BORN NUDE

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

“CHANGING THE GUARD” AT MBEYA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: AN OPPORTUNITY TO UNDERSCORE THE VICE CHANCELLOR’s RESPONSIBILITIES.


                                                                                                                               Pius Msekwa.
                At Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British Monarch in London, there is a daily event that takes place at certain specified hours; which is popularly known as “the changing of the Guard”. It refers to the colorful ceremony which signifies the moment when one group of soldiers guarding the entrance to Buckingham Palace, is replaced by another group. But the words “changing of the Guard” can also be used on other appropriate occasions; such as that relating to the ceremony of replacing one leader of an Institution, with another. One such ceremony was held yesterday, 27th February, 2019; at the Mbeya University of Science and Technology. To which I had been invited to participate, in my official capacity as Chancellor of that University.  My attendance at that event, gave me the welcome opportunity to revisit, and to make some reflections on the important matter of the Vice Chancellor’s responsibilities in the matter of administrative decision-making.                               
            Being a former Vice Chancellor myself, and now having been upgraded to Chancellor;  these thoughts came naturally to my mind; but also  because,  purely coincidentally,  during that same period  the oldest  University Institution in East Africa, that is  Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda; was in the middle of a debilitating, month-long strike,  which had been mounted by  that University’s teaching staff, and fully supported by all the  University staff Associations, namely the  Administrative Staff Association;  the Academic Staff Association; and the support Staff Association.  The teaching staff had been on strike from January 18th 2019, reportedly in protest against the Vice Chancellor’s decision to suspend three staff Association leaders;  namely the Chairman of the Administrative  staff Association; its Secretary General; plus the Chairman of the Academic staff Association.  They had been separately suspended allegedly “on grounds of indiscipline and incitement of staff, with a view to making the Institution ungovernable”.  The strike had completely paralyzed the University’s operations, which was very unfortunate. Makerere University is also my own  Alma mater,  from which I graduated with an  Honours  Bachelor’s  degree in 1960;  at a time  when it was known as “The University College of East Africa”, affiliated to  London University. This connection is what explains my continuing interest in the affairs of that University. But that notwithstanding,  I fully realize that  the relevance of that  ‘far away’  Makerere University lecturers’ strike  to  the ‘change of guard’ ceremony at the Mbeya University of Science and Technology, still needs justification;  which I will  attempt to provide in the paragraphs which follow  below.
The Vice Chancellor’s administrative decisions.
                The sole purpose of the ceremony, which was held at Mbeya University of Science and Technology, was to facilitate the transfer of leadership functions and responsibilities, from one Vice Chancellor to another. It is, or should be, a well-known fact, that one of the routine leadership function of any Vice Chancellor, is to make administrative decisions, mostly relating to the welfare of the members of the relevant University community, namely the staff and students. Thus, any ‘injudicious’ decision made by the Vice Chancellor, may produce some entirely unexpected harmful results, such as those which were being experienced at Makerere University at that particular time.  Therefore, since in Mbeya we were installing a new Vice Chancellor into office, that is when I saw the need to draw attention to this area of the Vice Chancellor’ responsibilities, in relation to making routine administrative decisions. I thought that this would be a useful and necessary reminder to the incoming holder of that office, who was being installed at that ceremony.  And that is precisely what influenced the direction of my investiture speech as Chancellor of that University.
The focus of my investiture speech.
                With my mind heavily loaded with the nagging background of the problems which had been created by the  Makerere University Vice Chancellor’s administrative decision referred to above;  plus  the  recollections  of my own ‘narrow escape’  from similar harm which could have been caused to the University of Dar es Salaam, as a direct result of a similar decision which I had made  when I was Vice Chancellor of that University in the 1970s;  I so crafted my investiture speech in a way that would enable me to allude to the matter of the Vice Chancellor’s grave  responsibility in making administrative decisions.  Thus, my presentation purposely included references to my own past experiences in relation to this particular issue, as reproduced below.  As we have already been made aware, we are gathered here this morning, for the purpose of participating in the valediction ceremony for the out-going Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Msambichaka, and the   investiture of the in-coming Vice Chancellor, Professor Aloys Ntaturo Mvuma.   In Kiswahili, this act is aptly described as “kupokezana kijiti cha Uongozi”.      
         There is therefore no doubt at all, that this is a very joyful occasion for all of us who are assembled here.  And, for that reason, we owe immense gratitude to the Almighty God, for his kindness in having availed us of this opportunity to witness this magnificent event.            
         Thus, if I may be allowed to digress a little, I wish to openly disclose, that I am actually feeling a slight ‘pang of jealousy’, at the thought that the in-coming Vice Chancellor, Professor Aloys Mvuma, is today enjoying ‘something special’, which I myself missed in precisely similar circumstances; when I was appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es salaam many decades ago. This little jealousy is hard driven by the fact that, in my case, there was no such impressive investiture ceremony.  All that happened was that, having been buttressed by the receipt of my appointment letter; I just walked into my office, and started working”! 
       That was intended only as a ‘warm-up’ humorous  introduction;  after which I went on to explain that this was so because on that occasion, the circumstances were totally different; in the sense that we were inaugurating an entirely new University, the first of its kind in the history of this country.  Hence, there was no out-going Vice Chancellor, whom we could decorate with valedictory speeches at a formal ceremony like this one.
In the matter of transferring leadership functions and responsibilities.
                Thereafter, I proceeded on to talk about the more substantive matters regarding the Vice Chancellor’s leadership functions and responsibilities, and said the following:- “ It is therefore appropriate, on such an occasion, to exchange ideas regarding  this matter of the Vice Chancellor’s leadership  responsibilities.  On my part, I would like to take this opportunity to share very briefly with my audience, my own personal experiences in that area, which I was privileged to acquire from my direct exposure to the actions and teachings of the father of our nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere”. I then decided that the most relevant aspect for this particular occasion would be that of the Vice Chancellor’s ‘Administrative decision-making functions’; which I presented as follows:-   
The need to make judicious decisions.
                In order to make it attractive, I told them the story of my private tuition that I received from Mwalimu Nyerere on this subject, which he delivered to me on that blessed day when he called me into his office to inform me of the decision he had taken, of appointing me to the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam.  If I may just paraphrase his ‘nuggets of wisdom’, he said the following:   “You are of course aware, based on your substantial experience in  Administration,  that most administrative decisions are normally made by the relevant leaders,  acting alone in their respective offices. And in your new responsibilities at the University, you will be making a variety of administrative decisions, mainly relating to the welfare of the University community, that is to say, the staff and the students.  Now listen:  my advice to you is this, that before you finally make any such decision, you should first satisfy yourself that, in the unlikely event of your decision being challenged by the stakeholders, you will have good enough reasons to be able to successfully defend you decision publicly”.                                           
         Thereafter, I went on to tell the story of the difficult challenge that I myself had received  in relation to a decision I had made,  as follows:-“And indeed, as fate would have it, I personally underwent a serious practical test relating to this particular teaching.  It was during my first year of leadership at the University of Dar es Salaam; and I was sitting alone in my office on that fateful day, when I made the decision of suspending a student, who was also the President of the Students’ government, one Akivaga from Kenya. Unexpectedly, this decision immediately raised complaints from members of the Academic Staff Association (UDASA); who demanded an explanation from me, regarding the reasons for that student’s punishment.  I of course listened and humbly responded to their demand. It has been wisely said that “humility makes one a more effective leader”.  Thus, on the appointed day, dully appeared before a full assembly of members of the said Academic Staff Association; whereat, I carefully gave my explanation. I was thereafter allowed to leave, to enable the meeting to freely deliberate on my presentation. I was subsequently informed that the said meeting had agreed that the student was rightly punished, and that there was no justification for interfering with the Vice Chancellor’s decision. Mr.  Akivaga therefore served the full term of his suspension”. This story serves to illustrate the basic point, namely that there is a real possibility for the Vice Chancellor’s administrative decision to be challenged by the relevant stakeholders. It also underscores the need for him to be always prepared to defend any such decision publicly, say before an  assembly of stakeholders;  who, normally, will be genuinely interested only in hearing  the proverbial  “truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” regarding the relevant issue.            
Postscript: The Chancellor’s dedicated prayer.                   
         The English word “MUST” is always a ‘command’ word. For example, if you are commanded to carry out a given task, that task must be done and accomplished. But the word “MUST” is also the acronym for one magnificent University in Tanzania, known as ‘Mbeya University of Science and Technology (MUST)’.  By implication therefore, this University is ‘commanded’ to succeed in achieving its declared mission and vision.  Thus, we, the stakeholders, must cultivate the requisite will, and determination, to succeed in doing so.   It is for that noble purpose, that we now dedicate the following prayer: “We fervently beseech thee, our heavenly father the Almighty God;  through  your divine power  to grant us, the stakeholders of this distinguished University, the requisite will and determination to succeed in carrying out the tasks  which our nation has  entrusted upon us, of  undertaking to achieve the goals which are set out in this  University’s declared mission and vision.  Graciously hear our prayer, and grant us the requisite will and determination to achieve the desired goals, plus the strength to work diligently in pursuit of that noble objective. Amen”   
piomsekwa@gmail.com   / 0754767576.
Source: Daily News today and for the courtesy of Cde Msekwa himself.




Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Monday, 25 February 2019

REMEMBERING MARIEN NGOUABI OF CONGO


Cde Marien Ngouabi was the third president of Congo from January 1, 1969 to 1977 he was assassinated by the agents of his opponents. Two things made Ngouabi stand out namely taking the reigns of power at tender age of 31 years and changing the name of the country from the Republic of Congo to People's Republic of Congo. A revolutionary per se, Ngoubi led his country for only eight years which saw him become one of African luminaries of the time. His fate share similarity with that of another revolutionary Thomas Sankara who,  like Ngouabi, didn't only change his country's name but also died by the way of assassination led by his trusted friend Blaise Compaore.

Friday, 22 February 2019

THE HERO OF THIS BLOG FOR THIS MONTH

Dr Bill Frankland (106) from Britain
Dr Frankland above is the hero of this blog for this month. He becomes our hero for two reasons namely refusing to be cowered by old age and keeping on using his expertise, knowledge and skills to help others. As the say goes that age is nothing but numbers, Dr Frankland is so stubborn when it comes to being put down by age. I would argue that ageing and becoming inactive is but a psychological matter. This said, never allow the numbers of your years to put you down or cower you. Looking at Dr Frankland, my friend Pius Msekwa aka MoG  is but just a young boy who is supposed to be running for office in UK or Ukerewe. Again, when I say age should not cower you, never allow yourself to marry young girls whom soon will become widows simply because they followed your dosh but not love. Be younger in constructive and realistic things that will shape your legacy but not ignominy  and tomfoolery.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

UNDERSTANDING THE OFFENCE KNOWN AS “CONTEMPT OF PARLIAMENT’: “ELIMU HAINA MWISHO”.

                                                           By  Pius Msekwa.
          Eventually, Hon. Mr. Speaker Job Ndugai, MP; made the solemn announcement:   “Parliament is not weak”. That was the Speake’s emphatic reminder (call it warning), or ‘parting shot’, in his closing remarks, when he was winding up the 14th session of the 11th Parliament on Saturday, 9th February, 2019.  The fact that the Speaker had found it necessary to underscore this warning, is a clear indication of his grave concern regarding this matter. It may be remembered that earlier on, in the course of this same session, the Speaker had expressed his indignation at the provocative comments made by Hon. Tundu Lissu, Member of Parliament, in his interview with an international media outlet located outside the country; during which he had, perhaps unwittingly, committed an ‘offence against Parliament’, when he declared that “Parliament is weak”; thus wantonly pointing an accusing finger at Parliament, without offering any kind of proof.  His sullen comments quickly invited the Speaker’s rage; and, indeed, understandably so; due to the fact that Hon. Tundu Lissu had committed an offence against Parliament, which is known as “contempt of Parliament”.  The Speaker had therefore taken the appropriate action against the offending MP; by arraigning him before the House Standing Committee on Parliamentary Powers and Privileges for hearing of the case, and subsequently reporting to the august House itself for sentencing.                                                          I have chosen this subject for today’s article, for two good reasons.  One is in order to throw some light on this rather little known offence called “contempt of Parliament”; and secondly, to help explain the reasons for Speake’s manifest ‘grave concern’ regarding this seemingly minor incident. 
Understanding the offence of contempt of Parliament.
          The offence known as “contempt of Parliament”, remains largely unknown here in Tanzania. Two years ago, in February 2017, a related incident occurred, which prompted the media to respond with headlines like “Bunge moves to assert its powers” (The CITIZEN, 9th February, 2017).  
     In response to which, I wrote an article in this column dated 23rd February 2017, in which  I  took  that  opportunity to draw attention to the existence of this particular offence against Parliament.  Nevertheless, on the reasonable assumption that many of today’s readers may not have seen that article, I will briefly repeat that the information; in keeping with the Kiswahili saying that “Elimu haina mwisho”.
               The identical offence of contempt of court.
A reference to the better known, identical offence of “contempt of court”, may help to facilitate a clearer understanding of this concept of “contempt of Parliament”.  Mr. Justice Chipeta, in his book titled “A Magistrate ’s Manual” (at page 219); describes the actions which constitute the offence of ‘contempt of court’  in the  following words: “Nothing should be done, or omitted to be done in court or out of court, which shows disrespect to the presiding judge or magistrate, or which obstructs or interferes, or  in any way hinders the course of justice . . .  And in order to ensure that judicial proceedings are conducted in an atmosphere of seriousness, serenity and dignity, judges and Magistrates are clothed with the very important power of punishing such transgressors summarily for contempt of court”. 
            This  offence is much better known and understood,  than  that of “contempt of Parliament”;  probably because  there is much greater public involvement  in the court system and its proceedings, either directly as litigants or witnesses; or indirectly as interested observers attending court proceedings as relatives or friends of the accused persons; whereas, on the contrary,  there is no such close public involvement in relation to parliamentary proceedings; wherein  most  people are interested only in following the speeches delivered by their representative MPs, and not in the rulings by the Speaker, or other person presiding. Furthermore, such cases (relating to ‘contempt of Parliament) have occurred so very rarely in our Parliament, to the extent that members of the public are blissfully unaware of them.       Hence the need to raise greater public awareness regarding this matter.
 The offence of contempt of Parliament.
            Mr. Justice Chipeta’s description of the actions which constitute the offence of ‘contempt of court’,   may also be appropriately used  in describing the identical offence of ‘contempt of Parliament’,  as “an act committed by any person, which shows disrespect to parliament  or to its presiding Officer”                      
       In other words, any person who, by his word or deed, shows disrespect to the House, or its presiding Officer, is regarded as having  acted in contempt of Parliament, and is therefore liable to suffer the punishments prescribed in the relevant  Act; which is the Parliamentary Immunities, Powers and Privileges Act(no. 3 of 1988) as amended by Act no 3 of 2004.   Section 24 of that Act provides as follows:  “Any person shall be guilty of an offence  who:-                                                                                                      
  (d) shows disrespect, in speech or manner, towards the Speaker;                                                       (e) commits any other act of intentional disrespect to  or with reference to the proceedings of the (National) Assembly,  or a Committee of the Assembly, or to any person presiding at such proceedings”.
The power of Parliament to punish a Member.
            There are two ways through which Parliament is empowered to punish its members. The first is that which is prescribed in the Rules of the House itself; whereby the Speaker is empowered to arraign before the House Committee on Parliamentary Immunity, Powers and Privileges; any alleged perpetrator of a ‘crime against Parliament’. This is the route which has mostly been taken by the Speakers in the past, including myself, whenever the need arose.                       But there is an alternative option, which is provided for in section 12(3) of the same Act, and reads as follows:-   “The (National)  Assembly, or, as the case may be,  a  Committee thereof  may, in relation to any act, matter, or thing, recommend to the Speaker that he requests the Attorney General to take the steps necessary to bring to trial before a court of competent jurisdiction, any person connected with an offence under this Act”.                                                                  In that connection, it may be helpful also to draw attention to section 26 of that Act, which converts certain normal parliamentary proceedings, into ‘judicial proceedings”; in the following words: “Any proceedings before the Assembly or Committee thereof, at which any person gives evidence or produces any document, shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings for the purposes of sections 102, 106, 108 and 109 of the Penal Code”. This is a legal procedure which automatically attracts the same penalties as are provided for in the specified sections of the Penal Code; and makes them applicable to offences committed under this Act.   For example, section 102 of the Penal Code prescribes penalties for the judiciary offence known as “perjury”; namely, the act of telling lies in court.                                               
             Thus, in any proceedings, either in Parliament itself or in any of its Committees, which involve the hearing of evidence from any person, should such person give false evidence by telling lies, he will have committed the offence of perjury, which is punishable under section 102 of the Penal Code.                                              
              Both of these provisions are largely unknown, not only to the general public, but also to the Parliamentarians themselves!  Ignorance of this provision is what explains why certain MPs have, in the past, escaped unpunished after having clearly committed the offence of ‘perjury’, namely telling lies in Parliament.  But they had better take note of this information, for, after this disclosure, they may not be so lucky the next time!   
The contention that ‘Parliament is weak’
             We may now closely examine Hon. Tundu Lissu’s contention that got him into trouble with Hon. Mr. Speaker Job Ndugai, namely his wanton accusation that “Parliament is weak”.                                                 
        When applied to an Organization like Parliament, the word “weak” can only mean “not having much power”.  And, more specifically, lacking power to carry out its legal functions and responsibilities. The Tanzania Parliament’s legal functions and responsibilities, are provided for in article 63(3) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977.                                                       They  are the following:-                                                                                                                           (a) To put questions to Ministers                                                                                                               (b) To make an annual evaluation of the performance of every Government Ministry, during the annual budget session                                                                                                                                                            
            (c) To discuss and give approval to Government long-term and short-term development plans.                         
            (d) To enact the country’s laws                                                                                                                                             
             (e) To discuss and give approval to any international Treaties which require such approval.
Similarly the same Constitution vests in Parliament the power to carry out these functions.                              
         Thus, in view of Tundu Lissu’s   disturbing assertions that “Parliament is weak”; the question which needs to be determined is simply this:                                                                                                        Has Parliament displayed any weakness by failing in any way to carry out these functions and responsibilities?  My own personal answer is NO. Which means that I am in total agreement with Speaker Ndugai’s responses regarding this matter. 
 Undermining Parliament under the cover of ‘freedom of speech’.
Hon. Tundu Lissu was apparently not alone in this venture of undermining Parliament, because two other persons, Professor Mussa Assad, the Controller and Auditor General, and Halima Mdee, MP for the Kawe constituency, were also summoned by the relevant House Committee for questioning, in connection with the said offence of undermining Parliament.  In parliamentary parlance, persons who appear before the House Committee are called ‘witnesses’, not accused persons.   Thus, in this case, we are talking about three ‘witnesses’.   But, for the purpose of this presentation, we will call them “Associates’.   We are still waiting to hear the findings of the said Committee, which will be disclosed during the forthcoming parliamentary session. But in the meantime, we may take a look at the said concept of ‘freedom of speech’.  
 There is no dispute whatsoever that Hon. Tundu Lissu and his Associates in this venture, are, of course, like every other citizen, fully entitled to their right of freedom of speech.  But they might as well be made aware of the ‘dose of wisdom’ administered long ago by that famous British novelist, George Orwell who, in his work titled The Road to Wigan Pier, re-defined ‘freedom of speech’ as “the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”. In view of what befell them, the said Associates were clearly saying ‘things which other people did not like to hear”.                                           
    Or perhaps, they may just have been merrily engaging themselves, obviously willingly and knowingly, in the dirty game of propaganda. In which case, they should similarly  be made aware of another  ‘dose of wisdom’  by another  British-born  poet whose name was  P.M Cornford, who is on record as having  re-defined that word as follows:  “ Propaganda is that branch of the art of lying, which consists in nearly deceiving your friends, without quite deceiving your enemies”.                            
  These Associates in the game of undermining Parliament, appear to have succeeded in doing exactly that.   This also reminds me of one anonymous guru, who once said that “it is in the true nature of mankind to learn from mistakes, not from examples”.                                                                  Well, hopefully, there will be those who will learn from the mistakes committed by these ‘Associates’; presumably who, having understood the nature of this parliamentary offence, will always diligently avoid that mistake of committing the offence of “contempt of parliament”.  

piomsekwa@gmail.com  / 0754767576. 
Source: Daily News,today                                               

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Hatimaye Dhuluma na Kashfa ya UDA yaanza kushughulikiwa-Kudos to Magufuli


Kwa wanaojua namna tapeli ajulikanaye kama Simon Kisena akitumiwa na wakubwa wenye madaraka alivyofanikiwa kuiiba na kuitwaa iliyokuwa Shirika la Usarifiri Dar Es Salaam (UDA), kunyakwa kwake sawa na ilivyokuwa kwa majambazi wa EPA, ESCROW na IPTL, ni  habari njema yenye kuhitaji kusherehekewa. Bado majambazi walioko nyuma ya ya wizi wa Radar na Ndege ya rais bila kusahau majambazi kama vile mzee wa Vijisenti na wenzake. Hapa tunapaswa kuendelea kumuunga mkono rais John Magufuli kwa kuzidi kuonyesha kuwa hana kujuana wala kuhurumiana. Wengi wallisema kuwa Kisena na wenzake wasingeshughulikiwa kwa vile ni wasukuma, kabila moja na rais Magufuli. Kosa, kwenye kupambana na ufisadi, Magufuli hana dini, kabila wala ndugu bali sheria na uadilifu. Tunatumai kuwa Kisena atawataja mabosi zake aliokuwa akisimamia mali na madhambi yao kwa kujitwalia UDA.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Dirty tabernacle




Why did God create a man first and give him burning desire for something that didn’t exist?
Who existed first in this set of facts about the creation of the first and why first not last?
Here comes the story of a clean tabernacle swindlers abused and defecated on
Here comes the story of pure creatures that ended up becoming downtrodden
Here comes the song of the vestal, ninnies or call them as they call them, yen slaves
These are our aunts, daughters, mothers and sisters suffering in the name of pseudo covenant

For many generations, hundreds of years this secret was kept intact
This is the very time the holy was regarded as holy though gory in fact
This is the time of the fable of belief wherein sinners were glorified beyond comparison
We evidenced the devils being beautified for our peril simple because of the faith screen
Now that the smoking gun is open
Those we wrongly thought were holy are but gory
Their deeds are spooky but not honky-dory

I can see fornicators being referred to as paters but not tampers
I see their concubines being referred to as nuns if not nannies while they are but harlots
Look at them outward they are bold though inner they are but carrots
Yes, they are harlots in the name of God
Yes, whores in the house of God
The mothers and fathers who sired and gave birth to nobody
If there are any, they are but dead
Sisters to brothers who end up becoming their paramours!

When paters and harlots team up together what do we get?
If anything, this gang has nothing for us to say but note that
It is the sacrilegious gang whose lie will always hunt them
Their lies and pretence will always be the mark of shame

They were called to answer the call that turned out to be a moral big blow
They lived a lie many did not decipher up until naked truth had their cover to blow
Now that everything is out what will they say in such a long time kept confusing tall tale?
Will the sheep and sycophants keep on giving them their trust for their peril?

To mark their humbleness and responsiveness they were given crosses to hang on their necks
To show their sheepishness and timidity, they were given uniforms to wear and hide their mess
Wherever they went they showed generosity and uprightness while they were but sex slaves
Presumed as they were saved little did we know they petered and lived with wolves!

For many years of deception and pretence what was regarded as holy was but dreadful
For generations those we used to think were noble did nothing but something shameful
Now that the truth is out what shall they do to make amends with the lie they have lived?
What will they do to assure us that they will never go back to their netherworld?
Source: The Bottom of My Heart 


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CCM AT 42, AND STILL GOING STRONG!


    
By Pius Msekwa.
     On Tuesday last week, 5th February, 2019; the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), attained the age of 42 years. This article is addressed to this veteran party, its leaders and members, in order to express the traditional salutation of HAPPY BIRTHDAY CCM.  It has been said that “memory is history recorded in our brain”. However, one Samuel Johnson, that famous British lexicographer (1709 – 84); is on record as having said the following:                                                
There is a wicked inclination in most people, to suppose that an old man is decayed in his intellects  . . . And that his memory is going”.  At 42 years, CCM is just about half my age since, by the grace of God, I will be celebrating my 84th birthday this coming June, 2019.  But even if the said  words by Samuel Johnson  had been  addressed to me personally, I  would still have found an escape route, by taking  refuge in the Kiswahili saying  that “Akili  ni nywele, kila mtu ana zake”. Thus, while some old peoples’ memories may indeed be going, or even gone; but thanks to our creator; not all old persons are the same.                                                                                                Hence in my case, because I had the great good fortune of being a key player, not only in its hectic preparations, but also in  being the master of ceremony at the relevant CCM birthday celebrations which were held at Amani Stadium in Zanzibar on that day;  I may perhaps be allowed to take a little trip down memory lane,  to recall the background events which led to that historic day itself, the 5th day of February, 1977. 
        It all started with Mwalimu Nyerere’s acceptance speech on 22nd September, 1975, delivered at a joint ‘Electoral Conference’ comprising of delegates from both TANU and ASP, which had just nominated him as Presidential candidate for that year’s Presidential elections.  It is in the course of that speech, that Mwalimu Nyerere made the following proposal:  “Our country is, legally and constitutionally, a One-party State.  But in reality, we have two parties. I believe that this is a constitutional anomaly, which is a very serious matter; and it is my sincere belief that we should now give serious consideration to this matter, and find a way of removing this anomaly. I am convinced that we will greatly strengthen the unity of our people, and also give ourselves greater capacity for carrying our revolution forward, if we now agree to merge our two parties, in order to form one strong revolutionary party, which will lead our revolutionary nation”.  
          My key role in the preparations for the birth of the proposed new party, started with my temporary appointment as the Secretary to a joint 20 – person TANU/ASP Commission, which was put in place on 2nd October, 1976, and given the task of “making all the preparations necessary for the formation of the new party resulting from the anticipated merger of TANU and ASP”. Eventually at the conclusion of that task, and presumably as a result of ‘a job well done’ in carrying out my duties and responsibilities in that capacity,  I was  amply  rewarded with a new  appointment, that of ‘founder’ Executive Secretary General of the new party, Chama cha Mapinduzi. 
My assessment of CCM at the age of 42.
      As posted in the heading of this article, my take is that “CCM still going strong’; particularly in the implementation of its declared mission, and vision.  Indeed, any political party’s mission and vision are the two crucial elements which determine the party’s strength.  In specific terms, these elements will normally include: (i) the party’s ideology; (ii) Its policies and programmes; and (iii) Its organizational structure.  CCM’s mission and vision are clearly stated in the relevant articles of its Constitution.                       
          My submission is that the party’s continued strength over the past 42 years, lies principally in its successful implementation of its mission and vision, particularly its policies and programmes. And this is what has been the main source of its appeal to the majority of the Tanzanian electorate, as evidenced by its continued great success in all the past multi party general elections.  
          The party’s other source of strength lies in its organizational structure; which is based on continuous recruitment of new members, mostly from among the younger generation; and, even more importantly, in its recruitment of new party leaders at all levels of the party hierarchy; through the process of party elections which are held regularly, without fail, after every five years; and every ten years in the case of the national party Chairman. Strict adherence to these procedures has been a great and significant asset that has contributed hugely to the party’s strength and sustenance.
The manifest challenges facing CCM.
            But successes normally go hand in hand with challenges. Basing themselves on the old cliché that  “the young may die, but the old must die;   some critical observers have sometimes asserted that CCM’s longevity is what will lead to its downfall from power, allegedly because “people will eventually get tired of it”!  However, in my humble, considered opinion, this is not a valid proposition. It is not valid because, whereas  human beings die basically due to biological causes, which lead to the human heart ceasing to function;  Organizations can only die due to human errors, committed by the relevant stake holders.  But I prefer to describe such errors as “self-inflicted injuries”.
The challenge of CCM’s self-inflicted injuries.
            The dictionary definition of the word ‘self-inflicted injury” is that it is “an injury which one inflicts deliberately upon himself”. The word “deliberately” is a key word in this definition. It means that the resultant injury must have been deliberately inflicted upon the injured through his own deliberate negligence.  Thus, as a veteran ‘mzee wa Chama’ myself, who has all along been in its ‘corridors of power’, I can venture to testify positively, to the contention that CCM has sometimes been a victim of its own ‘self-inflicted injuries’. The following examples may serve to illustrate this point:
 (i) The dismal performance during the 2010 Presidential elections.
            The results of the 2010 presidential elections manifestly showed that CCM’s support among the voting population had sharply declined to unprecedented low levels. This event led to a major re-branding of the party, popularly referred to as “kujivua gamba”.  These results had provided a loud and clear “wake-up call” to the party which, commendably, lost no time in responding to this call, by embarking on a serious internal evaluation exercise,  in order to determine the true causes of this sharp decline in its popularity among the electorate.  This exercise revealed, that the major sources for this loss of support were the following:  
(a) the damaging scandals which were closely associated with the party’s leaders. These included the “Richmond scandal”, which effectively rocked parliament, with the CCM MPs being divided into two antagonistic groups which identified themselves as the ‘mafisadi’ group on one side; and the ‘anti-mafisadi’ group on the other.  The Richmond scandal was rapidly followed by another, equally damaging scandal, known as the “EPA scandal”.  This scandal consisted of serious accusations being directed at certain prominent CCM leaders, who were alleged to have illegally obtained huge sums of money from the External Payments Account (EPA) of the Central Bank (BOT).  Such accusations naturally raised anger among the community, and thus contributed to the loss of public trust in the ruling party.
(ii) The ideological challenges: the failure to implement Ujamaa.
       The dictionary definition of the word “ideology” is given as follows: “A set of ideas or beliefs that form the basis of an economic or political theory, or are held by a particular group, or person”.                      
        The dismal failure to implement the Party’s Ujamaa ideology, has certainly been one of the major challenges to the strength and reputation of Chama cha Mapinduzi. It is my humble submission that the lack of faith in the efficacy of Ujamaa as a viable economic system, is what largely accounts for the failure by CCM to implement its stated ideology.                                         However, there are certain cogent and compelling reasons, which can be attributed to this failure; some of which are listed below:
(i)  Attempting to build socialism without committed socialists. It is clearly stated in the Arusha Declaration document itself, (Part II (d)), that “Socialism cannot just establish itself, because it is, in fact, a question of faith.  Hence, it can only be established, and maintained, by people who have complete faith in the efficacy of this system”. In the case of Ujamaa, it can be asserted that the party was attempting to build socialism where there were no committed socialist! And in my opinion, the absence of committed socialists was facilitated by the following factors, namely: -   (a) the negative anti-ujamaa attitudes which were created. Unfortunately, certain unexpected misfortunes occurred, which created totally negative anti-ujamaa attitudes among the people, particularly among the majority rural population; where they  were caused mostly  by  many  inept,  and reckless administration officials, who literally used ‘brutal force’ in forcing people to relocate  to what were designated as “Ujamaa villages”, during the relevant ‘operation’ in 1973/74; whereby large numbers of village people were literally  ‘rounded’  up at their established homes and  herded off together with their belongings, to  distant bare sites which were to be their new residential areas,  where they were just abandoned and left  to fend for themselves; their previous homes having been  destroyed, as a strategy  to prevent them from returning there.  Such brutality necessarily created a lot of ill feelings, frustration and collective anger, among the affected people, who therefore decided that if this was the Ujamaa they were being told about, they would have none of it!                  
          Furthermore, there was also the negative influence which was being inflicted on the people by an active “anti-ujamaa” lobby; which actively engaged itself in spreading the negative message that “Ujamaa ni umasikini” (ujamaa produces poverty), basing their hostile propaganda on the prohibitions imposed on leaders not to engage themselves in any ‘capitalist economic activities”, for example by owning houses for rent. In many cases, the seeds of anger against ujamaa had been sown on fertile ground, resulting in significant loss of faith in the ujamaa ideology as a viable economic or political theory.
        (b) The failure of the ujamaa industrial sector to deliver.                                                
The other factor which contributed to the loss of faith in the efficacy of the Ujamaa ideology; is the miserable failure of the much touted Ujamaa industrial sector; which, unfortunately, failed to produce enough goods and services to satisfy the needs of the people. This resulted in extreme shortages of all the essential items required for people’s daily consumption, to the extent that  in the early 1980s, people had to join long, endless ques, in order to be able to purchase any item whatsoever, from the few  designated  shops which had the necessary stock.                              Some of our readers (of the older generation) will probably remember,  that Mwalimu Nyerere had announced his intention to retire from the Presidency in 1980, but later changed his mind and agreed to ‘soldier on’ for another five years.  The said economic problems, which caused immense suffering among the people, were the sole reason that persuaded him to change his mind. This is because, as he put it himself, he did not want to appear to be the proverbial “captain who abandoned ship in the middle of a storm”.   
      The fact that CCM has been able to overcome all these nagging problems in 2010, and yet continued to win the 2015 general elections so handsomely, is a clear manifestation of its solid internal strength.   And, given the obvious fact of the outstanding performance, and service delivery, by its current national Chairman, President John Magufuli; CCM is assured of even greater successes at next year’s general elections.
piomsekwa@gmail.com  / 0754767576.
Source: Daily News and for the courtesy of Cde Msekwa himself.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

If Roman Catholic Keeps Nuns as Sex Slaves Does Africa really need foreign religions?

Pope Francis's public admission that priests have used nuns as "sexual slaves" marks a new chapter in the crisis rocking the church (AFP Photo/Andreas SOLARO)
Currently, Africa is awash with conmen and conwomen in the name of God as they make a killing from our desperate and ignorant people. Today's piece I want to shed some light on religion and the way it has duped Africa to self denial and exploitation by foreigners. When it comes to the concept of religion, ironically, those profiteering and depending on abusing Africa said that we worship unseen and dead things as if their deities are alive and seen. When you oppose them they call you an iconoclast, infidel, kaffir, atheist and other bad names so as to intimidate you. If their deities were alive why haven’t they ever shown up at least once to prove their existence? Anything that is not subject to biological rules is dead arguably. All Gods may be regarded as that due to the fact that they do not share common patterns and rules of living with the living things. This is why all Gods and gods have always spoken through living human beings but not through animals or anything if we put myths and folkloric tales and the likes aside. They are unable to speak by themselves. I know this argument can be seen misconstrued–as it has always been the tendency of pro-God believers and thinkers–who reply with vitriol and other intimidation. Again, if we face it, is there any power under the Sun that can prove the living existence of its God or god without depending on belief but not understanding based on naked truth? Sometimes, those who defend faiths tend to bombard us with blurry arguments and myths so as to be cowered and buy into unrealistic things such as their versions of God as opposed to our versions of the same. Why can’t it be agreed that nobody knows what is ahead of her or him as far our perception is concerned? How can we know such secret with all these many limits especially when it comes to future things? Why should we depend on belief instead of naked and pure understanding of God’s existence and messages purported to have come from God?
Again, those who sell these dogmatic merchandises want us to just believe in their truth which, sometimes, ends up being otherwise. How can you be sure of anything that you do not know as if believing is being sure of what you are not sure of as if you are sure of? Ask yourself. Am I sure of what I believe in? The good answer is a big negative. Why don’t we agree to differ that we know our faiths and we do not know the faiths of others the same they do not know our faiths but they know theirs especially in making money and colonizing others? Is it possible for the creature that does not know all parts or organs (and their state and functions) of his or her body, environment and universe to be able to know God who is so much gargantuan that cannot be accommodated by our weak brains? Then why do we pretend to know God while we know nothing (that we make something wantonly) for the aim of fooling and controlling others? Your God is your God and my God is my God just as it is your wife or husband and your uniqueness of being who you are. Your faith is your faith and my faith is mine. Sometimes, I wonder to see people differing over simple things such as the nobleness of their books. A Muslim will tell you that the Quran is the only book that has no distortion. Some of them accuse the Bible (which I am not aiming at defending) to have a lot of fallacy while there was no way the Quran would have come into being or can make any sense without the Bible. One question that has always tormented me without getting anybody to answer it rightly is: If Prophet Muhammad, for instance, claimed to have received the message from Allah directly, what was the logic, if at all, the books so referred to such as Zabur (Psalm) Tawrat (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel) were revealed a long time before he was born?
I think knowing the controversies of religions and faiths is the reason why Africans did not bother to proselytize their faiths to others knowingly that faith and religions are personal issues that do not need conversion or propagation. Another thing that differentiates African religions and neo-religions namely Islam and Judeo-Christianity is the fact that Africans did not complexify their religions in order to threaten, dupe or attract others. Again, time for defending our lost ways is now. I believe that if those who abused and felled our ways of life have the right to propagate their faiths, we, likewise, have the right to defend our ways of life regardless if doing so will annoy those who annoyed us without making us revenge the way others do when we oppose their ways superimposed on us. In fact, religions are not supposed to be something to be exported to Africa given that the concept of God even the awareness of religion is not new. All African languages have the names for God just like any other societies to signify that God is not a new thing or concept like a computer or a robot that is supposed to be imported or exported. What Africans did not have are conditions and controversial things such as faith, angels, trinity, gory and Holy Ghost, and such sorts of things neo-religions invented.
In sum, most of African religions did not have such controversial baggage due to their simple nature and applicability that served one purpose namely righteousness as opposed to neo-religions that ended up becoming business. However, African religions just like any other ones had their own baggage such as making priesthood a highly-guarded secret. It must be clearly noted that what we are trying to put forth is the fact that there is no saintly society as far as human beings are concerned. Every society has both strengths and weaknesses almost in everything including religions and the likes.
Does Africa still need foreign religions that paved way to colonialism, neocolonialism and contemporary cultural imperialism?

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

AN INDIVIDUAL’s CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY: THE EXAMPLE OF PIUS MSEKWA SECONDARY SCHOOL IN UKEREWE.

    
   There is a Secondary School in Ukerewe District of Mwanza Region, whose name is “Pius Msekwa Secondary School”.  This school was registered on 14th March, 2006, with registration number S.1908; and on 10th April of the same year, the school received its first intake of  ’Form One’ students  Ten years later in 2016, the School received its first intake of Form Five students.                      
       The motivation for writing this article, which is only a resume of information relating to the said School; came from a visit to the School by a team from an Organization known as  the ABBOT FUND, which is based in Dar es Salaam. The object and reason for this article, is to illustrate the practical application of the concept of ‘corporate responsibility’, in relation to individual persons.  
A product of an individual’s corporate responsibility.
  ‘Pius Msekwa Secondary School’ is an exemplary product of one individual’s corporate responsibility to the community.   Its  idea  was conceived in the course of  some purely  personal reflections,  regarding how I could implement this noble concept of ‘corporate responsibility’ in the education sector, in the light  of  the fact of my own background, in which  I myself was a direct beneficiary of this particular concept, luckily obtained from  an anonymous  individual  with whom I had  no  blood relationship whatsoever, not even  in terms of the  African model of ‘extended families’!
     It was last week, on Monday 28th  January, 2019, when my family  hosted a two-day visit from our family friends  who are working with an  establishment known as ABBOT FUND, which is based in Dar es Salaam.  This Institution happens to be one of the many donors who, at my request, provided the necessary funds for the construction of all the various infrastructure projects at this School.              
      The ABBOT FUND generously financed the construction of, and equipment for, the two science Laboratories which are in use at the said School.  For that reason, we took them to the School to see the present state of the facilities which they helped to put in place. We conveniently  timed our arrival there to coincide with the regular mid-morning School ‘break’ from classroom work, which enabled  the School Headmaster to  arrange a gathering of the entire School community of teachers and students, to meet these  visitors.   I was given an opportunity to address that gathering, and decided to tell them the moving story of how, and why, the idea of building this school was conceived, and subsequently executed. What follows below, is a narrative of how and why it actually happened.                   
The death of my father.
    It all started with the death of my father  Laurent Chipanda, who departed from this world in January 1948, at a time  when I had just completed  ‘Standard Five’ at  Nyegezi  Secondary School, in the vicinity  of  the present  Mwanza City.  At that time, primary school education terminated at the early level of Standard Four).  The direct personal consequence of my father’s death, was that I had lost the sole benefactor who was paying my school fees. I had therefore lost hope of going back to Nyegezi, to continue with my Secondary education.  And that is precisely when my anonymous, unsolicited, benefactor, suddenly emerged on the scene.           From the way it happened, as narrated herein, I can even venture to call it ‘God’s miracle’, that is to say an act, or event, that does not follow the laws of nature, and is believed to have been caused by God himself.  
The unexpected appearance of my anonymous benefactor.
    By some miraculous coincidence, it so happened that during the period when our family was still mourning the death of my departed father, an Indian merchant operating his business in Ukerewe, whose name was Walji Ratanji Rughani, decided on one those  days, to pay  a call to  the catholic parish priest of Kagunguli   which, at the material time  was the only establishment in the whole of Ukerewe, which was  offering primary education to both boys and girls, but only up to Standard Four level.              
      The said Indian merchant’s declared mission was quite straight forward and brief.  He had gone there to deliver a personal  message to the Parish priest, a French Canadian priest whose name was Father Vachon,  which was that:  “Because he had earned his considerable wealth in Ukerewe, it was his wish and desire, to express his  gratitude to his primary customers, the people of Ukerewe who, through their continued dedicated support, had made it possible for him to acquire the wealth that he had accumulated; and further that he wished to express his gratitude  by  offering,  ten full scholarships to deserving Ukerewe students, five boys and five girls, to enable them to pursue further education after successfully completing  their primary education at Kagunguli”. He thereafter asked the Parish priest to select, as soon as possible, the deserving beneficiaries of the scholarships, and let him have their names.   
    Now, that was an exemplary act ‘par excellence’; and indeed a shining example, of how an individual can discharge his ‘corporate responsibility’.   
   The last colonial District Commissioner of Ukerewe, one Mr. Donald Barton, said this in his book titled “An Affair with Africa” in which he gives minute details of his public service in Tanganyika.   His description of Mr. Walji, whom he apparently knew quite well, is given as follows (at page 226): “He was a public spirited man, who at the time, was financing an African youngster through Makerere University College, although he did not advertise the fact”.  I was the “African youngster at Makerere University College” being referred to therein.
    The purposeful visit described above by Mr. Walji Rughani to the Parish priest of Kagunguli (which was also my family’s parish), turned out to be my magical ‘lucky charm’.           
   Fortunately, the parish priest was aware of my plight.  He therefore urgently sent for me.  And when I arrived at his parish office, he immediately gave me the ‘great good news’, that I had been selected to be one of the recipients of Mr.Walji’s scholarships. And  because the new school year at Nyegezi had already started, he quickly  handed me a  letter of introduction  which he had already prepared, and instructed me to  report to Mr. Walji not later than the next morning,  in order to introduce myself to him, and to follow whatever  instructions he will give me.  I happily, willingly and dutifully, did as I was told. And that is how I found myself in the caring hands of this public spirited benefactor, who actually paid for my educational needs, all the way to  Makerere  University College in Kampala, Uganda;  which was affiliated to London University, and was the only one  for the whole of East Africa,  comprised of Tanganyika, Kenya and Uganda.                                                    
     Unfortunately, because of the very tough competition which was involved in order to qualify for the few places that were at every stage of the educational ladder, such as from primary to ordinary Secondary level, and from there to the advanced Secondary level of education; and was even tougher from secondary to tertiary education; none of the other recipients of Mr. Walji’s scholarships was able to make it to the apex of the educational pyramid like myself.
My own wish and desire to do likewise.
       I reached my compulsory retirement age in the middle of the year 1990, as   mandated by the relevant Public Service retirement legislation. However, by sheer coincidence, that was also general election year in Tanzania.  So I decided to join the Political Service, by contesting the Ukerewe parliamentary constituency seat which, by the grace of God, I won handsomely in October, 1990.            
    And, again luckily, when I entered parliament, I was immediately elected Deputy Speaker, to be followed later by my elevation to the Speakership of the House, in April 1994.
   I was easily re-elected as MP for Ukerewe in 1995; but I did not seek re-election for the Ukerewe constituency in the 2000 general elections.  I was nevertheless re-elected Speaker of the House for the ensuing period of five years, and that was to be my final term  as Speaker; which ended in December 2005. It is during this final term of my Speakership that the idea of establishing a Secondary School in Ukerewe was conceived, and actually concretized.  That is when I made the crucial decision that my project was going to be the construction of a Secondary School in Ukerewe, right in the Village of Bugombe where I was born, but on a site to be approved by the Village Government.   Then, (like the Judges do when they are writing their court judgments), I promptly stared ‘framing the issues’, which will enable me to make the right decisions. I ended up with the following:-
(i)                  What is my obligation?  And                                                                                 
(ii)                How can I discharge this obligation?
        I decided that my obligation was to emulate Mr. Walji’s example of sponsoring the education of some of the students; except that instead of sponsoring a small number of students through offers of paying their school fees, I will provide opportunities for an ‘unlimited’ number of students to obtain Secondary education, by building a whole new Secondary School for that purpose.
     Having thus settled the issues relating to my proposed project, I quickly embarked on the process of its implementation; by mobilizing funds from various Institutions, friends, and from many other supporters.  The response was so good, that by the month of August 2005, I had raised enough funds to commence the construction of the necessary infrastructure.    I thus invited the Prime Minister, Hon. Frederick Sumaye, to lay the foundation stone for the School buildings, which he readily accepted.                                                                                              
         It is this Prime Minister who made the suggestion, in his public speech on that occasion that the School should be named ‘Pius Msekwa Secondary School’, as he himself put it:  “in honour of the person who put this School in place entirely through his own personal initiative and dedication”. 
The School was handed over to the Government.
     However, in consideration of the original basic objective of facilitating the education of Ukerewe students (and others who would gain access thereto) based on the principle of corporate responsibility; I decided NOT to make it my own ‘private school’, as that would involve the introduction of excessively high costs for the students in terms of school fees which, obviously, the majority of the targeted students would be unable to pay. And this would totally frustrate the original objective; of implementing my individual corporate responsibility to the people of Ukerewe.            
     Thus, after having  completed construction of  the entire school infrastructure, which included  eight ‘grade one’  teachers’ houses, I decided to hand over the whole project to the Government.  Consequently,  the relevant handing-over ceremony  took place on 9th January, 2006;  and the new   ‘Pius Msekwa Government Secondary School’  was inaugurated by another Prime Minister, Hon. Edward Lowassa, on 26th September, 2007; in the course of his schedule  official tour of Ukerewe District.            
       And that was it: mission accomplished, and objective achieved. “It can be done, Play your part”. On the occasion of the ABBOT FUND visitors to the School last week; the School Headmaster was able to give and extensive briefing to the visitors regarding the School’s current position, on matters relating to:   its academic progress; participation by the relevant community in support of the School; and the challenges currently facing the School. 
Source: Daily News, today.
For the courtesy of Cde Pius C Msekwa himself. 
piomsekwa@gmail.com   / 0754767576.