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

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Let's democratise selection of running mate

 


You often have to think against the box – not outside of it – to grow an emerging democracy. They say it’s little droplets of water that make a mighty ocean. Democracy is forged one hard inch by another hard inch. It’s never achieved in miles at a stretch. And there are usually reversals in between.

        That’s because democracy is a continuous experiment, not a final destination. It’s the reason introducing the tradition of publicly vetting nominees for Deputy President of the Republic is a small step but a giant leap in Kenya’s political culture. That’s how you expand, deepen and entrench democracy in the psyches of both the hoi polloi and the elite. Let me extrapolate and elucidate.

        Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga has become the first to introduce the public vetting of DP nominees in Kenya. This isn’t unfamiliar territory for Mr Odinga. He has often gone where others haven’t gone before. And he’s done it all in pursuit of a democratic and prosperous Kenya. More than any other living Kenyan, he’s paid a heavy personal price for his courage. He’s been detained, jailed, physically beaten and exiled. I find it shocking that he doesn’t have a bone of bitterness in his body. I am not sure I would be so forgiving. He holds not a single grudge against those who’ve wronged him. He’s truly at peace, having forgiven them all.

        Mr Odinga’s towering achievements in Kenya’s political culture include his relentless leadership for the 2010 Constitution, which democratised the state, dispersed political power from the executive to other arms of the state and to the people in counties, and brought more scrutiny, accountability and transparency to governance. It’s not an exaggeration to say that he’s done more to bring democracy than any other person. That’s why it came as no surprise when he instituted a committee to publicly recommend candidates for running mate. Like every novel idea that seeks to unfreeze hierarchies of power, the idea attracted enormous support, and some opposition. The entire country was bathed in excitement. The public and the media couldn’t get enough.

        Democracy is a consequentialist system in the sense that its outcome has real-world repercussions for actual, living human beings. So, the results of the democratic franchise are extremely important. Who you elect and what policies they implement are critical. Even more important is the process of democracy itself. That’s because democracy is a process, not a result. To the extent democracy is a result, that result must affirm the legitimacy of the process itself. Legitimacy at every phase of the process. This includes the determination of candidates for public office, including the running mate. Mr Odinga’s view is that the choice of running mate shouldn’t be the exclusive preserve of one person alone, but the public’s also.

        This is why. First, the DP is a heartbeat away from being President. The DP must be ready on Day One to assume office should the need arise. That’s why involving the public in the selection gives the nominee legitimacy and wider acceptance in case they should take the reins of power. A public vetting process allows the country to give the presidential nominee wise counsel about the choices before him, or her. It widens – and deepens – the reservoir of knowledge because of disclosure of information and public debate on the suitability of those fronted as choices. How can more sunlight on the second highest officeholder be a bad thing? Knowledge and information are formidable tools in any democracy. Secondly, public vetting allows the country to debate the criteria and the requirements for the office of running mate and the candidates. Important factors such as inclusivity, the place of regional, gender, age, social status, race, and ethnicity in the selection process become poignant. Do these different demographics feel affirmed by the process? Is the process a backroom deal between powerful ethnic potentates where the one selected is only accountable to a mafia or cartels? Once in office, will the DP nominee rebel against the President or sabotage the government? What message does the selection send to little girls, or the marginalised? Does the choice bring a huge basket of votes, excite the people, or anger them?

        The public’s inclusion in the choice of running mate partially tells Kenyans the state belongs to them, not just the presidential candidate. It says the elite shouldn’t simply disregard the people when they bargain among themselves. The process shows the humility of those who’ve agreed to be publicly vetted. It affirms that no one – no matter their station in life – is too big to be “interviewed” by the people of Kenya. Importantly, it closes the door on those who argue that being publicly vetted is “humiliating”. On the contrary, it’s a rare privilege for anyone to be interviewed for the office of DP. Let’s thank Baba for growing our democratic political traditions.

Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School. He’s chair of KHRC. @makaumutua.

Source: Sunday Nation today.

THIS IS A NEW YORK RACIST MONSTER PAYTON GENDRON

If there is anything I can say is racism is real and healthy. Again, why do young people show more proclivity to it than adults? Is it because they are the victims of adult racist manoeuvres taught at home? This monster was acclaimed by police after doing the right thing in the eyes of racists. If this dog were nonwhite, he'd have already been past tense. Provide that racism is enshrined in the US, this coldblooded killer is still breathing. Stupid racists hates Black Americans while they are the ones who brought them?

Friday, 13 May 2022

Barua ya Wazi kwa Waziri Mkuu Juu ya Ufisadi

Mhe. Waziri Mkuu, nakusalimia kwa jina la Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania. Ni mara yangu ya kwanza kukuandikia barua ya wazi. Kuna clip nilitumiwa ilyozagaa kwenye jukwaa la WhatsApp unapoonyeshwa na kusikika ukilalamikia manunuzi na matumizi mabaya kwenye madawa na vifaa tiba ambapo bei zimeongezwa bila maelezo ya kitaalamu wala ya kuingia akilini. Unaonyesha uchungu namna ya watendaji wa umma walivyopaisha bei za vifaa tiba kinyume na ukweli wa bei halisi za vifaa husika pamoja na kusomeshwa na kutengenezwa kwa fedha ya umma ili wahudumie badala ya kuuhujumu. Hili ni jambo jema, kuchukizwa na kulaani vitendo kama hivi japo njia zilizotumika si sahihi. Hata hivyo, tokana na ukweli wa mambo, ukiachia mbali unyeti wa suala husika, linaacha maswali mengi kuliko majibu tokana na namna ulivyolishughulikia. Je kulikuwa na sababu ya haraka wakati ukijua madhara yake?
          Mhe. Waziri Mkuu, naomba niulize maswali. Mepesi japo ya msingi yafuatayo: mosi, kwanini usikamate wathumiwa kwanza ndipo umwage mtama? Pili, je uliwasiliana na wataalamu wa uchunguzi kabla ya kusema uliyosema lau kupata maoni yao juu ya faida na hasara za kufanya hivyo? Tatu, je kama wewe mwenye unalalamika hivyo, sisi wachovu tufanye nini? Nne, je hii ndiyo njia ya busara ya kawaida na kisayansi ya kushughulikia tatizo kubwa na nyeti kama hili? Tano, je umefanya uchunguzi kwanza kabla ya kupasua mbarika lau ujue mzizi na historia ya kadhia? Sita, je haraka ni ya nini wakati ukijua kuwa kufanya hivyo kunaweza kutoa mianya kwa wahalifu kuficha uchafu wao hata kukimbia nchi kwa wale waliopewa tenda ambao si watanzania au ni watanzania wa mguu ndani mguu nje? Saba, je hili lina tija gani kwa taifa? Nane, najua wengi wa wanufaika wa tenda na ufisadi huu si watanzania wa kweli tokana na historia ya ubadhilifu katika taifa letu Je hii ndiyo staili yenu ya uongozi ambayo, kimsingi, inaweza kutafsiriwa vibaya kuwa hamko makini japo mko makini?
            Mhe. Waziri Mkuu, kama nilivyosema, maswali ni mengi kuliko majibu. Tisa, je kusema kwako kabla ya kuwakamata wahusika huoni unawasaidia watoroke au kufuta nyayo zao?
Kumi, je waliokula hiyo fedha ni maafisa wa umma tu wapo wakandarasi ambao wengi ni wageni wanaoweza kukitoa kabla ya kutiwa nguvuni? Kumi na moja, je hukujua madhara ya kusema kabla ya kuthibiti? Kumi na mbili je huu ni mchezo wa kwanza? Ni uchunguzi gani wa kina umefanywa? Kumi na mbili, je inakuwaje unawaambia wezi warejeshe fedha badala ya kuwaweka ndani na kuwafilisi kwanza ndipo sa uwatake wategemezi wao kusema ukweli wote?
            Mhe. Waziri Mkuu, japo mie si mshauri wako wa kuajiriwa, naomba nitoe ushauri ufuatao. Isitoshe, nimekuwa nikotoa ushauri wa bure kwa bosi wako Mhe. Rais ambaye mara nyingi ameufanyia kazi. Hivyo, unapata ushauri toka kwa mtu mwenye kufaa asiye na makundi wala maslahi yoyote kisiasa. Nasema haya kuepuka kuonekana na kushambulia. Kama inatokea ofisi yako au wewe binafsi unapokea tips kuhusiana na ubadhilifu kama huu, hakuna haja ya kukurupuka kutangaza badala ya kuwastukiza na kuwaweka ndani watuhumiwa ili kuepuka kuwa sehemu ya tatizo badala ya suluhu. Naomba niongeze maswali. Mosi, je una habari kuwa ukipasua mbarika kabla ya kukamata unawasaidia watuhumiwa kukimbia nchi au kuharibu ushahidi na kuwa tatizo badala ya suluhu? Tabia hii inaweza kutafsiriwa vibaya kama kuwapa mwanya wahusika kutoroka kwa wale ambao si raia au raia wenye makazi nje. Hili halihitaji kuwa na shahada katika uchunguzi na upelelezi. Historia ya ufisadi nchini ina mifano mingi ya watu waliotoroka baada ya kustuliwa na wakubwa mfano mkubwa ukiwa ule wa Chavda. Inahitaji akili ya kawaida, umakini, na uzalendo kupambana na kadhia kama hii. Nineshauri tuwe makini ili kwenda mpaka kwenye kiini cha kadhia hii si kwenye idara moja bali zote za serikali. Mbili, je ni madudu mangapi kama haya yameishafanyika bila kugundulika na kuchukuliwa na hatua? Tatu, je tatizo ni tabia za watu binafsi kuhusiana na tamaa au mfumo wetu mbovu wa manunuzi ukiachia mbali mazingira kuruhusu baadhi ya wenzetu kutuibia na kufaidi chumo la wizi? Haya ndiyo maswali muhimu kujiuliza na kutafutia majibu mujarabu.
Mhe. Waziri Mkuu, hapa Kanada huwezi kufanya hivyo ukapona kwa vile kila mtu kila mwaka hutoa taarifa ya mapato na matumizi yake. Inapotokea ukuwa fedha, mapato au matumizi yasiyo na maelezo lazima uchukuliwe hatua. Kama una fedha au mali zilizozidi, hukamatwa hadi utoe maelezo yanayoridhisha kwa serikali.  Je, kama kweli mnamaanisha msemacho juu ya kupambana na ufisadi na wizi wa fedha za umma, mnashindwa nini kuanzisha mfumo huu unaohakikisha usalama wa fedha na mali za umma?
            Mhe. Waziri Mkuu, kwa ujuzi na uzoefu wangu, ingeleta maana kama ungetangaza na kusema uliyosema baada ya kukamata na kuweka ndani watuhumiwa ili haki itendeke. Baada ya kumwaga mtama, usishangae wahusika kupeta nasi kubaki tukiwalaumu bure wapelelezi kwa kushindwa kuwaweka hatiani wahusika kutokana ushahidi utakaokusanywa. Huwezi kuinama kuokota jiwe halafu ukalaumu kwa kunguru au ndege kuruka kabla ya kumtwanga jiwe. Je haraka ni ya nini? Je kulikuwa na ulazima?
            Mhe. Waziri Mkuu, naomba nimalizie kwa kuomba uupatie umma majibu ya maswali kama ishirini niliyoibua hapo juu huku ukifuata utaratibu wa kufanya kazi na uchunguzi kwa usiri badala ya kutangaza kabla ya kuchukua hatua za kuwakamata na kuwahifadhi wahusika. Kila la heri.
Chanzo: Raia Mwema leo.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Wabunge Igeni Mfano wa Mhe. Mpina, Ujasiri, Ukweli na Uzalendo

Akichangia hoja  bungeni hivi karibuni, kwa uchungu na uzalendo vya wazi, Mheshimiwa Luhaga Mpina ( CCM-Kisesa) aligusia jambo ambalo wengi hawapendi kuligusia kwa kuchelea kupoteza maslahi yako au kugusa wakubwa pabaya. Mhe. Mpina, kwa lugha inayoeleweka na kushawishi, aliwatolea uvivu wafanyabiashara wanaopandisha bei za vitu huku serikali ikiangalia kana kwamba haina uwezo wa kuwashughulikia au kuwazuia wakati inao uwezo na kila sababu. 
Katika makala hii nitajikita kwenye ugumu wa maisha unaotengenezwa na watendaji wetu walioko kwenye ulaji––––kama alivyosema Mhe. Mpina bila kificho, kupindisha wala woga. Niliwahi kumwandikia Mheshimiwa Rais juu ya nchi ya Kanada–––kama mfano wa nchi zinazoitwa zimeendelea zinavyotumia vizuri pesa zao––––kwa kubana matumizi na kuepuka kuwaumiza wananchi wake.  Katika barua na ushauri wangu kwa Mhe. Rais, nilimwelezea namna maafisa wa serikali hapa wanavyochapa kazi. Muhimu, niligusia namna wanavyotumia nafasi zao kwa kujitegemea–––bila kutegemea au kunyonya kodi za wananchi kama ilivyo nyumbani ambapo kila mkubwa ni mnyonyaji wa kawaida kama tutalinganisha na wenzao hata wa juu yao hapa Kanada.
Naomba nirejee tena ushauri huu––––huenda ukafanyiwa kazi kipindi hiki kigumu cha maisha ili kuepuka kuongeza chuki ya makapuku dhidi ya serikali na wakubwa zake–––kama kweli tumeamua kujikomboa na kuwatumikia vizuri wananchi wetu tunaodai kuwawawakilisha na kuwaongoza. Hapa Kanada, mawaziri karibia wote hujiendesha. Hawana walinzi wala wasaidizi kama ilivyo kwetu kwenye nchi maskini na ombaomba. Ukiachia mbali mawaziri, majaji na maafisa wengi wa serikali wanajiendesha wenyewe na hawana walinzi.  Je hali ikoje nyumbani? Mkuu wa wilaya, wizara, mkoa, jaji, hakimu, na maafisa wengine wadogo eti wanawekewa madereva na wengine wabunge hata walinzi na watunza bustani. Wanalipiwa kodi ya pango.
Nilihoji kiasi cha fedha serikali inapoteza kwa kugharimia mambo ambayo wafanyakazi wengine hawapewi. Je huu ndiyo usawa tunaofundishwa na kuhimizwa wakati tunabaguana kwa vyeo? Kwanini watu wanaolipwa mishahara mikubwa, mfano, wanaishi kwenye nyumba bure wakati hawa wadogo wakikamliwa kidogo wanachopata kwa taabu? Kuna haja gani, kwa mfano, waziri au mkuu wa mkoa au mkuu wa idara kulipiwa kodi ya nyumba lakini si mwalimu? Je hapa kuna tofauti gani kati ya utawala mkoloni na nchi huru ambapo wakubwa wanajigeuza wakoloni weusi? Nimo kwenye kukamilisha kitabu kiitwacho Africa Must Deal with Blats for Its True Decolonisation: Africa’s Unclothed Truth about Internalised Internal Colonialism, yaani Afrika lazima ishughulike na wanaharamu na kupambana na ukoloni mtupu uliosimikwa na kukubalika.
Mbali na Mpina kuwamulika wafanyabiashara wanaojiona kama wao ndiyo serikali, aligusia mikataba ya hovyo akitaja wazi wazi ule wa Symbion ambao alitaka kujua nani yuko nyuma yake na namna unavyohujumu nchi huku ukipigiwa chapuo na wabunge ilipwe mabilioni bila kueleza iliingiaje, ilikwepa kodi kiasi gani na mengine kama hayo ambayo mbunge anayajua kuliko mimi na wewe. Je serikali imechukua hatua gani kumhoji Mheshimiwa Mpina lau aipe usaidizi kwa kutoa ushahidi na vielelezo alivyo navyo kuhusiana na kadhia husika?
Japo Mpina hakwenda mbali zaidi, tangu afariki Hayati Dkt John Pombe Magufuli, tumeona namna ya wale watuhumiwa wa ufisadi wa kutisha walivyoachiwa kwenye mazingira yenye utata. Japo nimekuwa mshauri na shabiki mkubwa wa Mhe. Rais Samia Suluhu Hassan, naona kama mambo yanakwenda ndivyo sivyo. Leo, kwa mfano, ukiiuliza serikali ni vipengee vipi na utaratibu gani vilitumika kuwaachia watuhumiwa wa Escrow, Habinder Singh na James Rugemalira na vipi maslahi ya taifa yalilindwa au kuhujumiwa na kwa faida ya nani? 
Mpaka naandika makala hii, niliudhika baada ya kusikia kuwa serikali iliamua kufuta mashtaka dhidi ya watuhumiwa wa uhujumu wanaojulikana. Mfano, wale wanaoona kama kulikuwa na sababu za kisheria au kimsingi au hata zinazoingia kwenye akili ya kawaida, ilikuwaje baadhi ya watu, tena maarufu, waliokuwa wamepokea fedha toka kwa mtuhumiwa kama vile Rugemalira, mfano, mawaziri wa zamani, Prof. Anna Tibaijuka na William Ngeleja na Askofu Methodius Kilaini. Je kama mhusika hakuwa ana shitaka, ilikuwaje vigogo hawa, tena wajuvi wa mambo, waliamua kurejesha fedha walizopewa na mtuhumiwa kama hakuna namna? Je ilikuwaje awamu ya tano iliendelea kuwashilikilia chini ya sheria za uhujumu uchumi lakini ghafla, baada ya kuingia awamu ya sita, wakaachiliwa haraka bila maelezo yanaoingia akilini wala kushawishi akili? Je hapa kunani? Je nani walioko nyuma ya Escrow?
  Tukija kwenye kashfa ya Symbion, tunajua wazi ilivyotingisha serikali ya awamu ya nne baada ya kuwagusa viongozi wa juu   hadi waziri mkuu wake Edward Lowassa akalazimika kujiuzulu baada ya kubanwa na ushahidi au kuhofia kuumbuliwa? 
Je kati ya awamu ya tano na sita, ni ipi ilikuwa/ina ukweli juu ya kashfa hizi? Je awamu ya tano ilikosea au ya sita ndiyo imekosewa zote zikuhusishwa na awamu ya nne ambayo viongozi wake wakuu, karibia wote isipokuwa Makamu wa Rais waliguswa moja kwa moja na kashfa husika ukiachia mbali awamu ya pili ambayo ndiyo iliasisi kashfa husika huku waliokuwa mawaziri wake waliokuja kuwa wakubwa kuhusishwa moja kwa moja?
Nafahamu wazi. Wachambuzi, hata waandishi na wakereketwa wa ndani wanaoogopa kugusia kashfa hizi. Je nani asiyejua kuwa kuna rafu inachezwa?  Nani asiyejua kuwa baada ya kufariki kwa Magufuli, kuna mambo yanafanyika ndivyo sivyo mfano kashfa ya Escrow ukiachia mbali baadhi ya watuhumiwa wakubwa wa ufisadi kuanza kutesa kwenye ulaji? Nani alitegemea, kwa mfano, baadhi ya wanachama wa CCM waliozuiwa hata kugombea ubunge tokana kukumbwa na kashfa kubwa, kurejea kwa kishindo kama wawekezaji wakubwa? Kama tutakuwa wakweli kwa nafsi yetu kama wananchi na wenye nchi, nani asiyejua mfano aliyewahi kuwa mbunge wa jimbo moja mkoani Tabora alivyozuiwa kugombea ubunge tokana kukumbwa na kashfa ambaye siku hizi amejitokeza kuwa mwekezaji mkubwa kwenye mawasiliano? Je ni miujiza gani imefanyika akatakaswa bila kukutikana bila hatia na mahakama? Je hapa nani anamdanganya nani? 
Nimalize kwa kumpongeza Mhe. Mpina kwa ujasiri, ukweli na uzalendo wake. Kuna falasa kuwa unaweza kuwadanganya watu wote kwa wakati fulani,watu fulani kwa wakati wote lakini si watu wote kwa wakati wote. Wenye madaraka tieni akilini mkijua kuwa hata hayo madarka yenu yana mwisho kama ilivyokuwa kwa watangulizi wenu. Nyie ni wa kupita lakini si taifa wala ukweli. Tieni akili ili lau mtende haki. Mhe. Mpina ametimiza wajibu wake kwa watu wake na taifa lake. Kazi kwenu kueleza upi ni ukweli na upi ni urongo na kwanini.
Chanzo: Raia Mwema leo.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Ruto is unfit for duty, elect him at your own peril

What you need to know:

  • Since 2013, I thought William Ruto wasn’t the right choice for Deputy President.
  • Now I am convinced he shouldn’t be elected President of the Republic of Kenya.

I didn’t know Deputy President William Ruto was a facsimile of the man with the same name twice – Miguna Miguna. Mr Ruto removed all doubt last week. As they say in street lingo, Mr Miguna and Mr Ruto belong to the same WhatsApp group. I had always suspected Mr Ruto was unfit for duty.

        Since 2013, I thought he wasn’t the right choice for Deputy President. Now I am convinced he shouldn’t be elected President of the Republic of Kenya. It would be a colossal error. Someone with the temperament of a prepubescent boy shouldn’t be given the keys to State House. Kenya is fragile, and doesn’t need an even more fragile leader. Not unless Kenyans have a death wish.

        I know people think I’ve no time for Mr Ruto. They are right – I don’t. But if Mr Ruto was a four-alarm fire before, he’s now a five-alarm fire. Kenyans should be crying “mayday!” That’s the international distress signal used by aircraft and ships to indicate an imminent catastrophe. 

        As Mr Ruto approaches the presidency, I have no choice but to send out that ominous signal. We are at an ominous inflection point. Since it became a republic, Kenya hasn’t been threatened with a leader of Mr Ruto’s dangerous character. I don’t want to sound alarmist, but it would be professional malpractice as a scholar of democracy for me not to warn Kenyans of the gathering clouds. 

Belittle President Kenyatta

They say power doesn’t create the character in men. Rather, it reveals the character in them. In the last several weeks, and especially this past one, Mr Ruto has left no doubt what sort of a person he is. In the past year, he’s lustily gone mano-a-mano with his boss, Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta. That in itself was bad enough. In fact, it’s not the done thing. Nowhere in the world today does the “principal assistant” to the head of state nakedly take on his boss in public. Normal human beings resign rather than gridlock government. 

        VP Oginga Odinga set the pace a long time ago when he quit over policy disagreements with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. He left honourably. 

        Mr Ruto’s disagreements with Mr Kenyatta, however, are not on policy. They are banal and inane. I know Mr Ruto’s minions blame Mr Kenyatta for the kerfuffle between the two. That’s nonsense. Mr Ruto works for Mr Kenyatta, not the other way round. His supporters say that Mr Ruto was elected by Kenyans to serve along Mr Kenyatta. That’s true. He was elected as Mr Kenyatta’s subordinate, or underling, and not as his equal. Mr Ruto, however, thought he was co-president. That’s not what the Constitution of Kenya provides. Mr Ruto should’ve packed his bags and left if he couldn’t subordinate himself to Mr Kenyatta. Finito – end of matter. Not squat in office like a laggard fleecing taxpayers. 

        The political greed Mr Ruto has exhibited is otherworldly. Last week, he let it all hang out. At the funeral service for President Mwai Kibaki, Mr Ruto took the opportunity to humiliate and belittle Mr Kenyatta in front of foreign heads of state. His remarks were beamed live to the nation and the world. With his boss nearby, Mr Ruto called Kibaki Kenya’s greatest president. Ouch! So, what’s Mr Kenyatta? The worst? Draw your conclusions. Mr Ruto went further and said that he was like Mr Kibaki, the son of a poor peasant who rose from nothing to the inner sanctum of power. The dig against Mr Kenyatta was clear here – that he was an undeserving “dynasty” man.

Vituperative comments 

The following day at Kibaki’s internment in Othaya, Mr Ruto rubbed more salt into the wound. With his supporters on cue, he praised Kibaki and took digs at Mr Kenyatta and Azimio’s Raila Odinga. He made sure his goons – who were reportedly bussed there and orchestrated – disrespected Mr Odinga. This isn’t the first time Mr Ruto has upstaged and humiliated Mr Kenyatta in public. I’ve counted at least a dozen times. Mr Kenyatta keeps on tolerating the calumny. I would simply disinvite Mr Ruto to public events so he can keep his vituperative comments to himself. Were the roles reversed, Mr Kenyatta would be rotting in Kamiti Maximum Prison, if not worse. Make no mistake about it. 

        On Labour Day, Mr Ruto uncorked everything in his verbal arsenal and nuked Mr Kenyatta. In a juvenile tweet, he lambasted his boss for incompetence, laziness, and keeping the company of “useless” leaders. My jaw dropped to the floor. Mr Ruto told Mr Kenyatta only he could’ve rescued Kenya from its current woes. 

        I am sure the next DP won’t behave like Mr Ruto, especially if Mr Ruto – God forbid – were elected President. It would be poetic justice were it to happen. But Mr Ruto must never be entrusted with the state – ever. In a year in power, we wouldn’t recognise our country.

Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School. He’s chair of KHRC. @makaumutua

Source: Sunday Nation tomorrow.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Uraia Pacha Tanzania Upo Barua kwa Rais Samia Suluhu Hassan

Mheshimiwa Rais, nakusalimu kwa jina la JMT na kukupa pole kwa safari ndefu ya kutoka hapa kurejea nyumbani. Ni kipindi tangu tuwasiliane. Yalitokea mauzauza nikagoma kuandika. Hayo tuyaache. Naomba niende kwenye pwenti moja kwa moja. Kumekuwa na shinikizo kwa Tanzania kuridhia uraia pacha kwa wananchi wake walio nao. Pia, kumekuwa na sintofahamu hata longolongo kuhusiana na suala hili wakati uraia wa kuzaliwa hutolewa na Mungu na si binadamu. Juzi nilikusikia ukiwa Marekani ukisema kuwa suala la uraia pacha so far halipo bali hadhi maalumu. Je wenye uraia pacha watakubali katazo hili? Kama wanaipenda sana Afrika, kwanini wasichukue uraia mwingine kwenye nchi za kiafrika zinazoruhusu uraia pacha badala ya kubembeleza kupewa kilicho chao?
        Mhe. Rais, serikali haitaki kuridhia uraia pacha ingawa inafurahia fedha walioko nje wanazotuma nchini. Ama kweli Baniani mbaya kiatu chake dawa! Na penye udhia penyeza rupia. Je kuna faida au hasara kukubali au kuukataa uraia pacha? Je kweli Tanzania hakuna uraia pacha? Kwa wanaojua ukweli, uraia pacha upo. Waulize wazanzibari nawe ukiwamo. Je wanaitwa wazanzibari badala ya watanzania kwa utaifa na uraia upi kama siyo pacha? Mzanzibari yeyote ni mzanzibari kwanza na mwisho mtanzania. Je mtanzania au tuseme mbara kashikilia utanzania na kusahau utanganyika! Nani hapa anamdanganya nani? 
    Mheshimiwa Rais, je kwanini watanzania wanachukua uraia wa mataifa mengine? Jibu ni rahisi, dhiki. Wakihitaji kusoma au kufaidi baadhi ya haki na huduma ambazo mtu asiye raia hapati, wanajilipua si kwa kupenda bali kulazimika. Je hili kosa lao au uchovu na umaskini wa Tanzania uliowalazimisha kukimbilia nje kutafuta riziki? Nani huyo mpumbavu anayekimbia nchi yake wakati mambo yake ni mazuri au anayekubali kuteseka kwenye nchi yake wakati kuna fursa nje? Yesu alipotishiwa maisha, wazazi wake waliachana na uzalendo na kuokoa uhai wake kwa kumkimbizia Misri. Mtume Mohamad (SAW) alipoona vita inazidi, aliwatuma watu wake Ethiopia.
         Mhe. Rais, ungekuwa ombaomba na ukapata fursa nje ungeshikilia ‘uzalendo’au kwenda nje kuboresha maisha yako? Je mafisadi wengi wanaojulikana nchini wana uraia pacha? Badala ya kuamua bila kuvaa viatu vya watu wenu walioamua kuchukua uraia wa nje badala ya kuhukumu kama miungu, vivaeni mjitendee na kuwatendea haki. Mna bahati wanabembeleza badala ya kuchangamkia uraia wa nchi nyingine za kiafrika zinazoruhusu uraia pacha. Nimesoma, kwa mfano, namna uraia wa Kanada unavyotolewa. Anayeomba uraia wa Kanada hana haja ya kukana uraia wake wa kuzaliwa wala kuuacha kwa sababu uraia wa kuzaliwa huondosheki. Je kwanini Tanzania tunashindwa kuliona hili wakati nchi tajiri zina uwezo wa kuwazuia maskini kuchukua uraia wao? Hapa mnaposema eti wenye uraia wa nchi nyingine wamekana uraia wa kuzaliwa, mnatumia vigezo gani? Hawakani uraia. Wanabaki na uraia wao.
            Mhe. Rais, Tanzania inaruhusu uraia pacha. Rejea namna wazanzibari, ukiwemo wewe mheshimiwa rais, mnavyojiita wazanzibari kwanza na watanzania baadaye kulingana na manufaa mnayopata toka kwenye utanzania. Inakuwaje wazanzibari mnakuwa na uraia pacha, wa Zanzibar na Tanzania na bado mnapata jeuri ya kuwaambia wengine kuwa wana uraia pacha ndani ya Tanzania huku mkisema wazi wazi kuwa uraia pacha hauruhusiwi Tanzania? Tanzania kuna chuki na wivu na upogo. Inakuwaje akina Chavda, mafisadi wa kunuka, waliweza kukimbilia India haraka walipobanwa kama wasingekuwa na uraia pacha? Kwa taarifa yako dadangu, wapo wengi nchini wenye uraia pacha na wengine wako serikalini. Fanya utafiti. Mfano mdogo ni mwaka 1994 pale RPF ilipoingia madarakani Rwanda. Wengi waliokuwa wakidhaniwa ni watanzania akiwamo mchumi maarufu Donald Kaberuka aliyekuja kuwa waziri wa fedha wa Rwanda na mkuu wa Benki ya maendeleo ya Afrika ADB, alikuwa akijulikana kama mtanzania kabla, walienda kuindeleza Rwanda baada ya kusomeshwa na Tanzania. Hapa Tanzania ilipata hasara maana Kaberuka alisomea UDSM na akaenda kuifaidisha Rwanda tofauti nasi tuliosomea nje na kutaka kuleta ujuzi wetu nyumbani na bado mnatukataa. Ili iweje?
        Mhe. Rais, najua woga ni kwamba wenye uraia pacha––––tokana na exposure yao–––wanaweza kuingia kwenye siasa na kuwafunika wanaojiita wazalendo wakati siyo. Je hili ni kosa? Mbona huku wenye uraia wa hapa wa karatasi wanaruhusiwa kuingia kwenye siasa. Mfano, kwa sasa Kanada ina mawaziri wenye asili ya India watatu ambao ni Harjit Sajjan, Navdeep Bains na Bardish Charger. Pamoja na kutoka nchi maskini kama India ikilinganishwa na Kanada, hakuna anayewazuia kuingia kwenye siasa. Huku mtu akichukua uraia wao haambiwi kuukana wake wa kuzaliwa, kwa mujibu wa waafrika waliochukua uraia wa hapa wasemavyo. Nyumbani mnaogopa nini? Marais, Barak Obama (Marekani) na Nicholaus Sarkozy (Ufaransa) wangekuwa waswahili wasingeweza kuwa marais wa mataifa yao tokana kwamba wazazi wao hawakuzaliwa kwenye nchi walizoongoza. Hata mwasisi wa Zanzibar, hayati Abeid Karume, asingekuwa rais wa Zanzibar kama ingekuwa sasa kwa vile alizaliwa Malawi na si Zanzibar ukiachia mbali aliyemfuata, Hayati Abood Jumbe Mwinyi aliyezaliwa Juba, Sudan ya Kusini. Hata hayati Kenneth Kaunda asingekuwa rais wa Zambia kama angekuwa mtanzania sasa ukiachia mbali Robert Mugabe ambaye naye, kama Kaunda, baba yake alikuwa mmalawi.
        Mheshimiwa rais, shukuru Mungu wewe ni mtanzania. Ungekuwa kwenye nchi za kiarabu–––ambazo bado zina mawazo ya kikale–––usingekuwa rais kwa sababu tu ya kijinga na kipumbavu kuwa wewe si mwanaume bali mwanamke.  
        Nasema haya kwa uchungu. Nataka niwe mkweli kwako hata kama hatujuani wala kuhusiana. Tunajiangusha kwa ukale wetu. Niandikaye, siombi fadhila. Niliomba kujiunga na chuo kikuu cha Dar es Salaam kusomea sheria sikukubaliwa. Hapa nilikubaliwa na punde nitapata shahada yangu ya uzamivu. Isitoshe, wapo watanzania mafisadi mliowasomesha na wanaibia Tanzania. Ajabu mnawakataa waliochukua na si kukana uraia wao kwa sababu walipewa na Mungu waliojisomesha au kusomeshwa na mataifa yao wakati wapo mliowasomesha wanaoliibia taifa letu lililowasomesha. Hapa bora ni nani kama tutakuwa wakweli? Hebu jikumbushe orodha ya mafisadi wanaojulikana waliowahi na wanaoendelea kulitesa taifa. Je nao wana uraia pacha?
        Mhe. Rais, mie ni kati ya waandishi na wasomi wachache wa kiafrika ambaye nimejitengeneza na kuandika vitabu zaidi ya 20 vikiwemo vya mtangulizi wako Hayati John Pombe Magufuli, Kudos to John Pombe Magufuli na kingine cha Magufulification new Concept that will Define Africa's Future and the Man who Makes Things Happen nilichoandika pamoja na rafiki, kaka na mentor, spika mstaafu mhe. Pius Msekwa. Nani ajuaye? Huenda siku moja nitaandika chako.
        Mhe. Rais, sitaki nikupotezee muda. Naomba nimalizie kwa kukushauri uangalie suala hili kwa mbali badala ya ukale. Inakuwaje majirani zetu wauridhie na kuendelea kupata faida za uraia pacha sisi tuendelee ukale ili iweje wakati kuna ushahidi kuwa kuna watanzania wenye uraia pacha ukiwamo wewe kama mzanzibari? 
Chanzo: Raia Mwema leo

CELEBRATING THE 58TH ANNIVERSARY OF OUR UNION. (continued).

  I  was invited  to  deliver a  lecture  at  a  national-level  symposium  which  was  held  last  week  in  Dodoma, as  the  main event for  this  year’s  Union  anniversary  celebrations. The  symposium  was,  indeed, a  very  pleasant and  welcome departure from the traditional  but  costly  military  parades, plus the  grand,  massive, youth  displays,  of  all  the  past   years.  Kudos to President  Samia  Suluhu  Hassan,  for  such refreshing   innovations,  na  kazi  iendelee.  The  subject  of  my  symposium  lecture  was  given  to  me  by  the organizers,  with  the  title: “Historia,  Chimbuko,  na  Misingi  ya  Muungano   wa  Tanganyika  na  Zanzibar”. I went to Dodoma, and  did  what I  had  been  asked  to  do. It  is immediately thereafter,  that I was  persuaded  to  write  today’s   article,  as  a  supplement to  last  week’s  presentation  which  had  focused  on  the  question of  ‘what  were  the goals  of  this  Union,  and  have  these  goals  been  achieved ? It became quite clear  that  those  other matters  which  were  the subject  of  my  lecture,  were  equally  important  for  the  current  younger  generation  to  know,  and  fully  appreciate.                                                                            
         And   that is  the  subject  of  today’s  presentation,   which  will  briefly  discuss the  three above mentioned  topics.
1.  A  brief  history  of  the  establishment  of  this   Union.
The  process  leading  to  the  establishment  of  the  Union  between  Tanganyika  and  Zanzibar,  was  carried  out,  and  completed,  in  two  historic  events  which   were:  (i)  the  signing  of  the  Union  Agreement;  and  (ii)  the  ratification  of  this  Agreement.
The  signing  of  the  Union  Agreement,  which  was  officially  documented  as  the  ‘Articles  of  Union’,  was  done  on  Thursday,  22nd  April,  1964,  by  the  two  Presidents  of  the  Republic  of  Tanganyika,  Jullius  Nyerere;   and  of  the  Peoples’  Republic  of  Zanzibar,  Sheikh  Abeid  Amani  Karume.    While the  second  event,  namely  the  ratification  of  that  Agreement,  was  done  three  days  later,  on  25th   April,  1964.                                     
     In  connection  with  these  events,  there  are  two  significant  points,  which  should  be  noted.   One  is  the  great  secrecy  which  surrounded  the  negotiations  leading  to  that  Agreement.  And  the  other   is the  absolute  uniqueness  of  the  ‘product’   of  that  Agreement.                                                                       
        The  period  covering  the  negotiations  cannot  be  precisely specified,  for  the  reason  only  that  the  said  negotiations  were  conducted  in  great  secrecy,  for  fear  that  if  these  negotiations  became  publicly  known;  their  efforts  could  be  sabotaged  by  presumed  enemies.  This  secrecy  continued  even  with  regard  to   the  signing ceremony   of  that  Agreement,  for  on  the  actual day  when  President  Nyerere  travelled  to  Zanzibar  the  signing  ceremony,  the  Nationalist  newspaper,  which was  owned  and  published  by the  ruling  party  TANU;  came  out  with  camouflaged  information  saying  that  “President Nyerere  has  gone to Zanzibar on  his  first  official  visit  after  the  success  of  the   revolution. He is scheduled  to   hold  cordial  talks  with  President Karume”.                                                                                      
        This  secrecy  also  covered  the  convening  of  the  emergency  session  of  Parliament  which  ratified     the  said  Agreement;  as  the  Members  of  Parliament  were  summoned  to  Dar es  Salaam  at  short  notice  to  attend  an  emergency  meeting of Parliament,  but  without  being  told  the  purpose,  or reason,  for  this  emergency  meeting.
The  uniqueness  of  the  ‘product’  of  that  Agreement.
The  ‘product’  of  that  Agreement  was  the  birth  of  an  entirely  new  sovereign  country  called  the  United  Republic  of  Tanzania. Its  uniqueness  lay  in  the  fact  that,  unlike  the  majority  of  the  other  African  countries  which  came  into  existence  as  a  result  of   the  political  will   of  the  colonial  powers  that  had  previously   ruled  them,  who  “granted”  them  independence  after  prolonged  struggles,  and  actually   armed  struggles  in  most  of  the  cases.   But the  predecessors  to  the United  Republic  of  Tanzania  also  share  the  same  background  of  having  been  initially  ‘granted’  the  Instruments  of  Independence   by  the  British  colonialists;  this  United  Republic   was  unique  in  the  sense  that  it  was  a   product,  or creation,  of  our  own  making;   as  a  result  of  cordial  negotiations  and  mutual  Agreement,  between  the  two  leaders  of  our  former  two  separate  nations.
        In our English  history  class  at   Francis  College  Pugu (as  it  was  then),  with  our  class  teacher  Mwalimu  Julius  Nyerere,  we  were  taught  the  phrase  that  “Markets,  Money,  Machines,   are  the  three  ‘M’s  which  transformed  the  insular  English  nation,  into  a  nation  of   worldwide  interests”.            
        I wish  to  borrow  that  sentence  and  rephrase  it  to  read  thus: Our  leaders’   “political  commitment,  political  maturity,  and  political  iron  will;   were  the  three  ‘P’s  which  transformed  the  former  separate  nations  of  Tanganyika  and  Zanzibar,  into  one  strong,  viable,  sovereign   nation”.
2. The  origins,  or  sources,  of this Union.
I stated confidently in my presentation at the afore-mentioned  symposium, that  there  were the following five distinct  sources  that were the foundations  of  our Union:                                           
 (i)  the  Zanzibar  glorious  revolution  of  April  12th,  1964.                                                                                           
(ii)  the  need  to protect  that  revolution.                                    
 (iii) the  need to strengthen  the  long  association  of  the  peoples  of  these  lands, and  of their ties of kinship  and amity.   
 (iv)  the  desire for unity of the  African peoples.                          
 (v)  the  political  iron  will  of  our  two  leaders  who  founded  this  Union.
These  sources  were  further  elaborated  as  follows :-
The  Zanzibar  revolution.  
The  “Instruments  of  Independence”  of  Zanzibar  State   were  ‘granted’  to  the  then  Arab  Sultan of  Zanzibar  following  the  October  1963  pre-independence   general  election,  whose  results  were  disputed  by  many  independent  observers;  for  the  simple  reason  that  the  Afro-Shirazi  Party  had  been   unfairly   denied  victory.  For  at  that  election,  that  party had obtained  54%  of  the  total  valid  votes  cast,  but  had  obtained  a  minority  of   only  13  the  Legislative  Council  seats,  while  the  coalition  of  the  Arab  parties,   the  Zanzibar  Nationalist  party (ZNP)  and  the  Zanzibar  and  Pemba  Peoples’  party (ZPPP) had  obtained 18  seats.  This  was  the  result  of  the  constituency  gerrymandering  action  which  was  undertaken  by  the  colonial  Administration  in  Pemba,  in  favour  of  the  Arab  ZPPP  party.   This,  in  fact,   was  the  fundamental ‘root  cause’  of  the  glorious revolution  which  was  successfully  carried  out  by  the  Afro-Shirazi  party,  during  the  night  of  11th  January,  1964.
The  need  to  protect  that  revolution.                                                Hence,  following  that  successful  revolution,  there  was  strong  fear  that  the  deposed  Sultan  and  his  supporters  might  attempt  to  launch  their  own  counter-revolution,  in  order  to  regain  their  lost  power  in  Zanzibar.   And,  in  view  of  the   bare  fact  that  President  Karume’s   infant  government  had  not  yet  established  any  viable  defense  mechanism  that  would  protect  the  country  from  such  invasion,  that  fear  was,  indeed,  real  and  genuine. Thus,  in  such  circumstances,  it  was  reasonably  expected that  Zanzibar’s  Union  with  Tanganyika  would  offer  the  necessary protection  against  such  possibility  of  an  invasion.
The  need  to  strengthen the  ties  of  kinship  and  amity.
It  may  be  remembered,  that  the  need  “to  maintain  the  long  association  of  the  peoples  of  these  lands,  and  to  strengthen  the ties  of  kinship”  arising  there from;   was  one  of  the  major  goals  of  this  Union;   as   was  confirmed  by  President  Nyerere  himself,  in  his  speech  to  the  National  Assembly  on  25th April,  1964;  wherein  he said  the  following:-“Tanganyika  na  Zanzibar  ni  nchi  ndugu.  Tunashiikiana  kwa  historia,  lugha,  mila na  desturi,  na  siasa.  Na  udugu  wa  Viongozi wa  vyama vyetu  vya  siasa,  haukuanza  jana. Basi  tunazo  sababu  zote  hizo  za  kutufanya  tuungane  na  kuwa  kitu  kimoja”.
The  desire  for  unity  among  the  peoples  of  Africa.               
This  goal  of  “the  desire  for unity  among  the  peoples  of  Africa”,  was  another  of  the  major  goals  of  this  Union;  as   it  would   constitute  a  significant  step  towards  the achievement  of  that  noble   goal.  This  was  also  confirmed  by  President  Nyerere  in  the  same  speech that  is  quoted  above;  when  he  said  the  following:-“Leo hii kuna tamaa  kubwa  sana  ya  umoja katika  Afrika. Mioyo ya Waafrika  ina  shauku  kubwa ajabu, ya  kuungana  tuwe  kitu  kimoja. Lakini pamoja na  kujivunia shauku  hii, yafaa  tukumbuke  kwamba umoja  hautakuja  kwa  sababu  ya shauku tu,  au  maneno matupu. Hatua  lazima  zichukliwe za kuonesha  kwamba shauku  hii,  na matumaini  haya,  si  ndoto  tu  isiyowezekana,  bali ni  jambo  linalotekelezeka. Hivyo  basi,  Muungano   wetu  huu  utakuwa  ni  uthibitisho wa  vitendo,  kwamba  ni  kweli  kabisa  kwamba  umoja  huo  unaweza  kupatikana”.
The  political  iron  will,  of  our  founder  fathers  of  the  Union.
A  strong  ‘political  will’ ,  I  venture  to  submit,  is   an  important  component  of  the  leadership  ethics.  Thus,  in  view  of  the  real  and  genuine  fear  that  their  efforts  might  be  frustrated  by  the  presumed  enemies  referred  to  above;   had  it  not  been  for  their  political  ‘iron  will’  to  soldier  on;   our  founder  fathers  could  probably  have chickened  out  of  this  noble project,  whose  benefits  we  are  happily   enjoying  today,  and  for  the  last  58  long  years.
3. Our Union’s protection against  premature  demise.
Our top leaders’ ‘political  will’ has been the basic  protector of our  Union; and,  indeed, the ‘magic’ of a strong political will on the  part of all our successive Union  Presidents,  has been the basic  protector of our Union against such  premature demise.                           
        For it  is an established  fact, that  the  lack of genuine political will on the  part  of  one  or other  of the Union partners, has been the main cause of  the frustration  that eventually led  to the  breakup  of  those  Unions  that  failed  to  survive.                          
        Examples  of  such  failures  include  the  United  Arab  union (UAR),  which  was  established  in  February  1958,  but  managed  to  survive  for  only  four  years,  and  broke  up  in  September  1961.  There  was   also  the  ‘Senegambia  Union’   between  the  countries  of  Gambia  and  Senegal,  which  was  established  on  1st  February,  1982,  but  survived  for  no  more  than seven  years,  when  it  broke  up    on  September  30th,  1989.   And  there  was  also  the Federation  of  Malaysia,  which  initially  included  the  State  of  Singapore.  This  Union  also  failed  to  remain  intact,  when,  in  1965,  Singapore  decided  to  withdraw  its  membership  there  from.
The legal  protection provided by the constitution, and other  relevant laws.
In  crafting  the    Articles  of  Union,  our Union  founding  fathers,  in  their  abundant  wisdom,  introduced a most significant  clause,  which  made  provision  for  a  separate  government for  Zanzibar.   This  provision  was  subsequently  incorporated  in  the  constitution  of  the  United  Republic.                                      
         It  might,  perhaps,  be unknown  to  many  of  our  younger  generation  readers,  that  this particular  provision  has  been  the  strongest  ‘pillar’,  for  the stability  of  our  Union.  For  it  ensured  the  continued  identity  of Zanzibar  within  this Union  of  equal  partner  States. Failure to recognize this  fact (of  the partner  States  being  equal); I dare say, was  what led  to the demise  of  many  of  the  other  Unions,  that  we  referred  to  above.
        In addition,  there  is  also  the  law  which  ratified  the Union   Agreement, whose  section  4 provides  as  follows:-“The  Republic  of  Tanganyika and the  Peoples’  Republic of  Zanzibar  shall,  upon  Union  Day  and   ever  after,  be  united  into  one  sovereign  Republic”.   The words  “and  ever  after”  are  clearly   and  obviously  intended  to  mean  that  this  Union  will  last  ‘forever’   
        In relation to  marriages,  the  Holy  Bible  says  that   “what  God  has  united, let  no  man  put  asunder”.   It  is  therefore  my  humble  submission,  that   “what  the  law  has  prescribed,  let  no  man  dare  to  disregard”.   Thus, all  our future  generations  are   hereby  urged,  to  dedicate  themselves  to  this  noble  objective  of  maintain  our  Union,  so  that  it  may  continue  to  last ad  infinitum.piomsekwa@gmai.com /0754767576.  
Source: Daily News today.                                                                                                                    

 

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Kibaki and the promise of a truly reformist state

I, too, have my own Kibaki story. It was a couple of days to the 2002 elections. Out of the blue, I got a phone call from Alex Muriithi, President Mwai Kibaki’s late nephew. May both their souls rest in peace. I had only got to know Muriithi as the campaigns kicked into high gear.

I wasn’t part of the campaign, although I had publicly endorsed Mr Kibaki. So, I was curious why the call, which came through the now obsolete Nokia 3210. “The next President wants to see you,” Mr Muriithi, an imposing man, intoned. He asked me to report at Mr Kibaki’s Muthaiga residence at a certain time. I took Dr Willy Mutunga with me.

        Dr Mutunga and I didn’t know what to make of the request, which was more like an order. But we showed up on the appointed time. At the gate, we saw some very senior Liberal Democratic Party luminaries who were awaiting their turn to be allowed in.

        I called Mr Muriithi and told him we had arrived. A beefy fellow appeared, opened the gate to the estate, and ushered Dr Mutunga and I in. I had never been there before, and so my eyes carefully combed the grounds of Kenya’s next Commander-in-Chief. It was an elegant and well-manicured compound. We were shown to the living room, where a key aide was nonchalantly munching – actually gnawing – on a sandwich.

Renowned doctor

A certain renowned doctor was on duty, as Mr Kibaki was recovering from the so-called “Machakos Accident”, which nearly took his life days to the election. The said doctor casually inquired about our mission. We told him Mr Kibaki had summoned us. He wondered why. I responded that we didn’t have the foggiest. He then waved us off and told us that Mr Kibaki was indisposed and couldn’t see, or be seen, by folks. The way he pronounced folks made me think he thought of us as the hoi polloi. But we took the slight in our stride. Dr Mutunga and I shrugged and told him we hadn’t invited ourselves. He wouldn’t budge, and asked us to leave.

We didn’t care, either way, but we thought the good doctor wasn’t being straight with us. But the fog lifted magically soon thereafter. Mrs Lucy Kibaki, then First Lady to be, strode into the room and expressed consternation at our presence in her house. “Professor,” she asked with authority, “what are you doing here?”

        Now, I was sure we were being kicked out. But no – Mrs Kibaki then quickly added, “it is good to see both of you.” I informed her of the mystery of our presence there, and the predicament we were in, given the doctor’s no-frills position. To our shock, Mrs Kibaki pushed the doctor aside and brought us into Mr Kibaki’s bedroom, where he lay on a hospital bed.

I didn’t look back to find out what became of the obstructionist doctor. There was Mr Kibaki, his wide eyes staring at us. I immediately saw the warmth in his eyes. He cracked a wry smile. He welcomed Dr Mutunga and I with enthusiasm and asked us to sit down. He said to me, “Professor, you remind me of myself as a young Makerere University lecturer eons ago.” I nodded appreciably. I had met him several times before and admired his decency, gentlemanly manner, and careful use of language. He turned to Dr Mutunga and said, “Wewe ulitoroka” [You absconded]. I learnt later Mr Kibaki was ribbing Dr Mutunga for declining be chair of NAK, a nascent party.

Down to business

As is sometimes done in America, I asked if I could sign the cast on his leg. He obliged, whereupon I took a blue pen and scribbled my well wishes on the cast. He then got down to business. He said, matter-of-factly, that he was going to clean up the country of rot.

        I understood that he wasn’t talking of literal garbage, but corrupt elites. He asked us what he could do. I quickly told him that a truth commission, which I and the Kenya Human Rights Commission had been promoting, would be the broom he needed to clear the human filth. He promised to set it up at the earliest opportunity. I immediately ascended to cloud nine with delirium.

        He asked me to prepare a list of appointees to senior positions. I was stunned. He then asked me to prepare a second list – of people who must never be appointed to any public office. I worked with Dr Mutunga to compile both lists. Then Mr Kibaki’s health deteriorated and the project went cold until one day I received a call as I was discussing the transition with Professor Peter Wanyande and Dr Karuti Kanyinga at the University of Nairobi. I was summoned to State House and instructed to deliver the two lists. I didn’t see Mr Kibaki, but a shadowy apparatchik who grabbed the lists. I later saw many people on the “don’t appoint” list in power.

        Later, Mr Kibaki, through Minister Kiraitu Murungi, set up the truth commission task force with me as chair. We did a yeoman job and gave the state a report recommending the immediate establishment of a truth commission. The report was shelved because it was a “hot potato”. But after the 2007-08 near-genocidal violence, the state established a compromised truth commission.

        President Kibaki went on to recover from the accident and its debilitating after-effects. By then, it was too late to recover the early promise of a truly reformist government. Cartels had moved in and cannibalised the progressives. Even so, President Kibaki with ODM’s Raila Odinga as PM in the coalition government brought back Kenya’s economy and built admirable infrastructure. May President Kibaki RIP.

Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School. He’s chair of KHRC. @makaumutua.

Source: Sunday Nation today.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

A Lesson on Food Independence and Security in Africa

 

As per the Al Jazeera (11 April, 2022), the Ukraine conflict’s likely to adversely impact on African countries vis-a-vis food independence and security. I didn’t know that Africa still depends on a small country like Ukraine for its supply of wheat. This doesn’t add up for a country that covers only 603, 628 km2 compared to Africa’s 30,370, 000 km2 to feed Africa.  Something is wrong somewhere. What does Africa supply to Ukraine that it produces? Don’t tell me the minerals. Does Africa own its own minerals while they don’t benefit it? Does African countries with oil own it while the multinationals benefit while the so-called owners suffer? Compare the lives of citizens in oil-producing African countries with those they supply? If anything, African countries with oil and minerals own mine holes and the pangs of pollution while foreign companies enjoy the profits.
     Africa’s goofs and quandaries need profound explanations to understand. It doesn’t convince common sense for the country that’s 1/50 of Africa to feed Africa. The analogous allegory I can give here’s of a baby breastfeeding its mother.  But again, Ukraine does feed Africa. Then what’s iniquitous here? What’s the miracle here? Are Africans like elephants? Elephants are huge. They’ve huge body mass and brains. Yet, they’re destroyed by a small human to the verge of extinction. Again, elephants are beasts. They’re not human. Again, who are Africans in such an equation?
        To avoid being seen as I’m dissing my people, look at the picture of African leaders. Most of them are fatter than their donors. Their lives are posher than those of their donors. They pay themselves bigger salaries than their donors. The other day I was watching UK’s parliamentary session. What a simple affair that it is!
    Thereafter, I watched my country’s parliamentary debates, huge hall with all avantgarde gadgets and grandeur. Again, if you listen to the representatives in the two, you understand why ours are gigantic. It is because we’re reckless and selfish since we serve ourselves as opposed to our donors’ representatives who serve their countries and people.
    The other day I read somewhere that countries in West Africa were importing onions from the EU! I also read somewhere that Kenya, despite being surrounded by the mighty Lake Nyanza, was importing septic fish from China whereas some Chinese traders were exporting clean fish from Kenya to China! How do you call this folly and futility? When push comes to the shove this must be said that it is more than a shame for such a humungous country to be fed by any country while it has everything for producing for its people except a will to do so. Whom do such bestiality and comportment help dear African brethren?
            Bovines, ewes and goats can comfortably depend on one type to feed them since they’re faunae. No shame at all for such brutes to be fed by human even by another ogre but not humans. For Africa even a part of it to be fed by small countries like Ukraine is more than a disgrace for whoever whose marbles upstairs are still intact. 
    How come while African countries such as Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Zambia, and Zimbabwe, all except Kenya, Madagascar and Botswana are bigger than Ukraine grow wheat, yet this tiny country beat them? What’s wrong? As per Gro Intelligence (16 April, 2015), the World Bank identified 3.84 million hectares of land suitable for wheat production in Sub-Saharan Africa, the vast majority of which is in East Africa. This is almost equal to the amount of land dedicated to the cultivation of wheat in Argentina, one of the world’s major producers of the crop.
    I don’t get it for a humongous country like Sudan covering the area of 1, 886,068 km2 to starve simply because a country like Ukraine that’s less than 1/3 of the same’s at war and thus can’t feed it. Is the problem here natural or nurtured? What are all heads of Sudanese as a replica of Africa doing? Ironically, while Sudan’s starving and weeping for wheat from Ukraine, the same’s the guts to pointlessly lease out its land to Gulf countries to produce food for their citizens while its own people are starving to death! What are the hands of Sudanese doing? Food’s power. S/he who’s able to feed oneself is a free person. Hunger’s slavery. This has become evident to Europe whose power dependency on Russia turned it into a laughingstock when it failed to fully apply sanctions against Russia. Had it dared, its economy and posh life would become the things of the past.
    Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s founder, used to say that for the country to develop, it needs three things namely land, people and good policies. What is missing here? Sudan like Africa’s the land, people and policies. What else is missing? Are our people abnormal? Is our land barren? Are our policies wanting? The first two are Okay. 
    The third ingredient seems to be the matter. It is the missing link. Our people are normal and land productive save that our policies are abnormal so to speak. Take Sudan, for example, how’d it feed itself while it ruled instead of being led? The same applies on many African countries. Many African countries lack leaders. They’ve tons and tons of rulers but they’re bankrupt when it comes to leaders. They’ve policies. Yet they lack sound policies. When it comes to sound leadership and policies, Africa’s bankrupt. Leaders are accountable. So, too, they feel shame. What do you expect out of shameless rulers whose powers are but a private estate for them, their tick-like bloods, courtiers, and cronies? What do you expect of beggars in chief? What do you expect of such shameless men and women who take pride in aid and begging even from smaller countries by land and people than theirs? 
    When’ll Africa see the light if it can’t even learn from such a simple matter as the Ukraine conflict? Why’s Africa at home with chicken mentality. The chickens eat what they don’t produce and produced what they don’t produce. The needle sews many clothes, but it is forever naked. The spoon scoops tons and tons of food yet, it is forever hungry. Who wants such a life? These are beasts and tools. Africans, to the contrary, are humans. Again, is it the same way others understand us? Refer to the treatments of useful Ukrainians compared to Africans and others.
            In sum, there are no important lessons Africa needs to learn from the Ukraine conflict like feeling shame, starting rethinking about its future, frugality, and above all, loathing and stopping dependency and extravagance. We’ve what it takes to feed ourselves.
    Again, what’s amiss is self-worthy and sense of humanity. We’re living and thinking like animals as if we’re animals. A few examples above speak to this anomaly. Suppose––––God forbid––––the conflict in Ukraine drags in for year. You can take this to the bank. Many countries ruled by corrupt and swindling rulers will crumble since hungry people will take over.  Instead of being fired up by their humanity, deprivation and destitution will do the show. 
Source: African Executive Magazine.