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

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Kuna Haja Kuchunguza Watumishi wa Maeneo Yote Yenye Mshiko

Wiki iliyopita, tuliahidi kudurusu kwa kina suala la kuchunguzana ili kubana wale wanaoibia umma kwenye nafasi walizopewa kuutumikia na si kuuhujumu au kuutumia. Leo tutaangazia baadhi maeneo yanayopaswa kutushughulisha katika kuchunguzana ili kubaini na kukomesha wizi ambao, kwa nchi nyingi za kiafrika, umekuwa kama desturi kama siyo mazoea tena mabaya ya kimfumo yanayoonekana kukubalika.
Tuanze na bandari. Hili ndilo lango kuu la kutolea na kuingizia bidhaa kwa taifa na mataifa jirani yasiyo na bandari  linalopaswa kuchangia pakubwa pato la taifa na si la watu binafsi wachache, yaani wafanyakazi na wateja wao wasio waaaminifu na wazalendo yaani wafanyabiashara wanaoshirikiana nao kuhujumu taifa. Hakuna ubishi. Watumishi wengi wa idara hii wana ukwasi usiolingana na kipato chao stahiki japo si wote. Ila ikilinganishwa na wengine si haba.
Ukiondoa bandari, ipo mamlaka ya mapato (TRA) ambayo nayo–––licha ya kuwa na uhusiano wa moja kwa moja na bandari–––pia husimamia mapato yote ya taifa. Pia ina uhusiano wa moja kwa moja na wafanyabiashara wote nchini hivyo kuingiza wizara ya biashara.  Wafanyakazi wa idara hii nao ni wa kuchunguza sana tena mara kwa mara. Rejea mkutano wa rais John Magufuli na wafanyabiashara ikulu mwaka 2019 ambapo mfanyabiashara mmoja toka Mbeya alisema wazi kuwa wafanyabiashara wengi hutoa rushwa kutokana na baadhi ya maafisa wa TRA kujenga mazingira ya kufanya hivyo kwa kuwakadiria kodi kubwa kuliko stahiki. Sambamba na bandari ni idara ya biashara ambayo nayo ina ushawishi mkubwa katika kuingiza na kuuza bidhaa nje. Wafanyakazi wa idara hizi nao wana ukwasi fichi usio wa kawaida. Hivyo, nao ni wa kuwekwa kwenye kundi la kuchunguzwa vikali. Je mchezo huu umeacha? Je ni wangapi wameutumia kutajirika waliopo na waliokwishastaafu? Je hawa si wa kufuatilia na kuhakiki mali zao hata kama hawamo kazini tena?
Eneo jingine tunayopaswa kulitupia jicho kali ni ya Uhamiaji. Hii hughulika na utoaji vibali kwa wageni vya kazi na ukazi kwa wageni na pasi za kusafiria kwa watu wetu. Huku nako kuna kila aina ya ulaji ambao huikosesha serikali mapato. Kuna kipindi pasi zetu zilikuwa zikiuzwa kwa wageni na wahamiaji haramu kama njugu hadi baadhi ya nchi zikaiona pasi yetu kama karatasi isiyo na thamani. Sambamba ni hii ni vituo vya mipakani na viwanja vya ndege ambavyo vilisifika kwa kupitisha madawa na vitu vingine haramu kama ilivyowahi kutokea kupitisha twiga mzima kwenda ughaibuni. Sijui kesi hii imeishia wapi.
Ukiachana na uhamiaji na vituo vya mipakani, kunafuatia mbuga zetu za Wanyama utalii kwa ujumla. Rais Magufuli ni shahidi kuwa kuna watu wamekuwa wakitumia raslimali zetu kujineemesha wakati taifa likiendelea kuwa maskini. Rais aliwahi kuelezea hoteli moja inayotosha mamia ya dola kulala usiku mmoja ukiachia mbali vitalu vya uwindaji na ujangili ambavyo vina baraka za watumishi wa umma wanaovitumia kujineemesha binafsi.
Linalofuatia ni eneo linaloshughulikia madini. Nchi yetu imejaliwa wingi wa madini ambayo mchango wake ungekuwa mkubwa kwa uchumi wa taifa kama tungepambana na watumishi wabovu kwenye eneo hili na kuyatumia vizuri na vilivyo. Hapa hujagusia kwenye nishati ambapo ulanguzi wa umeme umekuwa kikwazo kikubwa kwa maendeleo ya watu wetu. Wafanyakazi wa maeneo haya wanabidi kuchunguzwa bila huruma sawa na watajwa hapo juu. 
Maeneo mengine yanayopaswa kuchunguzwa bila huruma ni kuanzia Tume ya Kupambana na Kuzuia Rushwa (TAKUKURU) mahakama, polisi, bohari kuu ya madawa na mahospitali yetu. Kuna haja ya rais kuunda kikosi cha siri ambacho kitakuwa kikiwachunguza hata wale tuliwaamini kuwachunguza wengine. 
Leo nimegusia maeneo husika kwa kuangalia uzoefu wangu hapa Kanada na nchi nyingine tunazoiita zilizoendelea ambazo hazina mchezo na mapato ya serikali na yale ya wananchi au wakazi wake kama sisi. Kila mwananchi na mkazi lazima ajaze taarifa za kodi na mapato yake kila mwaka kwa mujibu wa sheria na siyo utashi. Ukiwa na pesa zaidi ya kipato chako bila maelezo, inataifisha na unashitakiwa kwa makosa ya jinai. Hii ndiyo siri kubwa ya utajiri wa nchi husika pamoja na mengine.
Mwisho, serikali yetu inapaswa kuanzisha mfumo ambapo kodi yake nyingi hukusanywa toka kwenye bidhaa na huduma moja kwa moja. Kwa mfano, hapa Kanada kuna aina mbili kwenye bidhaa na huduma. Kodi ya serikali kuu na ile ya serikali ya mkoa. Unaponunua kitu au kupewa huduma, serikali hupata pesa yake hapo hapo. Kufanikisha hili, kila anayeuza au kutoa huduma lazima atoe risiti. Pia lazima awe na mashine ya kielektronikali (Electronic Fiscal Devices-EFDs) kwenye biashara yake. Kutoa EFDs si jibu kama hakutakuwa na mfumo endelevu,  Madhubuti na wa hukika wa kuhakikisha hazichezewi au kutotumika. Hivyo, lazima kuwe na sheria kali ya matumizi ya mashine hizi. Muhimu, kuwachunguza watumishi kwenye maeneo yanaoingiza au kuhusika na mshiko lazima kuwe endelevu. Wanaogundulika waadhibiwe vikali ili kuwaonya wengine. Kati ya yote, ni kubana fursa yoyote ya mtu kuwa na utajiri usio na maelezo.
Chanzo: Nipashe J'Pili.

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Kenyan Press: Sloppy or Corrupt?

  

Journalists cover a press conference called by the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union.
 By Makau Mutua

Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of the KHRC.

What you need to know:
Journalists and reporters – whose job is to write about other people and society – rarely look in the mirror.
Many are lazy and don’t do serious reporting and penmanship, let alone research.
The best humans are those who look in the mirror before pointing a finger at others. However, journalists and reporters – whose job is to write about other people and society – rarely look in the mirror. Many are lazy and don’t do serious reporting and penmanship, let alone research.
If our job is truly to inform, if not educate, then our repertoire has very few wondrous hits. Kenyan journalism is pitiable. Editors and media houses need serious soul-searching.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have picked up the paper because of a catchy headline, only to be utterly disappointed in the terrible writing. Forget about a Judiciary Ombud – we urgently need one for the Press.
        I have pondered this question for a long time – why are Kenyan writers in the media so bereft of basic journalistic standards. I think the Kanu-Moi 8-4-4 system dealt a huge blow to the development of the parts of the brain around the medulla oblongata.
One would think, though, that university education would’ve served to remediate the starvation of the brain at the lower levels. Alas, there’s nary a scintilla of such evidence.
Are the editors to blame? Who are the standard keepers at a newspaper? Does the industry police itself? Perhaps the public doesn’t even notice, or care. Regrettably, the print media has been reduced to the gutter standards of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.
Notorious violation
        I have two basic critiques. One on form; the other on substance. The “form” of most writing in journalism stinks. Writers should write in the English language if the newspaper is published in English. I don’t want to hear excuses about English having been “brought to Kenya by colonialists on a boat.” Spare me that hooey. Every language has basic structure and rules for grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. That’s why words that are “alien” to the language are put in quotation marks, or explained.
        Of course language is dynamic, and not static. That’s why English in particular has many iterations and is constantly evolving because of its imperial nature. Evolution and mediocrity or sloppiness aren’t the same thing.
        There are newspapers in most languages. One can publish a paper in sheng, the street Kenyan “corruption” of Kiswahili and English with the Luhya, Kikamba, Gikuyu, Dholuo and other Kenyan languages. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it – in fact, I encourage and would love it.
But where a newspaper purports to be an English language publication, then it needs to honour the rules of the language. This applies to all languages, not just English. Nor am I suggesting – by any stretch of the imagination – a hierarchy of languages. No language is superior, or inferior, to another.
        It’s true some languages have more utility than others depending on context and purpose, but that’s not a function of hierarchy.
A notorious violation is the failure to use the word “up” where some must do so. I often see sentences such as “I picked her,” meaning “I picked her up” in my vehicle. Or, I called him and “he refused to pick” meaning he didn’t “pick up” his phone.
        Others will write or say “I am coming” when they mean “I am going out and will come back.” Or “give me burger” when ordering at a fast food restaurant instead of “give me a burger.”
Corrupt phrases
A good one is “it has refused” meaning “it’s not working.” Or, “what religion are you” meaning “what religion do you belong to.” These “corrupt” phrases or words have entered the mainstream media.
        The worst violations are in substantive journalism. I often see stories that are incomplete, or poorly researched. A story about a death will lack details about place of birth, age, cause of death, and other important facts.
        Others will quote anonymous sources without identifying the institution of affiliation. Often, a story about a high-ranking corrupt official won’t even name the suspect – which wouldn’t amount to defamation. Such reporting is worthless to the reader.
Investigative journalism and in-depth reporting, the sort done by journalist John Kamau of Nation is very rare. Many stories are slapped together without rhyme or reason. Often, the reader is left hanging, wanting more.
        The other terrible practice is the tendency to promise more, and deliver zilch. 
Some newspapers, especially in the US, have public editors. The “ombud” in a newspaper is supposed to be an advocate for the reader, and is usually independent of management, or the editorial overlords.
        The Nation public editor is Peter Mwaura. Mr Mwaura could be more exacting. I speak as one to whom he’s taken his machete. As they say in the Kenyan street, “isorait.”
Other newspapers should institute an ombud. Ultimately, however, Kenya needs to revamp existing journalism schools, or create one specifically for practicing journalists to teach better skills.  I just hope the sloppy work in journalism isn’t due to good old corruption, or professional decay. 
Source: Daily Nation
Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School. He’s chair of KHRC. @makaumutua

Thursday, 28 January 2021

HAMBA KAHLE SIS SIBONGILE KHUMALO


You were an icon
A Gospel musician
Not only in South Africa
But also in the world
Though your voice will remain
Physically you are gone
Hamba Kahle sis Sibongile Khumalo




Wednesday, 27 January 2021

PAST POLITICAL EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE MONTHS OF JANUARY (continued).


“History  is  past  politics,  and  present   politics  is  future  history”  said  the  British  Historian  John  Robert  Seely  (1834 – 95).   Today,  being  the  last  Thursday  in  the  month  of  January,  2021;  this  will  similarly  be  the  last    instalment   of  the  series  on  “the  past  political  events  that  took  place  in  the  months  of  January”  of  yester years,  which  was  designed  primarily  for   fellow  lovers  of  History,  but  also  for  the  information  of  our  younger  generation.
        In  this  final  installment,  we  will  focus  on  the  most significant  political  events  that  took  place in  January  of  the  following  years:-                                              
(i)  in  January  1962  (the  adoption  of  TANU’s  resolution  to  make  Tanganyika  a  REPUBLIC  within  the  Commonwealth,  from  its  previous  “DOMINION”  status.
(ii)  in  January  1963 (the  adoption  of  TANU’s  resolution  to  make  Tanganyika  a  de  jure  (i.e. constitutional)  “One-Party  State”,  from  its  previous  status  of  being  a  de  facto  One-party  State,  which  it  had  acquired   following  the  1960  pre-independence  general  election);                      
(iii)  in  January 1976 (President  Nyerere’s  public   demonstration of   a  new  approach  in  Presidential  Administrative  decision-making  processes;  when  he  dismissed  two   of  his  Ministers,  plus  two  Regional  Commissioners,  as  punishment  for  what  is  known  in  law  as   “vicarious  responsibility”.   This  wa  punishment  for   offences  committed  by  certain  government  National  Security  personnel  officers   who  were  operating  in  areas  under  their  respective   political  responsibilities). The  dismissed  Ministers  were:   Ali  Hassan  Mwinyi  (Home  Affairs),  and  Peter  Siyovelwa  (National  Security);  and  the  two  Regional  Commissioners  were  those  of   Shinyanga  and   Mwanza  Regions,  in  which  the  errant  Security  officers  had carried  out  their    brutal  operations.                      
(iv)  in  January,  1977  (when a  joint  meeting  of   TANU  and  ASP  National  Congresses  made  the  decision  to  merge  the  two  parties, a   vital    decision    that  gave  birth  to  the  present  CCM). The  merger  of  TANU  and  ASP,  was  a  major  political  event  of  unprecedented  historical  importance  and  significance.
(v)  in  January  2001 (CUF’s   political  demonstration  in  Pemba  which  turned  violent,   and  led  to  the  tragic  death   of   23  people,  including  a  policeman  who  was   on  duty).
TANU’S   resolution   of  January  1962.                                                                         
          One  of  TANU’s   major  functions  as  the  country’s  ruling  party  after  independence,   was   to  rapidly  undertake,  and  oversee,  the  implementation  of  new  policies  and   programmes   for  the   constitutional,  social,  and  economic  development  of  the  newly  independent  country. The   initiatives  to  be  taken  in  the  area  of  Constitutional  development were,  of  necessity,  given  top  priority,  simply  because  the  Independence  Constitution  (which had  been  enacted  by  the  British  Parliament  sitting  in  London),  was  seen  by  TANU  as  an  alien  document,   and  as  “an  embodiment  of  colonial  (or  neo-colonial)  paternalism”;  which  therefore  had  to  be  quickly replaced  by  a   different   Constitution  that  was  more  suited  to  Tanganyika’s  new   conditions  and  ambitions;  and   which  was  more  capable  of  inspiring  in  the  people  of  independent Tanganyika,   a  sense  of  loyalty  to  their  new  country.    
         In  pursuit  of  that  objective,  TANU’s  National  Executive Committee  (the  ruling  party’s  policy  making  organ),  passed  a  resolution  at  its  January  1962  meeting,  which   declared  the  party’s  intention  “to  make  Tanganyika  a  Republic  within  the  Commonwealth  as  soon  as  possible”. The   process   of   implementing  this  resolution  was  undertaken  immediately  thereafter,  and  Tanganyika  became  a  REPUBLIC  on  9th  December,  1962,  the  first  anniversary  of  the  country’s  independence.
TANU’s  resolution  of  January,  1963.
        In  January 1963, TANU’s  National  Executive  Committee  again  passed  a   resolution “ to  make  Tanganyika  a  de  jure  (Constitutional)  One-party  State”.   It  was  another  outstanding  political  decision  that   was  taken  in  the  process  of  reforming  the  country’s  constitutional  governance  system,  in  order  “to  make  it more  appropriate  for  Tanganyika’s    specific  political  environment  and  special  circumstances”.
         At   that  time  our  country  was,  constitutionally,  a  multi-party  state.   However  it  had,   in  fact,  become   a  de  facto   ‘One  party  State’,  as  a  result  of    the  pre-independence  1960  general  election  results  in  which  TANU  obtained   overwhelming  victory,  with  only  one  TANU  candidate  having  lost  to  an  independent  candidate,  in  Mbulu  constituency. And,  of  even   greater  significance,   was  that  the  vast  majority  of  the  TANU  sponsored  candidates  had  been  elected  unopposed;  which  meant  that  the  voters  in  their  respective  constituencies   had  been  denied  the  opportunity  to  cast  their  votes.                                                   
        In  other  words,  they  had  effectively  been  disenfranchised;   which  was  bad  for  democracy  for  denying  the  people  of  those  constituencies    their  inherent   democratic  right  to   vote,  in  the  selection  of  his  leaders. 
Thus,  in  President  Nyerere’s  considered  opinion,  a constitutional,  or  de  jure  One  party  State,   was  what  would  solve  that  ‘democracy  deficit’  problem  of  disenfranchising  the  vast  majority  of  the  country’s  population;  because  then,  provision  could  be  made  in   a  new   electoral  system,  which  would  enable  members  of  the  same  party  (TANU)  to  compete  in   all  elections,  thus  enabling  all  the  people   to  cast  their  valuable  votes.  
        It  is  on  the  basis  of  that  reasoning,  that  TANU’s  National  Executive  Committee  meeting  in  January  1963,  unanimously  adopted  a  resolution  directing  the  Government  to  “take  all  necessary  measures  which   will  effectively  facilitate  the  establishment  of a  constitutional  One-party  State,  as  soon  as  may  be practicable”.  
        Having  thus  been  given  the  necessary  mandate,  President  Nyerere  lost  no  time  in  appointing  a  Presidential  Constitutional  Commission,  which  was  tasked  to    prepare  recommendations  for  the  envisaged   One-party  Constitution.   This  was  eventually  enacted,   and  took  effect  from  10th  July,  1965.   That  Constitution   continued  to  operate  until  July  1992,  when it   was  substantively  amended   in  order  to  pave  the    way  for  the   re-establishment  of   the  multi-party  political  system. 
In  his  defense  and  justification  for  the  constitutional  “One-party”  political  system,  President  Nyerere   argued  thus:-  “Where  there  is  only  one  political  party  which  is  open  to  all,  i.e.  which  is  identified   with  the  nation  as  a  whole,  the  foundations  for  democracy  are  firmer  than  they  can  ever  be  in  situations  where  there  are  two  or  more  parties,  each  representing  only  a  section  of  the  population”.   
President  Nyerere’s   decision  of  January,  1976.
        This  was when  President  Nyerere  publicly  introduced  a  new  factor  in   Presidential  administrative  decision  making,  namely,  the  matter  of  giving   consideration,  and  due  weight,  to  the  hidden      aspect  of  the   public  leaders’  responsibility  in  the  discharge  of  their  ordinary  duties  and  responsibilities,  which  is  legally   known  as    “vicarious  liability”.                  
        The  expression ‘vicarious  liability’  means the   ‘state  of  being  legally  responsible  for  offences  committed  by  persons  who  are  under  your  administrative,  or  political,  supervision’.
         On  January  30th,  1976;   a  Mwanza  resident,  one   Masanga  Mahula  Mazengenuka  died,  as  a  result  of   a  marathon  four  days  barbaric  torture  inflicted  upon  some    persons  in  Shinyanga  and  Mwanza  Regions  of  the  United  Republic,  by  a  contingent  of  national  security  personnel   who  were  carrying  out  a  security  crackdown,   following   a  number  of   mysterious  deaths  of  several   people  that  had  occurred   in  those  two  Regions;   reportedly  caused  by  persons using   witchcraft.    Police  investigations  later  revealed  that   the  said   officers  used   pepper,  lashes,  and  barbiturate  injections  of   methedrine,  plus  starvation;   as  their   tools  of  interrogation.  The  late  Mazengenuka  was  only  one  of  the  many  persons  who  had been  arrested  during  that  crackdown.           
        Thus,  upon  revelation  of  this  brutality through  police  investigations  following    Mazengenuka’s  death,  President  Nyerere  terminated  the  appointments  of  two  Ministers,  Ali  Hassan  Mwinui  (Home  Affairs)  and  Peter  Siyovelwa  (National  Security);  as  well  as  the  Regional  Commissioners  of  Mwanza  and  Shinyanga  Regions,  in  which the  errant  officers  had  carried  out  their  brutality.              
        The  officers  concerned  were  also  arrested  and  arraigned  before   the  High  Court,   on  charges  of  manslaughter.    Other  Security  officers,  including  the  then   Shinyanga  District  Security   Officer   Augustine  Lyatonga   Mrema,  were  forced  to  resign  on  accountability,  for  the  callous  deaths  through  suffocation,  of   reportedly  more  than  thirty  persons   who  had  been  arrested  and dumped  into    a  tiny  remand  cell,   during  the  said  operation. Lesson  to be  learnt:  Public  leaders  should  always  beware  of  this legal  liability.
The  1977  merger  of  TANU  and  ASP.
         The  21st day  of  January, 1977;   was  the  day   on  which  the  Constitution   of   the  proposed  new  political  party,  Chama  cha  Mapinduzi ( CCM),   was  adopted  by    a  joint  meeting  of   the  National  Conferences   of  the  two  political  parties,  namely  the  Tanganyika  African  National  Union  (TANU)  and  the  Afro-shirazi  Party.   That  joint  meeting  also  elected  the  new  party’s  first  Chairman (Julius  Nyerere)  and   Vice Chairman  (Aboud  Jumbe).    CCM  was  inaugurated  on  5th  February,  1977,  of  which   I  was  appointed  the  first  Executive  Secretary  General.               
The  joint  congress  was  the  successful  culmination  of  a  long  process,  which  had  started  in  1975  when,  on  22nd  September, 1975;  President  Nyerere (who  was  also  the  President  of  TANU),  in  a  formal  address  to  the  TANU  National  Conference,  made  the  historic  proposal  that  TANU  should  consider  merging  with  Zanzibar’s  Afro-Shirazi  Party (ASP),  in  the  following  words:- “Our   country   is  legally,  and  constitutionally,  a  One-party  state.  But,   in  reality,  we  have  two  parties.   I  believe  that  this  is  a  constitutional  anomaly,  and  it  is  my  sincere   belief  that   we  should  now  give  serious  consideration  to  this matter,  and  find  a  way  of  removing  this anomaly.  I  am  personally  convinced,  that we  will  greatly  strengthen  the  unity  of  our  people,  and  give  ourselves  greater  capacity  for  carrying  our  revolution  forward,  if  we  now  agree  to  merge  our  two  parties,  in  order  to  form  one  strong,  revolutionary  party,  which  will  lead   our  revolutionary nation”.                                                                                              
        After  this    proposal  was  formally  endorsed   by  the  relevant  organs  of  both  parties,  the  process  for  its   implementation  was  quickly  commenced,  and  was  completed  when  this   joint  national  congress,  at  its  meeting  on  21st  January,  1977;  made  the  final  decisions  for  the  establishment  of  the  new,  revolutionary,  political  party;  which  was   appropriately  named   “Chama  cha  Mapinduzi”. 
The  2001  political  demonstration  in  Pemba.
        In  his  memoirs  which  were  published  in  November  2019,  in  a  book  titled  “My  Life,  My  Purpose:  A  Tanzanian  President  Remembers”;  the  late  former  President  Benjamin  Mkapa  gives  the  following  description  of  the  tragedy  that  occurred  in  the  course  of  that  demonstration:- “In  late  January,  2001,  a  tragedy  occurred  which  shook  me  to  my  core:  the  police  shooting  dead  twenty-two  people  in  Pemba.    I  was  at  that time   attending the  World  Economic  Forum  in  Devos.    But,  as  President  of  the  United  Republic,  even  though  I  wasn’t   in  the  country  when  this  calamity  happened,  I  accept  full  responsibility  for  it,   and  I  acknowledge  that  this  will  always  be  a   black  spot  on  my  Presidency”.  Indeed,  it  will  always   be  a  black  spot  on  the  country’s  political  history  as  well.
        What  happened  is  that the  Opposition  CUF  political  party (which  was  predominant  in  Pemba, and  its  supporters  had  been  riled  up   because  they  had  lost  the  2000  Presidential  election  in  Zanzibar), decided  to  stage  a  huge  protest  demonstration  there;   which,  however,  turned  violent  when  the  protesters  beheaded a  policeman  who  was  on  duty;  and  then  started  marching towards  a   Police  station  which  had  an  armoury,  chanting  that: “we  are  going  to  collect  weapons”.   
         The  protesters  actually  reached  the  police  station;  and  the  frightened  small  police  contingent  which  was  there,  responded  by  firing  at  the  protesters,  causing  the  22  deaths. Indeed,  that  calamity  remains  a  black  spot  in  the  political  history  of  our  country.
        Subsequently,  the  President  appointed  a  multi-party  Commission  under  the  chairmanship  of  Brigadier  General  Hashim  Mbita,   to  investigate  the  matter.  The  Mbita  Commission  recommended   compensation  for  the  families  of  those  who  died  in  the  tragedy;  which  the  Government  agreed  to  do.  
piomsekwa@gmail.com /0754767576.
Source: Daily News and Cde Dr Msekwa Himself.

 


Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Trump Offered Republicans an Opportunity to Redeem Their Party


When   former US president Donald Trump enflamed and sanctioned the attack on the Capitol Hill, did he know he’s credulously offering a golden opportunity–––many of them were, of course, waiting for––––to true Republicans to take back their party from his grips? This is like the only opportunity for the Bedouin who, out of his munificence, welcomed a camel in his tiny tent to end up being thrown out to the cold as the beast occupied a cozy bivouac while its owner was yowling in angst in a cold desert.  Likewise, since voting Trump in the White House, the Republican Party found itself in whopping imbroglio-cum-quandary and disenchantment. Instead of standing for its philosophy, it found itself being bulldozed by Trump under his Trumpism to be precise.  For four years, Trump lorded it over everybody in the party and in the country up until he recently lost presidency. Those in the know knew and still know how the party’s slowly deteriorating into decay after digressing from its principles. Instead of being guided by its principles, the party ended up being spent and misspent by Trumpism and nihilism so to speak. It became one of Trump’s many controversial ventures that enabled him to live and trade without paying tax since 2000 (the New York Times, September 28, 2020).

However, Swahili sage has it that whatever begins must end. Thus, when Trump incited and ordered his domestic terrorists to attack, desecrate and vandalize the Capitol Hill (the citadel of America’s democracy and hegemony), the opportune moment for true Republicans availed itself for them to seize and do the needful for their party and their country altogether. For the first time since Trump grabbed Republican Party, he’d to smell the coffee waiting to receive his prizes after the second impeachment, which makes him the only president on earth to be impeached twice.
            Many Republicans were not happy with Trump’s takeover of their party after enabled it to controversially and unbelievably clinch the White House in 2016 thanks to Russian meddling in the elections. For four years under Trump’s watch, Republicans suffered more than any time of the history of their party. Trump created conducive environment for his ouster. Instead of leading the party, he turned it into his private estate manned by his children, associates and in-laws. However, for fear of losing their posh positions or elections, many decided to cower before Trumpism despite the fact that, at heart, they were unsatisfied with how their party was abusively used and misused. Knowing the powers, he wages, many decided to play it safe. Who wants to face a hardnosed monster for his or her peril? Therefore, up until now, the Republicans are waiting for their opponents, the Democrats to slay the monsters they seem to have feared to take on.

Evidencing how the Republicans proved to be unable to take on the invader  and thereby reclaim their party, the Democrats vigilantly seized the opportunity the Republicans abused. They tried to use the constitution to bring Trump down. To do this, they had to act decisively and quickly. They asked the former Vice president Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment seeking to fire Trump which Pence declined to do. After coxing Pence to legally fire Trump to no avail, now that the Democrats have started the process of impeaching Trump for the second time for inciting his domestic terrorists and white chauvinists to attack the Capitol as a way of unseating him. Some Republicans are coming forth vigorously to openly support the move. The magic wand that Trump used to bulldoze and hoodwink America is now long gone. He pulled the imp out of the bottle. He can’t return it back into the bottle.

 Recently, Republican representative Liz Cheney, the daughter of the former Vice President, pluckily decided to forcefully and openly come forth to be counted saying that she’d support the impeachment and conviction of Trump that will signal his chance to serve in any public office once and for all. Apart from Cheney, the Fox News (January 12th, 2021) quoted former Trump’s protégé Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader as saying that “Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United State.” Other Republican trailblazers who echoed the same sentiments are Senators, Ben Sasse (Nebraska), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) and Representative and Adam Kinziger (Illinois 16th District and Liz Cheney (Wyoming).  Others are believed to be in the process of disclosing their stands on this move. Chances are that many Republicans will support the impeachment. If those Republicans truly stick to their guns, thankfully, Trump is done.
            Political pundits will agree with us that Trump has, for four years, become toxic. For, he has divvied and polarised the country not to mention sidelined it internationally. Before inciting, ordering and sanctioning the attacks on the Capitol Hill, Trump enjoyed unchecked powers as the man on the top who would decide the fate of any if not all Republicans vying for office thanks to having millions of followers that religiously listen to whatever nonsenses he wants them to do. Again, after his terrorist and treasonous actions against the US, the table soon will be turned on Trump. His stars no longer align. Will the Republicans in the senate throw him under the bus the same way he did to his followers who carried out his orders of attacking and desecrating the Capitoline? Trumps becomes the first and only president to be impeached twice in the history of the US and the presidency anywhere in the world. The impeachment aims at barring Trump from holding any public office in the future not to mention being liable for criminal liability resulting from his incitements and vandalizing the Capitol Hill. No trust is left in Trump’s capability and sanity in anything public. Thus, he has to quickly go the political nonbeing after callously falling from grace. Will Trump survive this political looming blitzkrieg? It seems. His book of tricks has run out of tricks for the master manipulator to pull out his surprises. Trump is quickly and unexpectedly sinking. Nobody can save him from the danger and the mess he created. Chips for Trump are down now. It is time for him face the music for whatever criminality he partook of such as attacking American democracy and many more.

         In sum, Julius Nyerere once warned allowing corrupt leaders and rotten businesspeople in the State House. For, there is no business there. The US put the business and conman Donald Trump in the White House to end up being humiliated. Now, a diminished and disgraced figure, Trump has left the White House for President Joe Biden to cleans and organise.  At last, the genie has been put back into the bottle. Now that the instigator in chief and a threat to the US is gone, it is time for Americans to lick and nurse the wounds and move on as the appease themselves not to repeat the mistake again of voting a criminal in their White House. The US has to start salvaging its lost and tarnished image globally. Although Biden has revoked some of Trump's punitive writs with fiat, he needs to do more to redress all those who were injured under Trump criminality not to mention countries offended or punitively singled out by the outgoing criminal. This said, Trump must not be left to go scot free for the crimes he committed as the president of the US. Bye, bye Donald Trump.  Go Trump. Go Trump. The world will forever remember you as the most discordant and racist president of the US.

Source: African Executive Magazine.

Monday, 25 January 2021

EAC Must Fast-Track DRC’s Membership



I recently read that the President of the DRC, Felix Tshisekedi was touring some capitals of the members of the East African Community (EAC) seeking help on how to fast-track DRC’s membership to the community. It is a wee shell-shocking to know that the EAC is myopically sitting on the application by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to join it. Just imagine what a country of 2,345,409 km2 with the population of approx. 90 million inhabitants can offer to the regional whose size is 2,467, 202 km2. with the population of approx. 184 million inhabitants. Considering its humungous landmass, untapped resources, many economic potentialities and significance not to mention its strategic location among others, the DRC isn’t the newest potential candidate to the EAC to ignore for whoever that needs to move forwards economically, politically and socially. Its membership is of essence not only for the DRC but also the EAC in general.  Importantly, the DRC has more to offer when it comes to land and resources than the members of EAC put together. This isn’t something to ignore or becoming sluggish on. Whoever wishes the EAC fit and feat must take a shine on the DRC’s desire of becoming the member of the EAC as soon as possible. The EAC is fortunate. For, DRC’s non-EAC’s member neighbours such as Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Republic of Congo have no plan to form any economic community. For, they’d have already snatched this opportunity and snatch it.
            News that recently the DRC was struggling to get the EAC’s membership is a shame for not only the EAC members but also for Africa in general. That’s because the contingency caused by the lack of agency and urgency and vision doesn’t augur well for those who wish to see the EAC become a force to reckon with not only in the region but also in the continent. How can such a humungous player–––with much more and humongous resources and land to offer than all EAC members put together–––been treated with disdain while its membership to the EAC is likely to max out all goals the community has ever aspired to achieve? How come that small countries such as Burundi and Rwanda were fast-tracked as opposed to the DRC? Is there any dirty politics being played for the peril of the EAC? What’s amiss here? Who needs another if we truly face it between the duo? This piece seeks, inter alia, to answer these questions.
            Why the DRC is a very significant candidate? 
Firstly, the DRC has a chunk of population of over 80 million bin-Adams that can add up to the market regionally. Market power is something everybody wants. DRC's population is more potential than that of the EAC since the country has never been developed since independence. Thus, like South Sudan, provides a very huge market almost for everything for the members of the EAC.
            Secondly, the DRC is a humungous source of resources of value particularly minerals, timber,  lakes and rivers suitable for agricultural boom for the area not to mention wild animals of various types suitable for touristic attractions. Apart from being humungous, its land is fertile; and the weather is predictable when it comes to farming.
        Thirdly, the DRC has such a mammoth landmass the double of the size of the EAC  whose population compared to its landmass is sparser than the EAC, which can help to combat land scarcity shall the EAC decide to unite and form a single country. Shall EAC’s members think big and visionary, forming a single unitary country under whatever arrangement be it confederacy or unitary or whatever they will settle for is the surest way of not helping the DRC but also the EAC, particularly countries facing toxic ethnicity such as Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and  South Sudan.  By having the DRC in the fold, the EAC will be able to avoid schism some countries with resources have shown when it comes to fully integration. Tanzania with the landmass bigger than both original founder of EAC put together, for instance, used to drag its feet for fear of allowing other tiny countries without land or resources like it comparably to help themselves on its abundant resources and massive land. Now that the DRC–––that has more land and resources than others–––wants to join the organisation, Tanzania won’t shudder or waver to fully embrace the community. It can now hang its hat to the community with confidence that now things will work in the favour of everybody.
        Fourthly, it is important for both sides to understandably accept some facts and other issues that might be thorny. For example, the DRC is coming with its burden. For, it has its fair share in that since gaining independence has faced conflicts of all kinds because of its resources. That’s why some academics posit that the DRC suffers from resource curse whose hex can be thwarted by joining the EAC. Thus, when joining the EAC, it must know that it has something to offer and receive. Similarly, the EC has something to reciprocate with such as peacefulness and strengths coming from standing together with others. Geopolitically and strategically, the coming of the DRC to the EAC will help to reduce or thwart conflicts and insecurity resulting from them. For, within the EAC, the DRC is likely to become economically and politically stable. Burundi poses a very good example. When it joined the EAC, its civil wars lessened and later the country became politically stable as it has been ever since. If the EAC replicates the same to South Sudan and the DRC, chances are that the region will become another political and economic powerhouse to reckon with. 
        Thus, there are no any logical reasons of keeping the DRC at bay anymore. Instead of DRC entices other to join them, they need to entice it.
Fifthly, the EAC should brace itself to develop this disconnected giant. That’s because since acquiring its political independence, the country didn’t get capable and visionary leaders who’d  develop it. Instead, such a horde of corrupt rulers with the exception of the late Patrice Emery Lumumba and the current president Tshisekedi, the rest were just  visionless thugs who pointlessly squandered the country and its people. Thus, despite having all goodies mentioned above, the DRC has one of the most dilapidated and poor road infrastructures that needs to be titivated and established where there’s none. In this respect, there’s no difference between the DRC and South Sudan that faces the same underdevelopment thanks to decades of exploitation and negligence from the former Sudan–––it disaffiliated from a few years ago.  
More importantly, as argued above, the DRC has land and resources to bring to the fold while the EAC members, especially those with either facing landlessness and thus resource-lessness, have their population to offer.
        Although the DRC is on the Atlantic Ocean, it as good as a landlocked country due to the fact that its coast is not developed. Thus, it has the advantage of accessing the ports just as those countries without land and resources will be able to access them in this law of reciprocity.
In sum, the EAC has all reasons to fast-track DRC’s membership. For, if the EAC fast-track the membership of the DRC, apart from doing a right thing towards the reunification of Africa, it’ll also have actualised having a pool of critical asserts for development namely, land, resource and manpower not to mention the market thereof. Therefore, dragging feet on bringing the DRC to the fold doesn’t only adversely and equally affect the DRC but also the EAC. Tshisekedi as any visionary leader has played his role. The ball now is in EAC’s court to do all the needful. It doesn’t fall in place to have such a giant languishing in bureaucracy while it poses to hugely benefit the EAC and thereby improve its power and standing economically globally and regionally.
Source: African Executive Magazine.

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Hii Ndiyo Dawa ya Wanaohujumu Miundombinu Yetu

Kitendo cha baadhi ya wenzetu kuiba viti vya shule na kuviuza kama vyuma chakavu–––kama ilivyoripotiwa na vyombo vya habari hivi karibuni–––kinatia kinyaa. Pia kitendo cha wenzetu walioaminiwa ofisi za umma kuuibia umma ni mauaji, hujuma na unyama visivyo na kifani. Vinatia kinyaa. Rejea kufukuliwa kwa wizi wa madawa kwenye hospitali ya rufaa ya Muhimbili hivi karibuni. Je mchezo huu unafanyika Muhimbili tu au ni nchi nzima? Je umekuwa ukifanyika kwa muda gani na fedha kiasi gani tushapoteza kama taifa?  Japo wote tungependa tutajirike, vitendo kama hivi, ni zaidi ya ujambazi. Ni ujambazi, unyama na uuaji wa wazi.  Ni vya kikatili; na vinapaswa kupigwa vita kwa ukali wote. Je ni watu wangapi wasio na hatia wamepote za maisha tokana na ukatili huu utokanao ubinafsi, ulafi, upofu na upogo wa kutisha? Je kama taifa tunapaswa kufanya nini kupambana na ushetani huu ambao–––kama siyo kuigaiga na kuendekeza haki za binadamu zinazokinzana na za wengine–––wanaopatikana na hatia kama hizi ni wa kunyonga ili liwe mfano na somo kwa wengine wanaootea kuurudufu kwa kutaka kutimiza tamaa zao za utajiri.
            Tunapopata maskini na wajinga kama hawa, kamata, charaza bakora na toza faini eneo zima linapotokea tukio ili kila mmoja aonje madhara ya kuendekeza ujinga, umaskini na njaa.  Hivi kweli kuna haja ya kuiba vifaa vya umeme, mabomba ya maji, kutupa taka ma kuziba mifereji na kuchafua mito yetu, kuhujumu reli au barabara na mengine kama haya wakati serikali inaingia gharama kubwa kuviweka ili kuondoa kero kwa wale wale ambao miongoni mwao wanavihujumu? Kwa mfano, kama bomba la maji la kijiji limehujumiwa, wanakijiji wapewe fursa kwanza, kuwasaka au kuwataja wahusika. Wasipowapata, wote wawajibishwe kwa kuchangishwa fedha za kurejesha bomba au kitu husika.
            Adhabu pekee haitoshi kukomesha tatizo. Lazima serikali–––kwa  makusudi mazima–––itoe  elimu kwa umma kuhusu umuhimu wa miundombinu kwa maisha na ustawi wao, gharama za kupatikana miundombinu na madhara kwa watu binafsi, jamii na taifa. Sambamba na umuhimu, elimu husika ieleze bayana madhara yatokanayo na hujuma hizi kwa mtu binafsi na jamii kwa ujumla. Katika kutekeleza hili, lazima kuwepo na usimamizi na ulinzi shirikishi ambapo kila mdau ana wajibu wa kulinda mali za umma akiwa ni sehemu ya umma. Lazima wananchi waambiwe kuwa wao ndiyo serikali na serikali siyo kiumbe cha ajabu tofauti na wao.
            Katika ulinzi wa pamoja, lazima kuwepo uwajibikaji wa pamoja kama ilivyo katika kufaidi au kukosa huduma husika. Hapa lazima kuunda mfumo wa kuripotiana na kutaarifiana pale wanajamii wanaozunguka eneo husika–––ambao kimsingi ndio wamilki wa miundombinu husika–––wanapohisi u kubaini kuna njama za kuhujumu mali yao, lazima wawe na mikakati yao wenyewe binafsi kama jamii ya kushughulikia kadhia husika na siyo kungoja serikali kana kwamba wao hawahusiki. Serikali wanayongoja hainywi maji toka bomba au kutumia umeme toka kwenye nyaya husika.
Lazima wananchi wafundishwe kuwa wao ni walinzi na wanufaikaji wa mali wanazohujumu kwa maslahi binafsi.  Wananchi wakitishwa jukumu la kulinda miundombinu na mali za umma, watavidumisha. Kwani, wanajuana kwa majina na sura ukiachia mbali shughuli wazifanyazo mbali na tabia za wenzao.  Mjenga na mbomoa nchi ni mwananchi na mnufaikaji kadhalika. Hili lazima walijue na kulikubali. Mfano, ofisini kama kutabainika matumizi mabaya ya maji au umeme, wanaotumia ofisi husika walipishwe bill wote bila kujali nani alihusika. Hii itajenga woga na utaratibu wa kuhimizana, kusimamiana hata kuchunguzana ili kuondokana na kadhia itokanayo na kuadhibiwa kwa kosa ambalo mtu hakutenda.
        Tumalizie kuwa wenzetu wa nchi za Magharibi hawakufikia hali ambayo hutufanya kuwahusudu kimiujiza bali ni kwa kubanana hadi wakazoea baada ya kuona manufaa ya kuwa na miundombinu endelevu na ya kudumu tokana na kuilinda vilivyo na kuitumia vizuri. Mwisho, piga marufuku biashara zinazopokea vitu kama vyuma chakavu na mengineyo.
            Ngoja tugusie jinai na kadhia ya uhujumu uchumi vitokanavyo ubinafsi na ulafi vya kutisha kwa ujumla. Tunapogundua jinai na kadhia kama hizi, tuangalie waliotenda ni nani na wamesukumwa na nini. Wapo wanaosukumwa na ujinga na umaskini vya kawaida. Mara nyingi, ujinga na umaskini vikichanganyikana, vinazalisha viumbe wa hovyo hata kuliko mbwa. Maana, mbwa mwenye akili zake, hawezi kumuibia anayemfuga kwa vile anajua wajibu wake. Je binadamu anayehujumu miundombinu na mali nyingine kama vile shule, mabomba ya maji, barabara, reli na mingi–––tena vyake–––siyo wa hovyo kuliko mbwa asiyemwibia anayemfuga? Mbwa ni hayawani. Lakini hayawani anayejua umuhimu wa amfugaye anaweza kuwa mwema na wa maana kuliko binadamu asiyejua umuhimu wa huduma apewazo na serikali yake tena kwa kodi kubwa za wengine.
            Ukiachia mbali jinai tajwa hapo juu kuwa unyama, ni  uhujumu wa nchi na uchumi. Tokana na hasira na machukizo jinai hizi zinasababisha, hata pale wahusika wanapokutwa na hatia, mojawapo ya adhabu iwe ni kuwachapa bakora za kutosha hadharani halafu mengine yafuatie. Kwanini taifa letu linaanza kugeuzwa la mahayawani kwa kutisha hivi? Yaani pamoja na juhudi za rais John Pombe Magufuli kuondoa nchi kwenye utegemezi na umaskini bado kuna viumbe wanaofanana na binadamu waliogoma kumuelewa! Inatisha na kusikitisha.
Chanzo: Nipashe Jpili.

RIP JONAS MOSA GWANGWA (19 October 1937 – 23 January 2021)



Why Susan Kihika is no hustler


     

 By Makau Mutua
Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of the KHRC.
What you need to know:
In Hustler Nation lexicology, Senator Kihika is a true blue-blood dynasty.
Senator Kihika herself is no hustler. Her father, the late Kihika Kimani, was one of the most powerful, richest Kikuyu-Gema kleptocrats under Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
    Nakuru Senator Susan Wakarura Kihika has lots of spunk. She’s an articulate, well-educated, and rambunctious woman. She can duke it out with the worst political brawlers. She reminds me of a junior Martha Karua, the Narc Kenya leader dubbed the Iron Lady.
        But that’s where the similarities end. Unlike Ms Karua, Senator Kihika was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. The former has had to fight for every scrap she’s got in life, while the latter has been given everything on a silver platter.
        In Hustler Nation lexicology, Senator Kihika is a true blue-blood dynasty. Which begs the question – what’s a princess doing with hustlers? Either she’s a class betrayer, or she’s an opportunistic hypocrite. Let’s dig deeper. 
        I take my hat off to DP William Ruto and his brain trust for coming up with the iconography of “hustlers” versus “dynasties.” Hustler Nation, in particular, is a seductive and easily digestible term that common folk can grasp without exercising mind muscles.
        The political clash of hustlers against dynasties is a demagogue’s magic wand. Every propagandist would love to come up with such a compelling head fake. The hoi polloi – masses of simpletons – drink that sweet Kool-Aid all week long, and twice on Sundays. That’s the genius of Mr Ruto’s brand.
However, like most illusionist brands, there’s no there “there.” You will come up empty if you peek under the skirt. That’s why it’s a big tent.
Moi's political scion
I have debunked the mythology of the Hustler Nation in this column before. Today, I want to demonstrate through Senator Kihika why it’s all flapdoodle – utter jibba jabba.
The central argument by Mr Ruto and his brigand is that Kenyans have had enough of the oppression of the ruling “dynastic” families – the Kenyattas, Odingas, Mudavadis, Mois, and their ilk. Mr Ruto has called on the poor – the so-called “hustlers” – to rise up and tear off the chains of the “dynastic” families.
        He’s asked peasants, workers, and their children to cast off their leg restraints and follow him to the proverbial Canaan. He, like biblical Moses, has promised to lead the huddled and gullible “wretched of the earth” to freedom. 
It’s a very clever turn of phrase. But political revolutions aren’t simply built on snake oil. Liberators must show a history of fighting for progressive causes. That’s not all. They must come to equity, as we say in law, with clean hands. That’s why a liberator can’t steal from the same people she, or he, is trying to free.
        A liberator must show the “down payment” that they have paid to be taken seriously by the downtrodden. You will know a liberator by the company they keep. My mother used to tell me always that I couldn’t expect not to get a rash if I “slept with” a person with a rash. You are indeed your friends. 
        I will show you why Senator Kihika is at home with Mr Ruto. Let’s stipulate she hasn’t betrayed her class by joining the Hustler Nation. Mr Ruto fancies himself to be a political powerhouse who rose up by his bootstraps from a miserable peasant chicken-seller. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr Ruto is the political scion of the Moi Dynasty. Mr Moi “adopted” him at a tender age because of his cunning and quick wit. Mr Ruto amassed his wealth early under the Moi regime. He’s reputed to be one of the wealthiest Kenyans although the source of his vast riches remains unknown. Tellingly, Mr Ruto refused to disclose his wealth when pressed on BBC’s Hard Talk. 
Crocodile among crocodiles
        Senator Kihika herself is no hustler. Her father, the late Kihika Kimani, was one of the most powerful, richest Kikuyu-Gema kleptocrats under Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. A vile Kikuyu tribal chauvinist bigot, Mr Kimani ate life with a spade, not spoon. He married many women and sired 41 children.
In 1976, he led the Change-Constitution Group that sought to block the late Daniel Arap Moi from succeeding Mzee Kenyatta. He couldn’t fathom a non-Kikuyu ascending to State House. Stories were told of how the illiterate but ruthless Kimani would stalk the halls of State House occasionally slapping Mr Moi. He was a prolific land-grabber possessed with the primitive accumulation of wealth. Senator Kihika was a beneficiary of his vast estate.
            When children of the hoi polloi hit educational dead ends, Senator Kihika had the privilege of earning BA and JD (law) degrees in the United States. It didn’t take her long to assume the family mantle of leadership in Nakuru upon her return from America. She has no history of ever fighting for democracy or human rights in Kenya, or elsewhere.
Senator Kihika sees DP Ruto as her best bet for higher political office. No one should pretend she believes in the “hustler nation.” She’s in there with other unsavoury characters like the disgraced former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and the flip-flopping Senator Isaac Mwaura — a crocodile among crocodiles. 

        Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School. He’s Chair of KHRC. @makaumutua.
Source: Daily Nation and Author

THE MUSIC OF HE WEEK COMES FROM PAM NKUTHA




 

RIP LARRY LAWRENCE HARVEY ZEIGER KING


Friday, 22 January 2021

REFLECTIONS ON PAST POLITICAL EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE MONTHS OF JANUARY.

Lest  we  forget,  the  year  2021  is  the  60th  anniversary  of  our  country’s  independence. The  60th  anniversary  of  any  important  event, is   commonly  referred  to  as  the  Diamond  Jubilee;  and  is  normally  given    special  significance  in  terms  of  its  celebrations.   But  the  relevant  celebrations  will  take  place  in  December,  on  UHURU  day  itself,  9th  December,  2021.                                          
         We  promised earlier in  this  column,  that  during  the  current  month  of  January  2021,  we  will  be   making  reflections  on  the  major  political  events  that  took  place  during  the similar   moths  of  January,   in  the  course  of our  country’s  history.  And  in  fulfillment  of  that  promise,   in  the  last  two  weeks,  we  made  presentations  relating  to  Zanzibar’s   glorious  January  1964  revolution,  and  its  aftermath.   In  today’s  article,  we  will  focus  on  the  other   major  events,  namely:- (i)  Of   January  1962 (Prime Minister  Julius  Nyerere’s  most   unusual  resignation);  (ii)  of  January  1964 (the  inherited  colonial  army  mutiny),  and  
(iii)  of  January  1971 (the  spill-over  effects  of  the  military  coup in  Uganda).
Prime  Minister  Nyerere’s  resignation.
        Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  voluntary  action  of  resigning  from  the  Office  of  Prime  Minister  of  newly  independent  Tanganyika,  was  taken  barely  a  month  after  the  country’s  independence, and  came  as  a  huge  and  shocking  surprise  to  everyone,  in  Tanganyika,  as  well  as  beyond  the  country’s  borders.   This  unusual  event  is  well  worth  remembering,  for  two  good  reasons:-  One,  its  significant   importance  in  the  country’s  political history.                                                                                         
        The  general  public  surprise  and  shock  created  by  Mwalimu  Nyerere’s   sudden  resignation,  was  succinctly  summarized  by  one  John  Hatch,  in  his  book  titled “Two  African  Statesmen :  Kaunda  of  Zambia and  Nyerere  of  Tanzania” (Martin Secker & Warburg,  London)  as  follows:-“It  is  virtually  unknown  for  a  politician  to  surrender  his  office  voluntarily.  And  it  is certainly  unique  for  a  man  to  lead  his  country  to  independence,  and  then  immediately,  and  voluntarily,  retire  from  the  leading  position.  Inevitably  therefore,  speculation  over  the  cause  of his  unprecedented  action  spread  rapidly  throughout  the  country,  and  far  beyond.   Naturally,  it  was widely  assumed  that  he  had  been  driven  out  of  power  by  his  critics  in  the  party”. But  that  could  not  have  been  possible because,  as the  charismatic  leader  he truly  was,  Julius  Nyerere  was  in  such  an  impregnable  position  that  no  one  person,  or  group  of  persons,  could  possibly  succeed  in  ousting  him  from  power.                                                                                      
        The  true  reasons  for  his  voluntary  resignation  were  clearly  stated  in  his  own  speech  to  the  nation   which  he  delivered  on  the  same   day  he  announced  his  resignation  (22nd  January  1962), and  which  was  designed  to  dismiss  any  such speculations  by  explaining  the  true  reasons  for  the  action  he  had  taken,    in  which  he  said the  following:- "Today,  I  relinquished  my  position  as  Prime  Minister  of  Tanganyika.  But  before  doing  that,  I  selected  a  new  team  of  ministers,  with  Mr.  Rashid   Kawawa  at  its  head  as  the  new  Prime  Minister. I  have  taken  this  action  after  winning  the  support  of  my  colleagues on  the  National  Executive,  but  after  a  long  debate  that  has  taken several  days  .  .  .  I  know  that this  will  come  to  many  of  you  as  a  shock,  but  that  will  be  mainly  a  product  of  habit,  for  the  reason  only  that  it is  most  unusual for  a  Prime  Minister  to  step  down  from  his  position  as  leader  of  the  Government, and  confine  himself  only  to  the  leadership  of  the  ruling  party.   But  on  my  part,  it  is  with  the  fullest confidence  in  the  new  Government,  and  the  people  of  Tanganyika,  that  I  will  now undertake  my  new  task,  namely  that  of  leading  the  task  of  building a  new  TANU,  which  must  be  reformed  and  reshaped  in order  to  meet  the  changed  circumstances  of  an  independent  Tanganyika”.           
        There  are  numerous  lessons  which  can  be  learnt  from  Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  leadership  style,  and  this  is,  certainly,  one  of  them.  
        Two,  that  event  is  particularly  significant,  in  the  sense  that  it  clearly  distinguishes   Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  unique leadership  character  and  style  from  that  of  many  of  his  peers,  both  past  and  present  who,  as  we  all  know,  tend  to  cultivate  an  insatiable  greed  for  remaining  in  power,  so  that  once  they  have  acquired  state  power, they  will  employ  all  sorts  of  tricks  (including  foul  ones),  in  order  to  retain  that  power !                                                                                  
         This  is   easily  confirmed  by  current  evidence.  For  it   is  only  two  weeks  ago,  on  6th  January  2021,   that  the  world  watched,  in  absolute   disbelief,  America’s  outgoing  President  Donald  Trump’s   followers   performing  a  grand  opera  within  the  precincts  of   Congress,  that  country’s  Legislature;  in   his  last  minute  efforts  to  retain  power  after  the  dismal  failure  of  his   other  miserable  attempts  to  have  the  legitimate  results  of  the  general  election  nullified  by  making  satanic  claims  that  “millions  of  dead  people  had  voted  in  that  election”,  and   that  “voting  machines  had  switched  his  votes  to  his  rival,  Joe  Biden” !
        President  Trump’s   behavior  and  actions   prompted   one  political  commentator, Makau Mutua,  a  Professor  at  SUNY  Buffalo  Law  school,  to  hammer  home   the  obvious   truth   that  “Trump’s  phenomenon  isn’t  unique.   There  are   many  mini-Trumps  everywhere”.  Indeed,  there  are;  and  they  are  the  kind  that would  benefit  by   following   Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  exemplary  leadership  style  in  this   particular  respect.  
 The  January  1964  army  mutiny.
During   the night  of  January  20th,  1964;  a  group  of  non-commissioned  African  officers  of  the  1st  Battalion  of   the   Tanganyika  African  Rifles (which  was  the  official  designation  of  Tanganyika’s  army  which  had  been  inherited  from  the  colonial  Administration),  staged  a  mutiny  against  their  commissioned  British  officers,  and  arrested  them.  But  the  mutineers  also  went  on  rampage  and  captured  some  important  Government  facilities,  including  the  International  Airport,  and   the  Government  radio  broadcasting  station.                          
         They   also  attempted to  capture  State  House  (IKULU).  But  by  the  time  they  arrived  at  the  gates  of  State  House,   President  Nyerere  had  already  been  whisked  away  to  a  safe  location  in  nearby  Kigamboni  area,  at  the home  of  a  trusted  TANU  leader, one  Mzee   Sultan  Kizwezwe. Subsequently   however,  as  the  mutiny  progressed  to  its  second  day,  other,  non-military  vagabonds  took  advantage  of  the  generally  confused  situation,  and  started  committing  acts  of  lawlessness  and  criminality,  such  as  shop  breaking  and  stealing  goods,  in  several  different  areas  of  Dar es Salaam.                                                                       
         But  President  Nyerere  had  also  returned  to  State  House,  and  from  there,  he  sent  for  the  British  High  Commissioner,  whom  he  asked  to  submit  his  request to  the  British  Government  asking  to  be  given  urgent  support  in  subduing  the  mutineers.   The  British  Government acted  promptly  on  that  request,  and  by  early mooring  of   25th  January,  1964;  a  British  warship  carrying  British  soldiers  and  their  equipment, had  already   anchored  in  Dar es Salaam.   The  British soldiers then  landed  and descended  on  the  mutineers,  who  were  quickly  subdued. The  troops  of the  2nd  Batalion  at  Tabora  and  Nachingwea,  who  had  joined  the  mutiny  on  the  second  day, were  also  disarmed.
         It  became  known  later,   that  the  mutineers’  primary  intention was  to    achieve  the  immediate  removal  of  their  British  commanders  and  their  replacement  by  Tanganyika  Officers,  plus other demands  of   an  increase  in  their  salaries  and  other  allowances.   They  had   no  political  objectives.
But  that  ugly   incident  had  inflicted  great  pain  on  President  Nyerere,  as  evidenced  by   his  broadcast  to  the  nation,  in  which   he  said  the  following:- “Yesterday  was  a  day  of  great  shame  and  disgrace  to  our  nation.  I  thank  all  the  people  who  helped  to  keep  this  disgrace  from  getting  out  of  hand;  and  I  hope  that  our  country  will  never  again  witness  a  repetition  of  such  disgrace”.  
Thereafter,  the   President  quickly  disbanded  the  Tanganyika  African  Rifles,    and  took  immediate  steps  to  establish  a  completely  new  army  of  loyal  recruits  from  among  the  TANU  Youth  League  members;   while  in  the  meantime,  he  requested  his  fellow  Africa  President  of  the  newly  independent  Nigeria,  to  provide  a  contingent  of  Nigerian  soldiers  to  take  care  of   Tanganyika’s  military  needs,  pending the  establishment  of  its  own  army,  the  present  Tanganyika  Peoples’  Defence   Forces (TPDF).  
The  military  coup in  Uganda,  January  1971.
An  unexpected  military  coup  suddenly  took  place  in   Uganda  in  January  1971, which  removed  President  Milton  Obote  from  power.  This  event  created  a  very  significant  political  impact,  of  shock  and  disbelief,  on  the  minds  of  many  Tanzanians. Military  coups had  indeed  taken  place  before,   in  some  far  away  countries  of  Africa  such  as  Ghana,  and  Nigeria;   but  these  had  not   created   the  kind  of  political  impact on  the  minds  of  ordinary  people  in  Tanzania,  as  did  the  military  coup  so  close  to  Tanzania,  in  neighbouring  Uganda !   And  the  situation  was  made  worse,  when  some  anti-Ujamaa  ‘scare  mongers’  started  frightening  people,  that   a  similar  coup  was  bound  to  take  place  in  Tanzania,  because  of  its  Ujamaa  policy.                                                                                                       
        These    scare-mongers  falsely   spread  unfounded   rumours,  that the  coup  in  Uganda  was  a  direct  result  of  that country  having  adopted “the  common  man’s  charter”,  which  was  a  ‘declaration  of  intent’   to  build  socialism  in  Uganda;  and  was  seen  as  the  equivalent  of   Tanzania’s   “Arusha  Declaration on Socialism and  Self-reliance”,   which  had  been  adopted  in  1967.                                          
        The  “Common  man’s  charter”   had  been  adopted  at  the  General  Conference  of  the  Uganda  Peoples’  Congress  (Uganda’s  ruling  party),  in  1969.   President  Nyerere  and  myself (in  my  capacity  as  TANU’s   Executive  Secretary  General),  had  been  invited  to  Kampala  to  attend  that Conference,  which  we  had  gladly  accepted.  I  can   thus  confirm  that  the  contents  of   their  “Common  man’s  Charter” were  substantially   similar  to  those  of  our  “Arusha  Declaration”;   in  the  sense  that  they  were  both  ‘declarations  of  intent’,  to  build  socialism  in  our  respective  countries. The   scare   mongers’   false   rumours   therefore  appeared  somewhat  credible.
        Hence,  because  of  these  disturbing political  machinations  by  the  anti-Ujamaa  elements,  President  Nyerere  felt  obliged  to  take  some   action,   that  would  reassure  the Tanzanian   people  of their  continued  safety.   He  did  so,  firstly  by  calling   a  huge  public  rally  at  Jangwani   grounds  in  Dar es Salaam;   at  which  he  assured  the  country  by  declaring  confidently,   that  “it  was  just   not  possible  for   a military  coup  to  take  place  in  Tanzania”,  and  convincingly  explained  the  reasons  for  that  assertion. And  as  a  follow  up  on  that  public  assurance;  he  took  two  other  measures  in  pursuance  of  that  same  objective  of  reassuring  the  population  of  their  guaranteed  political  safety  under  his  leadership.            
        The  first  measure  was  the  formulation  of    a  new Government    policy,  that  introduced  mass military training   for  all  the  able-bodied  Tanzanians,  and  in  particular, for  members  of  TANU,  the  ruling  party.    And  the  second  was  the  adoption  by  the  ruling  party,  of  a  new  policy  document  titled  “The  1971  TANU  Guidelines”,  in  February  1971.   Both  measures  were  important  and  relevant  responses  to  the  coup  in  Uganda.                                                                        
         The  introduction of mass  militia  training (mgambo)  was  the  immediate  policy  option  which  was  taken  by  the  Government.  The  second  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  coup  in  Uganda,  and  to   agree  on  any  new  defense  strategies  for  our  country. The  meeting  first  affirmed   the  government’s   militia  training  policy;  and  thereafter,  agreed  on  the  new  party  policy  document,  namely  the  “1971  TANU  Guidelines”  already  referred  to  above.  (To   be  continued  next  week).
piomsekwa@gmail.com/0754767576.  
Source: Daily Nation and Cde Dr. Pius Msekwa.