Magufulification: Concept That Will Define Africa's Future and the Man Who Makes Things Happen
Thursday, 30 April 2020
For the first time in my life, I have secured the trust of my long-time neighbour, a squirrel. Believe ye me. I took this video so close that my heart was running like crazy with joy of securing a rare trust from this cute small creature. It seems. It knows me thanks to seeing me almost everyday. I am delighted to share this photo with you all. Hopefully your comments will come in thousands. What have you to say about this action however small and trivial it may seem?
Tuesday, 28 April 2020
I used to doubt the sovereignty of almost all African countries in the matters to prove that they are independent and worth just like any other nations. Truly, I used not only to doubt but pooh-pooh it. This is because since Africa gained its fake independence, remained cowardly and pointlessly dependent on its former and new colonial masters. However, the arrival of the COVID-19’s pandemic has proved me very wrong. For, to the contrary, what transpired recently in a very poor and small country of Guinea but assertive turned my understanding to its head. I was one of those who wrongly believed that China has Africa by the balls little I knew they are some Africans worth salt who wouldn’t take anything for their independence ala the founder of Guinea Ahmed Sekou Toure who turned tables on French colonial masters when they wanted to give him fake independence just like they did to the rest of their ex-colonies whose reserves they retained up until tomorrow. After evidencing of the clips of Africans being maltreated, Guinea decided to take the bull by the horns timely and quickly. In the footages, Guinea decided to arrest Chinese nations up until Africans will be returned back to Africa from China without necessarily going on being discriminated against.
For those who do not know what Toure did is that he flatly refused half-baked freedom. For, French wanted to offer independence and retain the reserve of the country and keep on charging it for keeping and printing its currency as has been the case for its other ex-colonies. This step infuriate the then highly feared French President Charles de Gaulle who order the removal of some French aid. To prove his seriousness, Toure told France to take everything including even pins and papers. As of recently, this relatively poor country flexed its muscles after footages showing Africans being racially discriminated against in China by arresting Chinese nations who are within its jurisdiction as a quid pro quo to what racist China did to Africans whom those maltreating them thought were spreading covid-19 despite the fact that covid-19 started in China but not in Africa. Guinea provided motivation for other African countries to take step––by, at least––showing their discomfort with what happened to their people though not all.
Thereafter, other video footages surfaced online showing South African police interrogating some Chinese nations which they had never done before. Ironically, it is this South African police who never take on xenophobic attacks carried on other Africans from neighbouring countries that contributed hugely in the struggle for the liberation of South Africa. It was interesting to see how the country whose citizen commit the same sin feel when its citizens are subjected to the same atrocities they have been committing against others, especially of the same brethren of the same pedigree. Swahili sage has it that mkuki kwa nguruwe kwa binadamu mchungu namely the spear is pleasant to a big but it is bitter to a human. Before long, some guys in Nigeria also were shown as they were attacking Chinese factory in Nigeria to send message to Chinese that Africa they used to bully, and fool is long gone.
In Uganda, the authorities had the guts of apprehending Chinese nations who were escaping self-quarantine as they headed for the DRC. As well, this is a new trend for African countries whose law enforcers are renowned for bribe-taking. Standing up against those who were deemed and thought untouchable is a is not only a new trend but also an emancipatory gesture that many Africans who are still sleeping at the wheel need to heed.
The lesson we get here is that the nation does not need to be a superpower or rich to stand for its interests. Instead, it needs just courage whenever an opportunity avails itself as is the case in question here. When Northern Korean regime decided to stand against world’s superpowers over many issues, it only needs what some thought was a kamikaze spirit.
Africa needs to wisely deal with China. For, its coming has been misunderstood to be friendly while it is actually colonial. China has tried to hoodwink Africa that is a friendly partner but not a colonial power like the West has been while its agendas are not different from the West. While the West was sending a few of its officials to colonise Africa by using local chiefs and sell-outs, to the contrary, China is now dispatching its jobless army to occupy Africa thanks to its joblessness and overpopulation. Thus, poor and unwanted Chinese have somewhere to go and thrive thanks to Africans’ docility not to mention their corrupt and myopic regimes that allow them to occupy their countries. Apart from getting job and settlement, Chinese aim at taking over Africa. This is a lasting mission of occupation through elimination thereafter colonising.
Another face of China in Africa is nothing but substandard goods that it has been dumping to Africa. In this, India, another rising power, has been doing the same plus dumping its poor and unqualified people to Africa despite having been doing this for many decades. More importantly, racism against Africans does exist in India and even in Africa as well. Like the West, China would like to see a dependent Africa which is easy to exploit perpetually. On top of such raw deals, China has been so generous in issuing toxic loans to many corrupt and inept regimes with the aim of taking their economies and resources even land over soon after failing to repay such loans.
Now, what should Africa do? There are many measures Africa needs to consider among which are: stop supplying China with crucial resources that it needs for the development of its industries. So, too, Africa must stop allowing jobless and unqualified to inundate it. As well, Africa needs to apply international law of reciprocity by taking the same actions against China so as to force it to respect Africans and stop its racism against them. Africa should know one important reality that China needs it more than Africa needs China. For, if it is the supply of manufactured goods, Africa used to get them from the West before China became a world workshop. So, too, Africa should not act severally. Instead, all African countries should come together and issue an ultimatum to Chinese authorities to see to it that they commit themselves to respecting human rights by thwarting xenophobia attacks against Africa. More importantly, African countries such as those in the Maghreb and South Africa that tolerate xenophobic attacks against Africans should put their house in order first for them to make sense and been take seriously.
Source: African Executive Magazine
Sunday, 26 April 2020
My career in the Public Service started at the Speaker’s Office in 1960, in the top-Management positions of Clerk-Assistant, later rising to become the Clerk of the National Assembly. And now, some thirty long years later in 1990, I found myself returning to the same Speaker’s Office, but this time in the top-leadership positions of Deputy Speaker, later rising to become the Speaker of the National Assembly. Such career route is rather unusual, and actually happens pretty rarely.
As indicated last week, I had wisely decided to seek the elective political service posts; starting as a constituency Member of Parliament (MP) for Ukerewe constituency; followed immediately thereafter by that of Deputy Speaker, and subsequently Speaker of the National Assembly, all together covering a total of 15 years, from 1990 - 2005.
My second tenure at the Speaker’s Office..
I campaigned for election to the Deputy Speaker’s post on the strength of my rich knowledge and experience of parliamentary affairs, which I accumulated from my previous service as the Clerk of the National Assembly. That is what enabled me to defeat the person who was Deputy Speaker in the Previous parliament, and who was seeking re-election. Barely two years after I was elected Deputy Speaker, the veteran Speaker, Chief Adam Sapi’s health started deteriorating. It thus became necessary for him to reduce his the amount of time he was required to sit in the Speaker’s Chair, guiding the proceedings of the House; and I, therefore, had to take over that responsibility.
That is why, for example, in January 1993, and again in August 1993, I found myself handling two interrelated politically sensitive and delicate issues; with the first being the direct source and cause of the second issue. The first issue, which occurred in January, 1993; was the National Assembly debate, and subsequent adoption, of a resolution challenging Zanzibar’s right to join the OIC (Conference of Islamic States), which Zanzibar had quietly done the previous December, 1992. Wow! challenging Zanzibar’s right to make that decision was regarded as challenging Zanzibar’s sovereignty!
The other was another National Assembly debate, and adoption, of a resolution demanding the establishment of a Tanganyika Government within the Union. Wow! this was in absolute defiance of the Ruling party’s “sacred cow” policy, of the two-government Union structure!
The issue of Zanzibar joining the OIC.
The Zanzibar Government had, apparently, secretly joined the Organization of Islamic States (OIC); which was a breach of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania. However, by mid-December, 1992, the watchful media had discovered this breach, and reported the matter. The Zanzibar Government, through its Chief Minister confirmed that they had indeed joined the OIC, and strongly defended Zanzibar’ right to take such action; pointing out that “although forming part of the United Republic, Zanzibar has its own President, its own House of Representatives, and its own Judiciary, which are independent from the Union Government”; and was therefore entitled to take such decisions on its own. That is when the Parliamentary Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee requested the Speaker’s permission to investigate this breach of the Union Constitution. Permission was granted, and the investigations commenced immediately.
Upon completion of the investigations, the Committee reported its findings to the whole House in February 1993, which confirmed the Constitutional breach. These findings also revealed that, in fact, the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Conference itself restricts its membership only to “Any State, which is a member of the United Nations, and has a Muslim majority in its population”. Zanzibar is, of course, not a member of the United Nations.
In the light of these findings, the Zanzibar Government magnanimously agreed to withdraw from membership of the OIC.
The emergence of the ‘G.55’. However, this challenge by the National Assembly, had immensely displeased Zanzibar President Salmin Amour; who regarded it as an insult to the sovereignty of Zanzibar. He soon responded angrily in Kiswahili, that: “Wabunge hawa wametingisha kiberiti. . . watagundua kuwa kimejaa”. But that cheeky response in turn angered many of the MPs, who quickly joined together to form a “pressure group”, for the purpose of demanding the immediate establishment of a “Tanganyika Government within the Union structure “ which, they said, will be Tanganyika’s kiberit kilichojaa”, in order to deal on equal terms with President Salmin Amour’s “kiberiti kimejaa”). That is the group which famously became known as the “G55”, because it was composed of fifty-five MPs.
It was on 30th July, 1993, while the Budget session of the National Assembly was in progress, when this Group duly submitted to the Speaker, in accordance with normal parliamentary procedure, a formal notice of their jointly sponsored ‘Private Member’s motion’, which called upon the Government “to initiate immediately a process of consultations with all the relevant stake holders, with a view to presenting to the National Assembly before the month of April 1995, a Constitutional Amendment Bill which will make provision for the establishment of a Tanganyika Government within the Union structure”.
That was also the time when I was shouldering the Speaker’s responsibilities, due to Chief Adam Sapi’s indisposition. I therefore had to preside over what was, technically, a ‘rebellion’ against the ruling party’s “sacred cow” policy of the two-government structure of the Union!
The move to establish a Tanganyika Government within the Union was actually intended to create a three-government Union structure. Thus, it was indeed a kind ‘rebellion’, because all the Members of Parliament were also members of CCM, the Ruling party. And all of them knew, or ought to have known, that this move was totally against the party’s declared policy of the two-government Union structure. But they still went ahead with their ‘rebellion’ which, in the short term, actually succeeded; since it was dully debated in the National Assembly, and eventually unanimously adopted, nemine contradicente (with no one dissenting).
But the motion had to go through several different amendments, arising out of discussions held at several party caucus meetings; until a final agreed version was crafted, which was eventually adopted on 24th August, 1993.
However, their action brought about a serious political crisis, which took CCM a whole year to grapple with, aided by the active personal intervention of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere himself, who described its gravity as “having put our country on the edge of a dark and dangerous precipice”. He had by then gone into voluntary retirement both from the Presidency of Tanzania as well as the Chairmanship of the Ruling party CCM; but he suddenly emerged and played a very crucial role in successfully managing that crisis.
Mwalimu Nyerere’s role in solving the crisis.
Information about the G.55 motion, reached Mwalimu Nyerere at his Butiama residence on 2nd August, 1993; through a message sent by Prime Minister John Malecela, who said that “in his opinion, if this motion is debated in Parliament, many of the Ministers will support it, and that he himself would have a problem in either opposing it or supporting it”. He therefore suggested that a seminar should be arranged for all Members of Parliament, together with those of the House of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, which will provide a forum for that motion to be discussed and opposed outside Parliament; and he asked Mwalimu Nyerere to agree to participate in that seminar, in the hope that his mega influence would “kill” that motion. Mwalimu Nyerere agreed to participate. But the seminar proposal was rejected by the Members of Parliament, and had to be abandoned.
Surprised by that development, Mwalimu Nyerere called a press conference in Dar es Salaam, which was held on 16th August, 1993; at which he vehemently opposed the motion by the G.55. After which he went back to Butiama, in the (mistaken) belief that the Government would make use of his clearly stated position on the matter, and strongly oppose that motion when it came up for debate. However, to his utter disgust and disappointment, that did not happen at all. Instead, when the said motion was moved for debate, it was readily supported by the government benches and thus, as we have already seen, was unanimously adopted nemine contradicente by the whole House.
A short-lived success.
Mwalimu Nyerere was absolutely flabbergasted by this outcome. He was particularly annoyed that the Prime Minister had done nothing to oppose that motion on behalf of the Government. He therefore asked to be invited to the next following meeting of the party National Executive Committee, so that he may explain his worries about the dangerous effects of that Bunge resolution on the stability of our Union.
It is a long story, which has been succinctly narrated in my book Uongozi na Utawala wa Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (Nyambari Nyangwine Publishers, 2012).
What happened is that the matter was put to a referendum of all CCM members, who were asked to decide, by secret ballot, what Union structure they preferred: the One-government; the two-government; or the three- government structure? The referendum results showed that the vast majority of the members preferred the existing two-government structure. Upon receiving these results at its August 1994 meeting, the National Executive Committee, requested its Chairman, President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, to convey this information to the members of Parliament, and try to persuade them to abandon their rebel resolution, a task which was carried out successfully at a special caucus meeting of the MPs; who magnanimously accepted the views of the majority of CCM members, and agreed to return to Parliament to pass a new resolution to withdraw their previous contentious resolution, which was to be expunge from the records. “All is well that ends well” (William Shakespeare).
However, Mwalimu Nyerere had the last say; which is narrated in his book titled “Uongozi wa Nchi yetu na Hatima ya Tanzania”. In that book he discloses firstly, how he administered his revenge on Prime Minister Malecela, for the unforgivable offence of giving his personal support, and also allowing the Ministers to give their support, to that rebel motion in the National Assembly. He persuaded President Mwinyi to dismiss Prime Minister John Malecela; and CCM Secretary General Horace Kolimba from their respective offices.
But secondly, Mwalimu Nyerere also had a nice paragraph in there which, in effect, defended me from some unwarranted attacks by certain callous politicians. He said the following:- “Kwa sababu uamuzi wa kutaka Serikali ya Tanganyika ‘ndani ya Muungano’ ulifanywa na viongozi wetu wa Serikali kwa hila, na kupitishwa Bungeni kimya kimya; sisi wengine hatukujua kilichokuwa kimetokea. Tulikuja kufahamu baada ya hapo, kutokana na kauli ya Mhe. Pius Msekwa aliyekuwa amesimamia kikao cha Bunge kilichofanya uamuzi huo, kwamba huo ulikuwa ni uamuzi wa Bunge zima, baada ya kuungwa mkono na Serikali. Nadhani viongozi wetu wa Serikali walitaka kuendele kuficha hilo na kuvunga vunga. Lakini yeye akatoboa. Nasikia kwamba baadaye aliitwa na kukemewa. Sijui kwa nini !”.
Yes indeed, on one blessed day, I found myself being literally ‘harangued’ at a meeting of the party Central Committee (of which I was a regular member), with strange accusations that I had been “overly enthusiastic" (shabikia) in supporting the Bunge motion on the introduction of a Tanganyika Government! But even at that meeting, I had been fully defended by Horace Kolimba, the CCM Secretary General who, fortunately, knew the whole truth.
(will be continued next week)
email@example.com / 0754767576.
Source: Comrade Msekwa
Tuesday, 21 April 2020
Before COVID-19 came to light in Wuhan China, the world was relatively doing fine in many areas. Superpowers were overweening about their cutting-edge weapon discoveries. Others were amassing many more weaponry as they flexed muscles against the powerless. Two conflicts were prominent globally––in Syria and Yemen––where superpowers such as Russia and the US were using their proxies to fight each other’s leverage in the Middle East. As well, min-superpowers such as Iran and Turkey were busy claiming the piece of the cake geopolitically. However, soon after COVID-19 struck, everything lost traction. For, all attention was on it thanks to a) breaking out in one of the superpower, China; then spreading to Europe and Americas and thereafter globally. b) spreading alarmingly and quickly, c) sparing Africa initially and d) crippling many economies after the world was forced to alter its normalcy by embarking on lockdowns almost in all countries. Despite spreading everywhere, the cruelty COVID-19 has displayed is much more felt in Europe and the US than anywhere up until now despite their advanced health services.
Currently, COVID-19 is the most talked about thing globally thanks to bringing many economies to their knees not to mention the thousands of fatalities in many so-called developed world. Importantly, the break of COVID-19 has offered many lessons to the world at large. The following are some lessons:
Firstly, COVID-19 has proved that world priorities, when it comes to personal and national security and stability, are shockingly flawed and erroneous. Many countries spend much more money on national defense and security by inventing or purchasing many types of weapons and allocating much more of their budgetary money to their departments of Defense than to those of health and others critical areas with the assumption that they’re bolstering their national security. Ironically, the enemy that––even a naked eye cannot see––has put every security measures to hooey. At a personal level, when the lockdown came into effect in many places, there were different ways of responding. In my town, people bought much more toilet tissues and sanitizers than food. One’d think that food was supposed to be priority number one then interconnection among the members of the society to see how they’re going to fight this pandemic together but not severally or just depending on what the authorities will order them to do. Another nugget is that those who used to be guests in their own homes are now hosts of those who used to host them namely the kids and wives. Time for going and spending much time in the pub is long gone.
Secondly, COVID-19 has exposed the myths that the so-called developed countries have strong and sound health services and health infrastructure. Zilch. There’s nothing like that. If we consider the thousands that have already died simply because there were no enough facial mask, ventilators even sanitizers not to mention vaccine. Such countries faced the shortage of such cheap and simple thingamabobs not just because they didn’t have money to buy them. Nope. They invested hugely in wrong priorities. For example, in many poor African countries, it is not uncommon to find anti-riot yobbos well supplied whereas hospitals and schools are not. Many countries do not have clean and safe water that is crucial in fighting COVID-19 pandemic. Ironically, the same have a lot of batons, boots, bullets, guns, teargas bombs, rubber bullets, shields and all tools of war aimed at being used against their citizens.
Thirdly, COVID-19 has proved that everybody is vulnerable and our resilience as a people is rickety not to mention our livelihoods. As it was for rich countries to fail to have stable health services and infrastructures to curb the pandemic compared to poor countries, rich people, as well, have proved to be equally vulnerable as the poor are. In Africa, we were used to see rich people––who in many instants are either politicians or their associates––going abroad for advanced treatments after felling their health services in their countries was a norm. Thanks to the lockdown everywhere, our tycoons are now likely to die at home. That’s because many borders are shut for the fear of bringing COVID-19 positive victims and thereby exacerbate the problem. Planes are grounded. For, there are no passengers to transport from one country to another.
Fourthly, COVID-19 has proved that our consumerism is likely to finish the world. After China ordered the lockdown, the satellites picked up some signs of improvement in air quality globally. This means, lockdown serves two purposes namely to curb the spread of the virus and reduce the burden on our environment as we stay home and not over-consume, which result to the improvement in our air quality.
Fifth, COVID-19 has proved that capitalism is not viable, particularly at this time the world is facing the growth in population. As humans, we need to reconsider our lifestyles, particularly rich countries which encourage their people to just consume without considering those they pauperised through slavery, colonialism and neocolonialism.
Sixthly, COVID-19 has unearthed systemic racism in the world. Refer to how US president Donald Trump kept on referring to COVID-19 as Chinese viruses whereas, in some European capitals, some people with Asian pedigree were openly discriminated against simply because COVID-19 started in Wuhan China. Ironically, when Chinese were discriminated against complained a lot. Interestingly, at home, some Chinese in Wuhan replicated the same as they brutally and shamefully expelled Africans for the fear of spreading COVID-19. Why? It is simply because they’re black and Africans. After seeing the footage of Kenyans expelled from their rented homes so as to sleep in the pavements, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that China “have precipitated unfair responses against foreigners, particularly of African origin, from some members of the local community in Guangzhou, especially landlords.”
Similarly, in the US, it came to light that African-Americans, Latinos and unregistered labours were dying at high rates compared to their counterpart whites. The same was replicated in the UK where non-whites are 15% of the country’s population. However, in the UK, ironically, the number of fatalities indicated that 50% of them are non-whites! On top of that, the west has already started to sound a death knell that Africa will be hugely affected because it does not have sound health services. Well, what have their sound services done to arrest the menace while we saw New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, complaining that his megalopolis would not cope with the spread of COVID-19 thanks to being overwhelmed. Moreover, to show how some bigoted whites still think backwardly, two French doctors came with desiccated idea by openly proposing that the test for vaccine for curbing COVID-19 should be conducted in Africa despite having minimal numbers of victims compared to everybody else.
Seventhly, COVID-19 has, as well, exposed some of African leaders when it comes to not understanding their people and the real situation. For, some ordered the lockdown without first addressing the issue of sustenance for those whose life is hand to mouth. How do you lockdown such a people without showing them how you will help them survive? Because of this, police have already killed or injured some innocent people simply because they can’t adhere to lockdown order that compels them to stay at home without telling them how they’re to survive. Other countries told everybody to stay home without considering thousands of homeless people.
Ironically, whereas humans are now panicking, animals are enjoying a sigh of relief, mainly those that are butchered and eaten in Asia not to mention those that couldn’t cross the roads before the lockdown thanks to many automobiles on the roads.
Source: African Executive Magazine today.
Additionally, another lesson comes from unexpected quarters. The authorities in Guinea have arrested Chinese nationals retaliating against the attacks on Africans in China. What a good quid pro quo! For more info CLICK HERE.
Monday, 20 April 2020
Tangu uhuru wa kuabudu na kuanzisha dini utolewe, wengi walianzisha makanisa yao yawe ya kweli au ya uongo. Walifanya vituko. Na wanaendelea kufanya vituko. Hakuna aliyewahi kufanya hata nusu ya muujizi. Dunia itamkumbuka mmojawapo Getrude Rwakatare aliyesifika kwa kuwapatia wanawake waume wa kuwaoa japo yeye hakuwa ameolewa hasa ikizingatiwa kuwa mganga hajigangi na kinyozi hajinyoi. Sasa tumempoteza mwana mama machachari aliyefanikiwa kuwatuliza wengi huku akifanikiwa kuchanganya dini na siasa kwa kuwa mbunge na mchungaji wakati wananchi wanaaminishwa kuwa siasa na dini hazichanganywi.
Nenda Getrude Nenda na upepo wa kisulisuli.
By far the most important event of the year 1990, was the retirement of President Nyerere from the Presidency; and its greatest significance lies in the fact that his cherished succession plan was again frustrated.
We have already seen that his succession plan was first frustrated by the tragic death of Prime Minister Edward Sokoine in 1984. It was frustrated again in 1985, when the all-powerful CCM National Executive Committee refused to endorse his preferred candidate, Salim Ahmed Salim, to stand for election to that post in the 1985 Presidential elections.
The resistance to Salim’s candidature started at the Central Committee. The usual procedure was to ask the proposed candidate or candidates to leave the meeting, so that they could be frankly discussed. Accordingly , three persons were asked by Chairman Nyerere to leave the meeting. They were Vice President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Prime Minister Salim Ahmed Salim; and CCM Secretary General Rashid Kawawa. Rashid Kawawa refused to vacate the room, declaring that he did not wish to be considered for nomination. But the other two left, thus indicating their willingness to be considered. That is when Ali Hassan Mwinyi became the preferred candidate, and Salim became the loser.
Being his Permanent Secretary, I had spent some time with Premier Salim in his Office that morning just before he went to attend the Central Committee meeting, in order to wish him well. He called me back to his office immediately he had returned from the meeting, to appraise me of what had transpired therein. He was obviously disappointed, because, just like myself, he had not expected that decision at all.
Former President Benjamin Mkapa has recorded this event as follows, in his book My Life, My Purpose (at page 98): “I did not attend the Central Committee meeting which preceded the CCM National Congress where Mwalimu would announce his retirement and proposed successor; but I was told that Mwalimu was absolutely shocked by the negative response of the members of the Central Committee to his preferred successor, Salim Ahmed Salim. He had to hastily change the last two paragraphs of the speech he had prepared for delivery at the National congress, in order to reflect the different successor chosen by the Central Committee. . . The fact that Mwinyi did become his successor, clearly shows the strength of the party, as well as the greatness of Mwalimu Nyerere himself. For he could have imposed his choice, but he did not”.
Yes indeed, Mwalimu Nyerere could have imposed his choice, and would most probably have easily got away with it. But he did not. Because he was a man of principle. Thereafter, Mwalimu Nyerere retired to his home Village of Butiama. But continued in office as Chairman of Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), for the remainder of his five-year term until 1987, and also agreed to carry on until 1990; when President Mwinyi became also CCM national Chairman. Thus, I continued to work with Mwalimu Nyerere in my capacity as a member of the CCM National Executive Committee; to which I had been elected in 1982, and re-elected in 1987.
My appointment to the Planning Commission, 1989.
One of the reforms that were introduced by President Mwinyi in an effort to improve the Government’s management of the economy, was the establishment of the “Planning Commission”, an Agency of Government which he located in the President’s Office, presumably to enable the President to have direct supervision and control over it. As was the case in many other policy initiatives, its establishment was a directive from the CCM National Executive Committee, which decided on the establishment of this Agency in the first quarter of 1989. As a member of NEC, I had participated its meeting which made that decision; and was therefore fully aware of the objects and reasons for its establishment. I was delighted when President Mwinyi appointed me to be a member of that Commission. However, In a striking departure from President Nyerere’s style, who always called me to his office whenever he wanted to give me a new appointment; this time I learnt of this appointment from an evening radio news broadcast.
But all the same, it came to me as a great relief to my worries regarding what I was going to do the following year, when I was due to attain the mandatory civil service retirement age of fifty-five years. Luckily, this was a contract appointment, which would comfortably carry me over the retirement bridge.
THE YEAR 1990 : THE END OF AN ERA.
President Julius Nyerere’s retirement from CCM leadership in 1990, was, indeed, the end of an era, and a historic era too. A major reason why Mwalimu Nyerere had agreed to carry on as CCM Chairman after leaving the Presidency in 1985; was because of the people’s “fear of change”. There had developed some widespread apprehension, that without Nyerere as President, the country would most likely be difficult to govern, It was feared that there would emerge trouble makers in the governance system, who will create problems of one kind or another, for their own selfish benefits. These fears had to be somehow dealt with, and Mwalimu Nyerere’s solution was to remain, for a specified transition period, as head of the powerful ruling party, which would give sufficient assurance to the people that all will still be well, with Mwalimu Nyerere around in that capacity.
That transition period came to an end in October 1990, which was the scheduled time for CCM to hold its mandatory meetings in preparation for that year’s general elections. That is when President Mwinyi was nominated as a candidate for his second term; and was at the same time elected CCM national Chairman. The end of an era.
Mwalimu Nyerere, having assumed full time political leadership in 1955, when he was forced to resign from his lucrative teaching job at St. Francis College, Pugu; and whose name thereafter, became associated with all the major political feats and achievements, (starting with the liberation of Tanganyika from the yoke of colonialism and the building of the new Tanganyika nation, followed by the unification of Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanzania, to the success of the liberation struggle from colonialism for the whole of Africa); Mwalimu Nyerere’s name had become synonymous with good, exemplary political leadership; which lasted for not less than two generations. Hence, his departure from leadership was indeed the end of an era, not only for Tanzanians, but also for many other international observers.
It was the end of an era for me as well.
Since I am writing the history of my life in the Public Service; I must put on record the fact that the year 1990 also was, in a way, the end of an era for me too. For this was the year of my retirement also from the pensionable civil service, in accordance with the pension laws of Tanzania at that time, when the compulsory retirement age for Public Servants was fifty-five years. I attained that age on 9th June, 1990. Hence thereafter, I would now have to plan and decide myself, what I would like to do.
Fortunately, 1990 was also general election year; so I quickly decided to join the political Service sector, by contesting the Ukerewe constituency parliamentary seat which, by the grace of God, I easily won; and, on arrival in Parliament, I contested the Deputy Speaker’s position. Which I also won, and was subsequently, in 1994, was elected Speaker of the House, to take over from Chief Adam Sapi Mkwawa, who had resigned on grounds of ill health.
Thus, in many respects, this was the beginning of a vastly different career path, compared to that to which I had been accustomed over the previous three decades, of enjoying Presidential appointments to top-level pensionable public service posts. This was also the beginning of my fourth decade in the Public Service, still going strong; and this time being at the helm of the Legislative Branch of Government. We will discuss the events of the 1990s starting next week.
My appointment to the Presidential Nyalali Commission.
President Mwinyi’s first term in office (1985 – 1990), was relatively uneventful, with Mwalimu Nyerere still around, as head of CCM, the powerful Ruling party which he himself had founded. But things started to change after 1990, when he became the sole man-in- charge. His major changes include the Constitutional reforms which re-introduced multi-party politics in our country, in which I was very closely involved.
The Constitutional reforms.
The idea of re-examining our one-party political system, was actually motivated by the political events which occurred during the year 1989, in Eastern Europe when, quite unexpectedly, great political changes took place in that part of the world leading to the downfall of nearly all the Communist parties, which were the Ruling parties in those countries; accompanied by demands for the enhancement of democracy based on multi-party politics, the observance of human rights; and the introduction of a market economy.
Such demands also quickly spread to several African countries, bringing about violence, and even loss of life, in some of them.
This is what made it necessary for several countries that were operating the one-party political system, including Tanzania, to start giving consideration to the possibility of abandoning that system, in favour of the alternative multi-party system. Consideration of this option was done by the CCM National Executive Committee at its regular meeting held in February 1991 at which, among other matters, it carefully reviewed the state of politics in the world generally, created by the events that had recently taken place in Eastern Europe. The CCM NEC resolved as follows :-(a) That judging from the circumstances then obtaining in the global political environment; a national debate be initiated throughout the country, to discuss whether, or not, our country should change to multi-party politics; and (b) To authorize the President to appoint a Presidential Commission, which would coordinate and aggregate these discussions; and in due course present a Report of its findings. I had just been elected Deputy Speaker, but was also appointed by President Mwinyi to the membership of that Nyalali Commission.
President Mwinyi’s economic reforms
And in my other capacity as a member of CCM’s National Executive Committee, I also participated in some of the decision-making processes which resulted in major reforms of the country’s economic policies, which were initiated by President Mwinyi.
December 1992, the CCM National Executive Committee approved a new economic policy document titled “Mwelekeo was Sera za CCM katika Miaka ya Tisini” (CCM’s policy Vision for the 1990s); whose principal objective was to ensure that the country’s economy “is owned and managed by the people themselves, either in their individual capacities, or through their independent cooperative societies, or joint-venture companies in which thousands of wananchi will own shares”.
In this way, it was assumed, “the larger part of the economy will be owned and controlled by the people themselves, thus giving them the opportunity to upgrade their living standards”. However, a subsequent evaluation revealed that the implementation of this policy had not been entirely successful.
(Will be continued next week).