Liberal Peace Conflict, Gender, and Peacebuilding

Liberal Peace Conflict, Gender, and Peacebuilding

Monday 31 December 2018

Istimela Singishiyile au Treni Iliponiacha

Kama Treni Iachavyo Stesheni, Mwaka 2018 Nao Unatuacha kwa Wale Waliobahatika Kuuaga na Kuona Mwaka 2019. Nawatakieni Heri ya Mwaka Mpya 2019 nikiwaburudisha na Amaswazi Emvelo bendi ya Muziki toka Afrika Kusini iliyosifika miaka ya 70 na 80.

phansi naphezulu Those below and above

Udunyisiwe lomhlaba
Umhlaba owondla umuntu
Njengesibungu esidunjini
Lunamandla ulwandle
oluvovwe itswayi wuqhembu
esweni lenhlanzi.
Icwebile inkanyezi
egqamile emkhathini,
imbade esiswini sesibhakabhaka gebhezi.
Ngobukhosi ukhozi
lwenyuka ngamaphiko egolide
phezu kwempilo ephansi.
Umnyama umgodi wembongi,
Imvukuzane evukuza ingekho
intunja yokungena nentuba yokuphuma.

Wednesday 26 December 2018

Stiegler’s Gorge and modern international chicanery

          When President John Pombe Magufuli decided to walk tall with a big stick by refusing to chicken out to international shrieks against the construction of the recently signed 2113-megawat Stiegler’s Gorger hydro-electric power project, international media started a blitzkrieg against him under various ploys. The Global Construction Review (GCR) (July 4, 2017) quotes Magufuli as saying that he is not going to listen to the ploys by the people who speak about impacts on environment without facts on the grounds. While some so-called environmentalists are hollering, Egypt, which secured the $3B tender to construct the dam is quoted by the Egypt Today (October 21, 2018) saying that “the dam will ‘make Africa proud.’”
            The first ploy revolves around environmental concerns. Phew! Why environment is an issue when an African country tries to emancipate itself from whatever dependence? Why doesn’t the same apply when it comes to the looming global warming the West’s caused when it was creating the capital and pulleys for their current development? Who is boycotting and taxing, say, the United State to cut down its carbon emission not to mention other superpowers such as China, India and others whose role in causing this havoc is great?
            Let’s face it. Who’s endangering environment between the one who seeks to construct the source of relatively cheap electric and the one who wants to stop him? Why don’t we become clean about this by being sincere? How many thousands of trees do our people fell daily due to the lack of electricity that’d eradicate this phenomenon? Does this need to have a PhD in environmental science really? How many Tanzanians are going to kiss goodbye the use of charcoal and switch to clean energy after the project is actualised and finalised?
            Interestingly, some of those opposing the project are our own! For example, the Citizen (December 11, 2016) cited a veteran journalist, Attilio Tagalile wondering how and why we’re ‘killing’ our plants while others are protecting theirs. What comes first between trees and humans and who or what use who or what? As per president Magufuli, Tanzania is the only country that wholeheartedly set aside over 30% of its territory to conservational and environmental purposes.
            According to the BBC (December 12, 2018) the Stiegler’s Gorge was named after a Swiss engineer who wanted to construct a dam in 1907. Had Stiegler not been killed by an elephant, today, the Stiegler’s Gorge would have been puking money to benefit a foreign national. I suggest that this famous Gorge be decolonised by being renamed either to its original name, Rufiji Gorge or whatever the authorities responsible deem fit.
             After becoming aware of Stiegler’s drive to construct a dam, I tried to find if the so-called international community barking at Magufuli today did stand up to the project as it is currently doing under different pretexts.
            Another reason propounded is that the project, according to the WWF, the global environmental body, cited by the BBC above “will also endanger the livelihoods of some 200,000 people.”  Again, since when foreign entities have become concerned about the rights of our people while the same have kept mum when we were colonised?  When will we see our own needs and rights without necessarily waiting for foreigners to see them? Who knows the people between ourselves represented by our government and these foreigners? Logically, nobody knows what our country needs than the government the people elected to do their business. Poland recently flatly refused to butcher its coal industry noting that it's in the interests of its people.
            Again, nobody denies that there won’t be any environmental ramifications to the people living around the project. Importantly, when we weigh the damages and achievements, the latter outweighs the former. Had the government refused to redress the people to be affected or address their concerns, complaints against it would be legit. Even when there are some issues, methinks our country, as an independent entity, has its own means and mechanism of addressing them.
            Another reason comes from the so-called conservationists who argue that the area is a UNESCO world heritage site! Heritage site for whom if Tanzanians, who legally and naturally own the area in question, cannot be considered or listened to? Who’s the world without us and our needs?  Do we matter in world’s affairs so as the world to equally matter to our affairs? What’s the world done to address our power glitches? Do we need to really speak softly and carry a big stick or just ignore everything and meet our goals? As once president Magufuli put it, if the Stiegler’s Gorge project were a uranium mine project, all these brouhahas would be nominal.
            Another reason given revolves around tourism in that the Selous Game Reserve is going to be adversely affected. Well, who decided on what to be done with our resources? If tourists bring money to our country, it is upon us to decide what we need first between power self-sufficiency and tourdollars tourists bring in?
Source: Citizen, today.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Psychosis in the name of human rights needs to be interrogated openly

          There’s is a looming big danger, a very big one. Neoliberalism, under West dominant grand narrative, is slowly and systematically turning humans into cyborgs if not yahoos or yoyos. Among many things that made Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer, famous is his phrase “nonsense upon stilts” he coined when he took legal fictions on. Recently, Dutch positivity guru, Emile Ratelband (69), left the world aghast when he argued that “we live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can’t I decide my own age?” Ratelband went before the court seeking to change his date of birth to boost dating prospects by 20 years. Thus be declared 49 years old. For, he feels he’s 20 years younger than he actually is.  As per Ratebland, this is how he feels; and he needs this to be legalised and recognised altogether. However, he lost the case after the court holding that “granting the request would cause “all kinds of legal problems” by effectively erasing 20 years of events” (BBC, Dec., 3, 2018). Luckily, the court took Ratelband’s sapience with a grain of salt. It threw the case out and the Judge maintained that “Mr Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly.” But again, under what law shall he act according to his wishes accordingly?
            However farfetched and insane this can sound, Ratelbland’s take’s some nuggets of wisdom. Why’s it possible for, say, a male to feel he’s a woman and accepted but not when the same feels he’s younger than he actually is. Suppose I feel I’m president or king and wishes to be recognised as thus.  Suppose my wife feels she’s a male and would like me to be his wife but not a hubby and vice versa. Suppose, I feel I’m an animal; therefore, entitled to marry an animal. I feel I’m an angel; thus I’d be treated as such etc. Shall I be granted all these supposed rights? Here’s where the can of worms, if not Pandora’s Box, is opened.
             Ratelband’s argument is simple and clear.  If same sex persons are legally allowed to enter the institution of marriage, why stopping him from being what he feels and likes to be? Importantly, Ratelband move’s nothing but a critique to excessive human rights the world is now venturing into without necessarily agreeing on how to go about this thorny issue that revolves around colonialism and holier than thou wherein some civilisations of the world are bulldozed and ignored by the current Western dominant grand narrative. Shall this wave of undefined and one-sided and over-discretionary human rights go on unabatedly; we’ll end up being colonised if not creating more conflicts.
            Interestingly, all sorts of the so-called human rights seem to be a one-way traffic in that they all come from the West. When’ll Africa donate the same instead of being just a recipient of whatever comes regardless it make sense or not? Names, gadgets, systems, and policies, however fake and toxic they’re and whatnot, all are imported! Does it mean that Africa doesn’t have functioning brains not to mention feelings and wishes just like others? Show me anything whose origin is Africa in these human rights, politics and religions of the world? Is Africa truly free in such circumstances?  Why’s it possible for a person to change his or her gender but it becomes impossible to change his or her age? Is it logical really to be guided by our feelings and wishes however mad and untenable are?
            How long will Africa continue to be a world’s wastebasket if not an experimental object for whatever quacks to come and experiment on? Does this need donors and gurus to ponder upon really? Sadly though, our luminaries interrogate them, we shamelessly volley innuendos and vitriols at them while what they’re trying to do’s pull Africa out of this desperation and humiliation. Uh, it is kind of discouraging the way we treat these who doubt such superimposition. How many of such daring leaders and thinkers does Africa have today; if we truly face it? Again, for myopia, Africa seems not to get it at this precarious time its livelihood and future are on the line. Where are our Benthams today who fearlessly interrogate this wave of unpractical human rights? Aren’t we humans capable of standing for our human rights that are compatible with our culture, values and ways of life?
            Waffing aside, while this disregard to human culture, mores, values and intelligence that’s ongoing, we seem to have sheepishly accepted to be hijacked so as to keep mum for our peril. Sadly, our intellectuals seem to buy into this ploy either for the fear of being shunned or reprimanded if not looking bad. We need an international healthy dialogue on the matter to see to it that we come up with an international modus operandi on how to go about this dangerous school of thought.
            Like Bentham, we’d not cower when it comes to defending our values and ways of life. For, we’re duty bound to do so shall we aspire to save our civilisation. If those thinking otherwise are entitled to their rights and views, we too are. This is bottom line today.
Source: Citizen, today,

Thursday 13 December 2018

Congrats Mengi however there's a dark side

            I recently saw you laying the foundation for M-Pharmacy in conjunction with an Indian investor (Citizen, May 6, 2018). I was overwhelmed and elated though a bit challenged, as I will explain later after congratulating you on such a milestone for yourself and the nation at large.  I was elated to note that there are some Tanzanians, particularly indigenous ones, who truly understand President John Magufuli’s drive for the industrialisation of our country. Seeing Mengi donating a building to the Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) a few months ago (Nipashe, January 31, 2018), I also was as well elated and challenged. First, Tanzania needs many Mengis who can invest in their country and drive their economy instead of letting foreigners to do so as it has been since the country acquired its independence over five decade down the line.  We need such people who understand our country’s drive for industrialisation. Again, we need Mengis who are not quacks or swindlers. 
            Secondly, I urge the government to support such people who are ready to spend their money and time and use their skills to bring about development to their country. Indeed, this shows how Magufuli’s government is pro-investment. Moreover, I think this is an irony to detractors and all who are despising Magufuli’s dream-cum-vision of industrialising Tanzania. So, too, this move will help our country from needless dependence for things we can produce locally.
            Apart from helping the country from wasting a lot of Forex importing medications we can produce locally, the said factory is likely to create jobs for our people.
            Further, Mengi’s move, apart from being an example for indigenous Tanzanians, will act as a motivation for others to seize whatever opportunities to build and develop their country. Importantly, Mengi’s move shows that if we decide, we can.
            Despite all accolades, mzee Mengi, there is a dark side looming over his name that he might or mightn't be unaware of. As I am writing this open congratulatory note, I contributed to two of Mengi's newspapers, the Guardian on Sunday and Nipashe Jumamosi for three years consecutively without being paid even a dime. Our agreement was that I be paid 30,000 per piece that makes the sum I was making to be 240,000 monthly. If you take this amount and multiply by 36 months, you can know how much you owe me. As any human being and citizen, I think, I have the right to be paid so that I can do my part of development of my country and mine the same way you are doing.  When I pressed my editors to pay me, they said that things are not well thanks to Magufuli. They didn’t give any understandable explanations provided that currently, whenever somebody wants to avoid paying a loan will tell you the same story of Magufuli as if Magufuli has scooped money from his or her pocket
            I don’t know if Mengi knows that there are many contributors facing the same predicament as mine. I wonder how they make end meet, especially for those who hugely depend on writing as their means of living.
         Mengi is not alone facing this dark cloud resulting from incompetent employees who do not tell their bosses the truth. The same applies to other media houses. In addition, the same reason offered is Magufuli. For example, I have been contributing to theTanzania Daima for over ten years with two weekly columns. As I am writing, I've already stopped after working without being paid for over three years now. I take this opportunity to address the government as well to see to it that local businesses including media houses are supported. For example, they need adverts from the government that is the biggest advertiser. By supporting the media houses and offering them adverts, they will be able to pay their small workers who are treated like homunculi simply because they have no voice or they are unable to create pompous occasion for the high and the mighty to take note of them. Instead of being treated like no-brainers by concealing their concerns or viewing their demands as hot air or hooey revolving around vainglory and grand standing when they agitate for their rights, the high and mighty should underscore the fact that without such small men and women, their successes would not be realised.
            In a nutshell, to ndugu Mengi, please take this challenge and work on it to see to it that your drive for development and justice are practical and far-reaching mainly to those directly connected with your success as it is the case of unpaid contributors to your media empire. It doesn’t add up to create new jobs while those with old jobs are going without being paid.
Thanks once again for showing the way and being ready to help as you did with the TWCC among many you have already helped and supported. Truly, charity begins at home.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Picha ya leo: Moja ya Urithi wa Thamani wa Mzee Pius Msekwa

 Kwa wapenzi na watunzi wa vitabu kama mimi, mtu anapoandika kitabu huwa anatengeneza kitu ambacho kitaishi muda mrefu hata baada ya yeye kuwa ameondoka. Mmoja wa watu wanaonivutia sana walioamua kutumia fursa na uwezo wao kutengeneza urathi usiochuja si mwingine ni rafiki yangu mzee wangu na mtunzi mwenzangu mzee Pius C. Msekwa ambaye baada ya kustaafu anautumia utajiri wake wa maarifa kuelimisha jamii kupitia makala na vitabu. Hapa komredi Msekwa anaonekana akizindua kitabu chake kiitwacho Uongozi na Utawala wa Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere ambaye hakuwa mwalimu wake tu bali mentor wake; ambaye kadhalika mchango wake kwa taifa si haba.
Juzi juzi alipoteuliwa kuwa mkuu wa chuo kikuu cha Mbeya cha Sayansi na Teknolojia, nilisoma kwenye mtandao wa Jamii Forums watu wengi wakilalamika kuwa inakuwaje Komredi Msekwa awe na vyeo viwili tofauti na falsafa ya rais John Pombe Magufuli aliyemteua. Hata hivyo, wakosoaji walisahau kitu kimoja; Komredi Msekwa si mtu mwenye njaa wala mwenye tamaa ya madaraka na mali. Nadhani, kwa tunaomfahamu unyenyekevu wake na kujitolea, alipokea wadhifa huu kwa sababu ya kumheshimu rais. Nakumbuka alipoteuliwa, alinitaarifu.  Kwa wanaomjua, Komredi Msekwa hajapewa ajira wala ulaji bali mzigo wa kusaidi taifa kutokana na utashi, utayari na uzoefu wake.  Kitu ambacho wengi hawakifahamu ni kwamba nyadhifa alizo nazo Komredi Msekwa si ajira bali heshima inayomgharimu muda wake wa kustaafu. Kama Komredi Msekwa angelikuwa mpenda madaraka si angeendelea kugombea ubunge na kupita tu. Mbali na hayo, Komredi  amejitofautisha kama mpenda jamii ambaye anapohitajika huwa hakatai. Isitoshe, tukiangalia kizazi cha sasa kilichojaa wapigaji, kwanini tusimpongeze Komredi Msekwa kwa kuwa tayari kutwishwa majukumu. Nadhani hili linajibu swali ambalo wachangiaji wengi kwenye mtandao wa Jamii Forums waliuliza: Inakuwaje rais amteue mtu mwenye umri zaidi ya miaka 80 na kumuondoa profesa Mark Mwandosya mwenye umriu wa zaidi ya miaka 60? Nani kasema ujuzi inazeeka? Isitoshe wote wawili si wasaka ajira bali viongozi waliotumikia taifa kwa uaminifu na ufanisi mkubwa na kwa muda mrefu. Hivyo basi, kwa kusherehekea na kuonyesha kufaa kwa Komredi Msekwa, nimeamua kumpamba kwenye blog hii leo lau watu waweze kutambua uwezo wake mkubwa si wa kuongoza tu bali hata kufikiri na kuweka fikra zake kwenye maandishi kwa ajili ya vizazi vijavyo.
      Kwa namna komredi Msekwa anavyojituma au tuseme anavyo-punch laptop yake kama asemavyo, sijui taifa letu lingeneemeka vipi kama viongozi wetu wote wangemuiga? Kwa kuangalia namna Komredi Msekwa alivyochangia katika uongozi wa taifa letu, nimechagua picha hii iwe picha maalumu na muhimu ya kufungia mwaka. Komredi Msekwa aka Rock, nangoja kwa hamu kusoma vitabu vyako viwili ambavyo najua uko unavimalizia. Komredi Msekwa, hongera kwa kazi pevu na tafadhali, endelea kuelimisha umma kupitia maandishi na mchango wako visivyo kifani.

Magufuli’s frugality a lesson to Africa

john magufuli
           When, for yet another time, President John Pombe Magufuli shelved the Uhuru Day celebrations, nobody’s shocked. For, this isn’t his first, and conceivably, the last time for him to do so as long his has always been development first. Since coming to power, ingeniously and unfailingly, Magufuli’s been conscious and frugal when it comes to spending public funds. Soon after hitting the ground running, President Magufuli stopped parliamentarians from outlaying at about Tshs.300 million which he trimmed down to 25million and the balance went to buy 300 beds and 600 bed sheets. Banning kujipongeza or self-congratulatory parties that’d have had charbroiled such a humongous amount unnecessarily, at least, contributed something precious to the paupers of our country. Ça y est! So, the first lesson we can get here is the fact that Magufuli’s practically always eyed on the development of the country first.
            Further, Magufuli had Uhuru Day on ice after giving directions that the day should be spent on cleaning backyards. The Lusaka Times (Nov., 26, 2015) quotes Magufuli as saying that “it is so shameful that we are spending huge amounts of money to celebrate 54 years of independence when our people are dying of cholera.”  The money saved was directed to repairing Ali Hassan Mwinyi road in Dar es Salaam, which, like any other roads and the city, was notorious for ruts and traffic jams. Apart from causing troubles and suffering for city dwellers, unrepaired roads cost a country economically. For, much specious time is wasted in traffic jams not to mention environmental and health dangers. For 57 years of our independence, if e at least, commemorated Uhuru Day in every two years, over 30 would have been repaired. And if our MPs would have deferred their self-congratulatory parties completely, methinks all of our hospitals and clinics would have had more than enough beds and bedsheets. Our schools would not have been running on empty as far as stationaries, labs, teachers’ emoluments and salaries and whatnot are concerned.
            If we face and own it, how can a poor country like ours that depends on begging, grants and handouts commit such a sacrilege of misspending its taxpayers’ hard-earned money and remain practically prosperous and stable by any logical standard? Ironically, when a country spends such money under whatever pretexts, leaders don’t care let alone being miffed even a wee bit.
            How many bridges, clinics, flyovers and underpasses, hospitals, schools, kilometers of roads, universities, water projects and the likes and whatnots we’d have had today had Magufuli’s predecessors acted and thought the way he does? It is unfortunate; what’s been ongoing in Tanzania’s but a typical replica of what’s been ongoing in Africa since gaining flag independence.
            Compare all celebrations Tanzania and Africa have presided over and spent on since independence. How much, for example, Tanzania would have saved had it consciously avoided unnecessary extravagance and jollities? As a nation, we’ve already burned billions wantonly if we remind ourselves of the days we’ve been commemorating by burning billions of shilling annually. There are annual celebrations such Jamhuri, Mashujaa, Muungano, Labour Day, the nativity of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) (which is no longer celebrated nationally), Zanzibar Revolution and you name it, for over 50 years down the line. What’s bottom line of wasting money to such commemorations if it isn’t extravagance showed by a begging nation whose economy, livelihood, social services you name it are derelict?
            All these celebrations burn money that would be directed to other important areas such as development, education, health etc. had we been cautious about our expenditures. Mathematically speaking, if we peg every occasion at Tshs 950million times seven celebrations per annum times, at least, 25 the half of the entire time we burnt the monies, we get US$166, 250,000,000 or US$72,314,539.0334 for one country at the current exchange rate. Notably, this amount does not include the money every division, district, and region spent for the whole time these days were celebrated nationally.  Suppose we extend this to the entire continent. We get 8,312,500,000,000 that’s equivalent to US$3, 615,735,126.429 all lost to extravagance and vainglory! If we consider how strong many African currencies were at the time of independence, the amount and value squandered may duple or treble so to speak.
            If anything, this is one of colonial carryovers our colonial monsters left for us to blindly and mindlessly finish ourselves by committing an economic suicide dynamically, endemically and systematically. This shows us that Africa’s wherewithal to live honorably shall it collect and spend its income reasonably and sanely.  This said, there’s a lesson in Magufuli’s frugality not only for Tanzania but also for Africa and all poor countries that still burn their taxpayers’ hard-earned dosh on colonial leavings thoughtlessly as indicated above even after becoming independent.
Source: Citizen, today.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Economic lessons for Africa from ‘Operation Korosho’

Ghanaian first president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah once wanted Africa to have its own cartels for its produces as the way of controlling its economy and getting away with colonialism, economic colonialism and dependency. Actually, Nkrumah wanted to start with Cocoa, Ghana’s chief product. Nkrumah says that Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neocolonialism whose soil is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Africa’s impoverishment. For Nkrumah, Africa’s development and true freedom revolve around, among others, the economics. His slant however, was socialism, which gave him a bad name so as for him and this cause be betrayed by some of his own people. Thanks to the politics of the time, under a polarising situation Nkrumah didn’t succeed. He’s toppled by the West as the strategy of safeguarding its interests in Africa. The East, under the then USSR, didn’t help which is not only sad but also ironic.
Now over fifty years down the line, President John Magufuli seems to have rekindled Nkrumah’s dream for the economic decolonisation of Africa shall Africa take note. His recent Operation Korosho speaks volumes on this. Although there are still some doubts and worries about the stance Magufuli took, at least, there are some good news and lessons altogether. One of them is the fact that Africa lacks leadership that’s self-confidence and the spirit of trying things not to mention lack of cooperation. Magufuli move shook the world cashew market though temporarily. How’d it be shaken had all African cashew producing countries follow suit? Although the so-called world markets tend to bully Africa, they inescapably depend on it.
The Kenyan Standard (Nov., 23, 2018) quotes Michael Stevens, a commodities trader at Scotland-based Freeworld Trading, as saying that “the price of the commodity has risen to $3.80 per pound from $3.50 in the last seven to ten days” after Magufuli started Operation Korosho. However, the price is likely to fall after bigger producers start harvesting their nuts.
The second big and important lesson we need to learn from Magufuli’s stance is the fact that Africa still needs the cartelisation of its produces. And this needs a daring spirit. To know what Africa needs to do that it was supposed to do just soon after gaining independence as Nkrumah envisaged, consider the following scenarios. Consider the humongous share of minerals an other raw materials that Africa produces and supplies to the world. What do you see? Of course, you see the same grungy picture. All the so-called international-cum-world markets of our minerals are in either America or European capitals! Con men and con women in Brussels, Paris, Rome, London and elsewhere who pretend to know more about, for instance, tanzanite (a precious stone only mined in Tanzania on earth), gold or diamond get away with a lion share of profits while our people are sinking in penury.
Don’t forget their ever corrupt and narcissistic nephews in the upper echelons of power in Africa from whom Magufuli’s identified himself. Africa must form cartels for its minerals and other products in order to control their supply based on the demand the way the Gulf States and other oil producing countries do with their oil under the Organisation of Petroleum Countries (OPEC). Our minerals and resources are our oil. Our fertile soil is our oil. Thus, we need to use whatever comes of it to our advantages and needs. This is what economic decolonisation means for Africa shall it start thinking positively. We don’t need the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank (WB) to see and underscore this thorny fact. We all hear all brouhahas of free market and free trade. How free are the markets and trade if at all one portion of the globe has been exploiting another for decades?
Ironically, when it comes to stuffs like automobiles, chemicals, machines you name it that Africa imports, the situation is the same. The difference’s that those exploiting our raw materials for such goods make more bucks as we lose a lot so as to make the whole charade a twofold-profit making business for them as we suffer a double tragedy in this monkey business. All stuffs that Africa imports are extortionately expensive compared to what it produces and exports. Again, these folks swindling and exploiting Africa full well know that Africa produces what it can’t eat and eats what it can’t produce like a chicken. In a simple parlance, Africa’s like a chicken on the table before Western countries. A chicken can be robbed of its eggs. Yet, it can’t free itself from such brutal life. For, it’s nowhere to go apart from having a small cranium and small brains to conceive emancipation. The chicken’s always a dupe. For, despite being robbed of its chicks or eggs, it keeps on wondering around the table where its chicks or eggs are eaten just like African rulers do by spending much time and money begging from the table whereat their resources and toils are eaten. Look at it this way as far as neocolonialism based on exploitation works. It isn’t a big deal to grow or sell products in Western countries where farmers enjoy subsidies and stable markets. But doing the same in Africa is but a headache. These guys benefit in two way-traffic-like business. Africa, sadly, loses in all two types of businesses.
If anything, what Magufuli did is what’s been missing in Africa's economic practices and psyche. Time for Africa to have its own cartels for its products is now; and Magufuli’s shown the way. Thus, Operation Korosho is nothing but a great lesson for Africa if it wants to detoxify its economy.
Source: Citizen, today.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Retired leaders need to emulate Mzee Msekwa

            When one of my friends saw the list of my books, he wrote me “congrats my brother on writing such many books. For many have lived and died without even lettering a single article in the newspaper.” In responding, I told this friend that not all can write though it’s important to. Reading the books or views by the retired speaker, Mzee Pius C. Msekwa in weekly column in the Daily News has enriched me, and possibly many from far and wide countrywide as well. I must declare my interest to avoid the conflict of interests. Mzee Msekwa is one of my mentors and role model so to speak. This aside, I must admit that his contribution to the running of our country is superb. At his age, he’d have decided to retire and enjoy his emoluments in his cozy home in Ukerewe or elsewhere. But to the contrary, being selfless, Mzee Msekwa has unconditionally decided to offer his expertise on governance as his contribution to his country and the current regime under president Dr John Pombe Magufuli. I am sure the role he’s playing through his column is helpful to the current regime.  Looking at the issues Mzee Msekwa explores and tackles, if you like, I get many answers to the questions nobody could answer, especially retired leaders due to the fact that it is not easy to get them.
            I understand that president Magufuli has unconditionally offered his precious time to meet with retired leaders to gain their expertise and wisdom. I try to imagine how will we be enriched if the retired stalwarts like Hon. Benjamin Mkapa, Jakaya Kikwete and others would contribute weekly or as they deem fit as their time allows. When I consider Mzee Mkapa as an intellectual, orator and retired leader, his contribution will be constructively healthy.
            When retired leaders write, they incredibly help the new generation to scoop from their rich experience and intellect in resolving the problems their countries face. The first and former Nigeria’s president Nnamdi Azikiwe used to write before and after becoming the head of state. In the home stretch, the late father of the nation, Julius Nyerere wrote extensively before and after his presidency. Mzee Nelson Mandela, the first South African indigene  wrote a book before becoming president. Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana) Amilcar Cabral (Cape Verde) Leopold Sedar Senghor (Senegal) Jomo Kenyatta, (Kenya), all first presidents too did whereas the Gambia’s first president, Sir Dawda Jawara wrote a 500-page tome in 2010 . Apart from this crop of the first leaders and now Mzee Msekwa who is now writing a book or a column? Another leader that writes, though sporadically, is Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni. Whenever anything itchy happens as it involves him, he’ll pen something to air his views. What went wrong?
            Former US President Barack Obama became the first sitting President to write a scholarly article. Due to the centrality of writing, the Independent(July 15, 2016) wrote that Obama wrote an article titled “United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps” that’s published by theAmerican Medical Association (known as JAMA) on July 11. As a sitting president, Obama had paid spin-doctors and public relations officers who popularised his policies and views. Yet, he wanted his views to go beyond politics and cover academia with the aim of helping future presidents on the matter. By setting this precedent, Obama didn’t only inspire other presidents but also politicians to write regardless they’re in power or not. If this article were written by a professor in a field or just any academic, it’d not have become a big deal for a famous newspaper like the Independent. But when the sitting president wrote, the paper found it to be an important issue to report due to the impacts it might have on the general public and academia. Another sitting president who’s recently started writing a weekly column is Zimbabwean Emerson Mnangagwa who writes in the Daily Mail.
            I recently got it from Mzee Msekwa himself that he is in the course of publishing two books on the history of Tanzania. I am sure; he’ll forgive me for divulging such personal information. Msekwa’s contribution is constructively huge and desirable. Drawing from his selfless and wisdom, I must note here. When I approached him asking him to write a foreword for my book Kudos to President Magufuli that was recently launched by the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe whom I hugely thank, he selfless and unconditionally offered to do it within a single day. Why are the contributions of our retired leaders effectively key to the wellbeing of our country? Firstly, it is an opportunity for them to show us what they see after retiring. Secondly, it is the opportunity that will help them to rectify all things they did or took wrongly, thus, the time for them to put records straight. Thirdly, by writing, apart from inspiring others to write and express their views on how things should be, they will be able to participate in running the country intellectually. Mzee Msekwa has done this competently and hugely. For example, Mzee Msekwa has written extensively on how to run the parliament as a retired speaker not to mention on the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar which has always put the two cohorts at loggerheads to need some expertise from those who know it firsthand.
            In a nutshell, we need our retired leaders to share their experiences and views with our people through either writing articles or books. This way, it is hugely important for our retired leaders to emulate my friend Mzee Pius C. Msekwa who has never lied down and rolled over when it comes to writing.
Source: Citizen, today.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

The world needs to be clear and sincere on gay rights

When the Dar es Salaam boss, Paul Makonda, came up with the idea of identifying and hunting down people violating Tanzania’s morals, he touched on an untouchable hot button, homosexuality and disremembered that there are things an African country can’t do without the consent of the West such as the recent legalisation of Marijuana implies. Were African countries consulted in reaching this decision? Again, why? I think we need to agree; the international system’s still colonial and fickle in nature and practices.  If the West legalises cocaine today, it’ll be legal despite what. Thus, such a norm makes those whose views are excluded think that whatever comes from the West is holy and legal and what opposes it is illegal. This is where the hypothesis of colonialism emanates. There’s no way different cultures can share the same truth, especially when it comes to cultural matters such as sexual orientation.   
Let’s have derring-do as a human community; and address whatever differences we’ve. When dealing with some subtle issues such as homosexuality, the West forgets that it’s the same that came with written edicts that illegalised what it’s now forcing down the throats of its ever faithful converts. For such people such as Africans, going contrary to what they’re taught to be godly isn’t only ungodly but also turning God into a kook of sort. To grasp my point, try to imagine a Christian who grew up being oft-taught that sodomy’s aberrant and unforgivable as per the edicts of God.  Arguably, it’ll take many centuries for Africans to accept something they believed to be unthinkable let alone being taught about its impiety by major foreign religions. For example, the bible says “if a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them” (Leviticus 20:13), thus the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Despite expressly demonising and illegalising this new human right, the bible’s categorically brutal and open. Interestingly, nobody seeks recantation or amendment simply because it’s the word of God. If the bible’s the right to permanently deprecate sodomy, why doesn’t the same apply to African cultures despite being flawless about the same? In the Middle East, homophobia is open, governments are impenitent and the West, especially the US, doesn’t do anything (ABC, May 25, 2009). Another important fact to accentuate is; in individualistic society, life revolves around an individual whereas in collectivistic one, life revolves around the person and the society; and the two are intimate in many spaces and scopes.
For example, there’s an assumption that the government of Tanzania has no religion; thus, it untenable for it to justify any move against gays based on morality. Nonetheless, under the drive of preserving national culture, customs, mores and norms that form the part of the law of the land–however hard they’re to define–the government can legally justify its move. 
To see the colonial mentality, holier than thou and two-facedness of the international community, consider the following stances taken by some governments either headed by explicitly anti-gay leaders from the West and elsewhere.
The Huffington Post (August 27, 2015) quotes US President, Donald Trump as saying “I have been against [same-sex marriage] from the standpoint of the Bible, from the standpoint of my teachings as growing up and going to Sunday school and going to church, and I’ve been opposed to it, and we’ll just see how it all comes out. But, you know, if I was ever in that position I’d just have to explain it.”
Further, the Bloomberg (October 8, 2018) quotes Jair Bolsonaro, newly-elected Brazilian president as saying “I would be incapable of loving a homosexual son. I won’t be a hypocrite: I prefer a son to die in an accident than show up with a mustachioed guy. He’d be dead to me anyway.”
According to the CNN (October 10, 2018), Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said religious schools in Australia are already legally allowed to deny students a place based on their sexual orientation.
Furthermore, the Daily Mail (August 23, 2018) reports that “Austria rejects 'gay' asylum seeker's claim because he acted too 'girlish'... just days after rejecting another man's claim because he didn't 'walk, talk or dress like a homosexual.'” What’d have been the reactions had such actions committed by an African country or president? Due to the cacophony of the issue revolving around homosexuality, I’ve gathered some scenarios to back my bottom line.
  When gay rights or lives are threatened in Africa, it becomes big international stuff. But when the same happens in Europe or America, nothing so big is made out of it. Why?  The West has a clout of helping Africa almost in everything thinkable and unthinkable which is bad and undesirable. Being a Western Book, the bible still exists and is still exulted. Had it been an African idea or book, it’d have been history.
What’d be done? Methinks there must be an international convention or mechanism involving all countries to openly discuss this issue without necessarily any holier than thou or superimposition. All stakeholders must equally deliberate the matter by asking and answering crucial questions revolving around the rationale of legalising or illegalising the matter and reach a consensus.  As I said, I’m not of the view that we’d judge or legalise anything based on holier than thou and superimposition. Instead, we need to come up with logical reasons of reaching whatever verdict without necessarily superimposing anything on others or denying others anything. 
Source: Citizen, Today.