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Monday, December 29, 2008

What a Happy 2009 New Year Card!

Wishing you a most productive 2009….and may all your calculus [is it?] problems be easier than this one….!

Calculus Copied Card Courtesy Of Family Friends

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mwaka unaishia tumejifunza ujasiri au ubwege?

Mwaka 2008 ndio huo unazidi kututupa mkono. Maandalizi ya kuuaga mwaka yameshaanza kwa kishindo. Pilikapilika za kufunga haraka mahesabu ya mwaka nazo zinaendelea kwa kasi mpya.

Kabla shamrashamra za kuukaribisha mwaka 2009 hazijaanza ni vyema tukajikumbusha yale yaliyojiri mwaka huu. Na si kujikumbusha tu bali pia kutathmini ni nini hasa tumejifunza katika kipindi hiki. Katika kufanya hivyo tuzingatie kuwa maarifa ni yale mafunzo tunayoyakumbuka.

Tuanzie Bungeni. Pengine funzo kubwa kuliko yote tulilolipata ni kuwa sisi Watanzania sio mabwege tena. Funzo hili linatokana na kauli ya aliyekuwa Mwenyekiti wa Kamati Teule ya Bunge ya Kuchunguza Sakata la Richmond, Mheshimiwa Dakta Harrison Mwakyembe (MB).

Kwa mbwembwe nyingi, Mbunge huyo wa Kyela aliisoma ripoti hiyo mbele ya halaiki iliyojumuisha wabunge na wananchi tuliokuwa tukimsikiliza kupitia runinga na redio. Siku hiyo vilabu vya pombe viligeuka kumbi za kusikiliza Bunge. Inasemekana hata kipindi maarufu cha Ze Komedi kilishuka chati kwa jinsi Watanzania tulivyopania kujua sababu hasa ya kuwa gizani.

Hakika ripoti hiyo ilitutoa matongotongo. Kwa mara ya kwanza tulijiona sote tuko nyuma ya mapazia tukishuhudia tulivyoingizwa mjini. Tukaambiwa huo tuliousikia ndio ujasiri wa kifisadi.

Aliyekuwa Waziri Mkuu akalazimika kujiuzulu. Nchi ikatikisika. Rais wetu akalazimika kulivunja baraza lake la mawaziri kwa mujibu wa katiba ya nchi yetu. Kimya kikakataa kutanda.

Mjadala mkali ukazuka kuhusu kilichojiri. Wapo waliosema kuwa wizi wa Richmond ulikuwa ni wa kitoto. Alaa kumbe kuna wizi wa kikubwa! Wapo pia waliosema kuwa huo wizi ni wa Kidato cha Nne. Lo kumbe wizi wa mitihani ndio kiwango cha chini kabisa cha utaalamu wa kifisadi!

Tukajadili hadi tukagundua kuwa tulijiachia sana mpaka mafisadi wakawa na ujasiri wa kufanya wizi ambao haujaenda shule. Kwa kuwa hakukuwa na wa kumfunga paka kengele basi mafisadi waliweza kuingia mpaka jikoni na kufanya wanachotaka bila kizuizi chochote. Kumbe upole na ubwege ulitukolea wee mpaka mafisadi wakawa hawaogopi kuvunja sheria zetu kirahisirahisi tu.

Kwa ujasiri wa kizalendo, tukaungana na wanakamati wateule kuapa kuwa hakutatokea tena skendo ya kifisadi kama ya Richmond. Tukasubiria kwa hamu sana utekelezaji wa mapendekezo ya kamati. Kwa utulivu,Waziri Mkuu mpya akatuelezea Bungeni kuhusu utekelezaji ulipofikia.

Wapo walioridhika na jinsi ripoti yake ilivyoonesha jinsi utekelezaji unavyokwenda hatua kwa hatua. Lakini wapo walioiona kuwa ni kiinimacho tu cha kuvuta muda. Pia wapo walioona kuwa utekelezaji huo ni sehemu tu ya utamaduni wa kulindana, kutowajibika na kutupiana majukumu.
Pamoja na kuwa na maoni tofauti, kwa ujumla tunaendelea kusubiri mpaka tuone hatma ya utekelezaji wa mapendekezo ya kamati hiyo ya aina yake. Tumejiaminisha kuwa sisi Watanzania sio mabwege tena japo bado tu wavumilivu. Ndio maana safari hii tumeshtukia mapema dili la kutaka kununua mitambo ya umeme ya yule aliyekuwa mrithi wa Richmond, yaani, Dowans.

Naam tunajiaminisha kuwa sisi Watanzania sio mabwege tena ndio maana tumezuia dili la kutorosha mitambo ya umeme ya Aggreko ambayo inasemekana haijatulipa kodi ya shilingi bilioni 10. Hakika tunaamini tumeupa talaka uvumilivu wa kibwege ndio maana tunahoji huyu Kagoda huyu hivi ni mnyama gani na sasa tunaanza kupata majibu kutoka hapa, pale na kule.

Lakini mazoea hujenga tabia. Na tabia za muda mrefu hazifi kirahisi. Hivyo, bado chembechembe za woga wa kibwege bado zinatusongasonga Watanzania. Bado tuna uwili wa popo. Tuna ujasiri wa kuhoji kilichofanyika ila bado tuna ubwege wa kutohoji kinachofanyika.

Tuna ujasiri wa kuhoji kwa nini imechukua miaka mingi kuchunguza matumizi mabaya ya madaraka na ubadhirifu ili kufungua mashtaka fulani. Lakini tuna ubwege wa kutohakikisha kuwa taarifa za Mkaguzi wa Hesabu za Serikali kuhusiana na udhibiti wa matumizi hayahaya mabaya ya madaraka na ubadhirifu zinafanyiwa kazi vilivyo leo, kesho na keshokutwa.

Ndio, tuna ujasiri wa kuhoji kama fedha ilizochota Kagoda kwenye EPA pale BOT kweli zilitumiwa na chama fulani cha kisiasa. Lakini tuna ubwege wa kutohakikisha kuwa maagizo ya taarifa za Mkaguzi wa Hesabu za Serikali kuhusu Msajili wa Vyama vya Siasa inayojumuisha rekodi za vyama hivyo yanatekelezwa mwaka huu, mwaka kesho na mwaka keshokutwa.

Undumilakuwili huu wa kuchanganya ujasiri na ubwege ndio unatufanya tusite kufanya mabadiliko ya sheria ya vyama vya siasa na sheria zinazohusu uhuru wa habari. Uwili huo popo ndio unatufanya tusuesue kuleta mabadiliko ya kikatiba. Tunaogopa sana. Hatuogopi kidogo.

Kwaheri mwaka 2008. Asante kwa kutufundisha a be che de za ujasiri wa kibwege. Karibu mwaka 2009. Njoo utufunde a b c za ubwege wa kijasiri.

Mwandishi: Chambi Chachage
Chanzo: Mwananchi 23/12/08

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On Becoming Samia Nkrumah

We, in Africa as in elsewhere, indeed need to to move away from 'politics by association'. But in our quest to do so let us not forget that actually some associations are legacies of our movements against 'politics by association' dictated by the 'imperial/global status quo'. Within the context of Obamamania and the quest for a post-racial world, we only need to re-read how Nkrumah's marriage was a huge political statement to a (then?) highly polarized world that pitted Pan-Africanism against Pan-Arabism, Blacks against Whites, Women against Men, the West against the Rest/East and the "I" against the "We".

The private/personal, feminists remind us, is political. Yet, to the apoliticized individual self, marriage is supposed to be a personal/private matter. But in this case the marriage was more of a public/political matter - it intended to show that Pan-Humanism is possible even in the so-called binary world. That is why the rise of Samia Nkrumah could and can be seen as a symbolic move toward the realization of an inclusive humanity - the one Frantz Fanon cried for when he, in effect, said that the dehumanized humans only want it to be possible for them to discover and to love humans wherever they may be!

"When Kwame Nkrumah married his Egyptian bride, Miss Fathia Halen Ritzk, in a surprise wedding," notes the New African of February 2006, "British and American authorities were sent into a panic as they feverishly sought to determine what the political implications were". On that issue, the New African columnist, Carina Ray, unearth a lot of political exchanges from the archives to prove that it was indeed The marriage that sent the West into panic. For instance, she observe that the then British High Commissioner in Accra, Sir Ian Maclennan, informed the Commonwealth Relations Officer (CRO) "that there were 'no doubt' that Prime Minister Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt hoped to 'build something on the foundation of the marriage.'"

"To support that claim", Carina Ray further notes, "Maclennan reported that shortly after the wedding, Nasser had 'sent a special emissary to Accra to invest Nkrumah with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Nile." In that archived exchange, Maclennan thus accused Nkrumah of hypocricy for accepting Nasser's tribute: "It is ...amusing that [Nkrumah] should himself become the first exception to the rule which he laid down after independence that Ghanaians were not to accept foreign orders and decorations". In the context of Nkrumah's vision of a United States of Africa, one wonders if he indeed saw Egypt as a foreign country - the very Egypt whose grand ancient civilization Africa was working so hard to reclaim from Europe as its very own!

The 'omnipresent-wannabe' CIA was also not left behind. Carina Ray notes that the US State Department and the CIA sought verification from British officials in Washington of what it referred to as a rumor that "Dr Nkrumah felt he was getting too tied up with Israel and as a balancing measure indented on Cairo for 'one bride, sight unseen'". But a picture of the couple in Kente is a 'sight seen'. Indeed the discourse of the veil predates US' 'war on terror'.

Interestingly, Carina Ray's Tales from the Archives, notes that the former governor of the then Gold Coast as Ghana was once known, Sir Arden-Clarke, told the CRO that he believed the marriage was the "bright idea" of George Padmore. By the way, this long-term friend and adviser of Nkrumah from his revolutionary days in London, UK, was the one who wrote that famous book on Pan-Africanism or Communism? after being frustrated by the way the Marxist movement he worked so hard to organize in Europe was paying lip service to the 'class-cum-racial' plight of Africans in the continent and its diaspora. "Padmore", observes Carina Ray, "was believed to have 'suggested to [Nkrumah] that a symbolic marriage of this type with an Egyptian girl would be an indication of a unity of interests between East and West Africa, etc.'" Of course the etcetera means and the rest of what Nkrumah called 'Balkanized Africa'!

Many conjectures abound on why Nkrumah married Fathia. But of "all the various theories concocted about the marriage", concludes Carina Ray, "it would seem that the British authorities, despite their denial, believed the union was a political weapon that could be used against them". No wonder, as her Tales from the Archives reveals, Maclennan sent a confidential telegram to the CRO noting that "in normal circumstance presumably [the British] prime minister and secretary of state would send messages of congratulations to a Commonwealth prime minister on the occassion of his marriage" but the "hole and corner way in which [the] wedding has been arranged" and "the Egyptian nationality of the bride" would discourage them from conveying their congratulations to Nkrumah. Yet the secretary conveyed his "good wishes" to Nkrumah, albeit, through Maclennan, thus avoiding contacting him directly.

If the prospective union between Ghana and Egypt was such a threat to the then dying British Empire, what more could we say of the then prospective union between all countries of Africa - the very vision Nkrumah symbolized? What can we say of the power that symbol still wields? Regardless of whether Samia Nkrumah is 'her father's daughter' or 'her own woman' let us not forget about the symbolic power of her 'Africa Must Unite' becoming.



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Huu ndio uhuru kamili?

Picha za kumbukumbu ya uhuru huleta aina fulani ya msisimko wa kizalendo. Msisimko huo, kama zilivyo picha zenyewe, ni kielelezo tu cha jinsi tulivyojisikia tulipopata uhuru.

Hakika picha ya Kapteni Alexendar Nyirenda akisimika Mwenge wa Uhuru kwenye kilele kimojawapo cha Mlima Kilimanjaro ina mguso wa aina yake. Lakini, je, inaweza kuelezea hisia za watoto fulani waliojikusanya katika kilele fulani cha milima ya Upare kushuhudia tukio hilo? Je, inaweza kunasa hisia za mtoto mmojawapo aliyeamua kujiaminisha kuwa aliuona ukiwaka?

Msisimko ni hisia muhimu kwa mwanadamu. Lakini una ubaya na uzuri wake. Uzuri wake ni kwamba unaweza kuleta ari na nguvu mpya. Na ubaya wake ni kwamba unaweza kuleta matumaini hewa au kiini macho.

Kwa upande mmoja, watu wanaweza kusisimuliwa na tukio fulani la kisiasa au kihistoria na kudiriki kusema “ndio, twaweza” na kweli wakaweza kuleta mabadiliko. Lakini kwa upande mwingine, msisimko huo unaweza kufifia na watu wakakata tamaa kuwa kweli “inawezekana.”

Kuna picha ya kumbukizi ya uhuru ambayo inaonesha pande hizi mbili za msisimko. Picha hii inamuonesha Mwalimu Julius Nyerere akiwa amebebwa na wananchi. Uso wake umejaa tabasamu. Shingo yake imepambwa na mashada. Mikono yake imenyanyua juu bango zuri jeupe.

Bango hilo limenakshiwa na maneno fulani. Hatuna budi kusema ni maneno fulani kwa sababu kama mtu huijui lugha ya Malkia, yaani Kiingereza, huwezi kuyaelewa kwa undani. Utahitaji mtafsiri tu maana yanasema hivi: “COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE 1961.”

Shamrashamra za uhuru zilitusisimua sana mpaka tukanyanyua mabango hayo meupe yenye maandishi meusi yanayodai tumepata uhuru kamili. Tulifanya hivyo japo Malkia wa Uingereza aliendelea kuwa mtawala wa nchi yetu huku Mwalimu Nyerere akiwa chini yake kama Waziri Mkuu aliyechukua nafasi ya Gavana aliyekuwa akimwakilisha Malkia. Bado hatukuwa na Rais.

Nderemo, hoihoi na vifijo vya uhuru vilitugusa sana mpaka tukaendelea kuitukuza injili ya “tafuteni kwanza ufalme wa kisiasa na mengine yote mtaongezewa.” Tulifanya hivyo japo mhubiri wa injili hiyo, Osagefyo Kwame Nkrumah, alishaikana baada ya kuona athari za uhuru wa bendera na ukoloni mamboleo. Alishaanza kutuhubiri tuutafute kwanza ufalme wa kiuchumi.

Ni kweli kabisa msisimko huo wa uhuru ulileta mwamko mpya. Ni jambo lisilopingika kuwa kaulimbiu ya Mwalimu Nyerere ya “inawezekana wajibika kwa nafasi yako” ilitufanya tuwe na moyo wa kujenga taifa letu. Hakika kaulimbiu za “Uhuru na Umoja”, “Uhuru na Maendeleo”, “Uhuru na Ujamaa” na “Uhuru na Kazi” zilichochea nia ya kuleta mabadiliko chanya ya kijamii.

Lakini mfumo haubadilishwi na hisia au msisimko tu. Ndio maana mara baada ya huo uhuru ambao tulidhani ni uhuru kamili wananchi wengi tulianza kuyalilia matunda ya uhuru. Tulijiuliza kwa nini wakulima wanalima sana lakini bado nchi haina chakula cha kutosha. Tulishangaa kwa nini wafanyakazi wanafanya kazi sana lakini bado nchi haina tija ya kutosha.

Ilipofika mwaka 1967 hatimaye tukauona mwanga wa ile injili ya “tafuteni kwanza ufalme wa kiuchumi”. Tukalitangaza Azimio la Arusha. Tukatembea kutoka kila pembe ya nchi kuliunga mkono. Tukatoa Mwongozo wa kuziba mianya ya ubadhirifu. Serikali ikataifisha na kushika njia kuu za uchumi. Mafisadi wakaghafilika. Mabepari wakatahayari. Mabeberu wakataharuki.

Cherekochereko hizi za Azimio zilitusisimua sana mpaka tukatunga mashairi, majigambo na ngonjera za kudai kuwa tunatimua makupe na mabwanyenye wote na kukata mirija yote ya unyonyaji na ukandamizaji. Tulifanya hivyo japo tuliendelea kuwaachia waliokuwa makaburu wa kampuni ya Debeers waendelee kuchimba na kufaidika na madini yetu ya almasi za Mwadui.

Sherehe hizi za Azimio zilitugusa sana mpaka tukaendelea kuienzi miradi na misaada yenye masharti tuliyojiaminisha kuwa ni nafuu kutoka katika mashirika makubwa ya nchi za kibeberu. Tulifanya hivyo japo baadhi ya miradi hii ilisababisha tutumie nguvu za dola kuwanyang’anya wafugaji wetu ardhi yao ya malisho na hata kuwafanya wawe wakimbizi ndani ya nchi yao.

Haukupita muda mrefu tukaanza kuyalilia matunda ya Azimio. Tukawa na mijadala mikali kuhusu mafanikio na madhara yake. Mijadala hii ilimfanya Mwalimu Nyerere atuandikie kitabu cha ‘Azimio la Arusha Baada ya Miaka Kumi’ mnamo mwaka 1977. Muasisi wa Azimio akakiri kuwa ngoma ni nzito. Mafisadi wakapumua. Mabepari wakachekelea. Mabeberu wakashangilia.

Tukaupoteza ufalme wa uchumi kabla hata hatujautafuta. Eti ‘Muongo Uliopotea Afrika’ ukaanza 1980. Uchumi ukaporomoka. Uhujumu uchumi ukafanywa ajira. Uchumi bubu ukawa mfumo wa maisha. Benki ya Dunia na Fuko la Fedha la Kimataifa likatubana. Ule wimbo wetu wa “kama unataka mali utaipata shambani” ukageuka kuwa ‘kama unataka mali utaipata fukoni’.

Ila njia pekee ya kuingia huko fukoni ikawa ni kuzipa hizo taasisi beberu uhuru wa kutuamulia sera na mipango ya kitaifa. Zikatuletea ‘Programu ya Mageuzi ya Kimfumo’. Tukabadili mfumo wa Serikali kutoa huduma ya elimu na afya kwa umma bure. Tukakubali kila mtu aubebe mzigo wake mwenyewe. Walalaheri wakaweza. Walalahai wakajitutumia. Walalahoi wakazidiwa.

Watalaam kutoka nje wakaja na ‘TX’ kutufundisha namna ya kuwa na miradi bila kuitegemea Serikali. Ila miradi mingi ikafa. Muongo uliopotezwa ulipoisha hao wakaenda zao. Baada ya muda wakarudi na ‘DFP’ huku wakiwa na injili mpya isemayo kuwa ili mradi usife lazima uwe endelevu, yaani, ili mradi usife lazima uishi. Na ili uwe endelevu shurti tuwezeshwe kuumiliki.

Leo ni miaka 47 toka tupate uhuru baada ya kudai tunaweza kujitawala na kujiendeleza. Lakini bado tunawezeshwa kufanya hivyo. Eti tunawezeshwa kwa kuwa tunadai hatujiwezi. Na hata tunapodai twaweza tunasema hivyo ili tupate ufadhili wa kutujengea uwezo wa kuwezeshana.

Je, huu ndio uhuru kamili tulioubebea bango tarehe 9 Disemba 1961?

© Chambi Chachage - Mwananchi 10/12/2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sad Tale of Two Ex-Ministers

Last week Tanzania witnessed the bringing before a Dar es Salaam resident magistrate’s court of two ex-ministers charged with the crime of misusing public office. The tale of the two ex-ministers being arraigned before a court for 13 counts of alleged abuse of public office resulting in the state allegedly loosing TSh 11.7 billion has become the subject of most people’s small talk.

These are ex-ministers of finance as well as of minerals and energy, which are powerful government posts that carry with them the possibility of making friends as well as many enemies. Presumably, their being brought to court resulted from a just process of crime investigation and they will be given a fair trial.

It is sad, however, that the ex-ministers are being subjected to trial by media and mob censure. Their trial reminds me of the usual sad scenes in poor neighbourhoods in Dar es Salaam such as Kariakoo, Manzese and Buguruni where it is not uncommon to see a mob whose membership includes a significant number of well known pickpockets descending on an hapless mugger who had had the misfortune of being caught red handed. Often, if a Good Samaritan or conscientious police constable does not happen to be passing by and quickly intervenes, the poor mugger is dead by the winkle of an eye, through mob (in)justice.

The death of the bad thief, at the hands of equally bad fellow thieves, causes the mob to disperse laughing with exaggerated glee, not realizing that acts of violent mugging are symptoms and not the essence of the failed socio-economic system called capitalism, which concentrates wealth in the hands of the few, leaving the majority abysmally poor, even if they have worked hard.

In the tale of the two ex-ministers one notices that the scene containing their being brought before the court seems to have been choreographed to take place just when the public was increasing its clamour for the state to bring to court some of the alleged bigger fish associated with the daylight robbery surrounding the Bank of Tanzania (BOT)’s External Payment Arrears (EPA) account as well as the equally big fish alleged to have engaged in some Richmond saga monkey business whose bill the public was forced to foot.

In what appears to be a carefully scripted public drama, the bail conditions of the ex-ministers were initially made near to impossible to meet. With equal drama, the sad faces of these ministers have been passed in front of mass media cameras for more than once as they went through the legal paces required before their bail application ever got a hearing. In the meantime, sections of the media were daily informing the public that the Fourth Phase Presidency was gaining in popularity ratings on account of having shown no show fear or favour to whoever deserve(d) to be brought before the law.

Critical thinking takes the view that since the ex-ministers have families and friends, as well as political and business competitors, it is important that they continue to be treated with respect. They are innocent till proved guilty by a court of law. Perhaps, the families of these ex-ministers, and they themselves, should from now on be activists in the human rights fight for the treatment of all suspects of all crimes as suspects till proved guilty or otherwise.

The tendency for the police or prison guards to treat suspects in remand prison inhumanely ought to be frown upon by all. Peace in our land demands that we desist from giving succour to perpetrators of mob (in)justice or those who may be persuaded to use fellow human beings as baits in cultivating popular appeal. We should condemn acts of corruption and fraud but still treat fellow human beings, whatever they have been accused of, with respect and dignity.

A comprehensive approach is required in dealing with the issue of abuse of office by senior government officials and leading politicians. It will eventually cause more political harm than good if an impression was allowed to be created to the effect that these ex-ministers are being fingered out as sacrificial lambs to assuage public clamour for the prosecution of all ex-ministers, and even incumbent ones, who have been investigated and found to have cases to answer before courts of law, with regard to allegations of abuse of office, grand corruption and fraud.

Everyone is equal before the law. Our constitution says so. Justice must be seen to take place.

© Dr. Azaveli Feza Lwaitama

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