city of   Dodoma;  presided over by President Samia Suluhu Hassan herself;  a  proud  project which was not only funded from the country’s own internal resources, but was also  proudly, constructed by   our own   Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa (JKT)  Building Brigade. This was in complete contrast to the Dar es Salaam – based IKULU, which was a colonial heritage.    
            It is, presumably, common knowledge, that the current Dar es Salaam  IKULU  (which was replicated at Chamwino in Dodoma); was  built by the German colonialist, when they  became the rulers of our country  following the division of Africa countries among the European ‘Great Powers”  at the Berlin Conference in 1885; and was subsequently  transferred to  the British colonialists  in 192o.
        Thus, when independence was achieved in December 1961, we just inherited this ‘colonial relic’. And that is precisely the reason why President  Nyerere’s  did not want  to live in it; which is he  had a very strong  aversion to being associated with the symbols of colonialism.  Consequently, he did not want to live in the same building that was used as the residence of  the colonial Governors.  That is why he took out a personal Bank loan to build his own private house at Msasani, in which he lived throughout his entire life.   The inside story of this aversion,  is told in the paragraphs below.
Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  aversion to the symbols of colonialism.
It is from this  perspective, that we should view  the ceremony which was held in Dodoma last Saturday, in order to appreciate its special  significance. Mwalimu  Nyerere’s   dislike  (call it  hatred )  for living in the Dar es Salaam  IKULU originated from      his being  “a man of principle”;  and this action was actually  based  on  the  ideological  ‘principle’  of  his  refusal to  be associated with  the symbols of the  past  ‘shameful’  colonialism.    Here is the  story. 
        Mwalimu  Julius  Nyerere was sworn into office as  the  founder-President of the Republic of Tanganyika, on 9th December, 1962, the first anniversary of the country’s independence from  British  colonial rule.   Whether it was by design, or by sheer coincidence, I was appointed Clerk of the National Assembly on that same date.          
        This “coincidence” was the starting point for my close relationships with President Nyerere,  which lasted throughout the entire period of  his Presidency. Among the earliest duties that are prescribed by the constitution which must be performed by a newly installed President, is the “State Opening of Parliament”. This function is prescribed by the country’s constitution; and  was  performed by President Nyerere  on his first working day,  which was  10th December 1962.   As part of its regular business that session of Parliament also passed several  Bills, which needed the President’s Assent.                                    
        In my enthusiasm to make sure that this part of the  ‘Legislative process’  was completed without delay, I decided to take the relevant Bills to IKULU  myself; and handed them to the President’s Personal Secretary.  She immediately took the Papers to the President, and asked me to wait a little, “just  in case the Boss  had something  to ask me”.   Within one minute she came out, and told me to enter the President’s office, as he wanted to see me. 
        I still remember, and  with nostalgia, that  particular meeting;  which,  indeed surprised me, for  the President turned it  into a tete-a -tete  private meeting  between the two of us!   I was, of course, no stranger to him, having previously been his student at St. Francis College Pugu; where, apparently, my outstanding class performance had attracted his attention.                                 
         And subsequently, after I had completed my undergraduate studies at Makerere University College he  had again watched my performance, when the Colonial Administration appointed me (in  a  “Training grade” capacity),  to understudy the British Clerk of the National Assembly; while  he was, at that time,  the Member of Parliament  representing  the then Dar es Salaam constituency.  Hence, I was no stranger to him.                  
        And on that material day;  he happened to be in very good mood, and we talked,  and talked,  for about an hour and a half; with him doing most of the talking;  while I listened, very carefully and attentively.                                        
        That is when he told me about his discomfort with the appearances of maintain the colonial  status quo; and specifically,  the  symbols of colonialism;  such as him having to operate from the same office that was previously used by the Governors of the colonial Administration, and  our Parliament  having to work  in the same colonial  ‘Legislative Council  Chamber’,  Karimjee  Hall.
        And, in particular, he expressed his disapproval  of  the action  I had taken  when preparing the programme for his ‘State Opening of Parliament’ function; when I had, rather foolishly,  just  copied the same colonial  words and phrases  that had been used by the  British officials  in preparing the programme   for the Duke of Edinburgh‘s  ‘State opening of the Independence Parliament’  a year earlier, in December 1961.   The objectionable words and phrases were:  “First Lady” that  I had used  in reference to mama Maria Nyerere; and “Lady-in-waiting” in reference to  the woman  official accompanying her.               
            He strongly objected to the use of these ‘colonial’ words and phrases;  and said to me:  “Listen”,  you  people must change  your  colonial  mindsets.   We are now independent; and  this fundamental   change  must be  reflected in all your actions  in performing your governmental functions”;  he  said.                                     
            This shows that he was absolutely determined to make a complete break with the ‘shameful’ colonial past.  Although  he did not specifically say so  himself,  but with the advantage of  ‘hind sight’,   I have a feeling that his idea of  shifting the government capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, must have  crystalized  at that point in time; in view of the fact that it was only a few years later,  in 1966; that Mwalimu Nyerere’s younnge brother Joephh Nyerere, Member of parliament for Musoma constituency, introducea a “Private Member’ Motion” in the National Assembly, seeking BUNGE’s decision  to direct the government to shift to Dodoma; plus what followed thereafter, when this matter was taken over by the ruling party, TANU; under the skillful  management and   direction  by Mwalimu Nyerere himself.    
Hence, It is against this background, that we should view the celebrations that were held in Dodoma last Saturday.  They were, basically, celebrations to mark the successful realization of  Mwalimu Nyerere’s long time  ‘dream’,  of shifting the  government capital to Dodoma.                       
            As that famous English Play Wright of the sixteenth century William Shakespeare put it,  Mwalimu Nyerere’s  good deeds, and fine ideas,  were  fortunately “not interred with hi bones”;  but continue to be implemented, even  so many decades after his death. 
            Kudos  to  his  successors  in office, particularly the  fifth-phase government of President  John Pombe  Magufuli (who initiated this action);   and the sixth-phase government of President Samia Suluhu Hassan  (who  successfully  completed  it).  
There were also other areas.
Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  aversion to maintaining colonial symbols under the new  independence  jurisdiction  also extended to many other areas.  I still remember three such areas, in  two of which I was personally involved.  The first was in respect of   making  the design of a new mace for the independent Parliament; which the  British  House of Commons had offered  to produce  and present  to our Parliament,  as an ‘independence gift’,  and had  requested our office to provided them with a design of our choice.   I was assigned the task of finding that desired design.                         
         Under the British Administration, the giraffe had been treated as the “national”  animal; and was being  printed on all government documents.   Hence, my proposal was  to place the  symbol of a giraffe at the head of the mace.    But when  I showed this  to  Mwalimu Nyerere  and sought his approval;   he immediately  rejected  the giraffe  proposal;  and directed that  the ‘UHURU Torch’   should be  used instead of   the giraffe;  which, he said,  was a relic of the shameful colonial past.
        The second matter was his directive, issued at  the beginning of 1963;  to  all government establishments  to  use Kiswahili  instead of English,  where  possible,  in all government communications.  The phrase “where possible” was, indeed, necessary; because at that time, many of the government  entities were still being operated by British officials who were still serving in their previous  posts, who were not Swahili speakers.
        But BUNGE was different, we had a Kiswahili speaking Speaker, Chief Adam Sapi Mwawa, and a Kiswahili speaking Katibu wa Bunge, Pius Msekwa; plus Members of Parliament who were all Kiswahili  speakers.    Hence it was very easy for us to undertake the implementation of the President’s directive.                                               
        Thus,  “obliterating the symbols of the shameful colonialism”; and “building a new culture of  UZALENDO”,  were  Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  twin   motives,  and  the  guiding  factors,  in  his  issuance  of  all  these directives. 
        The third issue, in which I was not personally involved (because it was essentially directed to the Police Force, was the colonial police practice of closing the streets through which the Governor General (as Head of State representing the Her Majesty the Queen), would be travelling, to all other traffic.    President Nyerere actually wrote a Presidential Circular, in which he ordered the discontinuation of this particular practice.  “I am fast becoming the greatest nuisance to the road users of Dar es Salaam’ he  quipped  in that circular. “It is as if motorists must call State House every morning, to enquire if the President was scheduled to travel out of State House on that day, and in what direction, to enable them to avoid the relevant streets or roads, for fear of being held up for several hours due to the closure of the streets, ostensibly to clear the President’s way!   
          I believe there is no need for inconveniencing our citizens to such a ridiculous extent. I know that there is a better way of enabling the President to travel fast through the streets and roads without closing them to other road users”. He then issued his directive: “this practice must therefore stop, effective from the date of this circular letter”.  However, this action was not solely due to  his strong aversion to maintaining the symbols and practices of the colonialists; it  also reveals  President Nyerere’s  personal  humility, and  his  genuine care for the needs of other persons.  / 0754767576. 

Wednesday, 24 May 2023



RIP Tina Turner aka Anna Mae Bullock (November 26, 1939 to May 24, 2023). You were simply the Best.

Thursday, 18 May 2023

Does Africa need fetrid characters in office?

The question above’s crucial. It begs for a right answer. Based on what Al Jazeera recently exposed, those who cared to follow up its expose, now know why Africa has always been poor. Goldmafia expose that exposed Zimbabwe corrupt leaders and their conspirators in fleecing the country will agree with us that it exposed Africa’s practice that’s been ongoing since independence. So, too, this expose answers some questions on why Africa’s been always poor despite sitting on humungous sources of resources of value.
        To put the expose and the problem in the milieu, it recently came to light that the Zimbabwean authorities, using con men of all types has for a long time, have been engaged in illegal gold smuggling and money laundering. Ginormous amounts of money have already been illegally minted and printed. Much of this criminality’s committed for two reasons. One, to avoid the sanctions Zimbabwe’s been put under for decades after its former dictator, Robert Mugabe appropriated land from whites who also criminally grabbed it from Black Zimbabweans and just corruption and greed.
        The scandal above involves the biggest and venal through-and-through cheese who’s referred to as numero uno. You know what we mean. One fake prophet whose name’s synonymous with a seraph represents the interest of numero uno who unfortunately swore to protect the country and its wealth that he’s now inanely mugging and hawking. How many of such rash and rotten numero unos does Africa have in offices of the top cheeses?
Now, that Africa knows every nitty-gritty of its fleecing and pauperising, what should it do with such dirty beasts with their dirty deals and deeds? Aren’t these criminals supposed to be rotting behind bars? What baffles me is the fact that people coming such mega corruption call themselves mature. Regrettably, such people are mature though mentally, they’re juveniles. You wonder what an octogenarian as one in this expose can do with such money at such an eleventh hour. What’s obvious is that such fools are used by young nincompoops who can still enjoy the loot. 
        Most of criminal used aren’t Africans. They’re either Asians or Europeans and a few black ragdolls. Again, why they’re not blacks? Simple. They’re ease to threaten even get rid of when underboard deals involving the high and the mighty become worse. They can be expelled from the countries they’ve been committing crimes and that’s that. This can give you the secret why most of businesses in Africa are owned by such corrupt and dubious people. Most of them are rich not just because they’re smart in business as many Africans wrongly believe. The open secret is. They conspire with our venal official to fleece our countries. They’re rich criminally so to speak. 
        If what expose exhumed is a typical mock-up of what’s been ongoing in Africa, believe ye me. We’re voting criminals into our offices for our perils. It’s abhorring to have the so-called honourable people unashamedly doing dishonourable things in our offices as we stand aside and look! Who’d think that many charlatans we see gaslighting and pluming themselves are nothing but big yeggs? Who’d believe that some of such criminals who make us believe they’re the people of God are but people of dog?
Source: Indepedent Zimbabwe today

President Samia reactivates the new Katiba process:A living example of a genuine, positive, political will

THE reactivation of the new constitution writing process, was the ‘great good news’ that hit the print media headlines during the weekend of the first week of this month; when they were reporting the outcome of the President’s meeting with the relevant political leaders at Chamwino State House in the Capital City Dodoma, on Saturday, 6th May, 2023; which, in effect, formally reactivated the process of writing a new Constitution of the United Republic.
As usual, the media had contacted a selection of political commentators, asking them   to express their opinions on the matter; and they were all positively enthusiastic about the President’s action.  All of that is, indeed, well and good; and a clear demonstration of President Samia’s  ‘positive political will’to achieve the desired results in her political reconciliation efforts.
‘Political will’ is the most essential factor in all political processes, because it is the factor which determines whether a given political process will actually succeed, or fail.
        In my article of Thursday, 4th May, 2023 in this column, I discussed the probability of the ‘three-government’  Union structure  being a cause for the breakup of our  Union, which is  otherwise quite  stable under the ‘two-government’  unique structure that was designed by our founder-fathers,  Presidents Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika, and Amani Abeid Karume of Zanzibar; and  I also  referred to the  crucial role of the ‘positive political will’  that was  played by President Karume; which actually  saved the situation.
The role of ‘positive political will’, is the subject matter of today’s presentation; in which we will discuss the proposition that “the positive political will of the Apex political leader, is what determines the success, or failure, of any given political process”. And I will make reference to two outstanding examples in our own jurisdiction; which  may provide   proof of this  assertion.  These are:  (i)  the history of the failed  ‘new constitution’ writing process;  and (ii) the failed process of building Ujamaa (socialism).
 (i)   The failure of all previous attempts to  make  a  new  ‘multiparty constitution’.                                                                       The current generation Tanzanians are most probably unaware, that the proposal for writing a totally new country’s constitution, emerged for the first-time way back in early 1962; during the discussions for the enactment of the ‘Tanganyika Republican Constitution’ of 1962.   This was the only such attempt which succeeded.  At that time, the procedure in such matters was for the government to issue what was known as a “Government white Paper” (an inheritance from British conventions and practices).   
        Thus, in May 1962, “Government White Paper no.1 of 1962” was published, which was titled “Proposals of the Tanganyika Government for a Republic”.  But the said ‘White Paper’ had suggested ‘the making of appropriate amendments to the existing ‘Independence Constitution of 1961. However, this was subsequently abandoned, when the government opted for the enactment of an entirely new constitution.
        I have good reasons to believe, that Mwalimu Nyerere’s influence must have been the major contributor to  the government’s change of mind.  For, although Nyerere was at that material time out of office, following his voluntary resignation from the Premiership only one month after independence; but, in reality, he was effectively in charge of the country’s political affairs, in his capacity as President of the ruling party TANU.
        And in this specific matter of enacting a new constitution, Mwalimu Nyerere’s himself had clearly articulated his ‘disenchantment’ with the “imported” Independence constitution; when  he stated that “the British have no business  in making a constitution for another  independent country.  That is solely the business  of the people of that country themselves”.
He made that observation in March, 1961, soon after the British sponsored ‘Tanganyika Independence constitutional conference’ had completed its business.
        He had deliberately refrained from arguing the contents of that ‘imported’ constitution with the British delegation on that ground (that ‘the British had no business to participate in the making of another independent country’s constitution)’.  His greatest need at that conference was to agree on the date of Tanganyika’s independence; which he wanted to be before the end of that year 1961.   And he was completely satisfied when this was agreed to.  According to him making a new ‘home-made’ constitution would be the first business to be undertaken after independence had been achieved.
        In these circumstances, it would be reasonable to presume that he must have ‘advised’  the government of Prime Minister Rashidi Kawawa, to  abandon their  “White Paper” proposal  of  simply  “making amendments to the existing constitution”;  and made them  agree instead, to introduce a totally new constitution”   This is discernable  from  the words used by the Prime Minister in moving the motion for the second reading of the relevant Bill, in which he said the following:- “Mr. Speaker, this constitution has been prepared in accordance with the proposals contained in Government White Paper no, 1 of 1962. Although that Paper had referred to the making of amendments to the existing constitution, we have thought it best to substitute a completely new and self-contained document, to mark such a fundamental change”.
        That proposed constitutional change was, indeed, truly fundamental; considering the fact that it was a transformation from the British type “Dominium“  status, wherein the  British Monarch continued  to be the ‘Head of State’ of independent Tanganyika; while the country’s  Prime Minister  only took the second place,  as ‘Had of Government’. Thus, the need for a new constitution was obvious, and necessary.
Enter the second-phase government
Then came the second-phase government of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.  It was during his time in office that “the wind of change” to multi-party politics started blowing worldwide. It actually began in Eastern Europe;  where, towards the end of 1989,  the powerful country then known as  the “Union of Soviet Socialist  Republics” (USSR); suddenly disintegrated, as a result of strong  majority demands for  the introduction of  a more democratic multi-party system.  
        Such demands quickly spread to many of the countries of Africa,  which had been governed under the ‘single-party’ political system, and  in some of the cases, this led to violence, and even  the  death of innocent people.   Here is where the issue of “positive political will” comes in.  President Mwinyi and the ruling party CCM, had that ‘positive political will’, which moved them  to initiate action to consult the people of Tanzania; whether, or not, they would be willing to change to a multi-party political system.  The results thereof, are well documented in some of my previous articles in this column.  But for the benefit of our new readers, I may just say that the majority (i.e 80 per cent)  of those who were interviewed by the  Nyalali Presidential commission, actually  dismissed  the proposed change to multi-party politics.  But wiser council prevailed, and the decision was eventually  taken  to make that inevitable change.
        However, it was somehow puzzling, that when this  (equally fundamental)  change occurred, namely that of the transition from the ‘single-party’ to the ‘multi-party’ political dispensation,  the need for a new constitution was  either ignored, or surprisingly overlooked; and the government chose the option of merely  introducing amendments to the existing constitution.
        I was myself of the opinion that this fundamental transition would qualify for a new constitution; but when the government chose the alternative of only amending the existing constitution; and the demand for a new constitution then became the opposition parties priority  agenda.
        These demands were routinely ignored; apparently because the “positive political will” to listen to opposition demands was just lacking.  But in the light of this  Opposition parties  action, I had to support the government of my  own party; in faithful adherence to the CCM membership oath: “Nitakuwa mwaminifu kwa Chama changu, na  kwa Serikali yake”.
The Fourth –phase government.
It was the fourth-phase government of President Jakaya Kikwete,  which came up  with the strong determination to listen to these opposition demands, and actually initiated the process of writing a new constitution; another demonstration of the Apex leader’s ‘positive political will’.  President Kikwete  appointed the “Warioba constitutional Review Commission”, which was assigned to undertake  this important task. 
        It should be noted, that this was a wholly Presidential action, and the ruling party organs were not involved in the making of this decision. I was the party’s Vice Chairman for Mainland Tanzania at the material time, and I can well remember some senior party members actually questioning the need for a new constitution, when our established tradition  was  only  to make  any necessary  amendments to the existing constitution, whenever the need arises.   But, eventually, even President Kikwete’s bold initiative failed to bear fruit,  when the process  was halted before its  completion;  when the fifth-phase government took over.
Enter President John Pombe Magufuli
The opposite of ‘positive’ is ‘negative’. There is no doubt at all that, in this matter of a ‘new constitution’, President  Magufuli had  a clear ‘negative political will’; when he declared that the processing of a new constitution “was not his priority; as he had more important development issues  that preoccupied his mind”; namely the mega infrastructures which he had embarked upon, and of which we are presumably all aware.
        His predecessor, President Kikwete, had introduced a new stage in the constitution making process, which was the holding of a referendum; in order  to enable the people as a whole, to give their approval  and consent to that document.   This was completely new, since all the previous processes had always terminated with the constituent Assembly deliberations and approval.
        And, in fact,  this costly referendum exercise was another issue  which  some CCM big wigs had not supported.   And this was precisely the issue to which President Magufuli refused to give priority.
        Then, by simple operation of the constitution of the United Republic; the sudden death of President John Pombe Magufuli  in March 2021, brought the then  Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, to the  Presidency; and,  as she has now  clearly  demonstrated,  she  came in  with that  needed  ‘positive political will’  in great abundance.  She has now embarked on re-activating the process of making a new multiparty constitution of the United Republic; and all relevant indicators seem to point to the successful achievement of this objective.
(ii)  The  failed process of building  Ujamaa
This was President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s political project, which he inaugurated in February, 1967; through the publication (and initial vigorous implementation) of the Arusha Declaration policy document.  In respect of this issue, President Nyerere had the requisite “positive political will” to have this policy implemented, and he personally went to very great length to have that policy implemented; but his immediate successor in office,  appeared not to have the same ‘positive political will’; and, consequently, the implementation of the jamaa policy was put in  permanent abeyance.
This was the result of a meeting of the CCM National Executive Committee,  which was held in Zanzibar in February 1991, under the Chairmanship of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi; which approved a new document titled  “Mwelekeo wa sera za Uchumi za CCM katika Miaka ya Tisini”.
        The ‘positive political will’ to build  Ujamaa,  had virtually disappeared.   This easily confirms the contention,  that ‘the success, or failure, of any political process, depends almost entirely on  the ‘positive will’ of the Apex leader”. /0754767576.
Source: DailyNews today.

Saturday, 13 May 2023

The tragedy that is Sudan

The video grab taken from AFPTV video footage on April 20, 2023, shows an aerial view of black smoke rising above the Khartoum International Airport in Sudan, amid ongoing battles between the forces of two rival generals.

By Makau Mutua professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of the KHRC.

Sudan is arguably the unluckiest country on the planet. Perhaps both unlucky and clearly damned. Not many countries have suffered as much as Sudan. This included invasions and settlement by Arab nomads and the enslavement and sale of black Africans as chattel to Egypt and the Ottoman Empire.

        After a long and tormented colonial history, Sudan fell under the spell of several brutes most notably Jafaar Al-Nimeiry and Omar al-Bashir. Both men imposed primitive forms of Sharia law that at times included public flogging, stoning and other medieval punishments.

        Widespread and unspeakable human rights abuses have been the lot of the Sudanese. Today, once again, Sudan stands on an existential precipice. The country and the state face imminent collapse. Sudan, the post-colonial has always been an incoherent mess. A hodge-podge of the Arabised North and the Black African South, the country finally split into two in 2011 when the latter finally freed itself from the cruel shackles of the former.

        The split came after decades of the cruellest atrocities ever committed by one people against another. There’s hardly a country without South Sudanese refugees or their descendants. But the divorce has helped neither country. Sudan itself has continued its death spiral while South Sudan remains in the fatal throes of two megalomaniacal despots competing for supremacy. But today Sudan is clearly worse off than South Sudan if there’s a difference between the fire and the frying pan.

        But it’s not all been doom and gloom for Sudan. There have been moments of hope. Even the word democracy has been whispered several times in the huge void of despair. One such moment came in 2019 in the wake of the popular ouster of President Bashir by the people and segments of the military in 2019.

            An interim constitution abolished the apostasy law, public flogging and the ban on alcohol for non-Muslims. It didn’t mention Sharia and removed the abominable practice commonly referred to as female genital mutilation. An accord separated religion and the state. Some hope, then despair. But just as quickly, all hope was snuffed out.

        In October 2021, the Sudan military led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) together overthrew the interim civilian government.  It carried out mass arrests and committed many atrocities. It was General Dagalo’s forces that carried out the most violent crackdowns on pro-democracy activists in 2019. 


General Dagalo, a warlord, cut his teeth in the killing fields of Darfur where he led the Janjaweed, the Bashir-supported militia that killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions of Darfurians and other black African groups. It was the first genocide of the 21st century. President Bashir and others were indicted for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. 

        In April this year, the two generals turned against one another and fighting between the Burhan-led government army and General Dagalo’s RSF broke out. In deadly urban combat using helicopter gunships and other fighter planes, the generals have turned the capital of Khartoum into a killing field.

        Mortar fire, snipers and street combat are now the norm. Hundreds of civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled. Khartoum is a deadly theatre of war. Those who can’t escape are trapped in their homes without food, power, or water. No side seems to be on the verge of victory, and the generals appear determined to fight to the death. Intermittent ceasefires and peace talks are but head fakes. 

        Perhaps if the ICC had indicted General Dagalo for the Darfur genocide we might not be here today. There are reports that the United States and its allies support General Burhan while Russia and its anti-Western axis are arming General Dagalo. Analysts believe the current Sudan crisis is a proxy war between the US and Russia.

        But in my view, this is beside the point. Since time immemorial, external forces have always pillaged Africa to cannibalise its resources and exploit its people. That’s geopolitics in the age of the Empire and the scramble for global control of resources. Sudan has always been prey to these machinations. Its elites are some of the dumbest in Africa. They are traitors.

    In the meantime, the African Union sits in Addis Ababa sucking its thumb, paralyzed like its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity. Sudan is the shame of an entire continent. The United Nations itself is paralysed apart from moralising through lame press releases in the safety of New York and other capitals. The ICC is silent. Mute. The talks between the two sides won’t go anywhere unless there’s a credible threat of force. Diplomacy without the threat of force is a dead letter.

        That’s why the ICC should hasten and indict the warring generals. Both the AU and UN need to quickly assemble an intervention force before Sudan collapses.

Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School, The State University of New York. @makaumutua.

Source: Sunday Nation tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 May 2023

Sudan's path to turmoil

Those who topped Omar Bashir, Sudanese long-time despot, are now destroying Sudan. The ongoing conflict between Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and the current strongman Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan’s likely to fell Sudan. You can take this to the bank. Sudan will settle after the two finish each other or being finished by the demonstrators if not the international community though it’s failed to remind them that soon after their duel, they’ll both be delivered to The Hague. 

        The two would like to avoid being delivered to The Hague to face charges related with genocide they committed in Darfur under Bashir regime not to mention the atrocities they’re still committing currently. Secondly, the duo is not likely to share power. One needs to–––and must–––finish another for another to prevail and survive temporarily. And chances are that the latter is likely to finish the former or vice versa. The duo can be pushed out shall the demonstrators stand their ground. Apart from that, the economic tanking provides a very good impetus and reason for deposing and disposing the couple in power under the marriage of convenience.

        As the de facto ruler, Burhan’s what it take to finish depending on how he’ll play his cards since he’s power without the number in the military machinery. Dagalo has the number in the army though he isn't on the seat of power not to mention the lack of wings.

            More importantly, the duo weren’t a good  couple. They’re united by their struggle for survival. No love or need exist between the duos for anybody except for themselves. Any of the couple can finish another shall an opportunity avail itself.  Burhan was unsafe in bed with Dagalo and vice versa. Any of the couple would like to see another gone shall he get and seize the moment. Actually, what's on going's nothing but the dance between two inimical evils. Time'll accurately soon tell and show that this prediction won't come to pass.

        Since toppling Bashir, the two exhibited brutality and incompetence Sudan’s never evidenced. Apart from being incompetent criminals, they’d never read from the same script. Thus, it wasn’t if but when the two would turn tables on each other as it recently happened. Currently, Sudan’s on its way to a failed state. The Sudan Armer Force (SAF) and the Rapid Response Forces (RSF)–––an unconstitutional and criminal private army Bashir created headed by Dagalo to help him cling on power–––are doing battle of the destruction of Sudan. For peace lovers, this is the worst thing even though was expected to happen. There are many reasons for such a take. Firstly, the army that took power after the mass actions against Bashir, wasn't different from him and betrayed him. Gen. Abdul-Fattah Burhan, the head of the junta and his deputy Dagalo are all opportunists who can sacrifice even their mothers. This is because of the crimes they committed under Bashir they're now prosecuting while they're but his comrades in crimes.

     Actually, the army––––that duped the demonstrators that it hated Bashir––––is the same that kept him in power for over three decades of dictatorship and misrule. Besides, the same army’s no wherewithal to run the country competently. Just imagine. For over three decades they're power, what did they do and what'll they do differently. Armies were created to protect but not to rule the country.

    Secondly, the reasons and problems that led to Bashir’s fall from power are still untouched. Bashir’s overthrown after mass demonstrations agitating for the easing in ever increasing costs of living after Sudan lost its source of income (petrodollars) after South Sudan seceded. Also, bad governance and corruption have never been addressed. The situation became even worse than it’s under Bashir compounded by world economic fragility resulting from Covid-19, conflict in Ukraine and natural calamities.

    Thirdly, knowing that the heads of the military junta in Sudan are allegedly committed genocide in Sudan, they're not the right people to be at helms in the first place. Despite being incompetent, they too knew themselves. However, out of power, they’d be arrested. Thus, to survive, they’d to cling unto power by all means.

Fourthly, they mismanaged opportunity and power by denying a transition government to assume its power as the mass wanted.

Fifthly, they brutally and stroppily suppressed dissent voices, hence, killing many innocent people who were demonstrating and enjoying their rights to expression and association.

    Sixthly, the junta didn't accommodate and protect all those who were in the past regime thus, some elements, just like, the heads of junta felt vulnerable thanks to the crime they committed when they're in power. Therefore, whoever would bring down the junta that overthrow their regime and threw them under the bus, for them, worth supporting in order to try to recoup and restore lost power and privileges. 

            For the three years the junta's been in power, demonstrators were its main enemies. However, today, things are different. The abettor with whom the junta committed crimes against Sudanese, the RSF, is the archenemy and danger. The organisation that used to be the part and parcel of the junta’s now referred to as a rebel group. Again, why’re the deuce baying for the blood of each other? Power, power, power, and power. After frustrating and manipulating the force for demonstrators, the two abettors are now accusing and calling each other names. Dagalo was recently quoted as saying "this criminal, he forced this battle upon us" (AP, April 15, 2023). Dagalo is referring to his boss Burhan as a criminal. Who's a criminal and who's. not? Nobody can tell even though the history of the two speaks volumes about them. While Dagalo called his boss a criminal, he responded by saying that everything was under control he didn't need any dialogue with the RSF.

        A long story short, up until now, we don't know who'll finish whom, and what next. However, the look of things shows that Burhan may prevail temporarily all both go under. All in all, what's happening in Sudan’s the most dangerous it’s ever experienced is it an opportunity for the duo to finish each other and free Sudan from the criminal and dictatorial grip? How'll Bashir benefit or suffer more from this kerfuffle, it’s too early to tell. However, whatever happens, Sudan won't remain the same.

Source: Weekly Review Issue No. 36 today.