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, 29 August 2019


ALTHOUGH I wrote about it before his excellency President John Pombe Magufuli said it, I am happy to hear him reading from the same vis-a-vis Africa's incomplete independence. I am staunch believer in self-reliance through disciplined utilisation of our resources. Hearing it from president Magufuli, I am sure, the wider audience will subscribe to this way of thinking and doing things, which, to me, is a new awakening for Africans to take their destiny into their hands as soon as possible if not urgently.
How many African rulers, think this way? If anything, this way of thinking differentiates Magufuli from rulers that Africa has in plenty. By being differentiated and separated from rulers, Magufuli prove how he truly is a leader. One of the aspirations of any leader is to develop those he leads while a ruler aspires to amass wealth even when those he rules are manmade paupers as it is the case in many postcolonial Africa. Magufuli wants to deconstruct the  colonial narrative that make us believe that we will develop by receiving handouts from our former colonial monsters.  Actually, Magufuli indirectly subscribes to the truth that Africa is the one that developed Europe and made it rich. 
Although many African rulers are afraid of attempting what Magufuli is now doing, it is but sheer fear. Africa has what it takes to depend on itself. Apart from being endowed with humungous reserves of resources of value, Africa used to depend on itself when it was operating on its own policies and ways of doing things before the introduction of slavery and colonialism followed by capitalism and neocolonialism so as to end up in beggarliness wantonly. Needless to say, Africa has the potential of manpower that top up material resources such as minerals, friendly weather, fertile soil, rivers, lakes, and resilience that enabled it to make do with such brutal and exploitative systems of modern superstructure universalised under globalism, internationalism and many sweet names colonial powers invent and like to use and popularise. Academic, activists and all those who aspire to stamp africa out of beggarliness and abject poverty need to support and learn from Magufuli. Essentially, what is need is nothing but courage and self-confidence that changes can't come from out of the blue. They are brought and effected by us. Again, without Africa uniting, it become a piper dream for the entire continent to become independent. This is because we still have Africans who still believe that without their colonial masters' support they can't develop as if before having such masters life didn't exist in Africa. Sometimes, I wonder how Africa was able to discover fire, agriculture, iron and other essentials and depended on itself for millions of year fail to rebel against mental slavery and mental colonialism resulting from the colonising and toxifying the minds of its people.

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JOKEY HORSE-JOCKEY NORTH-SOUTH RAPPORT Diagnostic-cum-Prognostic-Academic Perspectives on Who Truly


Image result for msekwa photosThe words in the heading of this article were uttered by the Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Tanzania President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, in his closing speech to the 39th SADC Summit in Dar es Salaam City on Sunday, August 18th, 2019.   President  Magufuli  further said that “accepting Kiswahili as one of the official  SADC  languages means a lot to Tanzania;  and is a big  honour to Tanzania’s founding father, Mwalimu Julius  Nyerere,  who played a very big role in the liberation of many African countries,  making it possible for a large number of freedom fighters to be trained in Tanzania,  who quickly learnt  Kiswahili  and used it as their major language of communication.”                                                                                             
 President  Magufuli,  of course,  gave a  lot  more details about  what had transpired at that meeting  of SADC  Heads of State and Government,  but  his statement that “the adoption of Kiswahili  as one of SADC’s official languages is a big  honour  to Mwalimu Nyerere”  gives  us Tanzanians, one additional opportunity  for  paying homage to the departed  father of our nation, even if only in respect of that  single Kiswahili  aspect, out of the many other aspects relating to the development of our nation, for which  Mwalimu Nyerere  is fondly remembered.  I have referred to it as ‘an additional opportunity’ because we already have in place the traditional anniversary commemorations that are regularly undertaken on the sad anniversary date of his death, the 14th day of October.    It is for that reason that                I have opted to  isolate this one item (out of  the many  SADC Summit  resolutions),  for more extensive  discussion in today’s article, in order to shed more light on Mwalimu Nyerere’s  outstanding contributions  to the development  of the Kiswahili  language within Tanzania itself.
Mwalimu Nyerere and the development of Kiswahili.
Mwalimu Nyerere’s starting point  in  the development of the Kiswahili language inside  Tanzania, was his decision, taken  soon  after the achievement of the country’s independence in December 1961;   to make Kiswahili the  country’s official language;  that is to say, the language to be used in all   public business  transactions, and  specifically, the transaction of  government business.          
That decision is what made it necessary, for example, for the National Assembly (Bunge), to also change from English to Kiswahili, as the language of its proceedings. And, by a strange twist of fate, it fell upon me to implement that change, which is a pretty instructive experience that I relish to share with our readers.         
It was quite a process, which involved the setting up of an entirely new system for the preparation of Bunge Hansards (the official records of the Bunge proceedings).   Previous to that, the Bunge proceedings were conducted only in the English language.  (For that reason, the MPs who were elected in the pre-independence elections of 1960 whose knowledge of the English language was in doubt, were required to undergo an oral English language test, administered by the British Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Geoffrey Hucks).  We therefore had a team of competent ‘shorthand writers’, also known as stenographers, who took shorthand notes of all that was being said inside Bunge, and later went out to transcribe their notes into typewritten scripts.  
The immediate challenge was that no shorthand characters had been developed for the Kiswahili language at that material time; and thus, there were no trained ‘shorthand’ stenographers available anywhere in the job market.  In these difficult  circumstances,  we had to embark on a completely  new  system of  using  ‘audio-typists’, that is to say, a cadre of clerical staff who wound take audio  recordings of  all that was said inside Bunge, and later hand over the recordings to  another cadre of ‘audio typists’, who would then transcribe the recordings into typewritten scripts.
 It took some time and money to establish this new system, but it was all done and completed in time, which enabled us to avoid disrupting any of the scheduled Bunge sessions. 
This little story will help to show that the SADC summit’s adoption of Kiswahili as one of its official languages, is only the first step. Its implementation will similarly require other steps to be taken by the SADC Secretariat, before the said   decision becomes operative at SADC Summit level.
Other efforts by Mwalimu Nyerere to develop Kiswahili.
My own experience of Mwalimu Nyerere’s personal endeavours in contributing to the development of the Kiswahili language; is in respect of two specific events, both of which I can clearly remember.   The first is in relation to his efforts to ‘teach’ Kiswahili grammar to members of the National Executive Committee of Chama cha Mapinduzi, during the period when he was its national Chairman.  Most probably out of ignorance, many members of that party Organ had fallen into the bad habit of creating a non- existence plural form of the Kiswahili word “saa” (hour), which they christened “masaa”; by saying, for example, “ilituchuka masaa mawili kufika hapa."  This tendency frustrated Mwalimu Nyerere to the extent that, at one stage, he decided to don his professional teacher’s hat, and came to a NEC meeting armed with a Kiswahili Dictionary, to help him teach his audience that the word “saa” has no plural form.  Which means that one hour is “saa moja”. And two or five hours is still “saa mbili” or “saa tano”, and never ‘masaa mawili’ or ‘masaa matano.’
The second event is in relation to his efforts (and successes) in demonstrating that Kiswahili is capable of being used even in scholastic endeavours and associated achievements.  This is amply  evidenced by his undertaking  of the herculean  tasks  of  translating into  Kiswahili,  some of  the ancient  scholastic tomes,   such as the Holy  Bible’s Four Gospels (the New Testament, which he titled Tenzi za Biblia;   plus  two of  William  Shakespeare’s  ancient  plays, Julius Caesar; and The Merchant of Venice. Clearly, these are  pretty  heavy scholarly undertakings , especially  considering the fact that he carried out these tasks during the same busy years when he had to invest most of  his prime working time to the more urgent tasks of building the  foundations  for the development of the new  nation, which he had just successfully pulled out of colonialism.   
In that respect, in addition to admiring his amazing energy, enthusiasm, love, and commitment to the Kiswahili language; there are two hard and intriguing questions which appear to need answers. They are the following: (a) Why did Mwalimu Nyerere choose to undertake the task of translating these scholarly works into Kiswahili?  (b) If we may call it a hobby, (i.e. an activity which you do only for pleasure, when you are not working on something else), how did he find the time for undertaking such demanding   hobby undertakings?
Mwalimu Nyerere the person.
For the benefit of the current young generation, it may be helpful l to give a brief description of the personality of Mwalimu Nyerere, in order to facilitate their understanding of the kind of person he actually was.  In the year 2012, I published  a book in Kiswahili, titled “Uongozi na Utawala wa Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere (Nyambari Nyangwine Publishers, Dar es Salaam), in which  I presented a small selection of tributes made by different persons, mostly foreigners who got to know him  reasonably  well during his life time. I cited, for example, a quotation from a book titled “Leadership for Democratic Development in Tanzania”, whose author, Peter Haussler, states that “the leadership style of Mwalimu Nyerere may also be referred to as ‘charismatic’ and ‘visionary’.  Charismatic leadership is the ability to influence followers   based on supernatural gifts and attractive powers, whereby followers just enjoy being led by the charismatic leader, because they feel inspired, correct, and important”. Other comments on Mwalimu Nyerere’s personal qualities include the following: “Mwalimu Nyerere was an iconic leader, a man of principle, intelligence, and integrity.  He was considered a political prophet by many, and a man of intelligence, humour and honesty”.  
         There are many more comments quoted therein about Mwalimu Nyerere’s personal leadership qualities and characteristic; but for the purpose of this article, we will pause there, and go back to our intriguing questions posed above. In relation to this discussion, the most relevant question appears to be:  Why did Mwalimu Nyerere choose to translate these scholarly works into Kiswahili?  My own answer is as already stated above, that he wanted to demonstrate that Kiswahili is quite capable of being used even for scholastic undertakings of a professional nature. The fact that Mwalimu Nyerere was able to find enough Kiswahili words to render more than five hundred lines of dense Shakespearian verse into Kiswahili, is alone sufficient evidence of the expansive richness of this language.                                           
              But   I also know, from first-hand experience, that Mwalimu was not at all in favour of adopting Kiswahili as the language of instruction in our Institutions of Secondary and tertiary education. I found this out when a small group of us had been assigned the task of preparing a new policy document for adoption by the CCM National Executive Committee at its Musoma meeting, way back in 1974.                
That group included me, then Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam; and Reverend Simon Chiwanga, then Minister of National Education (as it was then designated).  The envisaged new policy was aimed at restricting   the system of direct entry to the University immediately after successful completion of Form Six Secondary education, by introducing an intervening period of two-year National Service training, plus the acquisition of specified work experience, before qualifying for admission to the University. Minister Chiwanga had suggested that we include in the draft of that document, the proposal that Kiswahili be progressively introduced as the language of instruction in our Institutions of Secondary and tertiary education.  We did that and submitted the draft to Mwalimu Nyerere for his consideration and comments.  He told us to delete that part of the draft.  In his words, “we cannot avoid training our students in English, because English is the Kiswahili of the current World”.
Second question:  how did Mwalimu Nyerere find the time to undertake such demanding hobbies? This  is indeed  astonishing, given the fact that he was at the same time heavily engaged in the  more substantive tasks of building a new  Tanganyika (later Tanzania) nation; through  undertaking the  core, day-to-day   business  of  running the country;  plus  spearheading the Pan-African efforts to eliminate colonialism  from  the whole of the African continent, and to drive out the obnoxious  apartheid  regime from South Africa.     
This should be taken as one good and pertinent lesson for the current leadership generation, many of whom tend to take refuge in the false claim that they “have no time” for reading or writing books, allegedly because they are much too busy with their full-time leadership responsibilities!   But if Mwalimu Nyerere, with all his heavy domestic leadership duties and responsibilities, plus those extra Pan-African engagements, could still find time to translate those ancient Holy Bible and Shakespearean works into Kiswahili, why should others fail, and even  succeed  so  easily in  getting away  with it?
Source: Daily News and Cde Msekwa

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

My Newborn Baby "Born Nude" is out

Born Nude

Born Nude is philosophical poetry that explores myriad themes, from equality to humility and environmental consciousness. It is divided into chapters that pinpoint specific areas of interest. The author delves into human weaknesses and strengths based on nature and nurture. He invites the reader to contemplate the ephemeral nature of all things material, and how to nurture oneself into a higher order and loyalty of being human. The volume’s satirical tone is critical of the destructive sterility of zero-sum games of superiority and dominance. It treats as anathema exploitation based on contrived hierarchies of gender, geography, politics and the geopolitik of the modern world.
Dimensions203 x 127mm
PublisherLangaa RPCIG, Cameroon


This month eight years ago the world lost a famous Zimbabwean  musician, Cephas Mashakada whom we today commemorate. Mashakada died 51 years old. His music however still lives on.
May God rest his soul in eternal peace.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019


Tanzania is gearing up for the next phase of general elections; which are scheduled to be held later this year, and next year. Are these elections genuine democratic exercises, or mere window-dressing events?
Soon after the conclusion of the  last  Ugandan Presidential elections in 2016; a  writer in the  Ugandan media  made the following scathing comments:  “Presidential elections in Uganda had been stolen by the declared winner  President Yoweri  Museveni, and therefore, in terms of sustaining democracy, they were actually useless and meaningless”  He also made other serious allegations regarding how, in the past, votes had been stolen by Presidential election winners in Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. He then concluded by claiming that:  Elections in Africa are a joke. Africans are given to stealing elections.”  
Image result for PHOTOS OF MSEKWASimilarly, soon after the conclusion of Kenya’s general elections in 2017;   THE CITIZEN  of 11th September,  published  one Justice  Novati Rutenge’s  comments  titled “Decades on, why just  can’t  we  get our elections right?”, in which the writer  went on to elaborate as follows: “Kenya’s 2017 elections  were a cautionary tale of how election malpractices (call it outright rigging) can divide a country and lead to deep-seated  turmoil .  After taking what seemed to be all the steps in the right direction in terms of setting up a fool-proof electoral process, just how did Kenya manage to have botched the elections?  However, this issue is not unique to Kenya, for most African countries still have a long way to go before they start holding proper and meaningful elections. Why can’t African ‘democracies’ get their act together when it comes to the most important routine in their practice of democracy, even after doing it for several decades?”.    
In view of such scathing criticisms of elections in Africa ,  I was  moved to ask this pertinent question: “If indeed, as  claimed by  these writers,  Africans are given to stealing elections, what then is the value or usefulness of  holding elections  in African countries, when they actually   mere jokes  and  NOT  true reflections  of  the genuine  choices which had been  made by the electors concerned?”       
I am, of course, also keenly aware of similar accusations which have been regularly and consistently made against the winners of the Zanzibar Presidential elections, for the similar crime of “stolen elections”; which therefore adds on to the list of “Africans who are given to stealing elections.”
However, our discussion herein has been designed   to focus not on the actual conduct of elections, nor on matters directly associated with such exercise.  We have instead opted to isolate the subject of “electoral democracy” for a more detailed examination; or, as the popular adage goes, to “separate the sheep from the goats”.  This is solely for the reason that the word “democracy” is an omnibus word, which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, carries three separate meanings as follows: - 1. “a system of government in which all the people of a country can vote to elect their representatives”, 2. “a country which has this system of government,” 3. “fair and equal treatment of everyone in an organization, etc, and their right to take part in the making of decisions”.
It, therefore, becomes   necessary   to clarify which meaning is being used in which particular context.  Thus, in the context of this discussion, we will focus only on the first-listed definition of ‘democracy’, because that is what enables us to discuss the matter of elections, which is a necessary component of that system.   Even  though the  words “system of government”  themselves  carry  a variety of  meanings, since  there are more than one ‘systems of government’  in operation in the world;  the two most familiar being  the ‘Presidential system’ and the ‘Parliamentary system”, which  are  commonly associated,  respectively,  with the American-based  system  and the British- based  (Westminster)  system.  But because both these systems are founded on the same basic principle that “their people must vote to elect   their representatives” (which means the holding of regular elections), this enables us to focus solely on that one aspect of ‘democracy’, namely, “electoral democracy”.                                                                         
  In this discussion,  we are  advancing  the following  propositions:  (a) that the modern  concept  of  electoral democracy  “has a distinctive cultural  element   embedded in  it  that is based on the civilization of Western countries;  and which  is  attributable to  unique factors  such as their long experience in working with elected representative bodies; plus their established  systems of social pluralism; (b)  that this cultural element necessarily  creates operational problems for participants  who  belong to  different  cultures;  and  (c)  that this  cultural impediment is  the root cause for  the “failure by  African countries to just get our elections right”.    
I should disclose that this is a (perhaps vain) attempt to explain why “decades on, Africans still can’t get their elections right”; but is done purely as an academic exercise, with no desire whatsoever, or covert intention, of justifying any such criminal activities.
The identification of democracy with elections.
It is quite clear that  the current dominant trend is to define ‘democracy’ almost entirely in terms of holding  regular  elections; in order to achieve the goal of ensuring that the “rulers” are  selected  periodically  by the votes of the “ruled” through free and fair elections, in which virtually the entire adult population is eligible to vote. Thus, a modern nation-state is deemed to be a ‘democracy’ only if its government is established as a result of free, honest, and periodic elections in which he candidates freely compete for votes. Hence, according to this view, elections   are the essence of democracy.  And, more importantly, it is presumed that these characteristics can only be guaranteed in a multi-party-political system, where people are free to choose between competing political parties, representing different shades of opinion.
The negative impact of cultural differences.
Experience has manifestly shown that because of the obvious cultural differences that exist around the world, taking elections and its associated characteristics, described above, as the essence of democracy has not always given us the perfect model we are looking for. There have been two principal reasons for this. One is that although electoral democracy  will,  indeed,  produce the desired  elected government,  but it is still possible, and has in fact happened  in some cases,  for such elected government to subsequently  ignore  the other essential safeguards for individual rights and liberties; such  as those  of expression, association, religious belief, and political participation. Or it may even introduce legal mechanisms to enable the people who are in power to manipulate the electoral process in their favour; including introducing controversial Constitutional amendments to enable them to stay indefinitely in power.  There are live examples of this having happened in a number of African countries.  The second reason is that there have indeed been situations whereby  free and fair elections have led to the victory of political  leaders,  or groups, that have subsequently  threatened  the maintenance of democracy itself, by, for example,  acting in arbitrary  ways to suppress, or even eliminate,  their  political  opponents.    
An  additional facet, but  rather strange  outcome in  African elections,  has been the rogue refusal  by  the losing  candidate  in Presidential elections,  to accept the results of an election  which has been  certified  by all groups of observers to have been free and  fair;  and who started fighting a totally unwarranted,  brutal,  guerrilla war against the winning candidate.   
Furthermore, over the years, we have also witnessed a number of   events   when the relevant elections were actually boycotted by political parties, presumably because they were considered to be “useless and meaningless” exercises. It is in the light of all these negative experiences, that I am persuaded   to believe that the cultural differences that exist, are the root cause of ‘Africa’s failure to get things right’ in relation to multi-party elections.
Indeed, as a result of these experiences, some stakeholders have questioned   the rationale of this blanket identification of ‘democracy’ with multi-party elections.  At a “Global Coalition for Africa” conference  that was held in  November 1995,  on the theme titled  “Africa’s Future and the World”, many participants were reported to have  underscored  the  importance of  ‘going beyond political parties”   in the democratization process,  by cautioning that  ’multi-party system  does not automatically lead  to democracy”, and emphasized the need to involve  the larger society in the democratization process; by  recommending  the building  of a  strong  civil society, “which alone will be capable of  building and sustaining democracy,  and acting as a check on Government”.
The issue of political parties “representing different shades of opinion”.
Multi-party elections are said to provide the opportunity for people to choose between “political parties with shades of different opinions”. But again, this is only true in jurisdictions where ‘social pluralism’ is part of their political culture.  In many of our African ‘democracies’, even after decades of operating the multi-party system, it is still difficult to identify substantially significant differences between the political “shades “of opinion, or ideologies, of the different political parties. Judging from their election manifestos, and the statements made at open election campaign meetings; the only ‘ideology’ which all of them appear to be promoting, is the need to enhance the social and economic welfare of the people, through eliminating poverty, ignorance and disease.  In other words, there are no fundamental divisions between political parties, since they all seem to be pursuing this single objective.
This reminds me of  Mwalimu Julius  Nyerere’s  thesis  titled “One Party Democracy” which he wrote in 1961; in which he argued as follows:- “A two-party system (like the British system) can be justified only when the parties are divided over fundamental issues;  otherwise it merely encourages the growth of factionalism . . . Let us take the case of two major parties, both of which have the interest of the people at heart (or so they claim).  For example, both believe that education is a good thing, and should be made available to everybody; and both believe that a fair living wage should be paid to all workers; and both believe that medical care should be within reach of all the people.
All these things are fundamental. Thus, it would be a reasonable assumption that, whichever party wins the election, will provide the people with as many of these benefits as possible.   Given that fundamental agreement,  it  would be far more sensible if both sides were to disband their competition teams, and let the electorate choose the best individuals from among them all, so that  the chosen representatives  will  meet in Parliament to discuss  only  the details of how  the agreed  tasks should best be carried out, and,  thereafter, to  cooperate fully in getting them accomplished”. 
That, of course, is exactly what happened during the 30-year period of the Constitutional ‘one-party’ governance system in Tanzania, from 1965 to 1995.
Are elections in Africa a big joke?  My answer is “No”.  Yours may be different.  But elections have a great and crucial role to play in a democracy.  And since the world has not yet been able to invent an alternative to elections for selecting the peoples’ leaders, Africa   will continue to operate, unabated, the system of multi-party ‘electoral democracy’.
Source: Daily News and Cde Msekwa himself today.