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

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

Thursday, 6 June 2019

PRESIDENT MAGUFULI’s STATE VISITS TO THREE SOUTHERN AFRICAN COUNTRIES; AND CELEBRATIONS TO COMMEMORATE AFRICA DAY


Image result for PHOTOS OF PIUS MSEKWAWe have just come to the end of the month of May, 2019; during which our country witnessed the occurrence of two significant events of major political importance. These were (a) President Magufuli’s week-long state visit to three Southern countries, namely South Africa; Namibia; and Zimbabwe. Presidential state visits to other countries are primarily intended to enhance diplomatic relations with the relevant countries. But we are informed that the current Tanzania’s diplomacy policy is officially defined as “Economic Diplomacy” or “Diplomasia ya Uchumi” in Kiswahili. It is a judicious combination of both the factor of enhancing relations with the relevant countries, and the enhancement of economic activities with those countries.  The successful achievement of both these factors is clearly visible in the results of President Magufuli’s visit to the said countries. These two significant events are the subject matter of today’s article. President Magufuli’s visits.
President Magufuli left the country on Friday, 24th May, 2019, aboard an Air Tanzania commercial aircraft for the said visits, and returned home on Thursday, 30th May, 2019. In South Africa, he attended the swearing-in ceremony of South African newly re-elected President Cyril Ramaphosa. (This obviously relates to the aspect enhancing diplomatic relation). But he also held crucial talks with his host, relating to bi-lateral relations between the two countries. And that is where President Magufuli scored unprecedented victory in respect of the ‘economic diplomacy’ aspect; when he secured the healthy ‘deal’ in the form of a huge market for Tanzania’s Kiswahili teachers and Kiswahili books. 
After two days in South Africa, President JPM flew on to Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia, for another two-days state visit at the invitation of Namibia President, Hage Geingob. During his visit to Namibia, President Magufuli first undertook certain activities which are obviously related to the aspect of enhancing diplomatic relations between the two countries. Those were: laying a wreath at the Heroes Acre, to honour Namibia’s fallen freedom fighters, some of whom had received their training in Tanzania, who lost lives during Namibia’s liberation struggle; plus, witnessing the inauguration of “Nyerere Street” in Windhoek, which had been renamed in honour of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, as a manifest recognition of the major role that he played in the liberation struggles in Namibia, and the other countries of Southern Africa.  But thereafter, he participated in the other aspect of ‘economic diplomacy’, when he visited a Government owned meat processing company known as MEATCO, which is reported to have a capacity to slaughter 630 cattle a day; and, more importantly, secured a firm promise from the Government of Namibia that they are willing and ready to invest in a similar or identical project in Tanzania. Another notable success in “economic diplomacy”.
From Namibia, President Magufuli’s headed to Harare, Zimbabwe, for a three-day state visit at the invitation of Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa; with whom he held cordial talks relating to both aspects of enhancing diplomatic relations, as well as to economic diplomacy matters. With regard to the latter, he secured a huge export market for Tanzania maize, to the tune of 700,000 metric tons, to be sold there. It is of course understood that the 700,000 tons of maize are required only in order to offset the current food shortage in that country; but the search for new markets and market niches should grab any market opportunities as they emerge. This is just one such niche, and President Magufuli has successfully grabbed the opportunity.  Then the President returned home.   The story of President Magufuli’s week-long state visit to the above-named countries, presents a kind of welcome relief, in view of the specified economic benefits that have resulted therefrom.
Annual Africa day, 25th May.
In contrast, however, as will be shown in the succeeding paragraphs, the annual Africa day commemoration presents a completely different picture, that of Africa’s dismal failure to achieve its intended objectives.  25th May, 1963, was the historic day on which the post-colonial leaders of Africa dutifully convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to hold discussions which resulted in the happy birth of the then ‘Organization of African Unity’ (later transformed in the African Union), that is in existence today. Their sole aim was to put in place a strong and powerful Organization, which would work rapidly towards the realization of a coveted dream, namely the unification of the countries of Africa, in order to form a formidable “United States of Africa”. It was Africa’s dream of achieving a single ‘political kingdom’ which would better provide for the needs of the people of Africa. It was a dream of placing the economic and social development of the countries of Africa in much safer and more stable surroundings. In other words, it was a dream of great expectations and hope.  That is actually the reason for the annual commemoration of that date as “Africa Day”.  But unfortunately, that day has now largely lost its vitality, as a result of Africa’s dismal failure to realize that cherished dream.
In my own way of commemorating that day, I took time to read some of the comments made in the social media by those who still care to talk about that dream; and soon came across an absolutely  scathing  homily, from an utterly disappointed  Tanzanian intellectual  who lives and carries out his intellectual endeavors  in Canada, one Nkwazi Kuzi Mhango; which appeared in his “mpayukaji blog”, a killer bow whose deadly arrows are christened  ‘Free thinking’. In his robust presentation, Nkwazi described the annual Africa Day celebrations as “a ceremonial white elephant”; and went on to lament, quite justifiably too, that “the dream of reuniting Africa has since died.  Africa remains what the colonial masters made it at their 1884 Berlin Conference, when they chopped Africa and divided it into small, feeble, and useless states that Africa has today. Thus, there is really nothing for Africa to celebrate, so long as it remains divided as it has always been since it was unlawfully and maliciously desecrated by the colonizers in order to weaken it for its perpetual exploitation”. Instructively and helpfully, he attributes this sad state of affairs to the presence of “myopic and selfish African rulers, who refused to learn from experience”. 
I fully agree. In fact, this was the sole reason for the failure of the gallant efforts made by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, in the early 1960, to propagate the formation of an East African Federation, as a positive step towards the realization of the desired African unity, but was eventually forced him to give up hope, when it became abundantly clear that his peers in Kenya and Uganda were really not interested in bringing about the proposed Federation.   
This is a story that is probably worth telling, mainly for the benefit of the current generation of East Africans, and also others.   Mwalimu Nyerere’s efforts on that project actually started with an analytical Paper titled “The need for an East African Federation”, which he wrote and presented at the ‘Pan-African Movement for the Freedom of East and Central Africa’ (PAFMECA) meeting, which was held at Mbale in Uganda, in October 1960. This idea was warmly accepted and adopted; and that meeting resolved “to encourage the countries concerned to focus on working out the details of this proposal, and how to bring it into fruition”.                                                                                                                            
 In the said Paper, apparently by divine intuition, Mwalimu Nyerere also made his prophetic warnings about the obstacles that might be created by the presence of “myopic and selfish rulers” (of the type referred to above by Nkwazi Mhango). Thus, in order to avoid them, he strongly recommended two options for the successful achievement of that objective:  One:  Federation before independence.             
Two: Federation to coincide with independence.                                                                          His cogent   arguments for the need to form such Federation at the appropriate moment   just before independence, were as follows: “In the struggle against colonialism, the fundamental unity of the people of Africa is evident and is deeply felt.  It must be remembered, however, that this is a unity forged in adversity, in the battle against a colonial Administration. Such feeling of unity, which are based purely on adversity, will easily be whittled away as soon as each country gets its independence separately. For when that happens, the Federation proposal will be very difficult to achieve because,   after a country gets its independence, it becomes open to the temptations of nationhood, plus the intrigues of those (imperialists) who find their strength in the weakness of small nations”.         
Thus, as an alternative option, he proposed the forming of the proposed Federation at the time when these countries become independent.  (To underscore his commitment, he subsequently offered to delay Tanganyika’s independence to wait for the independence process for Kenya and Uganda to be completed, to enable the proposed Federation to be formed at that time when all the three countries achieve their independence simultaneously).            
 Indeed, how accurate his prophesy was!  For that is precisely the cruel fate that subsequently befell Mwalimu Nyerere’s proposal for an East African Federation; which, as he himself said said, would have been a concrete positive step towards the desired continental unity of all the countries of Africa. He said that in the course of his speech to the National Assembly on 25th April, 1964 (when there still was hope for African unity to materialize), when he said the following: - "Leo hii kuna tamaa kubwa sana ya umoja wa Afrika.  Mioyo ya Waafrika ina shauku kubwa ajabu ya kuungana tuwe kitu kimoja . . . Lakini pamoja na kujivunia shauku hii, yafaa tukumbuke kuwa umoja huo hautakuja kwa sababu ya shauku tu, au maneno matupu. Hatua lazima zichukuliwe za kuonesha kwamba shauku hii, na matumaini haya, si ndoto isiyowezekana, bali ni jambo linaloweza kutimia.     Hivyo basi, ikiwa nchi ambazo ni marafiki na ni jirani zikiweza kuungana, muungano huo unaweza kuwa ni thibitisho la vitendo kwamba matumaini ya Afrika kuungana si ya bure, na zaidi kwamba kama nchi mbili zikiweza kuungana na kuwa nchi moja, basi nchi tatu pia zinaweza. Na kama nchi tatu zinaweza, basi  nchi thelathini pia zinaweza.”  
That was on the occasion when President Nyerere was requesting the Tanganyika National Assembly to ratify the ‘Treaty of Union’ between Tanganyika and Zanzibar.  His reference to “nchi mbili zikiweza kuungana” was a reference to Tanganyika and Zanzibar. While that of “nchi tatu pia zinaweza” was a reference to the proposed East African Federation of Tanganyika, Kenya, and Uganda. And that of “nchi thelethini pia zinaweza” was a reference to the number of African countries which had by then achieved their independence, thus implying the achievement of the desired dream of a “United States of Africa”. 
But dark clouds hang over this dream right from the beginning.
In reality, dark clouds had hang over the dream of African unity right from the beginning.  For example, shortly after the independence, President Sylvanus Olympio, was brutally murdered in the first of the numerous military coups that subsequently bedeviled the African countries. It was soon followed by the crisis in Congo, which culminated in the death of one of the greatest African Patriots, comrade Patrice Lumumba. Thereafter, in rapid succession, military coups took place in Algeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Chad.  In our own East African Region, a military coup took place in Uganda, an event which triggered a major review of our defense policy which ushered in a new radicalization, that got enshrined in the TANU Guidelines of 1972.                                                  
 It had become quite clear, that the sweet dreams of the benefits of peace and tranquility, which had been expected to accrue from the achievement of UHURU, could turn very sour!
piomsekwa@gmail.com   / 0754767576.
Source: Daily News today and Cde Msekwa himself

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