Magufulification: Concept That Will Define Africa's Future and the Man Who Makes Things Happen
Wednesday, 30 March 2022
By Nkwazi Mhango, Manitoba, Canada
Dear Mr. William Ruto,
For the first time, I touch base with you. Allow me a wee bit of your time to the following important issues that resonate with you individually and Kenya in general. Since you fell out with your boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, many things have occurred. All started when he shook hands with his former nemesis, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on 9th March, 2018. We all understand you didn’t support this milestone for the duo and Kenya. However, your boss said that you’re informed about everything but later, you started complaining that his move had destroyed your dalliance, which gave birth to a very fake marriage known as UhuRuto. To cap it all, you recently alleged that Kenya’s coming general election will be rigged to favour Odinga. These are damningly serious allegations that can’t be swept under the rug.
Mr. Ruto, due to the above unsubstantiated rancorous allegations, you and some of your lieutenants have alleged that the coming election will be rigged in favour of Mr. Odinga since he’s backed and supported by your boss. Can you please tell us what we don’t know that you know? How spot-on are such allegations? Speaking at the Karson Institute for Race, Peace and Social Justice in Loyola University in Maryland USA, on 2nd February, 2022, you’re quoted as saying that “as a leader, I have taken the position to speak against any attempts to try and straightjacket people into predetermined outcomes. We would have expected to do this without the baggage of blackmail and intimidation that is going on but unfortunately that is where we are” (Sic). Seriously?
Because of those true/imagined dreads, you recently announced that you’ll launch your parallel tallying centre in the August election despite knowing that it is illegal and unconstitutional. To jog your mind, Odinga was quoted as saying that in “last election , when we demanded to be allowed to set up a parallel tallying centre, he [Ruto] is on record saying that would be unconstitutional. Now he is saying he is going to set up a parallel tallying centre so he is basically living in contradictions.” Who’s telling the truth/lies between you and Mr. Odinga?
Mr. Ruto, by creating doubts about the credibility of votes, do you mean that you won’t accept the results shall you not be declared a winner even without actually winning? Are such allegations pre-emptive move to complicate things? Don’t you know its ramifications?! Have you easily forgot the 2007/08 bloodbath and bad politics? Have you forgotten the ICC saga Sir? Are you serious or just seeking sympathy from voters after sensing defeat? More importantly, the sage’s it that nothing should be done in a hurry except catching fleas. Similarly, what’s good for the goose’s good for the gander.
Mr. Ruto, thanks to the above catch-22, there are some issues we’d like to get straight in order to be the part of the solution to this narrative. Again, are you crying foul because the shoe is on the other foot, or do you’ve any believable evidence to substantiate your allegations? As the President to be––––conditionally and strictly if you make it––––you need to show believability and probity in whatever you do or say or stand for. Again, are you ready to make public your evidence on the matter?
Honourably and scientifically, please address the issue of rigging. Similarly, allow me to humbly ask you the following questions: Why’d Odinga rig if he won three elections without rigging since he didn’t have the instruments of power or being the part of government? What’s changed? Did he win or not? Refer to Moses Kuria (MP for Gatundu, South), who’s recently quoted as saying “we are the ones who maintained Uhuru, and we are the ones who used to steal votes for him.” The bolded words back Odinga’s allegations that his three wins were stolen.
Mr. Ruto, don’t you see that the truth that Odinga won three aeras and his victory’s stolen needs to be well-thought-out before making such allegations? How, if the government that conducted and presided over the election was UhuRuto’s? Based on that, don’t you see that Kuria’s exposé speaks to the facts that Odinga had the numbers, which he still has plus the backing of the outgoing president, thus will easily defeat you without necessarily rigging? If he won solo three times against two presidents, what’ll stop him from winning fair and square provided that the backing by Kenyatta speaks to the addition of ballot to Odinga’s ballot hamper?
More importantly, why’d Mr. Odinga rig the coming poll against one person while he’s able to beat three people in the allegedly rigged elections prior? Though we don’t support rigging since it can cause troubles for the country, we think that any allegations made without substantiation are likely to show that those making them have already sensed defeat. We might be right or wrong on this. Chinese proverb’s it that he who strikes the first blow admits he’s lost the argument.
Mr. Ruto, are you implying that you’ve underscore the fact that you’ve already lost the argument not to mention elections? If he were able to rig the election[s]–––if indeed this holds water––––why then did he lose three elections after being rigged out as you know? I don’t believe so; and I’d not like this to be the case. Thus, let’s be a wee bit fair to ourselves and Mr. Odinga and his backers. Kenya’s bigger and more important than us individuals.
In sum, let’s be fair to ourselves and others as we seek to maintain the cohesion, peace and stability Kenya’s enjoyed as the result of the handshake. If you lose just shake hands and try another time instead of thinking it’s the end of the world. Politicians come and go, and Kenya will always be there. Let’s also be truthful to our people and the country at large. Mr. Ruto, since you’re in the know, please divulge your evidence in order to unearth his dangerous and ghoulish scheme against the constitution and justice. Submit them to the authorities. Italians have proverb that never point out the mistakes of another with a dirty finger. Enough is enough. Let presidential contestants put their houses in order before making damning allegations. Mr. Ruto, can you please present your evidence to substantiate your claims? How’ll the coming elections pan out? Please clear the air before that. Blessed be and embark on clean and patriotic politics.
Source: African Executive Magazine today.
Monday, 28 March 2022
Saturday, 26 March 2022
Friday, 25 March 2022
As would be expected, this sudden announcement produced a great deal of shock in all those who heard it live.Thus, last week, March 17th, 2022; was the first anniversary of President John Pombe Magufuli’s untimely death, which occurred hardly three months into what would have been his second term in office. And this day was aptly observed at national level through a prayer congregation attended by all the nation’s top leaders, who assembled at Chato (the home village of both the birth and burial, of the late President); in commemoration of the first anniversary of that sorrowful event.
The famous English Playwright and dramatist, William Shakespeare, wrote the following lines in his work titled Julies Caesar : “The evil that men do lives after them, but the good is often interred with their bones”. Tanzanians should not, nay, must not, allow ‘the good’ that the late President Magufuli did for our nation, to “be interred with his bones”.
And that, I humbly submit, should be the main purpose, and principal objective, of all such death commemoration events for all our departed leaders. Consequently, that will be the theme of today’s article, which attempts to present “the good” that the late President Magufuli did for our country and nation, “lest we forget”.
Everyone is, of course, free to make his own assessment of the late President Magufuli’s performance. There are three specific areas which lend themselves to leadership performance assessment and evaluation. They are (a) the state of the economy, and the social services; (b) participation in the international relations area; and (c) the management of the political landscape. In respect of the late President Magufuli,
I would venture to say that the vast majority, if not all, of the people, would easily agree that his performance in the area of strengthening the country’s economy, and his delivery in the social services sector, were admirably extraordinary. There is this Kiswahili proverb, which says “Mwenye macho, haambiwi tazama”. The positive results of his endeavours in this area were there for all to see, and witness for themselves.
For example, in the face oh high risks of failure, he boldly undertook to implement mega infrastructure projects ; particularly those of shifting the government capital to Dodoma, and the construction of the huge Stigler’s Gorge electricity generating plant; both of which had been conceived by the late President Nyerere in the early formative years of the country’s independence; but had been totally frustrated by factors beyond his control.
Other apparently risky mega investment projects included the reviving of the seriously ailing national Airline, Air Tanzania Corporation; by purchasing for it the most modern flying aircraft the Dreamliner, among other latest models; and the construction of the standard Gauge Railway line of more than one thousand kilometers; plus the construction of new, large, passenger and cargo ships to operate on Tanzanian inland Lakes; and all of these mega projects being carried out using only internally generated funds !
And in the Social service area, the late President Magufuli quickly introduced and implemented the policy of “free Primary and junior secondary education up to FORM IV level; and also greatly increased the amount of interest-free loans to higher (tertiary) education students. Considering the fact that there are as many as fifty-two University institutions that, between them, were admitting a total of more than one hundred students every year; plus an even much larger number of continuing students; granting loans to such large numbers of beneficiaries as a very heavy burden, as well as risky business, for the government to undertake. But Magufuli’s government had no hesitation in accepting to carry this extra heavy load, obviously based on the basic principle which is expressed in the dictum “elimu ni msingi wa maendeleo” .
On the other hand, however, his rather callous disregard of the serious dangers posed by the corona virus pandemic, relying instead on urging people to pray and pray again, asking for God’s divine protection. But, indeed, as if the almighty God had whispered to him, our country was largely saved from the ravaging effects of this pandemic, which continued to devastate many other countries in the entire word; thus necessitating the imposition of some extremely severe restrictions on peoples’ movements, such as lockdowns; which obviously created new serious problems by disrupting peoples’ normal lives.
President Magufuli luckily saved us from all that, with people continuing to live their normal, ordinary lives of working hard, in compliance with his famous slogan “Hapa kazi tu”.
Furthermore, opinions are also divided with regard to the international relations area. There are those who think that the late President seems to have largely distanced himself from personal meetings with his peers, both in respect of attendance at international meetings like the United Nations General Assembly; and in travelling to other countries on official visits. For he rarely crossed Tanzania’s borders for these purposes. Although they are also those who did not see this to be a problem at all.
Similarly, in the area of managing the political landscape; there is a substantial number of those who feel that he was not giving equal opportunities to all the political players, to exercise their political rights, particularly when he imposed a ban on public political meetings during the times when there was no elections for which to conduct the necessary electoral campaigns meetings.
But I am one of the late President Magufuli’s many admirers, who also include his Zimbabwe enthusiasts, who coined the “Magufulification” concept, to which I briefly referred to in last week’s article. Nevertheless, as shown above, I readily concede that, being a human being like the rest of us, he did commit mistakes in some areas of state governance. But such mistakes are what, I submit, should have been “interred with his bones”.
My admiration of the late President Magufuli’s performance, is clearly evidenced in the series of articles, which were regularly published in this column in respect of his performance : (a) after his first hundred days in office; and (b) at the end of each of his years in office, during the whole of his first term.
In my article on President Magufuli’s first hundred days in office, I made the observation that “President Magufuli had already become an African continental icon, within those first hundred days in office”; and to confirm this assertion, I quoted captions from some of the leading newspapers of South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, all of which sang praises on President Magufuli’s exemplary performance.
In the same captivating enthusiasm, I also undertook, in 2019, jointly with my friend and colleague Nkwazi Mhango; to co-author a book titled “Magufulification”: A new concept that will define Africa’s future”; which we submitted for publication, upon formal signed Agreement, to GDY Publications Company Limited of Da es Salaam. But it is unfortunately still awaiting publication.
Inside our co-authored “Magufulification” tome.
Our own considered appraisal of President Magufuli’s unique, extraordinary performance (which is implied in the “Mgufulification” concept), is to be found in the final Chapter 10 of that book; in which we take a close look at his rapid implementation of his election promise “to bring substantive change”. Therein we cite both the minor and major changes, which he successfully introduced, in respect of the government’s management of the country’s affairs.
His ‘minor’ changes included the cancellation of some of the grandiose national celebrations that involved huge expenditures (such as the annual independence celebrations), and re-allocating the money budgeted to other development projects; while the ‘major’ changes include the enhancement of the collection of government revenues, from the former billions to the current trillions of shillings; particularly his effective elimination of the exploitation that was being carried out by some of the foreign mining companies when he introduced new, revolutionary, pieces of legislation; specifically: the “Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Renegotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Act” of 2017; and “the “Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Act”, also of 2017.
The first mentioned Act granted new powers to the National Assembly to review any mining contract, or Agreement, “which appeared to jeopardize, or was likely to jeopardize, the interests of the people of the United Republic”. The second Act made provision for the recognition of the country’s permanent sovereignty over its natural wealth and resources, by declaring that “the ownership of, and control over, the country’s natural wealth and resources shall be exercised by, or through, the Government, on behalf of the people of the United Republic”; and further provides as follows:- “it shall be wrongful and unlawful to make any arrangement or Agreement for the extraction, exploration, or acquisition and use of the country’s natural resources, except where the interests of the people are fully secured, and is approved by the National Assembly”.
These revolutionary laws include a number of other provisions, which have brought immense benefits to the people of Tanzania in a variety of other ways, by effectively controlling the mining sector; which has resulted in very significant increases in government revenues accruing from that sector, thus greatly reducing the excessive dependence on foreign donors; and creating genuine hope in the possible success of achieving the ‘magic’ of “self-reliance”, that was envisaged in the ruling party’s Arusha Declaration of 1967.
We also drew attention to the late President Magufuli’s commendable fight against the evil of corruption, and the strides he had made in that difficult endeavour; as evidenced by a variety of positive comments made by from different independent sources. A forum meeting of the Human Rights NGOs held in Banjul on the occasion of the 2018 “African Human Rights Day”; where 18 Tanzanian Human Rights Civil Organizations were represented, issued the following statement at the close of their meeting:- “This forum “calls on other African Heads of State to take a leaf from President Magufui’s fight against corruption”. A manifest proof of the international recognition accorded to President Magufuli’s achievements in that area.
“Ethics is the heart of leadership”, so the books of authority on this subject tell us. The late President Magufuli will also be remembered for his firm stand in defense of the constitution. In 2017, some CCM cadres had initiated a private campaign, seeking to have the constitution amended in order to allow him to serve for more than two terms. “I am not interested in staying on after my two terms”; was President Magufli’s ethical response. He continued thus: “I vowed solemnly, when I took the oath of office, to abide by the Constitution. There is no way I can stay beyond the stipulated two terms”.
Source: Daily News and Cde Msekwa.
Tuesday, 22 March 2022
As the first attacks took place, the West awkwardly issued threats that it’d impose sanctions against Russia, which it later did though to no avail. They announced all sorts of measures topped up with millions of dollars grants and aids at the time Ukraine needed boots on the ground to no avail. Many analysts wondered and are still worried how sanctions could deter or stop an advancing interloper seeking to revenge for its fleeting death. What do sanctions effectively do for the people trading punches?
Again, such desperate measures didn’t stop Russia from invading helpless Ukraine. Yes, the West’s abandoned Ukraine at the very hour of need. Why? The answer comes to from NATO’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg who says that the conflict’s but a new normal for the toothless Europe. Ukraine president Zelenskyy realised how betrayed and duped he’s after being left to face cavalier and callous Putin, who openly pled the Ukrainian military to overthrow him. A frustrated Zelenskyy’s quoted as saying “we have been left alone to defend our state.” This was obvious after Zelenskyy asked to meet US president Joe Biden to no avail. Instead of showing US’s mighty, Biden, kept on issuing threats and doing nothing as Ukraine’s on fire. This proves that the US’s given up on its hegemony.
The story of this over-all butchery started a long time ago when the US voted in Donald Trump to lay the foundation and thereby pave the way for the destruction of US’s unchecked hegemony. He openly leaned to Putin so as to expose US’s virility. He’s recently quoted as saying that Putin’s a genius.
Again, why did the West cower in? Methinks, the lessons from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya are now making sense. The US isn’t ready to repeat the same gaffe; and Putin knows this too well. He’s been scheming and studying it and has now made good out of it. Although it’s too early to conclude, the US has visibly lost its hegemony. This tells us that nothing human is permanent. Who knew that the US would easily and quickly swallow it pride?
As we ponder on this, we must admit that when the odds seem to favour Putin and defy the US, China, another superpower, is carefully calculating the next move in this war of domination. There’s nothing new shall China take over the helm. Egypt, Greece, Roman Empire, and Mesopotamia gave in not to mention the eminent giving by the US now after facing wars in many fronts. Of the trio, namely China, Russia and the US, China stood to gain big. Firstly, it isn’t involved directly in this obviously pricy and self-destructive war. Secondly, it’s now waiting to claim its prize, the leading place in global geopolitics. You can take this to the bank. The winner among the trio is China. Russia’s another champ. It better makes do with a silent China rather than with the raucous US, which seems to have chickened out in this game of flexing muscle. You can see this on how China’s maintained non-involvement and silence at the time the entire world’s chaotically and dangerously hollering. The silent lion’s the one that eats meat. So, too, Russia is revenging against the US that destroyed its hegemony. India’s and other BRICS’ members silence towards this war speaks loudly.
In sum, for the US and the West, it’s game over for their hegemony and machinations. As for Africa, when two hawks start a brawl, the fowls must seek a shelter. I heard Kenya’s envoi to the UN, Martin Kimani, making hullabaloos against Russia. Nobody listens to you guys. Instead of being used, strategize about how to use this crisis. If the tables were turned on Africa, you’d not hear any ruckus from either the EU, Russia even Ukraine. It’s the right time for Africa to think about disbanding their colonial border and unite as the strategy of asserting and claiming its place and power amidst the world community. Bad news however, this time offers opportunity for dictators to thrive since there’s no bully to bug them with the noises about/of democracy, good governance, and human rights. He who lives by sword will die by sword. Ta-ta hegemony and Pax Americana.
The author is a lifetime member of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL), an expert in Terrorism and author of over 20 books among which are Africa Reunite or Perish, 'Is It Global War on Terrorism' or Global War over Terra Africana? How Africa Developed Europe and contributed many chapters in scholarly works.
Source: African Executive Magazine
Saturday, 19 March 2022
Thursday, 17 March 2022
Sikuwahi kukuandikia barua ulipo kuwa nasi. Hata hivyo, japo kimwili uliondoka mwaka mmoja uliopita, kiroho bado tuko nawe. Matendo yako bado yanakuwakilisha, yanaongea na kutufariji kwa ukiwa uliotuachia ukiachia mbali pengo kubwa. Kwa muda ambao hukuwepo, naomba nitumie barua hii kukuhabarisha na kukujuza hali ya mambo japo kwa ufupi. Hivyo, unaposoma barua hii naomba nikujuze yafuatayo:
Mosi, Makamu wako Mheshimiwa Samia Suluhu Hassan alichukua nafasi yako kwa mujibu wa katiba. Kimsingi, Samia hakuchukua nafasi tu bali anaanza kutosha kwenye viatu vikubwa ulivyoacha. Mwanzoni, kulitokea ukakasi kwa baadhi ya watu ambao hawakuamini kuwa mwanamke angeweza kuwa Rais achilia mbali kutosha kwenye viatu vyako vikubwa. Hata hivyo, naomba nikutoe wasi wasi. Mama anaendelea kuenea kwenye viatu vyako barabara.
Pili, pamoja na kuchukua nafasi yako, mrithi wako ameendeleza mema yote uliyoacha ukiachia kufanya mabadiriko na marekebisho kidogo ambayo ni mambo ya kawaida kiutawala. Mfano, miradi yote mikubwa ya maendeleo bado inaendelea kwa kasi ya kuridhisha. Mbali na hilo, kwa mara ya kwanza, Tanzania tumeweza kuwauzia bidhaa nyingi kuliko wanazotuuzia. Hii mana yake ni kwamba uchumi wa viwanda unawezekana inaanza kutimia tena haraka sana. Tunakukumbuka na kukushukuru sana kwa kazi pevu uliyofanya. Kila tunapokwenda tunaheshimika kweli kweli kutokana na rekodi na uchapakazi wako.
Tatu, mbali na kuendeleza miradi kwa kasi ya kutosha, Mheshimiwa Rais alibadili kauli mbiu yako kidogo. Hata bajeti mwaka huu imepanda kutoka Sh36.66 trilioni hadi kufikia Sh37.98 trilioni ili kuwezesha miradi kuendelea kwa kasi inayotakiwa. Badala ya “Hapa Kazi tu”, aliinogesha kwa kuja na “Kazi Iendelee” akimaanisha kazi pevu uliyoasisi na kuacha isikwame wala kukwamishwa. Cha mno, alipunguza ukali kidogo kwenye baadhi ya masuala kama kuongea na wapinzani. Hata hivyo, hii haikuja kirahisi. Una habari kuwa Mwenyekiti wa CHADEMA, Freeman Mbowe, alisoteshwa ndani kwa takriban miezi minane baada a kufunguliwa kesi uchwara ya ugaidi. Kama siyo viongozi wa dini kuingilia kati mbona angeumia zaidi. Kwa vile mrithi wako ni msikivu kama wewe na ameendelea kuwaheshimu viongozi wa dini wa kweli (si matapeli wanaojifanya kutenda miujiza wakati ni utapeli na wizi) aliwasikiliza walipomuomba amfutie kesi Mbowe. Na baada ya kufanya hivyo, siku moja aliaachiwa na wawili walikutana ikulu na kupiga picha za pamoja na kutuaminisha kuwa sasa wako pamoja. Tunangoja kuona matokeo zaidi.
Nne, suala la uwajibikaji limeendelezwa japo ukali wa kutumbua siyo kama wako. Anayetumbua sana ni Dk Hussein Mwinyi ambaye unajua kuwa ni Mwenyekiti wa Baraza la Mapinduzi kwa sasa. Naamini baada ya kusoma barua hii ya kumbukizi, Mheshimiwa Rais ataongeza kasi ya kutumbua. Pia, nichukue fursa hii kukupa habari mbaya kidogo. Unakumbuka baadhi ya mafisadi uliokuwa umesweka ndani kama wale walanguaji wa umeme wa AIPTIELO? Wote washaachiwa. Wako wanatumbua chumo la wizi,. Hata hatujui vigezo vilivyotumika kuwaachia. Mbali ya kushangaa na kuudhika, sijui undani wa kuachiwa kwao.
Tano, nadhani unakumbuka kadhia ya Ukovi-19. Kumbe ulikuwa unajua mengi ambayo hatukujua. Kwa taarifa yako ni kwamba nchi nyingi sasa zimelegeza masharti baada ya kuja na kile wanachoitwa kwa kimombo tough it out. Ulipotoka watu waliachana na kujifukiza wakaelekea kwenye chanjo na kuvaa barakoa ambazo, hata hivyo, huku Ulaya tutaachana nazo siku mbili kuanzia leo. Huu ni ushahidi kuwa utabiri wako kuwa miili yetu itazoea ulikuwa wa kisayansi na kweli japo wajinga wengi hawakukuelewa. Wazungu wana mizungu. Ndo maana hukuwaamini. Unaweza kuamini kuwa kuna vita inaendelea kati ya Urusi na Ukraine ambayo imefunika Ukovi-19? Basi kaka, vita ilipoanza waswahili walibaguliwa katika harakati za kuokoa maisha yao sina mfano. Ungekuwapo ungesema kitu bila shaka. Ajabu waukraine waliokwama huko Kenya wanalala na kula bure bila hata kulazimishwa waende UNHCR. Tumeonyeshwa kuwa watu weupe ni bora kuliko watu wote duniani na ubaguzi na dharau vya wazi.
Mpendwa Dk Magufuli, najua ulipenda sana vijana kiasi cha kuwapa madaraka makubwa huku wengine wakikuangusha wazi wazi kama yule aliyekuwa akituhumiwa kughushi vyetu vya kidato cha nne uliyemminyia lakini ujuaji na ujinga wake ukamfanya apuuzie ushauri wako hadi ukamtupa nje. Yupo anahangaika kwa sasa. Juzi nilisikia akilalamika kuwa amedhulumiwa kiwanja huko Regent. Mpaka leo, sijajua alivyopata pesa kununua uwanja eneo aghali kama hilo wakati hata wewe hukuwa na kiwanja pale. Cha mnno, Mheshimiwa Rais, ameendelea kuwaamini vijana huku akiweka kando wazee. Marafiki zako kama vile profesa Palamagamba Kabudi na William Lukuvi si mawaziri tena.
Kabla ya kusahau, ilitokea kasheshe hadi yule Spika wa Bunge uliyemauacha Job Ndugai akatemeshwa ulaji na naibu wake akaangukia. Si alimlaumu Rais kuwa anakopa na nchi ingepigwa mnada siku moja. Wacha azongwe hadi pale alipobwaga manyanga na kujikalia kimya. Siku hizi ni backbencher. Haonekani wala hasikiki tena. Kweli cheo ni dhamana na kila chenye mwanzo kina mwisho.
Habari njema kwako ni kwamba rafiki yako Raila Amolo Odinga asipokuwa Rais wa Kenya basi Mungu hakumwandikia. Najua unajua kuwa aliingia maelewano na hasidi wake Uhuru Kenyatta ambaye juzi alitangaza wazi wazi kumuunga mkono kupeperusha bendera ya chama chake na vyama vingine kikikwemo cha Kenyatta dhidi ya makamu wake William Ruto ambaye tuhuma za ufisadi zitamuangusha bila shaka ukiachia mbali kuwa hana uzoefu sawa na Odinga. Kuhusu bi Mkubwa wako Janet na familia. Bado wapo ila ameandimika tokana na kuendelea kukuomboleza. Hata mama yako bado yupo japo sina taarifa zake za karibuni. Lakini naamini hali sim baya hata kama uzee hauna tiba.
Mpendwa John, nimalizie, kwa vile sijui kinachoendelea huko uliko, naona nisikuchoshe wala kukata usingizi wako. Kwa ufupi, kama Hayati Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Benjamin Mkapa na mashujaa wengine mliotangulia, tunakukumbuka na kuku-miss sana kipenzi na shujaa wetu uliyeonyesha namna ya kuendesha nchi kisayansi na kiuhakika.
Tuesday, 15 March 2022
I usually have some casual conversations with my white neighbours. We mainly talk about weather and other things like being asked where I came from and if the country of Africa will soon enjoy peace and prosperity. However, this time around after Russia invaded Ukraine, the types of questions I’m asked changed from my personal experience and home to Ukraine as if I’m a Ukrainian.
There’s this neighbour of mine who doesn’t hate or love me. He doesn’t even greet me sometimes, which is normal forget about talking to me quite often. Because of the centrality of Europe and Ukraine being one of its countries, he recently asked me as to why’s Russia doing this to Ukraine? Guess what. I simply replied that this is how colonialism works. For us victims, no colonisation is decent or justifiable. It is but criminality. He’d not get it. He wanted to know what I meant. I told him that this wasn’t the first time a sovereign country had been invaded by another. I cited an example of Libya that’s invaded by the west in 2011 and its president, Muamar Gaddafi killed and nobody in Canada was concerned. I reminded him that we’ve been neighbours since 2009 and he didn’t come to ask me why the west invaded Libya and killed its president. He didn’t say anything. Mind you. This neighbour used to be afraid of me because of Covid-19 isolation. Just like the west did, soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, Covid-19 was pushed under the lag. If this didn’t happen, some western rulers like Boris Johnson–––who faced the scandal of flouting Covid-19 rules–––would have been already in the cold.
More on my neighbour, I told him that Libya’s GDP was twice as bigger than that of Ukraine and life’s better than Ukraine’s but internationally Libya’s plight wasn’t anything to consider since it wasn’t a European country. Who’d believe that today Libyans who used to be looked after the government are begging for charcoals and eggs in the paradise they used to enjoy and take for granted? Those who used to be given stipends for marriage and apartments, most of them are now scavengers. Again, they’re neither European nor white. Despite being pushed to go to the dogs, Libya’s GDP per capital is still as twice as bigger as that of Ukraine today.
Another friend asked me if Russia’s going to win this war. He wanted to know my views of the conflict and what can be done to save Ukraine and its people. I openly told him that there won’t be any winner since the war’s destructive not only between the two but globally. We all have already borne the blunt of it. Gas price is increasing like crazy, and this directly affects everything be it goods or our livelihoods globally. I told him that the only winner is colonialism since after the war, new laws and rules will be enacted to compensate the loss and poor countries will bear the blunt.
The topic seemed to be exhaustive and thorny. Thus, my other friend to whom I repeated the nuggets of wisdom I offered other friends asked for the solidarity with Ukraine. I promised him that that it’s a good thing to do. However, I asked him why didn’t we apply the same to Libya and other African victims? He’d not get it. He replied that Libya’s plight happened a long time ago and that Ukraine’s a civilised, white and European country. I responded that, to me, what transpired in Libya did just yesterday and not necessarily that only European and white countries deserve to enjoy peace as opposed to non-European ones that’d endure the scabs of colonialism and egoism.
Knowing I am a Peace and Conflict Scholar, another friend of mine who entertained the dialogue about Russia-Ukraine conflict said that Putin’s evil because he invaded Ukraine. Again, I asked him why this rationale didn’t apply anywhere when the west minus Russia invaded Libya, it did not become bad or evil. He couldn’t answer. I asked him why and decided to answer my own question by giving two reasons. First, Libya is an African country. Secondly, Libya isn’t a civilised country apart from being a Muslim country. So, too, it wasn’t invaded by Putin. This means that if Putin invaded an African country––––just like the west has done on many occasions, he’d have not shaken the world. Nor would he have been bad and evil. Neither would he become dangerous and evil to the world as he’s after invading a European country. Thirdly, the west toppled Patrice Lumumba, the founder of the Congo, later Zaire and now the DRC, Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana) and installed stinking dictators. Again, this wasn’t an international issue since the duo didn’t go to the communists, then led by the defunct USSR. So, too, the DRC, like Libya, is neither a European country nor its habitants are white. Thus, the wars that have been ongoing since the first day of freedom isn’t and won’t be a big deal internationally.
In sum, looking at the concern shown, and questions asked about Ukraine, it’s easy to know why, for example, Europe’s shunned Russia apart from opening its borders to Ukrainian refugees to enter while the same has refused non-European refugees the entry. They’re neither European nor white. The ongoing war in Ukraine’s shown how the west has lost it so as to openly show and support racism. What difference does this make from colonialism, which made do with criminality against others and created the capital for Europe we see today? Again, poor Africans still believe their saviour is the west while in actual fact it is but a coloniser and racist to the bone. Essentially, the biggest lesson is that all catfish have barbels.