Epistle to Afrophobic South Africa

Epistle to Afrophobic South Africa

Friday, 30 December 2022

RIP GOAT PELE

Edson Arantes do Nascimento aka Pele (23 October 1940-29 December 2022).
The world will remember you as on of GOATs that left an indelible mark on football. 
RIP LEGEND

Wednesday, 28 December 2022

Open letter to African rulers

 

MNANGAGWA
DEAR African rulers,
I recently wrote a letter to President Joe Biden. I’m waiting for his response. As I do so, allow me to touch base with you. Every year, your masters new and old treat you to pageant and hoo-has full of empty promises and photo-ops in their capitals. We see you in Beijing, Bombay, Tokyo, Washington even Istanbul dressing yourselves down. You are always treated or rather maltreated like class eavesdropper by the head teachers.
            I’ve a questions for you: “Have you ever sat aside and seen how mortifying and exploiting such dress downs and kowtows are? Why don’t we see Asian or even South American leaders being displayed and harangued like acolytes? What lesson do you get from such obloquies that have never emancipated your countries even yourselves economically? Do you need to be lectured about your amour-propre [self-love] not to mention your countries that you seem to vend year-in-year out?”
        I recently watched with consternation as you were paraded in Washington where your head teacher, the US President had not time to meet with you severally, lecturing you about the “importance” of Africa. Before long, the President of Ukraine, a country equivalent to 1/50 of Africa, a young man of the age of your children, being accorded a very resound reception even when some of you were still in the city for browsing while your spouses were shopping for stuffs and non-governmental organisations. Ukraine’s President was entertained in the White House on top of addressing United States House of Representatives. Don’t tell me that it is because of the war. Doesn’t Africa have wars in the Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, and other places? Why didn’t you ask for the permission to address the congress?
            Another thing that shows you how colonial power trifles with you is the money the US has promised on those past two occasions. Whereas you’re promised US$55 billion equivalent to US$1 billion each if you divide evenly — Ukraine, apart from having already received over US$68 billion (CSIS, December 18, 2022) from the US, was promised US$45 billion (CNBC, December 24, 2022), which totals over US$100 billion approximately twice as much in one year.
Ask yourselves — how long will it take for you to get that US$55 billion, which wasn’t specified if it were aid or investment or whatever? Three years. (Reuters, December 12, 2022).
            Seeing that, I asked myself if you really respect yourselves.
How did you feel? Think about it a wee bit even without saying anything.
From such painful realisation, I’m, therefore, here to tell you point blank.
What you’re doing is counterproductive for Africa, a shame, and a sellout.
If you want to be either taken seriously or respected, you must do so for yourselves and your citizens first.
        Why have you failed and refused to learn from your colonial past that you seem to be at home with. Your deplorable and self-degrading behaviour is repellent not only for your countries but also for every black person including those the diaspora. Naturally, business dictates that he or she who needs anything from the market, or the sources must go for it.
            For you, it is sadly the opposite. All countries that need and depend on your vast resources of value summon you and tell you what they want and how to get it.
In other words, they set the terms instead you doing it or negotiating the deals.
From such a blind and tapered rationale, Africa’s always received a raw deal.
When this happens, you start complaining that Africa is treated unfairly. Who causes that if not you? How can you avoid that if you too don’t treat yourself decently and fairly? From my experience, even if you go to those capitals begging and pleading, surely, you’ll never make any headway. Whatever you do isn’t up to snuff. Do you know that the freebees in the name of aid you receive are but a fraction of what your corruption, negligence and selfishness cause?
            What you’ve been and are doing is psychotic, namely, practicising a repetitive stunt and expecting different results. Therefore, kindly, please, stop this hang-up. Your resources — if wisely managed and used — are likely to make Africa richer than those you pointlessly depend on for handouts. Imagine.
How Africa maintained its self-worth and civilisation for millions of years before being colonised and thereby its civilisation felled and made a laughing stock that it currently is.
        In a nutshell, let me be above-board to you and myself. Africa’s problems are the lack of sane management, dignified leadership, use of its resources and use of just common sense among others. Here’s where Africa’s poverty emanates and lies. That’s why I refer to you as rulers but not leaders. You rule instead of leading.
If you morphe yourselves into leaders, you’ll practically fight corruption, extravagance, laziness and above all, abhor dependence while your countries sit on awe-inspiring resources of value that the entire world needs and can’t do without.

Start becoming leaders. Doing, so, will help you to value yourselves, your people and serve them into instead of turning them your servants for your narrow interests.
Source: Standard Zimbabwe yesterday

Sunday, 25 December 2022

Why Kenya is limping into 2023


There are some years on the Julian calendar that you simply want buried and forgotten. One such year is Anno Domini 2022, which was decidedly annus horribilis, a year of disaster and misfortune for Kenya. Everything that could go wrong went horribly wrong.
        Unless Kenya changes course, historians will think of Kenya into distinct chasms – the pre-2022 Kenya and the post-2022 Kenya. But that’s not how 2022 started. In fact, 2022 was supposed to be the Year of Hope for Kenya when the country’s most important democrat – Azimio’s Raila Odinga – was going to ascend to power. However, every hope was dashed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and then Kenya’s Supreme Court. That’s why the country’s future may lie in ruins.
        I know there’s been a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks rushing to tell the story about “what happened”.  Many of these “insiders”, perhaps all, are just quislings who are either looking for relevance, or trying to catch the eye of the UDA regime. That’s because many Kenyans – elites and wannabe elites – cannot fathom themselves outside the state. Most will sell their own mothers down the river for less than the proverbial 20 pieces of silver. Those who are talking know nothing, or very little, and those who know aren’t talking. A time will come when insiders will speak.
        That time isn’t now. But there are some things that are obvious, even to those of feeble mind. Let’s dig deeper. I won’t revert to the matter of the IEBC and the Supreme Court about which I leave to the imagination of fellow citizens.
        First, let me say that I see a UDA regime that doesn’t believe it’s in power. If you listen to the top men, they speak as though the country is still in campaign mode. Of particular note is the person who is the country’s numero dos.
        That man doesn’t know what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. He seems to speak before engaging his noggin. Or more accurately, he allows his emotions to speak for him. In a way that’s good because his mind is a window into the regime’s insecurity.
        Second, I see an UDA regime that’s a tower of babel. The country’s numero dos is already working furiously to push his boss out of Mount Kenya. Ironically, that’s exactly what his boss tried to do to his superior.
            As they say, what goes around comes around. I see a huge kinetic collision between the regime’s two top leaders. A nuclear explosion awaits. Then beneath the two, there’s internecine warfare between ministers and other factotums.
What these struggles mean is that there’s a lot of heat, and no light. Instead of focusing on giving economic meaning to the life of the most vulnerable, policy incoherence is now the order of the day.  Ministers shoot from the hip in self-aggrandisement.
        Third, a panicked regime that lacks internal and external legitimacy is in a state of hyperactivity in all sectors. The guys and gals in the regime don’t seem to be sleeping. The regime believes any motion is good for the country.
            That’s how it plans to consolidate itself in power – by being omnipresent everywhere in Kenya and abroad. I see the regime’s top leaders “commissioning” and often re-commissioning on a daily basis projects that were completed by the previous government. This is motion without movement. In the meantime, the country’s most vital needs are unaddressed and the penury of the people continues to deepen. Everywhere in this country, even in UDA strongholds, I see Kenyans with long forlorn faces.
        Fourth, most ordinary Kenyans have been reduced to beggars. Now, I am shocked if the policeman, the security guard, the ordinary public servant, and of course relatives don’t beg for a few coins from me. It never used to be like this, even before the UDA regime. Something terrible has happened to our people. Recently, in one of the most high-end restaurants in Nairobi the head chef approached me as I dined with friends.
        He pleaded that I pay the bill under the table – off the books – so that he and his co-workers could split the loot. Our collective jaws dropped to the ground when I told my friends. I politely declined his offer to “cheat” on the establishment. The first 100 days of the UDA regime have been marked by failures that have shocked the conscience of the nation.
        A basic thematic outline has emerged. The key failures are the UDA regime’s disdain for the Constitution and laws of Kenya, the contempt for democracy and its institutions, the flagrant violation of Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity, the regime’s intolerance and impunity, its proclivity to run roughshod over the rule of law, the rush to destroy the political opposition and quash dissent, the crude muzzling of Kenya’s vibrant press, and the blatant attempts to reverse the gains of devolution. We are limping into 2023.
Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School, The State University of New York. @makaumutua
Source: Sunday Nation today.

Wednesday, 21 December 2022

Open letter to US President Joe Biden on Zimbabwe

Greetings
I recently evidenced US mission to charm and lure Africa after China showed ever-surging leverage in the continent that you’d to effectively and quickly counter and foil.
        Due to that, you’d take steps, mainly hoodwinking it by promising ‘boons and bonuses’ to keep Africa your conventional colony and natural material purveyor.  You told African rulers attending the US-African Leaders Summit in Washington DC recently that “Africa belongs at the table in every room, in every room where global challenges are being discussed and every institution where discussions are taking place” (cnn.com, Dec 15, 2022). Really? Seriously? Wow!
        Mr President, mark and watch my words. For conscious and traumatised Africans, your fake hutzpah, and honied libretti retraumatise. You used colonial referend to nicely but fortuitously describe how you view Africa and to deliver your intention (mens rea) of recolonising Africa.
        Whose table is Africa at? Is Africa a loaf of bread or a roasted chicken before colonial eyes, minds and psyche? Is it because Africa’s born, cloned, and disfigured at the table your ancestors congregated at the criminal and villainous Berlin conference (1884) that brutally and monstrously defiled on and disfigured Africa to what it currently it is, divided and partitioned and pathetic as a criminal gambit of weakening it in order to perpetually colonise and exploit it?
        For whoever cares about Africa, well intends, aims to decolonise and help Africa out of its colonial enacted futility, the language of the table traumatises Africa and Africans.
        Mr President, when you talk about every institution, what do you mean? Do you mean criminal and fake explorers, merchants, and missionaries who presided over the colonisation of Africa or the international superstructure and its tools such as the IMF, the UN, and the WB, inter alia, that abetted the colonisation and the mugging of Africa?
        To nicely hoodwink ever-begging and ever-dependent rulers despite sitting on humongous sources of resources of value, you promised to cough US$ billion. What a sweet deal if, indeed, you mean serious business.  Again, did you do this out of altruism or valuing Africa? Nay.
        The US woke up from its slumber after China made aggressive inroads in Africa. Mr President, did you think about your bait before offering it? Yeah. Do you think the US$55 billion is likely to entice and thereby quash the US$300 billion China promised last year by Diana Chen, China Africa Business Council head (VOA, February 2, 2022)? Who is fooling whom here?
        What new will you do for Africa if at all China’s already done everything from aid, building infrastructure, and corrupt deals if we face it? Do you know that China adapted and adopted your decoy to imbed itself in Africa? Mr President, I humbly present a case for Zimbabwe, a resilient country you wanted to go to the dogs to no avail after its people rose up against Mugabe to no avail.
        Though Zimbabwe, just like any country, has its internal issues, is it fair to hang it the way your country and the West in general have so brutally attempted by shunning it? I understand. Your clangour’s that Zimbabwe needs to embrace Western rule of law and the respect of human rights.
        Well, is Zimbabwe alone in this quagmire? Bad governance’s the creature of corruption, dictatorship and the absence of democracy among others like Western democracy is. Is Zimbabwe the only brutal and corrupt dictatorship the only corrupt in our colonial and corrupt world? What of your best stooges such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia among others? 
    Mr President, your country and the West wanted Zimbabwe to become a failed country. However, do you think if Zimbabwe becomes a failed government won’t the region and Africa in general be adversely affected? Ask South Africa that’s for a long time bore the burden of Zimbabwe’s colonial and man-made economic woes. Refer to how innocent Zimbabweans, for decades, have born the brunt.
        What humans’ human rights do you advocate? Why can’t you see that the botch or disintegration of Zimbabwe’s the failure of Africa you’re now spuriously enticing? You know it too well. You recently “exonerated” Venezuela’s sins after the West faced energy catch-22 when Russia went to war with Ukraine. Because of that, the West lost a big chunk of oil supply. Thus, you’d — out of double standards and necessity — to forgive Venezuela so that you can get oil supply.
Mr President, do you think Africa will advance economically without key players such as Zimbabwe whose contribution to world economy is bigger than your beloved Egypt? Let’s honestly and realistically reason together.
        Mr President, do you know that, if Zimbabwe’s scar and sin were its former President, Robert Mugabe, why’s it still shunned many years after his death? Your sanctions didn’t, and have never affected Mugabe, his family, you “targeted” though the truth’s different that you requited because white folks were chastened.
        Instead, your unfair sanctions have heinously affected innocuous babies, children, elderly people, pregnant women, and poor Zimbabweans. Was Mugabe real a real sin or racism is since Mugabe arrogated white farmers’ land that they also grabbed from blacks? Comparably, did Mugabe commit a bigger sacrilege than dictatorships in Egypt and Saudi Arabia still commit vis-à-vis gross violations of human rights? Is it because Zimbabwe is African and black?
        Mr President, please forgive me for bringing a racial nuance. I’m in Canada on your northerly border. I know too well how black people are systematically discriminated against in the West and the Americas including even those whom you torture like Venezuela that likewise replicate the same on blacks. I know too well what it’s to be black in a “white” world. I, hence, speak from real-world experience.
        In sum, Mr President, I rest my case praying that please, do justice for the haemorrhaging to death Zimbabwe and helpless Africa, lift the sanctions against Zimbabwe, which China has taken advantage of.
Sincerely yours,
Source: Independent Zimbabwe Yesterday.

Saturday, 17 December 2022

Mourning Kenya’s fallen Church

When the Church fuses itself to the State, it ceases to be a House of God, and becomes the politician’s brothel.

Shutterstock

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

The late Prof John S Mbiti, one of the world’s foremost scholars of religion and Africa, famously noted that Africans are “notoriously religious”. I believe he meant that Africans are a deeply spiritual people, and not necessarily appendages of established messianic religions.
                However, it’s clear that established religions have tapped into this spiritual proclivity to incubate automated piety in Africans. By automated piety I mean a thoughtless embrace of established religions for multiple social uses, both malign and benign.
The Church in Kenya is now a conveyer belt of the former. The Church has allowed itself to be politically misused by cynics and hypocrites. It’s blurred the separation of Church and State and become an obsequious servant of Caesar.
        No one can deny the social and political utility of religion, let alone its spiritual purchase. Humans are of feeble minds, and find comfort in the metaphysical explanations of that which is above their simple noggins. Even where it’s unnecessary, we will needlessly invoke the name of God.
        Take, for example, a self-inflicted death because of drink-driving. You will hear simple folks say, “it’s God’s will”. Forgive some of us if we roll our eyes. But the politician has found this soft underbelly of the African psychology of fatalism. Most Africans attribute perfectly earthly problems to higher deities. The politician knows God is the path to an African’s heart. So he returns to that well over and over.
A fallen angel
What’s my point? There’s no doubt that the Church and the politician have now formed an unholy alliance in Kenya. For this, the Kenyan Church has become a fallen angel. It has left the path of righteousness and become a worshiper of the serpent, a corrupter of the souls of men and women. The Bible itself in Timothy 6:10 says that the “love of money is the root of all evil”.
        It’s not money itself that’s the culprit, but the love of the moolah. No one can gainsay the fact that the Kenyan Church now leads the country in greed, perhaps equal to, or greater than, the politician. The Church begs for money without shame, or moral compunction.
        In the last election cycle, the current UDA politicians made it a habit of splashing tens of millions of shillings on churches across the land. Often they gave it on weekdays, and twice on Sundays. But, as we know, there’s no free lunch. He who pays the piper calls the tune. That’s how the Kenyan Church turned itself over to partisan politics.
 Let me tell you how. A john doesn’t pay a commercial sex worker to keep her clothes on. Similarly, a politician buys the clergy to “defrock” them. In other words, to turn the House of God into a den of thieves. To them, the Church becomes another political rally where the name of the Lord is uttered in vain.
        A few examples will suffice. First, we have seen a certain high priest in Maa country stand up in the pulpit and ask those who have lodged election petitions against UDA lawmakers to withdraw them – in the name of the Lord and Peace! My jaw dropped to the floor.
            In August, we saw the same high priest in Bomas clothe electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati with a religious shield. We have also seen other men and women of the cloth pray for Caesar and his factotums. Nothing wrong with that except when the pastor says that Caesar is anointed by God. Last time I checked, God doesn’t anoint leaders. Leaders shoot their way into office, steal elections, or win democratically.
Opposition
Secondly, we have seen the Church give the pulpit to Caesar and UDA to bludgeon Azimio and its elected leaders into defection, or submission. Here, the Church is aiding and abetting the destruction of democracy through the creation of one-man rule devoid of opposition.
        When the Church fuses itself to the State, it ceases to be a House of God, and becomes the politician’s brothel. It seeks to turn Kenya into a theocracy – like Iran – and not the secular state in the 2010 Constitution. I have even heard key UDA leaders say that they got an epiphany from God about state policy. A cult is already under way and the Church is cheering it on. It’s for ‘God and Country”.
        Finally, I want to say that not all the Church has gone astray. Many in it have, but perhaps most haven’t. However, it’s those who’ve strayed who are the most consequential because they are vocal, determined, and callous.
        One of those who stands tall above the muck is Archbishop Anthony Muheria of the Nyeri Archdiocese. I still believe that pastor Muheria, a moral giant, stands a chance of becoming the first modern Black Pope. Let he, and those who are walking the narrow and straight path, stand up and return the Church to its proper pastoral duties away from the sewer of politics. The Church needs a leader — now!
Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at the State University of New York Buffalo Law School. @makaumutua.
Source: Sunday Nation Tomorrow.

Thank God Croatia Has Beaten Morocco

After Morocco proved how racist it can be, I started praying that it should be beaten. However, many myopic Africans were on the moon simply an 'African' team, which happens to be ArabAfrican if anything was heading for making history for Arabs and Muslims but not Africans. Morocco team made by berbers from Africa who view themselves as Arabs created many controversies and vibes. Those who like to ride on the wind were in cloud nine pointlessly. Now that the team has been silenced, conscious Africans should celebrate.
Cheers


Tuesday, 13 December 2022

Ushindi wa Moroko Kombe la Dunia ni wa Waafrika au waarabu?

Mchezaji wa Timu ya Taifa ya Moroko, aitwaye Sufian Boufai alizua gumzo kwenye mitandao ya kijamii. Hii ni baada ya kusema kuwa ushindi wa awali wa Moroko dhidi ya Timu ya Hispania ulikuwa: kwanza, ni wa Waarabu na pili, wa Waislamu wote duniani. Wengi wasiojua ubaguzi na kujikana kwa hawa ndugu zetu Waafrika tena Waberiberi wa Jangwani wenye asili ya Afrika Magharibi walighadhibika sana. Kwa tunaojua, tulifurahi kuwa angalau wajinga wengi wanaodhani hawa ni ndugu zao japo ni ndugu zao waliojikana, wamepata somo na ukweli mchungu na unaoudhi lakini wenye kuweka huru. Hata kabla ya kuharibikiwa na kuvurugika, wenzetu wa Zimbabwe walitutenga tusifaidi walichokuwa wakifaidi.

Kwa yeyote anayejua watu wenye damu ya kiarabu–––hata kama ni ya kuchovya––––sawa na wabuguzi wengine kama vile wahindi, wazungu na wengine, atakubaliana nasi kuwa hawa jamaa, licha ya kujikana ni wabaguzi wa kunuka. Ukiachana na Boufai ambaye hafai kabisa, rejea namna imla wa zamani Muamar Gaddafi alivyosema baada ya Umoja wa kujihami wa Ulaya (NATO) ulivyomuonyesha wazi kuwa ulimaanisha kumuangusha na hatimaye kumuua. Katika kutapatapa alisema kuwa kama NATO wangepindua serikali yake, Ulaya ilipaswa kujiandaa. Kwani, alitishia kufungulia Waafrika maskini na wajinga ambao–––kwa mujibu wa Gaddafi–––wangetishia na kuvuruga ustaarabu wa Ulaya.

Japo wengi hawakujua kigeugeu na unafiki wa Gaddafi–––hasa pale alipojifanya Muafrika–––japo alikuwa muafrika mbele ya macho ya waarabu wakati moyoni alikuwa anatamani kuwa mwarabu. Mwanzoni, Gaddafi kama wenzake wengine wenye asili ya Afrika alidhani alikuwa mwarabu. Hata hivyo, alipokwenda kwenye umoja wa nchi za kiarabu akataka kuuburuza walimwambia wazi kuwa yeye si mwarabu bali Mwafrika atokeaye kwenye bara ambalo wao, kwa dharau, huiita Afriqiya lililoundwa na himaya habithi ya Umayyad mwaka 703 ikijumuisha nchi zinazoitwa Maghreb kwa pamoja za Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Misri, Moroko na Tunisia. Watu wan chi hizi ambao wengi ni waberiberi ni masuriama wa Kiafrika na kiarabu.    Kichekesho ni kwa ndugu zetu wa Chadi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia na Sudan Kaskazini. Eti hawa nao wanatubagua kwa kujiita waarabu wakati wakienda uarabuni wanaitwa watumwa ili kutambua asili yao. Hivyo, tunapoongelea suala hili la ubaguzi wa kipumbavu, hatutaki kuonekana tunawaonea wenzetu wa Moroko ambao walionyesha wazi hisia zilizofichwa kwa Waswahili wengi ambao hudhani hawa jamaa ni ndugu zao.

Wabaguzi na wajinga hawa wana kitu kimoja cha kushangaza. Kama wanachukia Afrika hivi, si wajiondoe waende huko wanakootea kuwa kwao wakati hawakubaliki kwa vile si kwao. Waswahili tunapaswa kujitambua na kuwatambua wenzetu ili kunusurika na ubaguzi huu wa wazi. Kimsingi, unapokuwa Amerika au Ulaya, unabaguliwa. Lakini si kwa kiwango na machungu sawa na hawa wenzetu wa Maghreb, Mashariki ya Kati, China, India, Ufilipino na mataifa mengine ya Asia. Nani angeamini kuwa hata ndugu zetu wa Afrika ya Kusini wanatubagua wakati, licha ya kufanana, ni sisi tuliowezesha uhuru wao toka kwenye makucha ya makaburu.

Nimeandika makala hii baada ya mwanangu kutoka shule akijisifu na kushangilia kuwa Moroko imeshinda. Kwa vile, alizaliwa hap ana hajawahi kufika Afrika, kila kinachoitwa Afrika kwake ni almas tokana na ubaguzi wa hapa. Fikiria. Nilimkatiza furaha yake kwa kumwambia kuwa hawa Moroko ni Waafrika wanaouchukia Uafrika na Afrika. Alibaki kubung’aa asijue la kusema. Sikuona haja ya kumdanganya wakati najua hali halisi ya nyumbani si kwa Afrika tu bali hata kwa Tanzania ambako wamejaa watu kama hawa. Wanajionea fahari ya kuwa si Waafrika wakijiita majina yote, masuriama, waarabu na upuuzi mwingine mwingi. Wanaishi maisha ya kujikana na ndoto wasijue huwezi kuukimbia ukweli.

Kama jamaa zetu wa Moroko, wengi wa ndugu zetu wanaishi kwenye dunia ya kusadikika kiasi cha kujikwaza na kutukwaza sisi tunaojitambua na kuwatambua na kuwazodoa huku tukipaswa kuwatahadhali.

Tumalizie. Kwa kilichoonyeshwa na wamoroko, ushindi wao hauna lolote kwa Afrika. Kwani, kama alivyosema Boufai, ushindi wao ni wa waarabu na waislamu. Ijulikane wazi. Waislamu wanaomaanishwa hapa si ‘watuma’ toka Afrika bali wote wenye damu ya kiarabu au waarabu feki kama wao. Je hapa, Afrika ina cha kushangilia kama mwanangu asiyejua siasa za Afrika na ubaguzi wa ndugu kwa ndugu hadi kuuzana utumwani kwenye karne ya 21 kama ilivyogunduliwa na kulipotiwa hivi karibuni kwenye nchi za Libya na Mauritania ukiachia mbali ukatili na utumwa wanaokumbana nao ndugu zetu Mashariki ya Kati?

Wenye akili, wanaojithamini na kujiamini tieni akili mkiwafumbua macho wenzenu kwa elimu hii mpya ya Ukombozi na suto kwa kidhabu hawa wanaojikana wasijue hata huko wanakojipeleka wanakanwa.

Chanzo: Jamhuri Leo.

Sunday, 11 December 2022

Kenya’s holier-than-thou politics

   God is on politicians' lips every time they open their beaks in public  



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

Most politics – some may say all politics – dwells in the moral sewer. Whatever the difference, most sane people can agree that most politicians are less faithful than the practitioners of the world’s oldest profession. And yet most politicians hold themselves out as people of high moral probity. They want you to believe that their coin of the realm – currency – is morality. In fact, the terrain of politics in Kenya is populated by men and women who are holier-than-thou.They clothe themselves in the Quran, the Bible, and other holy texts out there. God is on their lips every time they open their beaks in public. Today, I explore the seamy valley of sin that’s Kenya’s holier-than-thou political culture.

            To hear them tell it, no politician belongs in Sodom and Gomorrah. None are sinners, or have “fallen short of the glory of God.” In fact, the popular image of the Kenyan politician is the Bible-clutching devotee.

        The penitent quotes the Bible effortlessly, as though he’s the original author of the Holy Book. His Muslim counterpart faithfully – and without fail – prays the obligatory five times a day. Is it ritual, or hypocrisy? Do the hoi polloi know that the person wielding the holy book as a weapon is a rapist, a thief, a murderer, a liar? Do they know that politicians hold holy books as shields and weapons, not pious texts?

        It’s a historical fact that Christians and Muslims – the dominant religions – are extremely intolerant of “others.” One would be forgiven to think that Muslims and Christians were minority faiths. I think the genus of the issue is their messianic theologies. Both believe in the forcible embrace of everyone on earth. In other words, you either belong to them, or you are “the other.” They are imperial. Christians believe that you are benighted, and won’t see the gates of heaven, unless you submit to Jesus.

        Within Islam, people who aren’t Muslims are unequal to Muslims. Think of Christian Crusades and Islamist Jihads against unbelievers. Outsiders and insiders.  So, when a Kenyan politician lifts a Bible or Quran in public, or quotes it, he’s telling you that he’s an insider, not an outsider.

        He’s blessed, or sanctioned by God. Many a politician acts as though he died, went to heaven, was crowned by God, and sent back to earth on a special spiritual mission. He’s God’s chosen messenger on earth. Imagine this – Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor, the Liberian butchers of their people, were God-fearing rulers. Even Idi Amin of Uganda and Jean-Bedel Bokassa of the Central African Republic, reputed to have been a cannibal, were “God’s chosen.” Unfortunately, too many ordinary people, and others of feeble minds, believe these political monsters. As Karl Marx said, “religion is the opium of the people.”

        There’s a reason why the Age of Enlightenment in Europe saw the demise of the authority of the Church over political society. Secularism and liberalism – and the republican democratic state – based on the popular will of the people replaced rulers “sanctioned” by God. It’s from this philosophical cradle that Kenya’s 2010 Constitution creates a secular republic.

        This doesn’t mean the most senior officials in the state can’t believe in religion, or publicly manifest it. They can, but they cannot use it as the basis, or justification, for state policy. That’s a no-no. Nor can they skate so close to that line as to create the impression that they are “sanctioned” by God, or are his messengers in the state. 

        Since the reign of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, religion has been used to calm the people down. In moments of crises, presidents appear in church clutching the Bible looking holier-than-thou. That’s not illegitimate conduct, but it crosses the line when state officers act as though they are “chosen.”

        Often the Church itself acts with obsequious subservience to earthly potentates. We saw, for example, a certain “high priest” appear out of nowhere to give spiritual protection to electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati as he engaged in questionable conduct at Bomas of Kenya. These Church mandarins are the worst corrupters of our body politic. Many gluttonously accept ill-gotten “political” blood money stolen from the poor. They serve not God, but their fat midriffs.

        Kenya should return to a sober relationship between Church and State. It’s distressing, for example, when State House becomes a pulpit for religious crusades. That’s the people’s house and shouldn’t be desecrated by the use of religion to bludgeon the opposition, or unconstitutionally fuse Church and State. Take religious crusades to Uhuru Park, or other public venues, not State House.

            The cruelest dictators in history use God, Church, and Country to commit the most heinous crimes against the people. One of the worst, Adolf Hitler, made no secret of it. Beware of those with toothy grins who come in the name of God. We all need to vanquish Kenya’s holier-than-though political culture.

Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at the State University of New York Buffalo Law School. @makaumutua.

Source: Sunday Nation Today.

Thursday, 8 December 2022

Vice President Dr. Philip Mpango’s memorable visit to our family at Ukerewe

THE Vice President,  Dr.  Phillip  Mpango’s   visit  to  our  family  at  our  retirement  home  in  Ukerewe,  is   the  “breaking  news”  of  today’s  presentation.
It  was  early  morning  on  Friday,  25th  November,  2022;  at  about  9.00  a.m  when  my  family  happily  received,  at  our  Ukerewe  retirement  home,   a  most  welcome  visit  by  the  Vice President  of  the  United  Republic  of  Tanzania,  Dr.  Philip  Isidore  Mpango.  That   is the  subject  of  today’s  presentation.
            His  visit  was  in  every  respect,   both  a  memorable  as  well  as  a   historic   visit. These  are,  indeed,   the  most  suitable  and  appropriate  words   that   I  can  use  to  describe   the  ‘unusual’  circumstances  of  the  Vice-President’s  visit  to  my  family’s   Ukerewe retirement  home.   This  is  so  simply  because  of   the  actual  meanings  of  those  two  words.
The  dictionary  definition  of  the  word  “memorable”  is  given  as,”something  special,  good  and  unusual and  therefore  worth  remembering”   or  something  that  is   “unforgettable”    while   the  word  “historic”,  is  usually  used  to  describe  something  that  is  so  important  that  it  is   likely  to  be  remembered  for  a  long  time  or  something  that  is  ‘unforgettable’.
        Vice President   Phillip   Mpango’s  visit  to  my  family   fits   perfectly,  into  these   words’    definitions.   For indeed,  this  visit   was  something  ‘special,  good  and  unusual  and  therefore  worth  remembering   thus   ‘unforgettable’.   It  was  also  “unusual”,  because  even  the  experience  gained  from  my  own  observations,  shows  that  such  visits  to  individual  families  of  friends or  even  relatives,  by  such  top-level  national  leaders,  if  they  happen  at  all  are  extremely  rare.  For  example,  a  recent  book  titled   “38  reflections  on  Mwalimu  Nyerere” by  Mark  Mwandosya  and  Juma  V.  Mwapachu,  editors.   (Mkuki  na  Nyota  Publishers,  Dar es  Salaam).
        In  one  moving  narrative  by  Mwalimu’s close  aide  Anna  Julia  Mwansasu,  she  informs  that:  “At  Butiama (after  his  retirement)  Mwalimu  Nyerere  would  often  visit  Chief   Wanzagi  Nyerere,  his  brother  and  jokingly  told  him  that  he  had  managed to escape  from  jail”.   In  other  words,  he  had  to  ‘escape’,  unnoticed  by  his  security  guards ,  in  order  to  visit  his  own  brother!   This  little   story  helps  to  conform  the  assertion  that  it  is  not  ‘usual’  for  the  nation’s  apex  leaders,  to  visit  individuals  at  their  homes.
            Vice  President  Phillip  Mpango’s  visit  to  my  family,   was  not  only  ‘unusual’  in  that  sense,   but  was  indeed   ‘so  important  that  it  is  likely  to  be  remembered’   by  my  family  and  friends  for  a  very  long  time  to  come.   Haijapata  kutokea!
How we  received  this  top-level  visit
We  had,  of  course  received  prior  notification   of  the  Vice  President’s  intention  to  make  a  private,  courtesy  visit  to  our  family,   as  part  of    his  one  day  official  visit  to  Ukerewe  District   to  inspect   the   progress  being  made  in  the  construction  of   some   selected  strategic   infrastructure  projects,   which   are  in  the  process  of  construction.  For  that  reason,  as  is  customary  on  all  such   business  visits  by  either  the  Head  of  State  or  his  immediate  lieutenants  (the  Vice  President  and  the  Prime  Minister);   he  was  accompanied  by  a  fairly  large  delegation  of  government  officials.
        I  had   earlier  been  told  by  his  personal  Assistants,  that  “because  the  visit  to  my  family   was  a  purely  private  visit   initiated  by  the  Vice President  himself,   they  had   to  grant  him   the  freedom  to   talk  about   whatever  matters   he   wants  to  discuss  privately  with  you”.
                Hence,  when  he  entered  our  compound,   he  was  alone;  with  only   his  bodyguards  and    two   government  officials  who  were  his  official  hosts,  namely  the  Regional  Commissioner  and  the  District  Commissioner;  whom  I  had  also  invited  for  breakfast  with  us  and   our  distinguished  visitor.   His  large  entourage  of accompanying  government  officials,  which  included  some  Deputy  Ministers  and  other  senior  officials  from  his  Office  in  Dodoma,   was  conveniently  diverted  to  a  different   “holding  ground”   to  wait   there  for  him  until   he   finished  his  private  talks  with  me.
            To  start  with,  he  gave  us  an  unexpected  surprise when  we  saw  him  walking  through  the  driveway   towards  the  place  where  we  were  lined  up  to  receive  him;  having  left  his  State  car  and  driver   behind  the  gate.   His  action  quickly  reminded  me  of  what  the  Holy  Bible  says  in   the  ‘Letter  to  the  Corinthians’:  “For  we  walk  by  faith,  not  by  sight”.    Dr.  Mpango   was   presumably,  “walking  by  faith” when  he   entered   our  blessed   home  and   not  merely by  sight! !
                Hence,  my  first  words  to  him,  of  appreciation  and  admiration  at  the  time  of   receiving  him,  were:  “Haijapata  kutokea” and  his  jovial  response  was:  “ basi  leo  imetokea”.
Our  programme  for  his  visit
Because  the  Vice President’s  Office  portfolio  includes  matters  relating  to  the  “protection  of  the  environment”;   I  had  arranged  that  our  talks  would  be  held  over  breakfast and  thereafter  we  would  walk  around  our  extensive  compound  to  show  him  the  efforts  we  have  invested  in  protecting  the  environment  at  the  family  level.  These  efforts  include  the  planting and  carefully  maintaining  a   large  number  of   different  trees, among  them  the  ancient  trees  that  are  mentioned in  the  Holy  Bible,  MHaradali,  and  Mzeituni,  Mango and  Avocado   trees;   Oranges,  Bananas, Traditional  medicinal  plants, Vegetable  shrubs and   a  rainbow  of  different  lovely   flowers of  all  sorts  shapes  and  colours.
            This   tour  was  done  after  breakfast  and  the  completion  of  our  cordial private  talk.  In  these  tete-a-tete    talks, we  discussed  a  number  of  issues.   Eventually,  he  told  me  about  his  intention  to  commission  the  writing  of  a  new  book  which  will  record  our  country’s  authentic  political  history and  further   that  he  would  need  my  support  on  this  as  he  plans  to  send  his  team  to  come   and  “harvest”   what  he  described  as  “the  most  reliable  information  from  the  person  who  knows  precisely  what  actually transpired” in  the  politics  of  our  country.  Being  a  book  writer  myself,  I  was  happy  to  assure  him  of  my  full  support  and  cooperation  in  this  worthwhile  undertaking.
Then   followed   the    tour  of  our  garden.   The   Vice President  appeared  to  be  extraordinarily  relaxed  and   under  no  pressure of being  in  a  hurry  to  depart.                               
            Pictures of   this   little  tour   were  apparently  being  taken  by  his  Office  photographers  who   accompanied   him and  transmitted  to  the  different   social  media  outlets.     Thus,   we   soon  started  receiving  congratulatory messages  from  a  variety  of  well-wishers.
            One heart-warming message   said:   “Sincere  congratulations  . . . .  the  Vice President’s  visit  to  you  in  Ukerewe is  a  testament  of  the  high  respect  that  the  Tanzania  apex  leadership  holds  for  you  personally and  their  appreciation  for  your  distinguished   past  service  to  our  nation.             Indeed,   you  continue  to  be  a  national  icon   even  in  retirement.  His  visit  is  a   manifestation  of  the  current  national  leadership’s  recognition  of  your  continuing  usefulness  and  great  value  to  our  nation   even  in  your  retirement  and  still  continuing  to  be  active  and  productive”.
            The  organisers  of  his  official  visit   had   actually  been  allocated  only   half  an  hour;  but  the  Vice  President   stayed  with  us   for  a  whole  hour  and  a  half;  visibly  enjoying  and  admiring  all  that  he  was  seeing.    Later  in  the  afternoon  of  that  day,  in  his  speech   at  a  public  rally   in  Nansio   township   at  the  climax  of  his  official  visit;  he  encouraged  his  audience  to  try  and   find  time   to   visit  our  family  gardens,  in  order  to  see  for  themselves   our  productive  efforts  in  this  particular  respect,   also  asking  them  to  follow  our  example.  “It  can  be  done,   just  play  your  part”  he  said.    And  indeed,   as  early  as   the  next  day  we  received  the  first  few  of  such  interested  visitors. For  us,  as  the  saying  goes,  this  was most  certainly  “A  Day  to  Remember”.
About  Dr.  Phillip  Isidore  Mpango
The   Vice  President  of  the  United  Republic  of  Tanzania,  Dr.  Phillip  Isidore  Mpango  is  by  his nature,  a  very  amiable  personality.  He  first  entered  the  political  limelight  when  he  was  appointed  Minister  of  Finance  in  President  John  Pombe  Magufuli’s  5th  phase  government  of  the  United  Republic and  was   catapulted,  by  simple operation  of  the  country’s  constitution,   into  the  high  position  of  Vice President  of  the  United  Republic,  upon  the  sudden  death  in  office,  of  President  John   Magufuli,  in  March  2021. The  constitution  is  what also  propelled  the  then  Vice  President,  Samia  Suluhu  Hassan,  to  the  country’s  Presidency;   and,  using  the   granted  to  the  President  by  the  Constitution,  she  nominated  Dr.  Phillip  Mpango  for  the  Vice  Presidency  and  submitted  his  name  for  election  by  the  National  Assembly  which  unanimously  elected  him  to  fill  that  post.
            The  books  of  authority  on  the  subject  of  leadership,  assert   that  “some  people  are  born  to  become  top   leaders     (such  as  Monarchs;   others  become  leaders  because  of  their  wealth  or  family  connections and  still  others,  become  leaders  because  of  the  circumstances  in  which  they  find  themselves  at  the  material  time.
            It   was   in the  circumstances  described  above   that   Dr.  Phillip  Mpango   became  Vice  President.  He   did  not  ascend  to  that  position  through  the  normal  election  process  of  nomination  by  his  political  party  to  stand  in  the  relevant  election  as  “running  mate”  of  the  party’s  Presidential  candidate.   It  ould  appear  that  President  Samia  had   already  recognized  his  leadership qualities  during  his  service  as  Minister  of  Finance,   so  she  nominated  him  for  election  by  the  National  Assembly as  already  explained  above.
 Vice  President  Phillip  Mpango’s  leadership  style
Every  leader  has  his  or  her  own  style  of  leadership.  What  some  of  us  have  noticed  in   Vice  President  Dr.  Mpango,  is  that  he operates  on  the  basis   of  former  North  Korean  President  Kim  il  Sung’s  unique   style,  known  as  “On  the  Spot  Guidance”.  Whenever    President  Kim il  Sung visited  a  given  project  site  to  see  the  progress  being  made  in  its  implementation,  he  made  his  decisions  instantly  on  the  spot and  issued  the  necessary  guidance  right  there.
               Vice   President  Dr. Phillip  Mpango   is  routinely  making  similar “on  the  spot”  decisions.  This  was   clearly  during  his  visit  Ukerewe.  After  he  had  completed  the  task  of  inspecting progress  being  made  in  the  construction  of  selected  strategic  projects   that  are  under  construction  in  Ukerewe  District; he  also  made  instant  decisions  and gave  instant  guidance  to  the   government  Ministries  or  other Agencies  that  are   responsible for  the relevant  construction   works  or for  other  administrative  matters.
                For  example,  before  he  started  delivering  his  prepared  speech  at  the  public  rally;  he  tasked  each  of  the  Deputy  Ministers  who  accompanied  him  to  stand  up  and  give  a  satisfactory  explanation  in  response  to  the  complaints  that  had  been  raised  concerning  matters  that  are  within  the  responsibility  of  their  respective  Ministries and  further  ordered  them  to  report  to  him   within  a  period  of  one  month,  how  they  had  amicably  solved  the  said  problems.
                Complaints  had  also  been  raised  at  his  public  rally,   concerning  the  distribution  of  maize  that  had  been   sent  by  the  government  to  Ukerewe  to  ameliorate  the  problem  of  food  shortage   which  had  occurred  in  many  areas  of  this  District, caused  mainly  by  the  lack  of  sufficient  rain.  This  had  negatively  affected  the  cultivation  of  food  crops  by  the  peasant  farmers.  His  response  was  to  summon  an  urgent  meeting  of  the  Regional  and  District  Administration (which    was  held  later  that  evening)  to  find  a  solution  to  this  problem.
            That,  apparently  is  the   ‘style  of  leadership’  of  Vice  President  Dr.  Phillip  Isidore  Mpango which  is  famously  known   as  “On  the  Spot  Guidance.
piomsekwa@gmail.com /0754767576.
Source: Daily News Today.

Monday, 5 December 2022

Waombeni Mababu na si Kakakuona

Babu Yangu Mzee Busara aliwahi kunambia Kitu Kimoja ambacho sitakisahau. Alizoea kusema kuwa Ujinga si Mzigo bali ni Balaa. Maana, Mizigo Mingine ni Mali. Hebu fikiria ukitwishwa Mzigo wa Almas ukaishia Nao. Si unaishia kuwa Kibopa Ghafla bin Vuu? Na Mzigo Wenyewe kama ni Totoz tamu kama Embe Dodo unadhani utasikia Uzito au? Nikiwa ndo natoka kuupiga Mma kwa Mama Nkuzi si nikafika Nyumbani na kumkuta Bi Mkubwa Nesaa amesinyaa huku amesujudu Mbele ya Runinga. Niliuliza kulikoni? Bila Ajizi alijibu “huoni kwenye TV watu wanavyosujudu kumuomba kakakuona awabadilishie maisha yao?!” 
        Bila hata aibu kuwa mie ni mlevi msomi na mjuaji alisema “Njoo upige magoti tututoe maombi yetu.” Pamoja na maulevi yangu nilifikicha macho na kuangalia kituko ambacho sikutegemea kingehusisha walevi wenye akili timamu. Runinga ilionyesha walevi kule Morogorogoro wakisujudu mbele ya kakakuona eti wakiwasilisha maombi yao. Nilisonya na kusema “senzi kabisa. Huyo mdudu anaweza kuwasaidia nini kama siyo wendawazimu wa mchana?”
         Hetu tuache utani. Nani angeamini kwenye karne ya 21 kungekuwapo bado waja ambao wangepoteza juhudi na muda wao na kufanya kila walichoweza kumsujudia na kumsumbua kwa kumuomba mnyama na tena asiyejua wanachofanya achia mbali kuwa na uwezo wa kuwapa walichokuwa wakitafuta? Nilijisemea kilevi “wajinga wa wakubwa tena wa mwisho.” Bi Mkubwa hakunijibu. Maana, kilichofuata nikieleza nitachekwa na kuonekana kama si mrume kitu. Hata kama nilipewa adhabu ya kudeki nyumba nzima, wewe inakuhusu au kukusaidia nini? Hayo tuyaache.
        Naomba tufikiri pamoja tena kilevi. Je inakuwaje watu wanaojiita wazima na timamu kuamini upuuzi wa dada, sorry kakakuona kama siyo kufilisika kiakili? Eti mtu anaombea amani kwa kakakuona. Amani hailetwi na kaka wala dadakuona. Amani inaletwa na kujenga tabia ya amani na kutenda haki na kujitenga na dhuluma. Mwingine eti anaomba umeme kwa kakakuona utadhani kakakuona ni TANESCO! Sasa kama kakakuona anaweza kuleta umeme, TANESCO ya kazi gani? Yupo aliyeomba TANESCO kuacha ubangaizaji asijue kuwa kuwawajibisha ndiyo njia sahihi ya kuachana na kamchezo hako.
        Mwingine eti anaomba fedha kwa kakakuona. Sijui kama kakakuona anaijua hata hiyo fedha ukiachia mbali kuwa haiwezi kupatikana bila kuchapa kazi na kutumia akili vilivyo.
Hakuna kilichoniacha hoi kusikia eti wengine wakiomba wachumba toka kwa kakakuona. Unashindwa kuwasikiliza wazazi na kuwa na tabia njema na kutegemea mchumba aletwe na kakakuona au wale wahubiri uchwara kama wale wa kisulisuli ambao walikuwa manunga! Huwezi kupata mchumba toka kwa kakakuona zaidi ya majaliwa na jitihada zako. Mwingine aliomba mvua kwa kakakuona kana kwamba yeye ni wingu. Mvua hailetwi na kakakuona bali hali wezeshi kama vile kutunza mazingira na majira.
        Yupo aliyeomba upendo kana kwamba kakakuona ni msuluhishi. Unamchukia jirani au ndugu yako halafu unategemea kakakuona alete upendo. Upendo huanzia moyoni na siyo nje ndugu zanguni. Huwezi ukapanda chuki ukategemea kuvuna upendo. Mwingine aliomba amani asijue kakakuona mwenyewe haijui kutokana na kukaribia kutoweka tokana na ushirikina wa wanadamu! Usipande ujinga ukategemea kupata maarifa wala kupanda ubangaizaji ukategemea utajiri. Huwezi ukatumia njia feki ukategemea kupata majibu sahihi. Ubangaizaji huzaa ubangaizaji. Uvivu kadhalika huzaa uvivu ukiachia mbali ujinga kuzaa ujinga na maangamizi.
        Hebu tufikiri pamoja tena kilevi. Je anajua Kiswahili au kiluguru? Je mlipomuomba mlipata majibu ya maombi yenu zaidi ya kujihadaa kwa ujinga na uvivu wenu wa kufikiri? Tangu lini kakakuona akabadili mambo wakati yeye anajiishia kama alivyojaliwa? Heri mngemuomba sungura maana tunaaminishwa kuwa ana akili kuliko wanyama wote? Sidhani kama wanyama wanawaamini nyinyi wajinga. Watawaamini vipi wakati hamjiamini? 
Ukiangalia hata maombi yaliyoombwa ni tofauti na shida za wahusika. Sikuona aliyeomba kuacha uzinzi, uvivu, ngono muwawana na mambo mengine kama hayo. Sikusikia hata mmoja akiomba kuondokana na mtima nyongo, roho mbaya, uchoyo, ulafi, ubabaishaji, ufisadi, wizi, ujambazi, rushwa na majungu, urongo na ushirikina.
        Sasa kama mnaumuomba kiumbe maskini anayekaribia kutoweka kama kakakuona tokana na ujinga, uroho, upogo, na ushirikina wenu, hao mababu zetu watafanya kazi gani? Maana mmeomba miungu yenu imeshindikana. Mmewageukia wanyama. Itashindikana. Basi wageukie mababu zetu waliowanunia baada ya kufundishwa kuwadhalilisha, kuwakana na kuwatukana kwa kupwakia dini za watu msijue ni ukoloni mtupu. Naona yule anasonya huku akitikisa kichwa. Kwani nazusha? Mbona mlikana lugha hata majina yao ukiachia mbali mitambiko yako mkapwakia mitambiko ya kigeni iliyogeuzwa majina? Jaribu kufikiri kabla ya kunihukumu hata kama naongea kwa nguvu ya kanywaji.
Tumalizie kwa kuwaomba na kuwashauri walevi na wale wote wanaojifanya hamnazo kuacha ujinga na hata ukumbaff wa kuabudia vitu visivyo na faida wala uwezo wa kuwasaidia kutatua matatizo yao ambayo wameshindwa kuyatatua tokana na uchizani wao. Kama mmeishiwa hivi, basi ombeni mababu zenu lau wanaweza kuwasaidia. Tukutane wiki ijayo.
Chanzo: Jamhuri Kesho.

Saturday, 3 December 2022

CORRUPTION IN THE 2022 CCM ELECTIONS : THE WAR THAT CANNOT BE WON?

       


In  the  course  of  last  week,  as  the  CCM  general  elections  (and  those  of  its  affiliated  Organizations)   were proceeding  at  the  Regional  level;  the  party’s  Secretary  General  Daniel  Chongolo,  announced  the  nullification  of  the  results  in  several  locations,  for  the  reason  that  electoral  corruption  had  taken  place  in  those  areas.   “CCM  smells  rat  (sic)  in  four  Regions’  intra-part  polls”   said   the  DAILY  NEWS   of  Tuesday,  November  22nd,  2022  on  its  front  page.        
             But   many  of  us  do  know,   that  this  corruption  scourge  has  been  with  us  all  the  time,  and  has  been   taking  place  in  practically   every  such  election.   Corruption  appears  to  have  defied  all  the  efforts  to  fight  against  it,  as  evidenced  by  the  numerous  complaints  and  election  petitions  that  have  been  raised  in   respect  of  every  such  election.  Hence  the  question:   is  this   the  kind  of  war  that  cannot  be  won?
        I  was  reading  the  book  of  prayers,  when  I  came  across  the  following  beautiful  verse: “Oh  God,  give  me  the  courage  to  know  the  things  I  can  change; The  sagacity  to  know  the  things  I  cannot  change; And  the  wisdom  to  know   the  difference”.  The  lesson  of  this  prayer  appears  to  be  that  “there  are   things  that  “we  cannot    change”;  and  the  presence  of corruption  in  politics,  particularly  electoral corruption,   seems  to  be  one  of  those  things   that  we  cannot  change  by  winning  the  war  against   it.  
Why  this  war  cannot  be  won. 
The  war  against  corruption  was  first   declared  by  Mwalimu  Julius  Nyerere,   in   his  speech  to  the  colonial  Legislative  Council,  delivered  on  17th  May,  1960;   in  which  he   said  the  following:-“Mr.  Speaker,  there  is  one  other  enemy  which  must  be  added  to  the  three  already  declared  ‘people’s   enemies’  of  poverty,  ignorance  and  disease.   This   enemy,   is  corruption. 
        I  think   corruption  must  be  treated  with  ruthlessness   because,  in  my  opinion,  corruption  and  bribery  are  greater  enemies  to  the  welfare  of  the  people  during  peace  time,  than  war  is  during  war  time.  I  believe  that  corruption  in  a  country  should  be  treated  in  almost  the  same  way  as  treasoThereafter  when   TANUs   creed  was  crafted,   it  included  a  declaration   that  “ corruption  is  an  enemy  of  justice”,  and  enjoins  every  party  member  to  promise,  in  a solemn  oath,  that    he  or  she  “will  never  give,  or  receive  bribes”.   
             And  even   at  society  level,  corruption  is  roundly  condemned  as  an  unmitigated  evil.  Plus,  according  to  the  country’s  laws,   corruption  is  a  criminal  offence.   In April  1971,  the  Parliament  of  the  United  Republic  enacted  the  Prevention  of  corruption  Act  (no.  6  of  1971)  which  defined  the  full  range  of  “corrupt  transactions”,  and  imposed  severe  penalties  on  those  who  would  be  found  guilty  of  an  offence  under  this  Act. The  Act  was  amended  in  1974,  to  enable   the  President   to  establish   an  anti-corruption  body,  which  is  the  current  ‘Prevention  and  Control  of  Corruption Bureau (PCCB).        
        But  still,  despite  all  these  efforts  and  devices  to  combat  corruption,  it  still  continues  to  prosper  in  our  institutions  of  governance,  including   CCM,  the  ruling  party.   It   thus   seems   pretty   obvious,   that   the  war  against  corruption  cannot  be  won.   But   why? There   must  be  a  variety  of  reasons  for  this  failure.  It,  would  appear  that  this  is   one  of  those  things   that   ‘we  cannot  change”,  as  advised  in  the  prayer  verse  quoted  above.                          
        My  assertion  is  based  on  the  argument  that  since   ‘we  cannot  change’ the  situation  regarding  the  other  three  enemies  of  poverty,  ignorance  and  disease;  and  that   all  we  can  do  is  to  continue  fighting   relentlessly against  them;  but   with  no  hope  of  eliminating  them completely;  thus  leavn". ing  it  to  every  generation   to  continue  the  fight,   to  the  best  of  its  ability  in  terms  of  resources.    The  same  argument   seems   to  apply  to  the  enemy  of ‘corruption’.  Every  generation  will  similarly  have  to  continue  the  fight,  to  the  best  of  its  ability.
             Other  mundane  reasons   that  could  be  considered  to  be  remotely   relevant,  including  propositions   such  as  that  which  was  advanced  by  the   celebrated  Historian  Edward  Gibbon, (1737 -1794)  who,  in  his  classical  work  titled  The  Decline  and  Fall of  the Roman  Empire,  described  ‘corruption’  as  “the  most  infallible  symptom  of  constitutional  liberty”.  His  statement  was  interpreted  to  mean  that  the  freedom  of  the  individual  includes  hi  freedom  to  be  corrupt! Hence,   ‘aluta  continua’  (the  struggle  continues).
            We  have  all witnessed  the  fact  that   the  problem  of  corruption,  especially  electoral  corruption  has  continued  unabated.    In  my  presentation  in  this  column  in  August  2020;  when   I  was  writing  in  preparation  for  that   year’s  general  election,   I   also  referred  to  this  matter  of  electoral   corruption,   wherein  I  said  that   any  amount  of  brain-racking  about  a  way  out  of  this  problem,   has  always  seemed   to end  up  in  frustrating  futility;  and  that  despite the  general  public ‘s  awareness   of  the  evils  of   corruption,  plus   the  numerous  complaints  against  it  that  are  often  raised;  when  the  argument   reaches  the  point  of  suggesting  a  viable  solution  to  the  problem,  the  stakeholders  tend  to  run  out  of  ideas,  as   everyone  seems  to  expect  the  government  alone  to  do  all  the  fighting  against  this  menacing   corruption.                            
             The  government,  of  course,  has  a  binding  obligation  to  take  the  necessary  actions  but,  under  the  ‘rule  of  law’  principle,   the  government  can  fight  corruption  only  through  the  courts  of  law,  and  this  rote  has  its  win  obstacles,  which  are  caused  by  factors  that  are  inherent  in  the  established  practice  and  procedure  of  the  courts;  such  as  their  reliance  on  procedural  technicalities,  which  the  defense  counsel  can  use   to  save  their  clients  from  conviction.                  
        And  there  is  yet  another    obstacle,  that  is  however  perfectly  justified,  namely,  the  requirement  to  produce  evidence  that  will  satisfy  the  court  beyond  reasonable doubt,  in  order  to  secure  a  conviction. This  is  indeed   justified  and  necessary  in  the  dispensation  of  justice;  but  it  creates  an  impediment  to  the  prosecution  in  electoral  corruption  cases;  which  is  caused  by   three  factors:  (i)  the  secrecy  that  normally  surrounds  such  corrupt  transactions;  obviously  for  fear  of  being  detected; (ii)  the  mutual  willingness  by  the  parties  involved,  which  is  akin  to  the  “willing  seller/willing  buyer”   business  principle,  which  is  applicable  in   lawful  commercial   business   transactions;  whereby  the  seller  of  a  given  product  or   item  is  willing  and  happy  to sell  his  item,  and  the  buyer  is  equally  willing  and  happy  to  buy  the  same;  and    (iii)  the  sheer   love  of  money.  For,  as  the  Holy  Bible  says: “the  love  of  money  is  the  root  of  all  evil”.                                  
         Corruption  money  is   certainly  easy  money  to  obtain,  and  therefore  a  great  attraction  to  the  voters,   who  are  the  targeted  recipients  of  such  money;  which  adds  to  the  difficulties  of  fighting  electoral  corruption.    But  that  is  how  the  Justice  system  operates;  and  this  reminds  me  of  the  saying  that  is  attributed  to  an  ancient  Athenian statesman  called  Solon,  who   is  on  record  as  having  said  this:-“Laws  are  like  spiders  webs.  If  some  poor  weak  creature  comes  up  against  them,  it  is  caught.  But  a  bigger  one  can  break  though  and  get  away”.
However,   the  fight  against  corruption  must  continue.
          But  that   is  not  to  say  that  we  should  surrender  and  give  up  the  fight.   The  books  of  authority  on  this  subject  assert  that  “corruption  is  like  a  virus,  which  is  always  around  to  infect  a  political  system  and  make  it  sick  anywhere  in  the  world.   And  very  much  like the  human  body,  political  systems  are  also  capable  of  developing  their  own  immune  systems  that  can  automatically  fight  and  resist  the  corruption  virus”.  
         The  said  books  further  assert   that  “the  degree  of  corruption  prevailing  in  any  one  political  society  largely  depends  on  either  the  strength,  or  the  efficiency,  of  its  immune  system.  In  a  democratic  polity, a  strong  and  vigilant  public  opinion  is  the  built-in  immune  system   which  resists  and  restricts   the  onslaught  of  viruses  like  corruption”.    
        In  essence,   this  assertion enjoins  every  leader  in  their  respective  areas  of  responsibility,  to  take  on  the  responsibility  of  creating  this  desired  “strong   and  sustainable  public  opinion”  that  will  resist  and  restrict  the  continued  onslaught  of   the  corruption  virus.      
        Indeed,  such  initiatives  will  be    implementing   the  advise  given  by  Edmund  Burke (1729 – 1797)  that   “for  any  evil to  triumph,  it  is  only  necessary  for  the  good  man  to  do  nothing  about  it”.  Hence,  let  every  leader  in  our  political  society  be  that  “good  man”  who  refuses  to  do  nothing  about  corruption,  and  instead,  actively  undertakes  to  do  something  about  it,   in  support  of  the  national   efforts  in  curbing  corruption. 
CCM’s   record   of   efforts   to  combat  corruption. 
The  nullification  of  results  announced  by  CCM  Secretary  General  is  neither   the  first, nor  the  only   punitive  step  that  has  been  taken  by  CCM;  it  is  merely  a  continuation  of  the ‘struggle’ in  the   endless   war  against  electoral  corruption  within  the  ruling  party. In  that  respect,  it belongs  to  the  category  of  ‘unwinnable’  wars,  which  includes   the  fight  against  the  other  three  ‘people’s  enemies’  of  poverty,  ignorance,  and  disease;  against  which  every  generation  must  continue   to  fight,  to  the  best  of  its  ability;  and  hand  over  the fight  to  the  next  generation;  as  CCM’s  track  record  clearly  shows.               
        This    party’s   election  regulations  (Kanuni  za  Uchaguzi  wa  Chama)  have  always  included a  section  which  prohibits  the  use  of  money  for  the  purpose  of  seeking  votes,   in   all  its  intra-party   elections.    The  said  rules  also  prescribe  the  applicable   punishments   in  cases  of  their  being  breached.    However,   the   enforcement  of  these  rules  has  generally  been  unsatisfactory;  as  many  of  culprits  have  escaped  punishment.
            Similar  efforts  have  been  invested  in  respect  of  national elections (the  parliamentary  and  Local  Authority  elections;  in  which   the  relevant  election  laws  have  made  appropriate   provisions  for  controlling   electoral  corruption.     But,  as  we  have  already  seen  above,  a  breach  of  such  laws  can  only  be  determined,  and  punished,   by  the  courts  of  competent  jurisdiction.   These  laws  have  been  effectively  administered,  as  evidenced  by  the  number  of  past  election  petitions  relating  to  parliamentary  elections  that  have  been  successful.             
        Even  under   the  ‘one-party’  constitutional  dispensation,  there  was  the  case  of  William  Bakari  and  another v  Chediel  Yohana  Mgonja  (Civil  case  no.  5  of  1982);  in  which  allegations  of  corruption  were  raised  against  the  said  Chediel  Mgonja,  who  had  won  the  election. The   petitioner  was   successful,  resulting  in  the  nullification  of   that  election. 
        There  are numerous  other  examples  of  election  petitions  whose  pleadings  included  allegations  of  corrupt  practices,   in  practically  each  of   the  elections  that  were  held  during  that  period;  which  confirms  the  observation  that  the  electoral  corruption  problem  has  been  with  us   all  the  time.     
        Corruption  is  a  worldwide  problem.
We  posited  above,  that  corruption  has  been  with  us  ‘all  the  time’.   But  it  has  not  been  with  us  alone,  for  it  is  a  worldwide  problem,  which  afflicts  almost  every  country  around  the  globe.  For  example,  the  records  show  that  in  Italy,  a  Socialist  party  official  was  arrested   in  Milan  in  1992,  having  been  caught  pocketing  a  bribe  on  a  cleaning  contract  in  an  old  peoples  home;  an  event  which  set  in  motion  an  anti-corruption  avalance,   which  quickly  swept  away  Italy’s  veteran  political  leaders.  And  in  Japan,   a  1989  corruption  scandal    led  to  the  downfall  of  that  country’  hitherto  most  powerful   Liberal  Democratic   Party.
piomsekwa@gmail.com/075767576.  
Source: Daily News. Thursday.