Liberal Peace Conflict, Gender, and Peacebuilding

Liberal Peace Conflict, Gender, and Peacebuilding

Thursday 25 May 2023

WHY MWALIMU NYERERE ABHORED LIVING IN THE ‘COLONIAL’ IKULU.


President Nyerere’s motive was entirely ideological, as we shall see presently,  in the paragraphs that follow  below. When  Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere first  ascended to  the Presidency  of the Republic of Tanganyika in 1962;  and  subsequently  of the United Republic of Tanzania  in 1964;  he  deliberately avoided living  in the  Magogoni  IKULU,  in Dar es Salaam.   Why did he do that? Well, the only  reason that  I know,  is that it was  because he had a very strong  aversion  to being  associated with  the symbols of the ‘shameful’ colonialism; and  he  wanted to have all such symbols  completely obliterated from the innocent minds of the young generation of  what  was now  the independent country of Tanganyika (before its Union with Zanzibar).           
            Today’s presentation will attempt to  throw some light  on this historically  important matter; in  order to enable  the stakeholders, and  observers, to fully  appreciate the  importance, and political significance, of the grand  ceremony which was held in Dodoma last Saturday, of inaugurating the new IKULU at Chamwino;  in the government city of   Dodoma;  presided over by President Samia Suluhu Hassan herself;  a  proud  project which was not only funded from the country’s own internal resources, but was also  proudly, constructed by   our own   Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa (JKT)  Building Brigade. This was in complete contrast to the Dar es Salaam – based IKULU, which was a colonial heritage.    
            It is, presumably, common knowledge, that the current Dar es Salaam  IKULU  (which was replicated at Chamwino in Dodoma); was  built by the German colonialist, when they  became the rulers of our country  following the division of Africa countries among the European ‘Great Powers”  at the Berlin Conference in 1885; and was subsequently  transferred to  the British colonialists  in 192o.
        Thus, when independence was achieved in December 1961, we just inherited this ‘colonial relic’. And that is precisely the reason why President  Nyerere’s  did not want  to live in it; which is he  had a very strong  aversion to being associated with the symbols of colonialism.  Consequently, he did not want to live in the same building that was used as the residence of  the colonial Governors.  That is why he took out a personal Bank loan to build his own private house at Msasani, in which he lived throughout his entire life.   The inside story of this aversion,  is told in the paragraphs below.
Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  aversion to the symbols of colonialism.
It is from this  perspective, that we should view  the ceremony which was held in Dodoma last Saturday, in order to appreciate its special  significance. Mwalimu  Nyerere’s   dislike  (call it  hatred )  for living in the Dar es Salaam  IKULU originated from      his being  “a man of principle”;  and this action was actually  based  on  the  ideological  ‘principle’  of  his  refusal to  be associated with  the symbols of the  past  ‘shameful’  colonialism.    Here is the  story. 
        Mwalimu  Julius  Nyerere was sworn into office as  the  founder-President of the Republic of Tanganyika, on 9th December, 1962, the first anniversary of the country’s independence from  British  colonial rule.   Whether it was by design, or by sheer coincidence, I was appointed Clerk of the National Assembly on that same date.          
        This “coincidence” was the starting point for my close relationships with President Nyerere,  which lasted throughout the entire period of  his Presidency. Among the earliest duties that are prescribed by the constitution which must be performed by a newly installed President, is the “State Opening of Parliament”. This function is prescribed by the country’s constitution; and  was  performed by President Nyerere  on his first working day,  which was  10th December 1962.   As part of its regular business that session of Parliament also passed several  Bills, which needed the President’s Assent.                                    
        In my enthusiasm to make sure that this part of the  ‘Legislative process’  was completed without delay, I decided to take the relevant Bills to IKULU  myself; and handed them to the President’s Personal Secretary.  She immediately took the Papers to the President, and asked me to wait a little, “just  in case the Boss  had something  to ask me”.   Within one minute she came out, and told me to enter the President’s office, as he wanted to see me. 
        I still remember, and  with nostalgia, that  particular meeting;  which,  indeed surprised me, for  the President turned it  into a tete-a -tete  private meeting  between the two of us!   I was, of course, no stranger to him, having previously been his student at St. Francis College Pugu; where, apparently, my outstanding class performance had attracted his attention.                                 
         And subsequently, after I had completed my undergraduate studies at Makerere University College he  had again watched my performance, when the Colonial Administration appointed me (in  a  “Training grade” capacity),  to understudy the British Clerk of the National Assembly; while  he was, at that time,  the Member of Parliament  representing  the then Dar es Salaam constituency.  Hence, I was no stranger to him.                  
        And on that material day;  he happened to be in very good mood, and we talked,  and talked,  for about an hour and a half; with him doing most of the talking;  while I listened, very carefully and attentively.                                        
        That is when he told me about his discomfort with the appearances of maintain the colonial  status quo; and specifically,  the  symbols of colonialism;  such as him having to operate from the same office that was previously used by the Governors of the colonial Administration, and  our Parliament  having to work  in the same colonial  ‘Legislative Council  Chamber’,  Karimjee  Hall.
        And, in particular, he expressed his disapproval  of  the action  I had taken  when preparing the programme for his ‘State Opening of Parliament’ function; when I had, rather foolishly,  just  copied the same colonial  words and phrases  that had been used by the  British officials  in preparing the programme   for the Duke of Edinburgh‘s  ‘State opening of the Independence Parliament’  a year earlier, in December 1961.   The objectionable words and phrases were:  “First Lady” that  I had used  in reference to mama Maria Nyerere; and “Lady-in-waiting” in reference to  the woman  official accompanying her.               
            He strongly objected to the use of these ‘colonial’ words and phrases;  and said to me:  “Listen”,  you  people must change  your  colonial  mindsets.   We are now independent; and  this fundamental   change  must be  reflected in all your actions  in performing your governmental functions”;  he  said.                                     
            This shows that he was absolutely determined to make a complete break with the ‘shameful’ colonial past.  Although  he did not specifically say so  himself,  but with the advantage of  ‘hind sight’,   I have a feeling that his idea of  shifting the government capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, must have  crystalized  at that point in time; in view of the fact that it was only a few years later,  in 1966; that Mwalimu Nyerere’s younnge brother Joephh Nyerere, Member of parliament for Musoma constituency, introducea a “Private Member’ Motion” in the National Assembly, seeking BUNGE’s decision  to direct the government to shift to Dodoma; plus what followed thereafter, when this matter was taken over by the ruling party, TANU; under the skillful  management and   direction  by Mwalimu Nyerere himself.    
Hence, It is against this background, that we should view the celebrations that were held in Dodoma last Saturday.  They were, basically, celebrations to mark the successful realization of  Mwalimu Nyerere’s long time  ‘dream’,  of shifting the  government capital to Dodoma.                       
            As that famous English Play Wright of the sixteenth century William Shakespeare put it,  Mwalimu Nyerere’s  good deeds, and fine ideas,  were  fortunately “not interred with hi bones”;  but continue to be implemented, even  so many decades after his death. 
            Kudos  to  his  successors  in office, particularly the  fifth-phase government of President  John Pombe  Magufuli (who initiated this action);   and the sixth-phase government of President Samia Suluhu Hassan  (who  successfully  completed  it).  
There were also other areas.
Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  aversion to maintaining colonial symbols under the new  independence  jurisdiction  also extended to many other areas.  I still remember three such areas, in  two of which I was personally involved.  The first was in respect of   making  the design of a new mace for the independent Parliament; which the  British  House of Commons had offered  to produce  and present  to our Parliament,  as an ‘independence gift’,  and had  requested our office to provided them with a design of our choice.   I was assigned the task of finding that desired design.                         
         Under the British Administration, the giraffe had been treated as the “national”  animal; and was being  printed on all government documents.   Hence, my proposal was  to place the  symbol of a giraffe at the head of the mace.    But when  I showed this  to  Mwalimu Nyerere  and sought his approval;   he immediately  rejected  the giraffe  proposal;  and directed that  the ‘UHURU Torch’   should be  used instead of   the giraffe;  which, he said,  was a relic of the shameful colonial past.
        The second matter was his directive, issued at  the beginning of 1963;  to  all government establishments  to  use Kiswahili  instead of English,  where  possible,  in all government communications.  The phrase “where possible” was, indeed, necessary; because at that time, many of the government  entities were still being operated by British officials who were still serving in their previous  posts, who were not Swahili speakers.
        But BUNGE was different, we had a Kiswahili speaking Speaker, Chief Adam Sapi Mwawa, and a Kiswahili speaking Katibu wa Bunge, Pius Msekwa; plus Members of Parliament who were all Kiswahili  speakers.    Hence it was very easy for us to undertake the implementation of the President’s directive.                                               
        Thus,  “obliterating the symbols of the shameful colonialism”; and “building a new culture of  UZALENDO”,  were  Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  twin   motives,  and  the  guiding  factors,  in  his  issuance  of  all  these directives. 
        The third issue, in which I was not personally involved (because it was essentially directed to the Police Force, was the colonial police practice of closing the streets through which the Governor General (as Head of State representing the Her Majesty the Queen), would be travelling, to all other traffic.    President Nyerere actually wrote a Presidential Circular, in which he ordered the discontinuation of this particular practice.  “I am fast becoming the greatest nuisance to the road users of Dar es Salaam’ he  quipped  in that circular. “It is as if motorists must call State House every morning, to enquire if the President was scheduled to travel out of State House on that day, and in what direction, to enable them to avoid the relevant streets or roads, for fear of being held up for several hours due to the closure of the streets, ostensibly to clear the President’s way!   
          I believe there is no need for inconveniencing our citizens to such a ridiculous extent. I know that there is a better way of enabling the President to travel fast through the streets and roads without closing them to other road users”. He then issued his directive: “this practice must therefore stop, effective from the date of this circular letter”.  However, this action was not solely due to  his strong aversion to maintaining the symbols and practices of the colonialists; it  also reveals  President Nyerere’s  personal  humility, and  his  genuine care for the needs of other persons. 
piomsekwa@gmail.com  / 0754767576. 

Wednesday 24 May 2023

RIP QUEEN TINA TURNER

 


RIP Tina Turner aka Anna Mae Bullock (November 26, 1939 to May 24, 2023). You were simply the Best.



Thursday 18 May 2023

Does Africa need fetrid characters in office?


The question above’s crucial. It begs for a right answer. Based on what Al Jazeera recently exposed, those who cared to follow up its expose, now know why Africa has always been poor. Goldmafia expose that exposed Zimbabwe corrupt leaders and their conspirators in fleecing the country will agree with us that it exposed Africa’s practice that’s been ongoing since independence. So, too, this expose answers some questions on why Africa’s been always poor despite sitting on humungous sources of resources of value.
        To put the expose and the problem in the milieu, it recently came to light that the Zimbabwean authorities, using con men of all types has for a long time, have been engaged in illegal gold smuggling and money laundering. Ginormous amounts of money have already been illegally minted and printed. Much of this criminality’s committed for two reasons. One, to avoid the sanctions Zimbabwe’s been put under for decades after its former dictator, Robert Mugabe appropriated land from whites who also criminally grabbed it from Black Zimbabweans and just corruption and greed.
        The scandal above involves the biggest and venal through-and-through cheese who’s referred to as numero uno. You know what we mean. One fake prophet whose name’s synonymous with a seraph represents the interest of numero uno who unfortunately swore to protect the country and its wealth that he’s now inanely mugging and hawking. How many of such rash and rotten numero unos does Africa have in offices of the top cheeses?
Now, that Africa knows every nitty-gritty of its fleecing and pauperising, what should it do with such dirty beasts with their dirty deals and deeds? Aren’t these criminals supposed to be rotting behind bars? What baffles me is the fact that people coming such mega corruption call themselves mature. Regrettably, such people are mature though mentally, they’re juveniles. You wonder what an octogenarian as one in this expose can do with such money at such an eleventh hour. What’s obvious is that such fools are used by young nincompoops who can still enjoy the loot. 
        Most of criminal used aren’t Africans. They’re either Asians or Europeans and a few black ragdolls. Again, why they’re not blacks? Simple. They’re ease to threaten even get rid of when underboard deals involving the high and the mighty become worse. They can be expelled from the countries they’ve been committing crimes and that’s that. This can give you the secret why most of businesses in Africa are owned by such corrupt and dubious people. Most of them are rich not just because they’re smart in business as many Africans wrongly believe. The open secret is. They conspire with our venal official to fleece our countries. They’re rich criminally so to speak. 
        If what expose exhumed is a typical mock-up of what’s been ongoing in Africa, believe ye me. We’re voting criminals into our offices for our perils. It’s abhorring to have the so-called honourable people unashamedly doing dishonourable things in our offices as we stand aside and look! Who’d think that many charlatans we see gaslighting and pluming themselves are nothing but big yeggs? Who’d believe that some of such criminals who make us believe they’re the people of God are but people of dog?
Source: Indepedent Zimbabwe today

President Samia reactivates the new Katiba process:A living example of a genuine, positive, political will

THE reactivation of the new constitution writing process, was the ‘great good news’ that hit the print media headlines during the weekend of the first week of this month; when they were reporting the outcome of the President’s meeting with the relevant political leaders at Chamwino State House in the Capital City Dodoma, on Saturday, 6th May, 2023; which, in effect, formally reactivated the process of writing a new Constitution of the United Republic.
As usual, the media had contacted a selection of political commentators, asking them   to express their opinions on the matter; and they were all positively enthusiastic about the President’s action.  All of that is, indeed, well and good; and a clear demonstration of President Samia’s  ‘positive political will’to achieve the desired results in her political reconciliation efforts.
‘Political will’ is the most essential factor in all political processes, because it is the factor which determines whether a given political process will actually succeed, or fail.
        In my article of Thursday, 4th May, 2023 in this column, I discussed the probability of the ‘three-government’  Union structure  being a cause for the breakup of our  Union, which is  otherwise quite  stable under the ‘two-government’  unique structure that was designed by our founder-fathers,  Presidents Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika, and Amani Abeid Karume of Zanzibar; and  I also  referred to the  crucial role of the ‘positive political will’  that was  played by President Karume; which actually  saved the situation.
The role of ‘positive political will’, is the subject matter of today’s presentation; in which we will discuss the proposition that “the positive political will of the Apex political leader, is what determines the success, or failure, of any given political process”. And I will make reference to two outstanding examples in our own jurisdiction; which  may provide   proof of this  assertion.  These are:  (i)  the history of the failed  ‘new constitution’ writing process;  and (ii) the failed process of building Ujamaa (socialism).
 (i)   The failure of all previous attempts to  make  a  new  ‘multiparty constitution’.                                                                       The current generation Tanzanians are most probably unaware, that the proposal for writing a totally new country’s constitution, emerged for the first-time way back in early 1962; during the discussions for the enactment of the ‘Tanganyika Republican Constitution’ of 1962.   This was the only such attempt which succeeded.  At that time, the procedure in such matters was for the government to issue what was known as a “Government white Paper” (an inheritance from British conventions and practices).   
        Thus, in May 1962, “Government White Paper no.1 of 1962” was published, which was titled “Proposals of the Tanganyika Government for a Republic”.  But the said ‘White Paper’ had suggested ‘the making of appropriate amendments to the existing ‘Independence Constitution of 1961. However, this was subsequently abandoned, when the government opted for the enactment of an entirely new constitution.
        I have good reasons to believe, that Mwalimu Nyerere’s influence must have been the major contributor to  the government’s change of mind.  For, although Nyerere was at that material time out of office, following his voluntary resignation from the Premiership only one month after independence; but, in reality, he was effectively in charge of the country’s political affairs, in his capacity as President of the ruling party TANU.
        And in this specific matter of enacting a new constitution, Mwalimu Nyerere’s himself had clearly articulated his ‘disenchantment’ with the “imported” Independence constitution; when  he stated that “the British have no business  in making a constitution for another  independent country.  That is solely the business  of the people of that country themselves”.
He made that observation in March, 1961, soon after the British sponsored ‘Tanganyika Independence constitutional conference’ had completed its business.
        He had deliberately refrained from arguing the contents of that ‘imported’ constitution with the British delegation on that ground (that ‘the British had no business to participate in the making of another independent country’s constitution)’.  His greatest need at that conference was to agree on the date of Tanganyika’s independence; which he wanted to be before the end of that year 1961.   And he was completely satisfied when this was agreed to.  According to him making a new ‘home-made’ constitution would be the first business to be undertaken after independence had been achieved.
        In these circumstances, it would be reasonable to presume that he must have ‘advised’  the government of Prime Minister Rashidi Kawawa, to  abandon their  “White Paper” proposal  of  simply  “making amendments to the existing constitution”;  and made them  agree instead, to introduce a totally new constitution”   This is discernable  from  the words used by the Prime Minister in moving the motion for the second reading of the relevant Bill, in which he said the following:- “Mr. Speaker, this constitution has been prepared in accordance with the proposals contained in Government White Paper no, 1 of 1962. Although that Paper had referred to the making of amendments to the existing constitution, we have thought it best to substitute a completely new and self-contained document, to mark such a fundamental change”.
        That proposed constitutional change was, indeed, truly fundamental; considering the fact that it was a transformation from the British type “Dominium“  status, wherein the  British Monarch continued  to be the ‘Head of State’ of independent Tanganyika; while the country’s  Prime Minister  only took the second place,  as ‘Had of Government’. Thus, the need for a new constitution was obvious, and necessary.
Enter the second-phase government
Then came the second-phase government of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.  It was during his time in office that “the wind of change” to multi-party politics started blowing worldwide. It actually began in Eastern Europe;  where, towards the end of 1989,  the powerful country then known as  the “Union of Soviet Socialist  Republics” (USSR); suddenly disintegrated, as a result of strong  majority demands for  the introduction of  a more democratic multi-party system.  
        Such demands quickly spread to many of the countries of Africa,  which had been governed under the ‘single-party’ political system, and  in some of the cases, this led to violence, and even  the  death of innocent people.   Here is where the issue of “positive political will” comes in.  President Mwinyi and the ruling party CCM, had that ‘positive political will’, which moved them  to initiate action to consult the people of Tanzania; whether, or not, they would be willing to change to a multi-party political system.  The results thereof, are well documented in some of my previous articles in this column.  But for the benefit of our new readers, I may just say that the majority (i.e 80 per cent)  of those who were interviewed by the  Nyalali Presidential commission, actually  dismissed  the proposed change to multi-party politics.  But wiser council prevailed, and the decision was eventually  taken  to make that inevitable change.
        However, it was somehow puzzling, that when this  (equally fundamental)  change occurred, namely that of the transition from the ‘single-party’ to the ‘multi-party’ political dispensation,  the need for a new constitution was  either ignored, or surprisingly overlooked; and the government chose the option of merely  introducing amendments to the existing constitution.
        I was myself of the opinion that this fundamental transition would qualify for a new constitution; but when the government chose the alternative of only amending the existing constitution; and the demand for a new constitution then became the opposition parties priority  agenda.
        These demands were routinely ignored; apparently because the “positive political will” to listen to opposition demands was just lacking.  But in the light of this  Opposition parties  action, I had to support the government of my  own party; in faithful adherence to the CCM membership oath: “Nitakuwa mwaminifu kwa Chama changu, na  kwa Serikali yake”.
The Fourth –phase government.
It was the fourth-phase government of President Jakaya Kikwete,  which came up  with the strong determination to listen to these opposition demands, and actually initiated the process of writing a new constitution; another demonstration of the Apex leader’s ‘positive political will’.  President Kikwete  appointed the “Warioba constitutional Review Commission”, which was assigned to undertake  this important task. 
        It should be noted, that this was a wholly Presidential action, and the ruling party organs were not involved in the making of this decision. I was the party’s Vice Chairman for Mainland Tanzania at the material time, and I can well remember some senior party members actually questioning the need for a new constitution, when our established tradition  was  only  to make  any necessary  amendments to the existing constitution, whenever the need arises.   But, eventually, even President Kikwete’s bold initiative failed to bear fruit,  when the process  was halted before its  completion;  when the fifth-phase government took over.
Enter President John Pombe Magufuli
The opposite of ‘positive’ is ‘negative’. There is no doubt at all that, in this matter of a ‘new constitution’, President  Magufuli had  a clear ‘negative political will’; when he declared that the processing of a new constitution “was not his priority; as he had more important development issues  that preoccupied his mind”; namely the mega infrastructures which he had embarked upon, and of which we are presumably all aware.
        His predecessor, President Kikwete, had introduced a new stage in the constitution making process, which was the holding of a referendum; in order  to enable the people as a whole, to give their approval  and consent to that document.   This was completely new, since all the previous processes had always terminated with the constituent Assembly deliberations and approval.
        And, in fact,  this costly referendum exercise was another issue  which  some CCM big wigs had not supported.   And this was precisely the issue to which President Magufuli refused to give priority.
        Then, by simple operation of the constitution of the United Republic; the sudden death of President John Pombe Magufuli  in March 2021, brought the then  Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, to the  Presidency; and,  as she has now  clearly  demonstrated,  she  came in  with that  needed  ‘positive political will’  in great abundance.  She has now embarked on re-activating the process of making a new multiparty constitution of the United Republic; and all relevant indicators seem to point to the successful achievement of this objective.
(ii)  The  failed process of building  Ujamaa
This was President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s political project, which he inaugurated in February, 1967; through the publication (and initial vigorous implementation) of the Arusha Declaration policy document.  In respect of this issue, President Nyerere had the requisite “positive political will” to have this policy implemented, and he personally went to very great length to have that policy implemented; but his immediate successor in office,  appeared not to have the same ‘positive political will’; and, consequently, the implementation of the jamaa policy was put in  permanent abeyance.
This was the result of a meeting of the CCM National Executive Committee,  which was held in Zanzibar in February 1991, under the Chairmanship of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi; which approved a new document titled  “Mwelekeo wa sera za Uchumi za CCM katika Miaka ya Tisini”.
        The ‘positive political will’ to build  Ujamaa,  had virtually disappeared.   This easily confirms the contention,  that ‘the success, or failure, of any political process, depends almost entirely on  the ‘positive will’ of the Apex leader”.
piomsekwa@gmail.com /0754767576.
Source: DailyNews today.

Saturday 13 May 2023

The tragedy that is Sudan

The video grab taken from AFPTV video footage on April 20, 2023, shows an aerial view of black smoke rising above the Khartoum International Airport in Sudan, amid ongoing battles between the forces of two rival generals.

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

Sudan is arguably the unluckiest country on the planet. Perhaps both unlucky and clearly damned. Not many countries have suffered as much as Sudan. This included invasions and settlement by Arab nomads and the enslavement and sale of black Africans as chattel to Egypt and the Ottoman Empire.

        After a long and tormented colonial history, Sudan fell under the spell of several brutes most notably Jafaar Al-Nimeiry and Omar al-Bashir. Both men imposed primitive forms of Sharia law that at times included public flogging, stoning and other medieval punishments.

        Widespread and unspeakable human rights abuses have been the lot of the Sudanese. Today, once again, Sudan stands on an existential precipice. The country and the state face imminent collapse. Sudan, the post-colonial has always been an incoherent mess. A hodge-podge of the Arabised North and the Black African South, the country finally split into two in 2011 when the latter finally freed itself from the cruel shackles of the former.

        The split came after decades of the cruellest atrocities ever committed by one people against another. There’s hardly a country without South Sudanese refugees or their descendants. But the divorce has helped neither country. Sudan itself has continued its death spiral while South Sudan remains in the fatal throes of two megalomaniacal despots competing for supremacy. But today Sudan is clearly worse off than South Sudan if there’s a difference between the fire and the frying pan.

        But it’s not all been doom and gloom for Sudan. There have been moments of hope. Even the word democracy has been whispered several times in the huge void of despair. One such moment came in 2019 in the wake of the popular ouster of President Bashir by the people and segments of the military in 2019.

            An interim constitution abolished the apostasy law, public flogging and the ban on alcohol for non-Muslims. It didn’t mention Sharia and removed the abominable practice commonly referred to as female genital mutilation. An accord separated religion and the state. Some hope, then despair. But just as quickly, all hope was snuffed out.

        In October 2021, the Sudan military led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) together overthrew the interim civilian government.  It carried out mass arrests and committed many atrocities. It was General Dagalo’s forces that carried out the most violent crackdowns on pro-democracy activists in 2019. 

Janjaweed 

General Dagalo, a warlord, cut his teeth in the killing fields of Darfur where he led the Janjaweed, the Bashir-supported militia that killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions of Darfurians and other black African groups. It was the first genocide of the 21st century. President Bashir and others were indicted for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. 

        In April this year, the two generals turned against one another and fighting between the Burhan-led government army and General Dagalo’s RSF broke out. In deadly urban combat using helicopter gunships and other fighter planes, the generals have turned the capital of Khartoum into a killing field.

        Mortar fire, snipers and street combat are now the norm. Hundreds of civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled. Khartoum is a deadly theatre of war. Those who can’t escape are trapped in their homes without food, power, or water. No side seems to be on the verge of victory, and the generals appear determined to fight to the death. Intermittent ceasefires and peace talks are but head fakes. 

        Perhaps if the ICC had indicted General Dagalo for the Darfur genocide we might not be here today. There are reports that the United States and its allies support General Burhan while Russia and its anti-Western axis are arming General Dagalo. Analysts believe the current Sudan crisis is a proxy war between the US and Russia.

        But in my view, this is beside the point. Since time immemorial, external forces have always pillaged Africa to cannibalise its resources and exploit its people. That’s geopolitics in the age of the Empire and the scramble for global control of resources. Sudan has always been prey to these machinations. Its elites are some of the dumbest in Africa. They are traitors.

    In the meantime, the African Union sits in Addis Ababa sucking its thumb, paralyzed like its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity. Sudan is the shame of an entire continent. The United Nations itself is paralysed apart from moralising through lame press releases in the safety of New York and other capitals. The ICC is silent. Mute. The talks between the two sides won’t go anywhere unless there’s a credible threat of force. Diplomacy without the threat of force is a dead letter.

        That’s why the ICC should hasten and indict the warring generals. Both the AU and UN need to quickly assemble an intervention force before Sudan collapses.

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 tomorrow.

Sunday 7 May 2023

Sudan's path to turmoil

Those who topped Omar Bashir, Sudanese long-time despot, are now destroying Sudan. The ongoing conflict between Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and the current strongman Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan’s likely to fell Sudan. You can take this to the bank. Sudan will settle after the two finish each other or being finished by the demonstrators if not the international community though it’s failed to remind them that soon after their duel, they’ll both be delivered to The Hague. 

        The two would like to avoid being delivered to The Hague to face charges related with genocide they committed in Darfur under Bashir regime not to mention the atrocities they’re still committing currently. Secondly, the duo is not likely to share power. One needs to–––and must–––finish another for another to prevail and survive temporarily. And chances are that the latter is likely to finish the former or vice versa. The duo can be pushed out shall the demonstrators stand their ground. Apart from that, the economic tanking provides a very good impetus and reason for deposing and disposing the couple in power under the marriage of convenience.

        As the de facto ruler, Burhan’s what it take to finish depending on how he’ll play his cards since he’s power without the number in the military machinery. Dagalo has the number in the army though he isn't on the seat of power not to mention the lack of wings.

            More importantly, the duo weren’t a good  couple. They’re united by their struggle for survival. No love or need exist between the duos for anybody except for themselves. Any of the couple can finish another shall an opportunity avail itself.  Burhan was unsafe in bed with Dagalo and vice versa. Any of the couple would like to see another gone shall he get and seize the moment. Actually, what's on going's nothing but the dance between two inimical evils. Time'll accurately soon tell and show that this prediction won't come to pass.

        Since toppling Bashir, the two exhibited brutality and incompetence Sudan’s never evidenced. Apart from being incompetent criminals, they’d never read from the same script. Thus, it wasn’t if but when the two would turn tables on each other as it recently happened. Currently, Sudan’s on its way to a failed state. The Sudan Armer Force (SAF) and the Rapid Response Forces (RSF)–––an unconstitutional and criminal private army Bashir created headed by Dagalo to help him cling on power–––are doing battle of the destruction of Sudan. For peace lovers, this is the worst thing even though was expected to happen. There are many reasons for such a take. Firstly, the army that took power after the mass actions against Bashir, wasn't different from him and betrayed him. Gen. Abdul-Fattah Burhan, the head of the junta and his deputy Dagalo are all opportunists who can sacrifice even their mothers. This is because of the crimes they committed under Bashir they're now prosecuting while they're but his comrades in crimes.

     Actually, the army––––that duped the demonstrators that it hated Bashir––––is the same that kept him in power for over three decades of dictatorship and misrule. Besides, the same army’s no wherewithal to run the country competently. Just imagine. For over three decades they're power, what did they do and what'll they do differently. Armies were created to protect but not to rule the country.

    Secondly, the reasons and problems that led to Bashir’s fall from power are still untouched. Bashir’s overthrown after mass demonstrations agitating for the easing in ever increasing costs of living after Sudan lost its source of income (petrodollars) after South Sudan seceded. Also, bad governance and corruption have never been addressed. The situation became even worse than it’s under Bashir compounded by world economic fragility resulting from Covid-19, conflict in Ukraine and natural calamities.

    Thirdly, knowing that the heads of the military junta in Sudan are allegedly committed genocide in Sudan, they're not the right people to be at helms in the first place. Despite being incompetent, they too knew themselves. However, out of power, they’d be arrested. Thus, to survive, they’d to cling unto power by all means.

Fourthly, they mismanaged opportunity and power by denying a transition government to assume its power as the mass wanted.

Fifthly, they brutally and stroppily suppressed dissent voices, hence, killing many innocent people who were demonstrating and enjoying their rights to expression and association.

    Sixthly, the junta didn't accommodate and protect all those who were in the past regime thus, some elements, just like, the heads of junta felt vulnerable thanks to the crime they committed when they're in power. Therefore, whoever would bring down the junta that overthrow their regime and threw them under the bus, for them, worth supporting in order to try to recoup and restore lost power and privileges. 

            For the three years the junta's been in power, demonstrators were its main enemies. However, today, things are different. The abettor with whom the junta committed crimes against Sudanese, the RSF, is the archenemy and danger. The organisation that used to be the part and parcel of the junta’s now referred to as a rebel group. Again, why’re the deuce baying for the blood of each other? Power, power, power, and power. After frustrating and manipulating the force for demonstrators, the two abettors are now accusing and calling each other names. Dagalo was recently quoted as saying "this criminal, he forced this battle upon us" (AP, April 15, 2023). Dagalo is referring to his boss Burhan as a criminal. Who's a criminal and who's. not? Nobody can tell even though the history of the two speaks volumes about them. While Dagalo called his boss a criminal, he responded by saying that everything was under control he didn't need any dialogue with the RSF.

        A long story short, up until now, we don't know who'll finish whom, and what next. However, the look of things shows that Burhan may prevail temporarily all both go under. All in all, what's happening in Sudan’s the most dangerous it’s ever experienced is it an opportunity for the duo to finish each other and free Sudan from the criminal and dictatorial grip? How'll Bashir benefit or suffer more from this kerfuffle, it’s too early to tell. However, whatever happens, Sudan won't remain the same.

Source: Weekly Review Issue No. 36 today.

The hierarchy of cultures

The things that constitute a people’s soul include religion, culture in its broadest sense, and history. Religion and matters of the spiritual world stand as key pillars of a people’s identity.AFP




Only a fool would argue that the soul – that elusive thing – doesn’t need spiritual nourishment and renewal. Such edification comes from both the physical world and the metaphysical one. That’s why scholars of identity sometimes talk of “spirit murdering” by which they mean the killing of being through the nullification of the essential “other”. For example, if I call you ugly or stupid, or some other epithet, I cut into your soul and render you nugatory in small ways, however proud you might be.

        Religion, whether organised or not, is an important vector of spiritual nourishment. But as we’ve seen recently, it can also be abused with catastrophic consequences. That’s why it’s sometimes called the opium of the people. 

        The things that constitute a people’s soul include religion, culture in its broadest sense, and history. That’s why a people without a culture can’t be wise; for culture is the accumulation of a people’s wisdom. But religion and matters of the spiritual world stand as key pillars of a people’s identity.

        If other people give or impose their religion on you, then they have stolen your soul. Often, a people who have been spiritually conquered by others are culturally unmoored and usually adrift. Adopting another’s religion is the clearest sign of intellectual surrender and domination of one people by another. It’s the murdering of the spirit of one by the other. It’s spiritual imperialism of the most pernicious kind. 

        Sometime back, I wrote a column entitled ‘Why I killed Robert’. That’s right – I killed a fellow called Robert. That fellow was me. Or a version of me. I was born into a Catholic family. Both of my parents had forsaken the spiritualities of their Akamba forefathers. Both my mom and dad had been forced into Christianity without which certain services would’ve been denied them by the colonial state.

        Theirs, they argued with me when I grew up and confronted them on the matter, was pragmatic conversion. But they didn’t give me a satisfactory answer when I inquired why they didn’t stop being Christians when the colonial state was vanquished. In fact, they became more zealous Catholic penitents. 

         At that point, I visited Mbiti wa Mbele, my maternal grandfather, who had flatly refused to become a Christian. Mbiti had seen the first white man come up the hill and try to convert him. According to Mbiti’s telling, he told the white man he had a religion already and since all religions were good, he didn’t see why he should forgo his for the white man’s. 

    Nugget of wisdom 

Armed with this nugget of wisdom I returned to my parents and confronted them again. This time they told me I would burn in hell if I continued to raise the matter. They told me some things couldn’t be discussed. I dropped the matter but decided to drop Robert, my baptismal “Christian” name.     

           The name Robert was given to me by the Irish priest who baptized me. I had tried to argue that I could be baptised with an African name but was told African names weren’t Christian names. On that day a little of my spirit was murdered. So I revived that part of my murdered spirit when I dropped Robert.

        Later, after I became a scholar, I often marvelled at the profound decision I had made at such a young age to “liberate” myself from white European psychosis. He who names a thing is the owner of the thing. This spiritual surrender is the lot of many black Africans who carry Arab and white European names under the guise of religion. 

        Nothing can be more fundamental than giving up your spirituality or religion for another’s. At the root of such conversion is the innate assumption that there’s a hierarchy of cultures, religions and spiritualities. That some cultures and spiritualities are superior to others. That there are dumb cultures and that there are intelligent cultures. 

        In this context, the argument is that African cultures and spiritualities are dumb but white European ones are intelligent. You forsake that which is inferior for that which is superior. I remember as a kid Catholic mass in Kitui being conducted in Latin, a dead white European language. None of us spoke or understood Latin! It doesn’t get any more terrible. Worshipping in a language you don’t understand.

        Muslim prayers are often conducted in Arabic. Black Africans learn to recite the Quran in Arabic although they can’t speak the language. I don’t understand why the world has to be ordered this way. Why can’t Kamba Muslims recite the Quran in Kikamba, or there’s no Kikamba Quran?

        Is there any essential connection between Islam and Arabic, or Christianity and things European? Is that “essential” connection spiritual? These aren’t small matters. They are essential to identity and to the decolonisation of the African mind. Methinks what we saw in Shakahola and Mavueni is a symptom of the crisis of spiritual identity. 

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.

Thursday 4 May 2023

Demands for a three-government structure of our Union: A recipe for the Union’s breakup?

 

The above headline was Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  contention, when he was responding to the BUNGE resolution of 1993, which demanded  the restoration of a Tanganyika government in the Union structure.   his resolution was unanimously adopted on 24th August,1993, whose content and purpose was “to directed the government to initiate a process of consultations with the people and thereafter  submit to this House not later than April 1995, recommendations for a more acceptable structure of this Union, that will accommodate the need for a Tanganyika government within the United Republic”.
In his speeches challenging this BUNGE resolution (which was, basically, a rebellion against the “two-government’ party policy); Mwalimu Nyerere   expressed this opinion; and   carefully explain the problems that could be caused by its implementation; plus reiterating the reasons which guided the founding fathers of this Union (himself and Zanzibar President Aman Abeid Karume), to opt for the ‘two-government’ structure.
A brief resume of the background
The ‘two-government’ structure of our Union was established by the ‘Interim Constitution of the United Republic if Tanganyika and Zanzibar’, which came into force on 1st May, 1964; upon the publication of The Interim Constitution Decree, 1964, in the official Gazette of that date.
        But it later became the subject of sporadic disagreements, and conflict; being challenged from time to time by a variety of interest groups; including, on one occasion, by the National Assembly (Bunge) itself.   However, all such challenges ended in failure; presumably because of the ‘inherent strength’ of the argument for a ‘two-government’ structure. Today’s article will explore the records regarding this matter.
        I believe that the argument for the “two-government” structure, would best be delivered by quoting the words of Mwalimu Nyerere himself; which he wrote in a publication titled “Asili ya Muungano wa Serikali  Mbili”;  (Government Printer, Dar es Salaam),  as follows:- “Nchi mbili zinapoungana na kuwa  nchi moja, Muundo  wa kawaida ya serikali zake,  huwa ni wa aina mbili:  Ama mfumo  wa serikali moja; au shirikisho la serikali tatu.  Katika mfumo wa kwanza (wa serikali moja),  kila nchi inafuta serikali  yake iliyokuwapo na  hiyo  nchi mpya iliyozaliwa inakuwa ni nchi moja, yenye serikali moja.
Katika mfumo wa pili (wa shirikisho), kila nchi itavua madaraka yake fulani, ambayo yatakabidhiwa kwa  serikali ya Shirikisho,  lakini  yenyewe  itaendelea kuwa na serikali yake  inayoshughulikia mambo yake yaliyobaki   (yale  ambayo hayakukabidhiwa kwa serikali ya Shirikisho).
        Tanganyika na Zanzibar zilipoamua kuungana na kuwa nchi moja;  tungeweza kufuata mojawapo ya mifumo hiyo ya kawaida. Lakini tulishindwa kufanya hivyo, kwa sababu ya Udogo wa Zanzibar (iliyokuwa wakati huo  ina watu laki tatu tu);   na Ukubwa wa Tanganyika (ambayo wakati huo likuwa na watu millioni kumi na mbili).  Katika hali  hiyo, Muungano wa Serikali moja ungefanya ionekane kwamba  Tanganyika imeimeza Zanzibar.  Na sisi  wa  upande wa Tanganyika,  hatukutaka ionekane hivyo,  hata kama ni kwa makosa,   ionekane   kwamba tumeanzisha ubeberu mpya. Kwa sababu hiyo, mimi nilipinga mfumo wa serikali moja.
        Lakini pia, hatukutaka kwenda kwenye muundo wa serikali tatu,  kwa sababu kubwa zifuatazo: kwanza, ilikuwa ni kukwepa gharama za kuendesha serikali  zote  hizo tatu;   na  pili, ni  kwamba  hatukuwa na hofu  yoyote  kuwa  labda  bila kuwa na serikali yake, Tanganyika itaonekana kuwa imemezwa na Zanzibar! Basi  hiyo  ndiyo asili ya Muungano wa serikali mbili.
        Hatukutunga mfumo huu uliopo kama wapumbavu; bali ulitazama hali yetu halisi ilivyokuwa, na tukabuni mfumo uliotufaa  zaidi katika hali hiyo”
That was, and still is, the basic argument for the ‘two-government’ structure of our Union; which has served us well for the last 59 years and which, I would suggest, is a good and cogent reason for maintaining it.  However, persistent demands for a ‘three-government’ Union structure, have continued; as will presently be shown here below.
 The list of these attempts in the order of their respective occurrences
(i)  The attempt by Zanzibar President Aboud Jumbe. In January 1984, that Zanzibar President Aboud Jumbe, had been secretly preparing a ‘new constitution’ of the United Republic, which would introduce a ‘three-government’ Union structure. But his powerful political opponents, who were also Members of the National Executive Committee, had apparently got wind of his secret plans and had conspired to bring about his downfall, based on these inappropriate activities which were, clearly, a serious breach of CCM’s ‘sacred’ policy of the ‘two-government’ Union structure and they actually succeeded!
        At the February ordinary NEC meeting (in which I participated in my capacity as a member thereof), Aboud Jumbe was called to account for his ‘evil’ deeds of secretly preparing a constitution which would breach the party’s ‘two-government’ policy.  He initially denied having done what he was accused of doing. That is when Chairman Nyerere pulled out of his brief case the actual draft of Aboud  Jumbe’s  secret  ‘new constitution’  document  and showed it to him,  asking him whether he recognised that document.
        Aboud  Jumbe  was completely baffled and  disarmed , as he could not continue with his attempt to defend himself.   It is at that stage that he was asked (read directed) to resign from all of his leadership positions, both in the party and in the government. This is what   Chairman Nyerere said, addressing Vice-Chairman Aboud Jumbe:-   “Makamu, Hali ya hewa imechafuka sana Zanzibar.  Katika hali hiyo,  wewe huwezi tena kuendelea kuiongoza Zanzibar. Lazima ujiuzulu” And his response was: “Mwenyekiti: Nakubali.  Najiuzulu”, which his good man gracefully did.
        But, in reality, it was a moment of very grave political uncertainty.  No one knows what would have happened if he had refused to resign from his position as President of Zanzibar, for there were only two possible outcomes, both of them being retrogressive and wholly undesirable. They were:  EITHER that   the Union President orders the army to ‘depose’ him; OR he just keeps quiet and allow  Aboud Jumbe  to get away with it!     Considering President Nyerere’s nature and disposition, it is most unlikely that the first option would have been taken.  And if the second option had been taken; what is likely to have happened is that President Jumbe would have pulled Zanzibar out of the Union; thus heading to its break down.
The subsequent attempts
But Aboud Jumbe’s failed attempt, later turned out to be only the beginning of the often repeated, but always failed, attempts to introduce the forbidden ‘three-government’ Union structure.
        All of these attempts failed for one basic reason, which is that, except for the National Assembly resolution referred to above, which took a lot of high-level negotiations to resolve; all the other attempts were made by Constitutional Review Commissions, appointed by the President, whose attempts were therefore easy to be over ruled   by their appointing Authority.
        Indeed, had anyone of such feeble attempts (trying to dislodge a powerful ruling party policy) been able to succeed, that would have amounted to a real miracle. These were, in fact, only recommendations, and not demands: –
(i)  The recommendations of the Judge Nyalali Presidential Commission, appointed by President Ali Hassan Mwinyi of the Second- phase government, in 1991.
(ii)  The recommendations of the Judge Kisanga Presidential Commission, appointed by President Benjamin Mkapa of the Third-phase government, in 1998.
(iii)  The recommendations of the Judge Warioba Presidential Commission, appointed by President Jakaya Kikwete of the Fourth-phase government, in 2012.
Recommendation not emanating from the people.
A distinct weakness that appeared in all their recommendations, is that they were based on the views of the people.  Even in the case of President Aboud Jumbe’s attempt, it appears that his proposals were his own personal initiative, and not a demand from the people of Zanzibar.   This is partly evidenced by the way his removal from office as a punishment for this ‘crime’, did not create any disturbances in Zanzibar.  And with regard to the recommendations by the Presidential Commissions, undisputable evidence of this fact is readily available in the figures included in each Commission’s Report.
The factors that could facilitate the Union’s breakup.
In my article which was published on year’s anniversary of Union Day itself, Wednesday, 26th April, 2023; I drew attention to the fact that the continued existence of this Union “will depend almost entirely on the political will of our future rulers, specifically, the Presidents of the United Republic; and of Zanzibar”.                                                                         
        That was the 59th anniversary of its existence, with this Union “still going strong”; and in fact, growing from strength to strength. And, in support of my contention that its continued existence will depend mostly on the political will of the rulers, I referred to an incident which nearly caused the break-up of our Union, when President Nyerere was misled into believing falsely, that Zanzibar President Karume was palpably against this union.  But because of limited editorial space, I stopped there.
However, there is a lot more to be said about the role and significance of political will, in the matter of maintaining a stable Union of two formerly independent States like Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
        In the words of Mwalimu Nyerere quoted above, we learnt of the reason advanced for refusing to adopt the “one-government’ structure, namely: “udogo wa Zanzibar, na ukubwa wa Tanganyika”,(in terms of the sizes of their respective population figures); which posed the possible danger of  the appearance that the larger country had “swallowed” its smaller partner Mkubwa kameza mdogo).
        But now, with the advantage of hindsight, and accumulated experience; we can confirm that the “one-government” union structure, is in fact what facilitated the breakup of several of the Unions that were established during the early years, following the attainment of independence by the relevant countries. And, indeed, this was, in all cases caused, by the human tendency implied in the fear of “samaki  mkubwa kumeza  samaki  mdogo”, all based on the absence of positive political will on the part of  the Union leaders, who deliberately decide to “swallow’  the smaller partner in the relevant Union.
The crucial role of the factor of a positive political goodwill.
It is my humble submission, that the presence of a positive political will, was the crucial factor that saved the day in our own difficult case, of resolving the conflict which was caused by the Bunge “ three-government resolution”  of 1993.  It was the presence of this factor which eventually saved the day; in te sense that  the Ruling party (CCM)  was ready and willing to go  back to its individual members, to ask them  if they were ready  to  change the ‘two government’ policy relating to the structure of the Union, a positive  action which  avoided  a direct confrontation between the party and its with its Members of Parliament, which would have occurred  had  CCM  decided to  just order its MPs to withdraw their resolution; which the party  was entitled to in those  circumstances,   since their resolution was, in fact, a rebellion against party policy.
        But fortunately, the presence of a genuine positive political will saved the day.  Thus, instead of taking such a drastic confrontational step, CCM wisely decided to conduct a referendum among all its members at Branch level, asking them to answer the simple question “whether they agree to change their party’s  two-government policy” and if so, to  indicate what option they preferred,  between the ‘one-government’  and the ‘three-government’ options. The results were overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the two-government policy.

piomsekwa@gmail.com /0754767576.      
Source: Daily News todaay.