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

Tuesday, 31 March 2020


Actor, singer, 'The Gambler': Kenny Rogers dies at 81
August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020
You made the world a good place to be through your talent. For us who enjoyed your music, your life added something valuable to our lives. For that reason, Kenny, Fare-thee-well. You were but an island on the stream. And that is what we are. For, nobody in between but God.
Fare-thee-Well Kenny Donald Rogers.

Africa Can Learn from Magufulification

When some dudes in Zimbabwe (New Zimbabwe, Jan., 10, 2016 cited in Mhango, 2018) coined the term Magufulification, I did not know that the term would become a buzzword. The term was coined a few months after Tanzania president John Pombe Magufuli came to power and did things in a very different manner and spirit. Magufuli’s mantra has always been Africa can and should.
Not many took Magufuli seriously. This is because many postcolonial African governments became a toto bomb minus Botswana, Mauritius and Seychelles. Practically, freedom to many African countries is endemic and systemic beggarliness, dependence and thuggery. Nations survive on begging while sitting on colossal natural resources of value. Actually, Independence in Africa was nothing but the replacement of one type of colonialism with another. External colonisers were shown the door to allow internal ones to replace them and perfect the squander of almost everything that Africans fought hard for.
While many people wrongly thought that Magufuli’s manner of doing things was a passing cloud, being a rara avis and rare breed, Magufuli has proved them wrong. Magufuli has held that Tanzania in particularly Africa in general are not supposed to beg.  He has said that Tanzania is not going to beg while it sits on humongous natural resources of value. To prove his point, Magufuli has never neither toured the West  nor Asia in the mission of begging. Instead, he has increased revenue collection as he embarked on the industrialization of Tanzania. As if this is not enough, Magufuli has practically taken on corruption, laziness and embezzlement of public resources. He does not spend any money on public holidays.
Africa needs able leadership that can marshal people and resources around investing in the future for self-reliance instead of begging. Magufuli has turned Tanzania into a huge and active workshop wherein mammoth projects such as the construction of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), expansion of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport, construction of the Stiegler’s Gorge Hydroelectrical Dam, construction of many roads and port expansion have taken place. He has moved the capital from Dar to Dodoma.  These have translated into Tanzania becoming the economic powerhouse of the region. Despite facing resistance from abroad, Magufuli has stood his ground in constructing the Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectrical dam with the aim of bringing the price of electricity in the county down to enable Tanzanians to produce more competitively and efficiently and make Tanzania a middle-income country (MIC). Even before the completion of this project, the Rural Electrical Agency (REA) has already embarked on the electrification of Tanzania under the Magufulification. According to the Xinhua (Feb., 20, 2019), the program aims at connecting 2.5 million Tanzanian households in rural areas to the national electricity grid over the next 5 years.
Magufuli has bought a couple of brand-new airplanes to revive the national carrier, the defunct Air Tanzania. Up until now, the Air Tanzania Ltd has the fleet of two 787-8 Dreamliner, two Airbus A220-300 jets and three DHC Dash 8-400 aircraft, formerly known as the Bombardier Q400 turboprop all paid cash. Magufuli still believes that Africa needs to have its own airplanes in order to attract and transport its people and tourists visiting Africa. Magufuli wants to see Air Tanzania Ltd compete with other international airlines.
To effectually and freely move goods and people, Magufuli has already revivified the Dar-Arusha railway and the central one that soon will be replaced by the SGR thereby link Tanzania with Burundi, DRC, Rwanda and Uganda after completion. He has enacted a new style of running the country based on hire and fire to see to it that public officers deliver. Leading by example, he has competently managed public finances and resources. For example, in 2017, Magufuli banned the export of mineral sands arguing that companies dealing with minerals should have smelters in the country. He  put a stop on mineral smuggling by ordering the creation of local mineral trading centers in mineral-producing regions. Magufuli’s efforts have paid dividends. For, up until now, Tanzania has experienced an upwelling in revenue collection. Tanzania revenues rose by 12.7 percent in the first half of the fiscal year from the same period a year ago as collection improved (Reuters, 2017). The Tanzania Revenue Authority collected TZS 1.767 trillion in September 2019. The amount was an increase of 29.18 percent from TZS 1.335 trillion in August ( Oct., 2, 2019).
Magufulification does not lack detractors and haters who see the man behind it as a dictator. Again, if we consider how expensive democracy has been, especially for Africa, is there any way China would have made such great gains under democratic regimes? I am not trying to justify dictatorship or anything close to it. But when I consider countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and now China and the way they quickly made it out of penury, I must admit that sometimes, I concur with the man who transformed Singapore from a poor country to an opulent one. He once said that to develop a country, we need to sacrifice some rights. This is because nobody can put democracy on the table and eat it with family.
In sum, as was former US president, Barack Obama’s slogan, yes, we can, if Africa gets adept and devoted leaders like JPM, as Magufuli is famously known in Tanzania, to Magufulify Africa, it can and does not have any logical reason to become a perpetual beggar while it sits on humongous resources of value. This is the story of the Magufulification that Africa needs to study and learn from. Again, is Africa ready to learn? This is the story for another day.
Source: African Executive Magazine, 31 March, 2020.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Kenyatta-Odinga marriage minus Ruto will change and create Kenya's national cohesion

The recent closing of ranks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his political arch nemesis, former PM and opposition boss Raila Odinga, has deafening, dissimilar and knock-on corollaries. Their recent baby, the Build Bridges' Initiatives (BBI) seems to have thunderstruck and wowed Kenyans. As once Odinga assertively put it, the BBI is inexorable; and whoever that stands in its way will be cracked politically. This is why Deputy President William Ruto, who fervidly opposed it, had to make a U-turn and throw in the towel before the Pullman leaves him in the cold. Actually, the BBI plus handshakes have truly reconfigure and redefined Kenya’s political milieu with everlasting-domino effects. This milestone has, if anything, tremendous negative and positive effects to some wannabes, power brokers and the country in general. The Kenyatta-Odinga nuptial aka handshake whose rad baby is the BBI seems not to augur well with some other players who think have been left out for whatever reasons. For, it isn’t a secret. There are some intriguers who exploited Kenya’s long-time bog to create political niches for personal glories that are now stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. All who sought to use Kenyatta or Odinga to prop and imbed and stamp themselves in Kenyan political landscape, under Kenyatta-Odinga acrimony, are outright losers. This is because many lacks political gravitas.
Being a political juggernaut, Odinga breastfed and sheltered many. Therefore, his impromptu move will orphan many. They’ll become first casualties. You can hear their howling and pouting with the loss almost everywhere after it bleakly dawned on them in this game that needs flexibility and scheming.
If anything, among those hard-hit is William Ruto, whom, I'd not like to refer as Doctor because of how he gained his 'PhD'. This is the man who’d love to be a Kalenjin kingmaker, if not the king, and possibly, a president of Kenya. What a toto pipe dream! Again, his strategies and style are clandestinely combative, garish and rudimentary for one reason, behaving like a bat, neither an animal nor a birdie. Despite things fall apart between him and his former partner in the Uhuruto eponym, he still plays a double role of positive and negative towards his boss. This make him look like he lacks political gravitas and stamina compared with all season politicians like Odinga.  Without bribing, as now allegations surface after he dished millions wherever he goes, Ruto doesn’t impress many in anything national or political realities. He is but a newbie and provocateur that can’t disentangle with his Moi’s era youth activism that created him to end up suffering from perfidy and thievery when it comes to national cohesion and coffers. Buccaneering and precipitateness are the suitable attributes of the man thanks to his Moi nexus.
    Furthermore, to be honest, Ruto’s neither toehold nor knack in his Kalenjin cosmology and politics. Look at how his namesake Isaac Ruto is damaging him. Refer to how Ruto is now taking on perceived opposing the government he pretends to serve. How does one attack his boss, the president, and still say they are on the same page? Can such a person be safe and sane politically if I may ask?  
Apart from being an outsider, politically thanks to his surname, Ruto’s a neophyte in Kelenjin and Kenyans politics altogether. All know he was cloned by Daniel arap Moi.  Has he forgotten his Nyayo-time ugly resume of brutality, corruption and infamy? His political resume isn’t only long-winded but is also scraggy and buoyant. He got his gravitas under Moi’s; and currently under Kenyatta's wings. This is why he’s no guts to call it a quit and be counted.  Like a bat, he is neither an animal nor a birdie. He unashamedly clings to the hubby to face whatever infamy but yet undermines him. Lucky him; he’s gawkily tolerated. He must thank Kenyatta for his mercy. Otherwise, his deservedly reward is supposed to be in the cold. One’d think: Ruto would a wee bit appreciate and underscore the fact that Kenyans have brains, ears and eyes; and know how to well utilise these faculties. Rumours have it that Ruto’s amassed fetid and suspicious wealthy in a very short space of time. Can he show cause for his wealth? For a son of pauper, who survived on vending one or two chickens, I doubt. Why’s Ruto easily forgotten: many know; how he amassed ill-gotten Moola he folks out everywhere buying leverage? Former Tanzania statesman, Julius Nyerere once said: if there’s anybody voters need to fear like leprosy is none other than the one who buys others. Because he’s also bought. You can add: if one’s not bought, he robbed somebody. It becomes unbearable when a thief tries to bribe his victims with the same money one robbed them.
More on Ruto whose marriage with Kenyatta was necessitated by the International Criminal Court, his future success[es] depends on Kenyatta due to the farfetched assumption that the former helped the latter to ascend to the throne while in actuality Mwai Kibaki is the one who did the magic. He must forget to use Kenyatta once again. For, we don’t know who used whom and whom was used by who in this milieu? Has he forgotten that had it not been for Kenyatta, the ICC would have gotten him?  Has he forgotten that his marriage with Uhuru was only meant to finish off ICC's looming case; and thereafter everybody to go back to where he belongs? Now that the ICC is no longer hovering over UhuRuto, what’s left of the marriage of convenience? Ruto will be making a grave mistake to believe that Kenyatta will endorse him come 2022. who knew that Kibaki who benefited from the phrase “Kibaki Tosha’ would stab Odinga in the back by refusing to replicate the same? Didn't Kibaki support Uhuru whom he beat in 2002 presidential elections? If Raila received ‘Raila Toka’ from the man he rewarded with Kibaki tosha, what’s strange for Uhuru to tell Ruto to go and politically forage as he enjoys his bromance with Raila with who they’re able to calm the nation? Has Ruto forgotten that Kenyatta and Odinga aim at creating a nation after the efforts to build the country has failed?  Politics is a very dirty and dizzy game. He who thinks he’s standing must watch he mustn’t fall.
When it comes to winners, they’re Kenyatta who seeks to leave a shining legacy and Odinga whose hope for 2022 is still raw.  Some make a goof assuming Odinga’s too old to run. Wrong. Ask the late Nelson Mandela (South Africa), Abdulaye Wade ( former-Senegal), Ronald Reagan (US) Jose Mujica ( former-Uruguay)  late Michael Sata (Zambia), late Bingu wa Mutharika (Malawi), Muhammad Buhari (Nigeria-incumbent) Peter Mutharika (Malawi-incumbent), Hage Gottfried Geingob (Namibia-incumbent) and  the late Beji Caid Essebsi (Tunisia) among others, who became presidents in their 70s. There is no retirement in politics, especially in Africa.

In a nutshell, Kenyatta-Odinga newly found love that resulted in the BBI, if isn’t felled, is likely to change Kenya’s political landscape for good. In other words, this move’s redefined Kenya’s politics by creating new environment for different forms of politics wherein victory for the state house does no longer depend on the UhuRuto calibration. One thing is recommendable. Every Kenya must support the efforts of creating and building a nation instead of a country. This is where your neighbour, Tanzania, beat you. The only way of developing a peaceful Kenya is through building a nation but not the country.

Friday, 27 March 2020


 1975 was the final year  of President  Nyerere’s ‘ leadership  term’  which  commenced  in  1970.  But that was to  be  in  October,  when  the  general  elections  were  to  be  held.  We will  therefore  discuss  that  event  at  the  appropriate  time  later  on.  In  the  meantime, we  will  pick up  from  where  we left-off last  week,  when   we  ran  out  of  editorial  space,  namely,   at  the  point  where  we  had   just  listed  the  major  decisions  which  had  been  taken  in  1974,  by  TANU’s  National  Executive  Committee   relating  to  the  education  sector.                                                      
 The  Musoma  NEC  meeting  had  also  placed  new  emphasis  on  the  provision  of Adult Education  in  our  country.   Thus,  for  the  purpose of implementing  that  directive,  a  new  Institute  of  Adult  Education  was  established  in  1975,  which  did  an  excellent  job  in  its  delivery;  for,  as  a result  of  its  magnificent  performance,  only  two  years  later in  1977,  Tanzania  was  granted  “The  Commonwealth  Literacy  Award”  for  having  eliminated  illiteracy  in  the  country  by  96%.
Other developments  during  that year.
Another   major decision that  was  made  by  the  Musoma  meeting  of  the  National  Executive  Committee,  was  the  decision  to  make  TANU,  the  constitutionally  supreme  organ  of  governance  in  this  country.  After that directive had been  issued in 1974,  the Government started  prepareing  the  necessary  amendments  to  the  Constitution,  which  were  eventually  adopted  by  the  National  Assembly  in   May, 1975.   Soon thereafter,  President  Nyerere himself  issued  further  clarification regarding  this  issue,  as  follows:  “Under  our  One-party  Constitution,  TANU  is supreme.  It has the mandate  to  give  directions  to  the  Government  about  the  general  policy  which  must  be  adopted  for  national  development;  or to  give  specific  instructions  about  the  priorities  to  be  adopted,  in any  aspect  of  our  national  life”.            
This  was  intended  to  put  a  close to   what had  come  to  be  known  as “the  great  supremacy  debate”  in  the  National  Assembly;   which  had  started  in  1968, regarding  the  question  ‘which  of  the  two  Institutions,  the  National  Assembly  and  the TANU National  Executive  Committee  is supreme over  the  other  in  terms  of  making  policy’?  This  matter   had  generated  some   fierce  debate  in  the  National  Assembly for  nearly  two  years until  1969,  when  it  was  finally settled  by  the  National  Executive  Committee  in  its  favour;  when, at  its  meeting  in  Tanga,  NEC  resolved  to  expel  from  party  membership  all those  troublesome  members  who  had  been  questioning  the  fact  of  TANU’s  supremacy  in  policy  making  matters.   Consequently, they also lost their membership of the National Assembly, simply by operation of the country’s Constitution. 
“Madaraka  Vijijini” legislation  enacted.           
            The 1974 decision to grant greater decision-making powers to the Villages (by creating Village governments  and  Village  Assemblies),  was  also  finally   implemented  in  1975;  when the  Local  Government  laws  were  amended  to make  provision  for  these  new  Village  governance  organs  to  be  established.
The   major events of 1975.
As already stated above, the year 1975 was general election  year  in Tanzania,  but  that  fact alone  did not  give it  any  additional  significance.  What gave that year special significance, were two  historical  pronouncements  by  President  Nyerere;  which  he  made    at  the  time  of  his  nomination  by  his  party,  to  stand  as  the  party’s  presidential  candidate  in the  said  general  elections. One  was  his surprise   announcement,  that  he  was  accepting  such  nomination  for  the  last  time;  as  he  would  like  thereafter  to  retire from  Government  leadership  positions   which  he  has  held  for  a  long  time  since  independence,  in  order  to  give  a  chance  to  another  person  also  to  lead  our  country.  We will discuss this matter at a  later  stage.                                                                                   
The  other, equally  unexpected, was  his  advise  (read  directive),   to  the  two  ruling  parties  in  Tanzania,  namely  TANU  on  Mainland  Tanzania,  and  the  Afro-Shirazi  Party  in  Zanzibar;  to   consider  merging   into  “one  strong,  unified  party,  for  the  purpose  of  carrying the  revolution  forward”.  He said thus: “Our country is governed by a one-Party Constitution.  But, in fact, we are operating two separate political  parties;   TANU  on  one  side  of  the  Union;   and  ASP  on  the  other side;  which  is  clearly  contrary  to  the  requirements  of  the  country’s  Constitution”.  
 Work began immediately on this merger directive.
The party nomination conferences were actually joint conferences, which brought together  both  the  TANU  conference  delegates,  and  those  from  the  Afro-Shirazi  Party. This was   because the candidate to be nominated, if elected, would  serve  as  President of  the entire United  Republic. For that reason Aboud Jumbe,  President  of  Zanzibar  and  of the  Afro- Shirazi  Party,  was  present  at  the  conference,  leading   the  Afro-shirazi  delegation.  Thus, at the appropriate moment, as was standard practice, he rose  to  address  the  joint  conference. And  among  his  other  remarks,  he  also  made  reference  to  President  Nyerere’s   proposal  to  merge  the  two  parties;  which,  he  said,  he  and  his  ASP  delegation  welcomed  whole heartedly;  and   undertook  to have  the  matter  discussed  by  the  relevant  decision-making  organs  of  the  Afro-Shirazi   Party,  with  a  view  to  having  the  proposal  endorsed.    
Work started immediately thereafter, to have the proposal discussed by all the TANU Branches in Mainland  Tanzania,  as well  as  in  all  the  ASP  Branches  in  Zanzibar.  Both party records show, that of the existing   6,639  TANU   Branches,   6,427 did discuss  this    proposal,    of  which  6,424 (99,95%)  approved  it,  and  only  3  Branches rejected  the  proposal.  While on the Afro-Shirazi side, which had a total of 257 Branches, all of them discussed the proposal, and gave their approval to it.   
 What followed thereafter.
The whole of the following year was devoted mostly to activities related to the achievement of that grand objective; which now   took absolutely first priority.                                                                The Presidents of TANU and the ASP had agreed that each individual member of both parties, should be given the opportunity  to  express his or  her  views  on  this  proposal, a kind  of  referendum among  all  the  members.   The necessary preparations for this ‘referendum’ were made and completed during the remaining months of 1975; which enabled the actual referendum process to commence in February 1976 and was completed by June 1976. The referendum had produced positive results, with the vast majority of the members having accepted the proposal.  Thereafter, the two parties agreed to hold joint meetings of their National Executive Committees, to handle the decision-making aspects of this matter. At the first such joint meeting, which was held on 2nd October, 1976; they decided to appoint a joint  20-person   Commission,  10  from  either  side,  which  was  tasked   to  prepare  the  Constitution  of  the  proposed  new  party.                         
I was fortunate to have been appointed a member of this Commission on the TANU side, and was later appointed  its  Executive  Secretary;  while  mzee  Thabit  Kombo,  Secretary- General  of  the  ASP,  was  appointed  its  Chairman.   The Commission was given one month within which to complete its assignment, which we dutifully did.  But in the meantime, we were required to present progress   to the Joint meeting of the two National Executive  Committees, which,  for  that  purpose,  was  convened  twice  during  that  short  period  of  one  month.  And we were every time ready with our progress reports.   And we were able to present our final Report to that body, on 5th  November,  1976;  at  which  it  was  decided  to  call  a  joint  meeting  of  the  congresses  of  the  two  parties,  in  order  to  adopt  the  proposed  Constitution  of  the  new  party.  The joint Congress was duly held on 21st January, 1977;  which  decided  that  the  new  party  should  come  into  existence  on  5th  February,  1977. 
The other events of 1977.
The   other events that occurred not  long  thereafter,  were  wholly  negative to  the  country’s  economy;  for,  there  occurred  two serious  unforeseen  events,  which  had a  very  negative  impact  on  Tanzania’s  economy.  One was the collapse of the East African Community; and the other was the  sudden  sharp rise  in  the  world  oil  prices.    
Because  of  their  huge  impact  on  the  Government  budget,  the  occurrence  of  these  two  events negatively  affected  the implementation  of  the  entire  Government  development  plan;  but  in particular, they   affected President  Nyerere’s  plan  for  shifting  the  government  capital  to  Dodoma;  which  had  to  be  put  in  abeyance for  the  time  being.                                                                                                                                        
The  break-up  of  the  East  African  Community  actually  happened on  the  same  day  that  CCM  was  born,   on  5th of  February, 1977;  when  Kenya’s  Attorney  General,  Charles  Njonjo,  suddenly  announced  Kenya’s withdrawal  from  the  East  African  Airways,  and  the  nationalization  of that  Company’s  planes  which  were  parked  overnight  on  that  day,  at  Nairobi,  the   company’s  headquarters.                                  
On receiving the strange news, President Nyerere called  President  Kenyatta by  phone,  to  enquire  what  was  happening,  and  why.   We were later informed, that President Kenyatta pleaded ignorance  of  these  developments, but  promised  to  find  out  and  let  his  counterpart  know. But it took much longer than President Nyerere’s  reasonable   patience waiting  for  an  answer,  which  in  fact  never  came! President Nyerere thus decided to close Tanzania’s  border with  Kenya  immediately. And that, effectively, was also the closure of  the  East  African  Community  itself.                                                            
The negative  impact  of  the  break-up  of  the  East  African  Community  on Tanzania’s  budget,  became   created  by  the  need  to establish  new  Government  Ministries,  as  well  as  large  Public  Corporations,  such as  the  Railways  and  Harbours;  Posts  and  Telecommunications, the   Research  Organizations,  and  others;  all  of  which  had  hitherto  been  funded  by  the  East  African  Community.                                        
This now   brings us to the events  of  1978;  one  of  which  was  equally  disastrous  to  the  country’s economy.  That  was  the  sudden,  unwarranted,  invasion  of  the  West  Lake (now  Kagera)  Region,  by  the  armed  forces  of  President  Iddi  Amin  Dada  of  Uganda;  and  the  other  was  an  important  lesson  to  be  learnt;  which  was  the  punishment  meted  out  by  President  Nyerere  to  two  Ministers, plus  two  Regional  Commissioners, for  offences   that  they  themselves  had  not  personally committed;  but which  had  been  committed  by  the  government Security  officials  who  were serving  under  their  direct  political  responsibility and/or supervision;  which  is  commonly  known  as vicarious responsibility.  
The military invasion by Iddi Amin’s forces.
The people of Bukoba area in  what  was  then  the  ‘West  Region’  of  Tanzania,  woke  up  one  morning  to  find  themselves  under  fierce  attack  by  Idd  Amin’s  forces  from  neighbouring  Uganda.  And later that day, Iddi Amin  himself  declared  from  Kampala,  that  he  had  “annexed  that  part  of Tanzania  and  returned  it  to  Uganda,  where it  rightly  belongs”.             
 President  Nyerere,  who  was  at  that  time  touring  Songea  in  Ruvuma  Region,  returned  immediately  to  Dar  es  Salaam,  and  called an  urgent  meeting  of  the Dar  es  Salaam  elders  at  the  Diamond  Jubilee  Hall,  through whom  he  addressed the  whole  nation;  to  announce  his  declaration  of  war  against  Iddi  Amin  Dada.  He did so in the following immortal  words:  “Sababu  ya  kumpiga  tunayo;   Uwezo  wa  kumpiga  tunao;  na   Nia  ya  kumpiga  tunayo.  TUTAMPIGA”. The   rest of the story is well-documented  elsewhere.                                                                        
The  other  grave  event  was  the  inhuman  offences  that  had  been  committed  by   some  security  personnel  operating  in  Shinyanga  and  Mwanza  Regions;  who  were  duly  punished   by  President  Nyerere;  but  who  went  further  and,  along  with  them,   also  punished  two  Ministers,  Ally  Hassan  Mwinyi  of  Home  Affairs;  and  Peter  Siyovelwa  of  the  Tanzania  Security  Services (TSS);  plus  the  two  Regional  Commissioners  of  Shinyanga,  Marco  Mabawa;  and  Mwanza,  Peter  Kisumo;  for vicarious  responsibility.    
(Will be continued next  week) /0754767576.
Source: Daily News.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Don't Look Down on Lockdown

Dear readers and visitors,
This blog understands the period human family is going through after screwing up almost everything the central one being environment. We feel privileged to have what it take to rethink about our lifestyles, especially the lures of over consumption which capitalism espouses for the peril of all of us or the majority of us. We insist that nobody should look down on the lockdown. As well, we think the COVID-19 pandemic provides and opportunity for us to start the dialogue on how to not only adopt, cope or become resilient but also to reassess our infrastructures and system, particularly when anything pandemic like this occurs. Instead of investing on mass weapon production, huge military budgets, we need to invest in health systems globally provided that calamities know no borders, ideology or geography.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Sunday, 22 March 2020

BBI must create ‘super nation’ to replace existing ‘tribal nations’

Image result for photos of bbiThe Building Bridge Initiatives (BBI), if anything, is likely to define and redefine Kenya as the country aiming at ushering in a new and positive approach to conflict resolution shall it succeed and meet its intended goals. Truly, the whole world is watching what Kenya has recently embarked on after two arch-foes entered in a dialogue after their famous handshake  9th March 2018 after many years of the recurrence of tribal toxicity that resulted in tribal mayhem, especially after the general elections. Famous conflict resolution guru, Johan Galtung once said that “our problems are located in the past, in the present and in the future”. And indeed, our history of relationship has a lot to tell about our past, present and future. For, nobody can competently and realistically conceptualise the future without keenly looking into the past. We may ignore our past for our peril. Again, we can’t escape its ramifications. This is a natural law of things.
            For Kenya as a nation that has refused to become a nation but a country, the BBI acts as the reminder that Kenya cannot run away from its past. Therefore, addressing past evils is sine qua non for Kenya to move forward competently and peacefully. Therefore, after the two protagonists underscore their roles in this impasse and thereby came out of their cocoons, Kenya has, once again, proved its resilience and broadmindedness matters of nation. However, historically, since gaining its independence, Kenya, has built the country but not the nation. This can be seen on how the communities or tribes (I hate to use this colonial coined word) have always regarded themselves as the nations. That is why it is a normal thing to hear some Kenyan politicians talking about the Maa nation, the Kamba nation, the Kalenjin nation, the Luhya nation etc. If anything, such mindset must be the first element the BBI must thwart in order to create an opportunity for the creation of the super nation called Kenya. Tribes might feel they are nations thanks to their organic formation and thinking. However, in the modern complicated and globalized world, such a rationale is what one can call logical fallacy. It doesn’t work. And if it does, it does so counterproductively. How can tribes allow the super nation to survive while it stands on their way? For the super nation to exist, tribal nations must die. The two cannot coexist in any form and way. The neighbouring Tanzania provides an ideal example. With over 120 tribes or three times of what Kenya is comprised of, it decided to butcher the tribal nation in order to allow the creation of the super nation known as the United Republic of Tanzania after the mainland Tanganyika united with the Islands of Pemba and Zanzibar in 1964. This is the history of the peaceability of Tanzania, which Tanzanians like to refer to as the Island of Peace.
            As argued above, for Kenyan super nation to exist, tribal nations must be intentionally abandoned. This said, there is no way Kenya can get rid of such tribal nations without creating the system to do so. As a Tanzanian, I will use my country’s experience. To begin with, Tanzania started with the politics of nationality as opposed to the politics of tribalism. Kenyans know too well how their postcolonial government hinged on tribalism in lieu of nationalism. Although Kenya’s founders sung nationalism, they danced to tribal tune. This does not work at all. For nationalism, true nationalism to exist, everybody needs to be on board. This is precisely why I am saying that the BBI must not be politicised. If it is, many chauvinistic and Machiavellian politicians who thrive in toxic tribalism, will use tribal politics to sabotage the process of national building. One thing is unavoidably important here. Create the laws that will illegalise tribal politics by seeing to it that those who break such laws receive heavy punishments. Such laws must be enshrined in the constitution of the land in order to give them prominence. Laws alone cannot solve the problem. National dialogue, granting on campaigns must be launched to educate the citizens about the importance of having a nation but not just a country made of trivial tribal nations as Kenya has been.
            Additionally, Kenyans must be educated about the importance of the unity of their country first. There is no way Kenyans can aspire to solemnize the union of East Africa while they have failed in theirs.  Latin sage has it that Caritas incipit domi or charity begins at home. This is very central. For, any country in the region that aspires to join the EAC needs to have something positive to bring to the table as far as relationship is concerned.  This is because birds of feathers flock together. This means that if Kenyans succeed in creating a super nation over tribal nations, it will be able to convince others that it is ready for the unification of the EA.
                 In a nutshell, Kenya has a very big chance of creating the super nation through the BBI shall it not be hijacked by tribal politics or being politicised to serve myopic and narrow interests of some politicians. The BBI must be made to serve all Kenyans but not some Kenyans. The super nation guarantees peace and security not only to the country but also the entire region, especially at this very moment when many parts of the world are creating regional cooperation and globalizing

Friday, 20 March 2020

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

THE MEMORABLE EVENTS OF 1971. (Continued from last week).

Image result for photos of msekwaWe have already entered a new chapter of my autobiography, which relates to my second decade in the Public Service in Tanzania. We  started  with  the events of  year 1971; when  we  discussed  President  Nyerere’s  invitation  to  the  last  British  Colonial  administrators who  were still in the service of  the  country  when  our country  gained  independence  in  December  1961;  to come  back  and   see  for  themselves,  the  amount  of progress  that  the  country  had  achieved ten  years later,  under  the  independence  Government. This article will pick up from there.  It was unfortunate that last week’s article kind of ‘jumped the queue’, by discussing the 1973 and 1974 events relating to the re-location of the Government Capital to Dodoma; and those relating to the implementation of the  ‘Ujamaa Villages’ programme. This was a chronological error, which we have now corrected.
The introduction of mass militia (Mgambo) training.
After the invitations to the last Colonial administrators; the next significant event that needs to be put on record was the introduction of mass militia training for all able-bodied Tanzanians, also in 1971. This new policy was the result of the military coup, which had occurred in the neighboring Republic of Uganda, that  had  abruptly  toppled  President  Milton Obote  from power.                                                                                   
This event created such a huge negative impact on the minds of the people of Tanzania, that something had to be done quickly to reassure  the  population of its continued safety.  In the first place, there was the shock and disbelief that such a coup had taken place in a neighboring country, Uganda.  Military coups had indeed taken place before, but only in faraway countries of West Africa like Ghana and  Nigeria. This was the first time it had occurred so close to Tanzania.                                                                                                               
  But secondly, and much more frightening, were the rumors that were being spread by some ‘scare-mongers’, to the effect that a  similar coup was  soon going to take place  in  Tanzania; allegedly due to “Nyerere’s unwanted Ujamaa policies”. The scare-mongers found refuge in the fact that in 1969, The General Conference of the Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC), Uganda’s ruling party, had adopted a new policy document titled: “The Common Man’s Charter”.  This was to be their policy guide for building socialism in Uganda. It had many resemblances with our own 1967 “Arusha Declaration”.  President Nyerere and I had been invited to attend that conference, which we had gladly accepted, and actually attended. Thus, the scare-mongers’ false rumours appeared credible. Something had to be done urgently, to bring the situation back to normality.                             
And that is when President Nyerere sprang into action, by urgently taking two rescue measures: The immediate one was to call a huge public rally at Jangwani open grounds in Dar es Salaam; in order to give the population, the necessary reassurance. He  did exactly that,  and at the end of a lengthy speech, in which he gave all the necessary background to the coup in  Uganda, President Nyerere concluded with the following words: “I want to assure  you all, that  it is just not possible for a military coup to take place in Tanzania . . . It may be possible for one mad fellow out there in the street to shoot and kill me, but there can never be a military coup in Tanzania”.                                      
His second urgent measure was to call an extraordinary meeting of TANU’s National Executive Committee, which was held in February 1971; to deliberate over the matter of the Uganda coup, and agree on any new defense strategies for our country. The result of that meeting was the production of a new policy document titled “the TANU Guidelines, 1971”; which introduced an entirely new ‘militia’ mechanism for the country’s defense, known as “Mgambo” in Kiswahili.                                                                                          
But beyond that, The ‘1971 TANU Guidelines’ also introduced another important, new democratic practice, that of “empowering the people to make their own decision” in matters of immediate concern to them. This was intended to concretize the concept of continuous ‘political participation by all the people’.
The major events of 1972.
(i) The decentralization of the Central Government structure.
For us Tanzanians, the year 1972 was a year of national bereavement, caused by the  brutal  assassination  of  Zanzibar  President  Abeid  Amani  Karume,  who  was  at  the  same  time  First  Vice  President  of  the  United  Republic  of  Tanzania.  That murder took place at Kisiwandui, the Headquarters  of  the  Afro-Shirazi  Party.  Security investigations later revealed that this was the  work  of  an  Arab  assassin,  working alone,  as  his  personal revenge  for  the  killing  of  his  own  father  during  the  January  1964  Revolution.   Thereafter, arrangements had to be made for  the  appointment  of  a  successor  to  that  high  office.  After due consultations, Aboud Jumbe   was selected  to  succeed  the slain Karume.
 (ii) The major reforms of the country’s Administrative   structure.
Also, in 1972, President Nyerere introduced some sweeping, major reforms, which were aimed at decentralizing the administrative structure of the central Government. For that specific purpose, he had earlier contracted   an American consultancy firm, Mc Kinsey Company; to undertake the necessary study, and thereafter recommend an  appropriate format  for  the decentralization  of the Government machinery ; aimed at decentralizing some of the central Government’s  powers to the Regions  and Districts of Tanzania  Mainland. This was described in Kiswahili as “Madaraka Mikoani”.  In  due course,  the  Mc Kinsey company duly completed its assignment,  and submitted its Report to President  Nyerere;   who,  purely  for the purpose of   assisting him to  digest  that Report and its apparently  ‘far reaching’  recommendations,  appointed  a  committee  of  five  senior  Public Servants  under the Chairmanship  of  Dickson  Nkembo, the   Permanent  Secretary to the President,   to  make a  careful   study of   that   Report,  and advise  him  accordingly.  I was lucky to be one of the members of this   Presidential committee.   In the course of our examination of the Mc Kinsey Report, we observed  that  its  authors had  proposed  turning  the country’s  Regions  into  self- governing  entities, or  ‘States’;  each  with  its  own  Legislature,  and  Executive  Council.                                                                            
 We were of the unanimous view, that such a structure would be  detrimental  to the  unity   of the country, and  we accordingly  recommended  its  rejection. President Nyerere graciously accepted our recommendation.  As a result, we ended up with the ‘decentralized” system  of  Regional Administration  that  we  have  today,  and  not  the  ‘devolved system  that   Mc Kinsey  had recommended, which is operative, for example, in Kenya.  
The abolition of the Local  Authorities  District  Councils.
The abolition of the Local  Authorities’  ‘District  Councils’;  and  of  the  peoples’ Cooperative  Societies,  were  two  of  the  major governance  reforms  which  were  also carried  out  in  1972;  but  for  reasons  which, ten years  later, were  found  to  be  wholly  unsatisfactory,  thus  leading  to  their reversal. The decision to abolish  the  Local  Authorities’ District  Councils,  was  an  outcome  of  the  decentralization  programme  discussed  above. The argument then was that  because  of the  wide  disparity  between  the  country’s  different  districts  in  terms of  natural  resources  endowment;   to rely  on  the local District  Councils  to  bring  equal  development for  all  the  people  of  Mainland  Tanzania,  would  clearly  be  an  unrealizable  objective.  Hence, it was felt that  the  responsibility  for  development  should  be  left  to  the  Central  Government,  which  was  in  a  better  position  to  distribute  the  country’s  wealth  equitably,  according  to  need.
But the argument regarding  the  abolition  of  the  Peoples’  Cooperative  Societies  and  Unions,  was  based  on  a  totally  different  consideration,  namely,  the  prevalence  of  large scale  mismanagement; plus, even  more  serious, the widespread  plundering  and  theft  of  public  Cooperative  properties. It is these differing  reasons  that  led  to  the  abolition of  the  said  entities  at  the  time  they  were  abolished.                                                              
In this article, we will skip the events of the year 1973, which we discussed in an earlier article when we inadvertently ‘jumped the queue’.
The events of 1974.
The year 1974, actually turned out to be an extraordinary year, in terms the very significant administrative reforms that were initiated and successfully carried out during that single calendar year. The major reforms involved included:- 
(i) (i) The complete implementation of the ‘Ujamaa/Development Villages’ programme, which we have already discussed;                                     
  (ii) The major reforms in the provision of Primary and Secondary education, aimed at  achieving  the  cherished goal of ‘education for Self-Reliance;                                                                                                                  
(iii) The reforms in the procedure for student admission to the University of Dar es Salaam.                                                                                                          
All these reforms were the result of decisions arrived at by TANU’s National Executive Committee, at its meeting which was held in Musoma in April 1974.  Their principal purpose was to give directives on the ways to be followed in implementing the policy of ‘Education for Self-Reliance in our educational Institutions. The following were the actual decisions which were made:-                                                                                                   
  (a) That the education which is imparted in our Primary schools should not be aimed solely at preparing students for entry into Secondary Schools,  buts  should, instead,  be self-sufficient for the needs  for the majority of the students,  whose education  normally  terminates  there.                                  
(b) That similarly, Secondary education should not be aimed at preparing students for entry into tertiary education, but should equally be self-sufficient for the majority of the students whose education normally terminates there.                                                                                        
(c) (c) That Primary education in Tanzania, must be universal education, or ‘education for all’;  and not just for a  privileged few;                                    
(d) That in all our educational Institutions, efforts must be made to engage their  relevant communities in productive activities, especially in food production, so as to enable them to become self-sufficient, at least to some measurable extent.                                                                                                                  
  (e) That the format for examinations be reformed, in a way that will enable the student to be assessed both for his academic performance, and his performance in the school productive activities.
And as a follow up on its decision that primary education in Tanzania must be ‘education for all’;  the NEC further directed that “within the next three years, that is to say, by the year 1977; all the preparations  must have been completed, that will enable every boy and girl of school-going age,  to get admission into a Primary School.
Directives regarding the provision of Technical education.
That NEC meeting further directed, that a new emphasis be placed on the provision of Technical education, by introducing a new two-year technical education programme, for all those students who completed primary education, but were unable to secure admission to                                               Secondary education. It was further directed that each and every Secondary School should introduce the teaching of at least one technical subject of their choice, as a way of preparing those of their graduating students who would be unable to continue with higher education for self-reliance in their lives after Secondary School.
Directions relating to admissions to the University of Dares Salaam.
The said directives effectively terminated the previous system of ‘direct entry’ to the University, immediately after successful completion of Form Six at a Secondary School. The new rules required such candidates to undergo a two-year National Service training programme, during which their attitudes to work would be observed, and assessed by their commanders; and these assessments would be evaluated and taken into account by the University Admissions Board.  These were, no doubt, far reaching decisions which had to be implemented.
(To be continued next week).
Source: Daily News and Cde Msekwa Himself.

Friday, 13 March 2020


We concluded last week’s article with a discussion of the major restructuring of the central Government, which was the last major governance event of the year 1972.  We will now move on to the events of 1973. The most significant and historical one was President Nyerere’s decision to relocate the Government administrative capital from Dar es Salam to Dodoma.  It has a rather long history; but I believe that all of it is worth narrating, because of its significant lessons in relation to how democratic decisions are made.                        
This  was a decision that was made by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party TANU at the beginning of September, 1973; after a lengthy  process  of discussions,  at all the different   decision-making  levels of that party,  including what one may reasonably call a ‘referendum’,  which was held  at the  lowest  Party Branch levels. I was a participant in the making of that decision; simply because, even after my appointment as Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam, Mwalimu Nyerere had decided that I should retain my membership of NEC as a co-opted member. Here is the full story: -
Image result for msekwaJoseph Nyerere’s initial attempt.
The long story actually starts in 1966, when   Hon.  Joseph Nyerere, (MP), and younger brother of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere; introduced a Private Members’ motion in the National Assembly, calling for the relocation of the seat of Government to Dodoma from Dar es Salaam. Being the Clerk of the Nationals Assembly myself, I was present in the House when that motion was being enthusiastically debated. But when the time came for the Government to express its views on this private member’s motion, the then Minister for Finance, Hon Paulo  Bomani, strongly warned the House about the high costs that would be involved in the implementation of this huge project, which had  not even  included in the First Five Year Plan which was then under implementation.  Hence, sensing that the Minister’s remarks would most likely result in his motion being defeated upon being put to the vote; Joseph Nyerere prudently chose to withdraw his motion, citing the military wisdom that “he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day”.
The capital relocation project taken over by TANU.
It was probably by design that the processing of this matter was subsequently taken over by TANU.  But that process started rather  discreetly  when, in April 1972,  the  Mwanza  Regional TANU  Working  Committee (Kamati  ya  Utendaji   ya  Mkoa),  quietly adopted a resolution to  that effect, and made its  recommendation  to  the Party Central  Committee  in  Dar es Salaam, that this matter be taken up by that higher authority for further processing.  And that is precisely when President Nyerere’s great interest in this project became obvious and manifest. The relevant meeting of the TANU Central Committee, under his Chairmanship, received the Mwanza regional Committee recommendation very favourably, and fast forwarded to the National Executive Committee for a decision.  But the National Executive Committee apparently felt that the relocation of the Government Capital to Dodoma was such a delicate matter, that the whole party structure, including its numerous Branches, should be involved in the making of it.  So be it.                    
The party branches were given a whole year, during which each party Branch would   select its own convenient time to hold its meeting for this particular purpose.  The party records show that at the end of the day, 1,859 TANU Branches participated in this exercise; of which 842 rejected the proposal, but 1,017 branches supported the proposal.  TANU’s  National Executive  Committee  met  again  in  August, 1973, to receive these results, following which, it  issued the following  public statement: “The National  Executive  Committee  has   resolved  that the seat of Government shall be relocated  to Dodoma; and further that the  move shall  be  completed  in  ten  years .  .  .  This decision is final, and the Government was directed to take immediate steps to implement this resolution”.                                                                                                                                        
The following month, September 1973, the TANU bi-annual conference was due to take place.  This Conference, according to the party’s Constitution, “is the supreme organ of the party, and has the mandate to alter, or amend, any resolution passed by any other organ of the party below it, or to disallow the implementation of any such resolution”.  But in this case, matters were conspicuously different.  In the course of his opening speech at that Conference, Chairman Nyerere said bluntly: “I would like to take this opportunity to complete an assignment that was given to me by the National  Executive  Committee  at   its  recent  meeting here  in Dar es Salaam.  Among the issues that were discussed at that meeting, was the question whether or not  the  Government capital  should  be  relocated  to  Dodoma.  The National Executive Committee made a final decision on this matter, and asked me to  announce  it.  I will now do precisely that, and I seek the indulgence of NEC for not having done so earlier”.  That was as clear as it could possibly be:  the Conference was only being informed of a  decision  that  had  been  finally  made by the  National  Executive  Committee.
Thereafter, President Nyerere swung into action, to implement the said decision. On 6th October 1973, by Order published in the official Gazette, President Nyerere established a new Ministerial portfolio:  The Ministry of Capital Development (MCD).  Furthermore, by another Government Notice (GN) no. 230, published on 12th October, 1973; the President also established a Capital Development Government Agency, ‘the Capital Development Agency’ (CDA). It was estimated that the whole project cost would amount to Tsh 3 billion,  to  be spent  over  a period   ten  years.  And at the same time, the ruling party TANU was ordered to shift its headquarters immediately to Dodoma, in  order  to  show  a  good  example  for  the  Government  to  emulate.   So far, so good.                                                                
However, what followed thereafter, and for the next forty-three years, is a sad  story;  relating  to huge endeavours, but which effectively  became wasted  efforts,  which  were  so  keenly  invested  by  President  Nyerere.  and many others, into making the ‘shift-to–Dodoma’ project a success; plus  the  untold frustrations  and  disappointments  which  continued  to  torment  Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  mind,  as  a  result  of the failure  in  achieving  his  cherished  objective  and  dream.                                                                                                          
There are, of course, many primary and secondary causes for this frustrating failure. They  include:  the cruel economic world circumstances  that  suddenly,  and  unexpectedly,  occurred at the material  time;  such as the sudden  sharp  rise in  the world’s oil prices ;  the collapse of  the  East  African  Community;  the war  against  the  invading  forces  of  Iddi  Amin  of  Uganda;  and,  above  all,  the total  dependence  on  the  Government  budget  alone  to  fund  all the  required  operations.  But there was also this inevitable failure in the Government attempting to involve the private sector through what appeared to be ‘unethical  inducements’. In February 1989, the Government enacted a law titled “The Dodoma Special Investment Act” (no. 7 of 1989).         
  This law declared the whole capital development area of Dodoma as a ‘special investment area’ and made many extremely generous provisions for the remission of a number of government taxes to all and sundry investors, who would come forward to invest in that specified area.  In addition, the said law also made provision for remissions of 50% of the electricity charges; and the same for the water charges, in respect of every industry which was to be established within the specified area. But all these generous inducements failed to attract the private sector to invest in Dodoma, to the extent that had been envisaged.   As the wise saying goes: “you can take a horse to a river, but you cannot force it to drink the water”.
Enter President John Pombe Magufuli.
Come July, 2016; President John Pombe Magufuli of the fifth phase Government dramatically entered the stage, by announcing his intention, and  commitment,  to relocate  the Union Government capital to Dodoma  before the end of  his  first term  in  office, that is to say, before October, 2020.  And,  as I write this article, the entire  Government is already comfortably settled in its brand  new  offices, and  other  facilities,  in what has been  baptized ‘the Government City’  in  Dodoma, the  former Dodoma Municipality  which has in the meantime also  been elevated to ‘City’  status. There must be many different factors  which  have  facilitated  this extra-rapid achievement;  but  the following  two  are pretty  obvious:                         
 The first is of course the will, and determination, of President Magufuli himself. But, as we have just seen above, Mwalimu Nyerere himself had similar such will and determination,  but that  alone  was  not  enough. Hence the second, and perhaps the   more determinant factor, was the willing and unsolicited support of the Private sector. (which did not require any Government inducement in order to be coaxed into participation). This was evidenced by the  following  statement which was  published  in the Daily News by  the Private Sector Foundation: “The Private Sector  sees  the  Government’s  intention to shift  to  Dodoma as  a  new  business  opportunity,  because  a lot  of  new  investments will be  required  to  meet  the  demands  of  the  increasing  population”.   As God’s fortune would have it, President Magufuli’s promise  has been fulfilled;  and, consequently, Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  long term dream, has,  at long  last,   come true.   May his soul rest in eternal peace.
The other significant governance decisions of that period.
After the decision regarding  the  shift  to  Dodoma;  the other important  governance  decisions  that  were  made  during  that  five-year leadership period  of President Nyerere (1970 – 1975),  include  the  following:-  (i) The ‘Ujamaa Villages’ implementation  programme;  (ii) the abolition of Local Government Authorities;  (iii)  Major reforms in the provision of Primary  and  Secondary Education, aimed at achieving the goal of “Education for Self-Reliance”; and  (iv) Significant  reforms of the procedures for student  admission to University Education.   All of these reforms were carried out in 1974.  Thus, this became the year of great administrative changes; or maybe some of  them expensive  experiments?
The ‘Ujamaa Villages’ implementation programme.
My readers will remember President Nyerere’s Parliamentary speech of 10th December 1962; in which he promised to ensure the resettlement of the rural population into properly organized Villages; and the dismal failure of that earlier experimental, capitalist oriented, ‘Village Settlements’. This matter was re-activated in 1974; when the political Branch of the ‘one-Party system of governance became unusually energetic, in its decision-making processes, and thus in its production of directives, to be implemented by the Executive Branch.  The first one was the directive to implement the ‘Ujamaa Villages’ establishment programme.                                                                          
 The entire Regional Administration was mobilized to concentrate on that single job, that was code-named “Operation Vijiji”; and was accomplished within the scheduled period.  My wife Anna Abdalla had just been appointed District Commissioner for  Magu  District in  Mwanza  Region;  and  she  has some chilling  stories to tell about  that particular operation;  such as this one, that  there was a family that requested to be  allowed  to decamp  not during day-time  like all the others,  but to do so at night, under cover of darkness, because they did not want to be seen moving away with their domesticated  hyena animals!).
To be continued next week)
Source: Daily News and Cde Msekwa.