Thursday, March 31, 2011

Udadisi Kutinga Clouds FM Leo Kujadili Loliondo

Mwanaudadisi atajumuika na wadau wengine kwenye redio ya Clouds FM katika kipindi cha asubuhi cha Harakati za Kutafuta Tiba kujadili suala la huduma ya Babu wa Loliondo na masuala mengine husika. Kwa mujibu wa waandaaji wa kipindi hiki, kitakuwa kinalenga zaidi katika "kupata maelezo ama taarifa sahihi kuhusiana na kupata tiba sahihi ya Ukimwi ugonjwa ambao umeitikisa Dunia kwa miaka kadhaa sasa". Mjadala huu unatarajiwa kuanza saa kumi na mbili na dakika arubaini, yaani saa moja kasorobo, asubuhi (12:45ASB/6:45AM) kwa masaa ya Afrika Mashariki. Wadau wengine wanaotarajiwa kushiriki ni pamoja na Dkt. Bwijo Bwijo - Mratibu wa Mfuko wa Kimataifa wa VVU/UKIMWI na Malaria wa Komisheni ya UKIMWI Tanzania (TACAIDS); Nuru Hangachalo - Mtoa Tiba za Asili, Mwenyekiti wa Chama cha Tiba ya Asili Tanzania (ATME) na Kamishna wa Komisheni ya Utafiti wa Tiba za Asili; Joanne Chamungu - Mwenyekiti wa Women+, Mtandao wa Wanawake wanaoishi na VVU; Dkt Emmanuel Kandusi - Mkurugenzi wa Kituo cha Kuhamasisha Haki za Binadamu (CHRP), na Dkt Bennet Fimbo - Mtaalamu wa Kutoa Elimu ya Umma kuhusu Kuzuia Maambukizi ya VVU pamoja na Huduma na Tiba kwa Watu Wanaoishi na VVU.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Observer Reporter's Rejoinder on Serengeti

Following Tracy McVeigh's article Serengeti highway threatens national park's wildbeest migration that was published in on Sunday, 27 March 2011, a brief response was posted in Wanazuoni's webpage alongside Navaya ole Ndaskoi's earlier critique on a more or less similar proposal against the highway. Fortunately Tracy has presented a brief response below. For those who are concerned this is another space for all those who really care, not only about the animals in Serengeti and beyond, but also about the people of Tanzania and the world at large, to jointly chip in and come up with the best possible alternative.

Re: The Article that Attacks My Piece in The Observer

Firstly can I say that yes, the lack of African names on that letter was noticeable. I don't know why that was the case.

But I do know that it is impossible in today's world to argue that individual state's should be able to make decisions about big environmental issues in isolation and without intense scrutiny from the rest of the world. They hold resources within their man-made borders only as part of the bigger environmental jigsaw that is this planet.

The rest of the world, including Tanzania, is perfectly entitled to make strong demands on Japan at the moment to be reassured about its nuclear safety. Equally it was reasonable for the international community to protest at China's appallingly levels of pollution. The citizens of those countries would expect no less than total support from outside.

It is hard for a continent like Africa, plundered, raped and forcibly reshaped by European colonialists for so much of recent history, to accept the international voice. Why should it? Too often there is someone who wants to make money behind it. But it is a cheap shot to encourage resentments - as valid as they are - to colour the environmental picture. The Serengeti has been one of the most scientifically studied areas in the world.

Increasingly, those scientists will be African, but at the moment many are or were American, Scandanavian, or wherever. What matters is the science they have collected and the model that there is a collective belief in. Surely that knowledge has to be listened to? It is Africans who will feel the crushing impact.

The effects of climate change is already destroying lives in Kenya and Tanzania, lengthening drought cycles.

Roads are key, why should Tanzania not have good roads, of course it should - but careful planning of roads is vital. And be careful too about what the roads will be used for - there is clearly an enormous interest from companies who could make big money by being able to whisk Tanzania's mineral and other resources straight out of the country in their raw form, to be processed, bring jobs and wealth, elsewhere.

Then tourism - does anyone not know what the Serengeti is most famous for? That wildebeest and its zebra outriders are beyond iconography!

Tourists have many, many places to choose from in the world now. And fuel costs mean flights are increasingly expensive so people will get more and more picky about where they go. To even risk damaging one of the country's biggest tourist attractions is, what any young business student can tell you, mad.

Yes there is not enough Tanzanian ownership of the hotels etc, but the international hotel chains stretch across the world not just on the Indian Ocean, and there is employment - and training on offer to locals who should be then be being encouraged by government to go on and invest in their own businesses and their own tourism projects. Look to your government to answer questions of fairness in ownership - many countries have stricter rules on foreign ownership.

Just because scientists are foreign, and you don't like what they are saying, is not I'm afraid, to the rest of the world, including the rest of Africa, a good enough argument to allow Tanzania to shoot the messengers and go ahead with this controversial project.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Third Julius Nyerere Intellectual Festival Week





9.00 – 9.30

Guests to be seated in Nkrumah Hall by 9.30 Chair: Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Rwekaza Mukandala MC: Prof. Amandina Lihamba

9.30 - 9.40

Arrival of the procession of Nyerere Lecturer Procession accompanied and led by ‘ngoma ya mdundiko’

9.40 – 9.50

Sisi ni Watoto wa Africa - Marlaw + secondary school students

9.50 – 10.10

Welcome address by the VC, Prof. Rwekaza Mukandala

10.10 – 10.25

Citation of the Distinguished Nyerere Lecturer - Prof. Issa Shivji


Installation of the Distinguished Nyerere Lecturer, 2011

10.35– 11.30


11.30 – 12.30

Audience Participation: questions, comments and answers

12.30 - 12.40

Host: Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) invites participants to the Health Break

12.40 – 2.30


Invited Guests to VC’s residence Host: The Pan-African Start Secretariat (PASS)


2.30 – 2.45

Arrival and seating of guests in Nkrumah Hall MC: Dr Tulia Ackson

2.45 – 3.00

Special song on Ukombozi - Karola Kinasha

3.00 – 3.15

Welcome of the panel and introduction of the topic – Chief interlocutor: Prof. Issa Shivji, Mwl. Nyerere Professor of Pan-African Studies

3.15 – 4.15


Chief Interlocutor: Prof. Issa Shivji.

Participants: Mzee Martin Shikuku, First Generation Kenyan Nationalist Mzee Hashim Mbita, Former Head of OAU Liberation Committee Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Former OAU Secretary General Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi, Director, UN African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) Prof. Severin Rugumamu, University of Dar es Salaam Dr. Vicensia Shule, University of Dar es Salaam

4.15 – 5.15

Audience participation: questions, comments and answers

5.15 – 5.30

Winding up - Chief Interlocutor

6.00 – 9.00

VC’s Cocktail for invited guests

13TH APRIL 2011



9.00 – 9.15

Guests to be seated in Nkrumah Hall Chair: Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Rwekaza Mukandala MC: Prof. Saida Yahya-Othman

9.15 – 9.45

Performance Fid Q & Prof. J.

9.45 – 10.30


10.30 – 10.40

Host: UDSM-Computing Centre (UCC) invites guests to Health Break

10.40 – 11.30


11.30 - 12.30

Audience Participation: questions, comments and answers

12.30 – 12.50

Vote of Thanks to Prof. Bereket Selassie Dr. Khoti Kamanga

12.50 – 1.40


Guest of Honour: Dr. Ebrima Sall, Executive Secretary of CODESRIA

Chair: Prof. Issa Shivji

12.50 – 1.00

Shairi: Heko kwa kutimiza ahadi – Mwalimu Bashiru Ally

1.00 – 1.20

Taking Stock of Three Years – Issa Shivji

1.20 – 1.30

Ng’wanza Kamata: Introduces the Chair’s publications & invites the Guest of Honour to launch by presenting them to the first laureates of the course: Pan-African Thought and Practice I: The Roots of Pan-Africanism

1.30 – 1.40

Brief remarks by the Guest of Honour - Ebrima Sall

1.40 – 3.00

LUNCH BREAK Invited Guests to VC’s residence Host: Tanzania Gender Network Programme [TGNP]



(Organised in collaboration with TGNP – Tanzania Gender Network Programme)

Chair: Ms. Mary Rusimbi, Chairperson – TGNP

3.00 – 3.30

Kwa nini? Theatre performance by Makanjanja group

3.30 – 3.40

Welcome remarks – Ms. Mary Rusimbi

3.40 – 4.40

Interactive Dialogue - Silences on Women Freedom Fighters: The Case of East African Women

Chief Interlocutor: Ms. Demere Kitunga, Publisher and Former TGNP Board Member Participants: Prof. Sylvia Tamale, Makerere University Ms. Ananilea Nkya, Executive Director – TAMWA Prof. Godwin Murunga, Kenyatta University Ms. Salma Maoulid, Gender Activist

4.40 – 5.20

Audience participation: questions, comments and answers

5.20 – 5.35

Launching of Popular Feminist Life Herstory Publications – Prof. Alice Nkhoma Wamunza, University of Dar es Salaam

5.35 – 6.00

Summing up Demere Kitunga & Mary Rusimbi




Sponsor: Legal & Human Rights Centre (LHRC)

7.30 – 8.00 pm

Arrival of guests and refreshments

8.00 – 08.10 pm

A word from facilitator/moderator Prof. Issa Shivji

08.10 – 08.40 pm

Reminiscences of the Ghanaian struggle – Special Guest: Yao Graham

08.40 – 10.00 pm

Discussion of experiences and reminiscences of student struggles UDSM Students of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s



[Sponsored by African Research and Resource Forum [ARRF]]


9.00 – 9.20

Guests to be seated Chair: Prof. P. Anyang’ Nyong’o, Minister of Health Service, Kenya MC: Dr. George Omondi, Executive Secretary – ARRF

9.20 – 9.35

MC introduces books to be launched

9.35 – 9.50

Launching of the books and brief remarks by the Chairperson

9.50 – 10.30

A Panoramic View of the Books written by First Generation Nationalists by Jenerali Ulimwengu 10.30 – 10.55


10.55 – 11.05

Host: Commission for Science & Technology (COSTECH) invites participants to Health Break 11.05 – 11.45



Motion: This house believes that after 50 years of independence, it is time to consolidate nationalism in each of our countries rather than resurrect Pan-Africanism

11.45 – 11.50

Introduction of the topic by the Speaker, Ng’wanza Kamata

11. 50 – 12.50


12.50 – 01.30 Audience participation

01.30 – 01.40

Summing up – Speaker

1.40 – 02.40


Invited guests to VC’s residence for lunch [Host ARRF]



3.15 – 3.30

Introduction of the topic: Vice Chancellor, Prof. R. Mukandala


3.30 – 4.30

Dialogue Participants: Amb. Juma Mwapachu, Secretary General, East African Community Prof. Fred Kaijage, University of Dar es Salaam Prof. Penina Mlama, CAMFED Tanzania Dr. Saleem Badat, VC, Rhodes University, South Africa Prof. Akosua Ampofo, Director, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana

4.30 – 4.50 Audience participation

4.50 – 5.00

Winding up Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Rwekaza Mukandala

5.00 – 5.20

Special Thanks by Prof. Issa Shivji

8.00 – 12.00


MC: Vicensia Shule KAROLA KINASHA BAND Hosts: UDASA & Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF)






Chair: Dean, Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi

MC: Ms. Asina Omari

9.00 - 9.30

Arrival and seating of guests

9.30 – 9.40

Welcoming remarks Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi

9.40 – 10.00

Citation of the Keynote Speaker Prof. G. Mgongo Fimbo

10.00 – 10.45

Keynote address Human Rights and Constitutionalism in East Africa: A Panoramic View - Prof. Yash Ghai

10.45 – 11.15

Audience participation

11.15 – 11.25

Thanks and summing up - Chairperson

11.25 – 11.30

Co-host [LHRC] welcomes participants to the health break

11.30 – 12.00



Chairperson: Prof. L. X. Mbunda

12.00 – 12.45

Paper presentations: 1. G. M. Fimbo: Fifty Years of Teaching and Researching Law in East Africa 2. M.K.B. Wambali: The Participation and Contribution of the Faculty of Law, University of Dar es Salaam to the Struggles for Constitutional Change, Democracy and Human Rights in Tanzania 3. P. J. Kabudi: The Future Perspectives of the University of Dar es Salaam School of Law (Formerly Faculty of Law)

12.45 – 1.30

Audience participation

1.30 – 1.45

Responses from presenters

1.45 – 2.00

Summing up - Chairperson

2.00 – 3.00


Invited guests to VC’s residence for lunch [Co-Host: LHRC]



Guest of Honour: Hon. Justice Joseph Sinde Warioba

Chairperson: Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi

3.00 – 3.15

Arrival of guests and performance by Marlaw


3.15 – 3.30

Editors’ introduction

3.30 – 3.40

Launch of the book - Guest of Honour

3.40 – 3.50

Brief remarks - Guest of Honour

3.50 – 4.00

Brief remarks and thanks - Justice Barnabas Samatta 4.00 – 4.15

Performance – Marlaw


[This trial was organised by the then Faculty of Law sometime in 1981/2.]

4.15 – 5.15

Re-enacting the mock trial [Based on the case of Republic vs Agnes Doris Liundi [1980] T.L.R 38.] Prof. Penina Mlama in the role of the Accused

5.15 – 5.30

Official closing of the Festival by the VC

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vuta Nikuvute: Tutajenga Barabara ya Serengeti?

Sakata la Mpango wa Ujenzi wa Barabara ya Serengeti

Navaya ole Ndaskoi

Karibu mwaka mzima sasa mashirika makubwa ya uhifadhi wa wanyamapori ya ndani na nje ya Tanzania yamekuwa yakipinga kwa kila mbinu mpango wa Serikali ya Tanzania kujenga barabara kuu kuunganisha mikoa ya Arusha na Mara kupitia ndani ya Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti. Vyombo vya habari vya nje pamoja na tovuti zimekuwa zikitumika kupinga ujenzi huu ambao bila shaka ungeleta huduma kwa wananchi.

Pengine kuna umuhimu wa kueleza japo kwa muhutasari historia ya mgogoro huu.

Takriban miaka ishirini hivi iliyopita Serikali ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania ilipendekeza kujenga barabara kupitia Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti. Serikali ilipeleka pendekezo lenyewe Benki ya Dunia kutafuta fedha ili ujenzi uanze. Benki ya Dunia ikafanya uchunguzi na kutupilia mbali pendekezo la ujenzi wa barabara yenyewe kwa madai kwamba ungeathiri kwa kiasi kikubwa Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti.

Hata hivyo, mwaka 2005, Serikali ya Rais Jakaya Kikwete iliingia madarakani. Kikwete alimteua rafiki yake, Edward Lowassa, kuwa Waziri Mkuu. Serikali ikaanza upya mkakati wa ujenzi wa barabara hiyo iliyokosa ufadhili wa Benki ya Dunia hapo mwanzo.

Tarehe 2 Julai 2007 Lucy Owenya, Mbunge wa Viti Maalum CHADEMA, alisimama Bungeni na kumuuliza Waziri Mkuu maswali kadhaa kuhusu mpango huu. Owenya aliitaka Serikali ifafanue kuhusu mipango yake ya kujenga (1) mahoteli katika Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti (2) uwanja wa ndege wa kimataifa kilomita 16 tu Magharibi mwa Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti (3) barabara ya lami kupitia Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti na (4) mpango wa kuchimba magadi katika Ziwa Natron.

Aliyekuwa Waziri Mkuu, kama mwenye ghadhabu vile na akishangiliwa sana na wabunge, alisimama na kusisitiza kwamba Serikali lazima itajenga vyote alivyoulizia Owenya. Lowassa alisema ni lazima barabara ya lami itajengwa kuanzia Mto-wa-Mbu kupitia Engaruka, Loliondo, Hifadhi ya Taifa Serengeti hadi Musoma.

Wakati huo, kama ilivyo sasa, mashirika mengi ya uhifadhi ya wanyamapori yalikuwa Tanzania. Hata hivyo yalitulia kama vile maji kwenye mtungi au kama yananyolewa vile. Punde si punde Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti ikampata mtetezi. Lakini Lowassa alilazimika kujiuzulu mwezi Februari 2008 wadhifa wa Waziri Mkuu baada ya Kamati Teule ya Bunge kufanya uchunguzi wa kina kuhusu ufisadi katika sekta ya umeme.

Mwanzoni mwa mwaka jana mradi huu wenye thamani ya $480 milioni uliibuka tena. Rais Kikwete aliapa mara kadhaa kuwa lazima Serikali itajenga barabara hii kuanzia 2012.

Tarehe na Matukio Muhimu Katika Mjadala Huu

Aprili 2010

Shirika la Kijerumani la Uhifadhi wa Wanyamapori, Frankfurt Zoological Society(FZS), lilichapisha ripoti dhidi ya Barabara kwenye ukurasa wake wa tovuti. Ripoti hii iliandikwa na Prof. Prof. Anthony Sinclair wa Chuo Kikuu cha British Columbia, Kanada, Dk. Markus Borner, Mkugenzi wa FZS-Afrika, Gerald Begurube, aliyekuwa Mkurugenzi wa Shirika la Hifadhi za Taifa ambaye baada ya kuondoka TANAPA aliajiriwa na FZS. Ripoti hiyo yenye kichwa cha habari "The Serengeti North Road Project" imekuwa ndio msingi wa upinzani dhidi ya barabara hii.

1 Juni 2010

Ukurasa wa Facebook (FB) waanzishwa, baada ya Boyd Norton kurudi kutoka Tanzania aliposikia habari za barabara hii, na sasa karibu ina mashabiki zaidi ya 37,000. Miongoni mwao ni karibu wahafidhina wote wakubwa wa uhifadhi wa wanyamapori kutoka kona zote za dunia. Wanatumia jukwaa hili kikamilifu kuendesha kampeni dhidi ya mpango huu wa Tanzania. Mbali na Boyd Norton na Dave Blanton viongozi wengi wa huu upinzani wameamua kujificha kwa kutotaja majina yao. Ni muhimu kusema kwamba FZS na African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) ndiyo vyanzo vya taarifa yao.

16 Juni 2010

AWF, shirika la uhifadhi wa wanyamapori la Marekani linalojiita kuwa ni la Afrika, lilitoa tamko kuhusu barabara na kusema, kama lile la Ujerumani lilivyosema, Serikali ijenge barabara kupitia kusini mwa Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti.

31 Julai 2010

Rais Jakaya Kikwete, akihutubia Taifa mwisho wa mwezi, alisema Serikali yake itajenga barabara hii pamoja na kelele za wanamazingira.

16 Septemba 2010

Jarida maarufu, Nature Journal, linalochapiswa nchini Uingereza, lilichapisha habari iliyoandikwa na “wanasayansi” 27 dhidi ya barabara hii. Kwa mujibu wa Nature “wanasayansi” hao ni Andrew P. Dobson, Markus Borner, Anthony R. E. Sinclair, Peter J. Hudson, T. Michael Anderson, Gerald Bigurube, Tim B. B. Davenport, James Deutsch, Sarah M. Durant, Richard D. Estes, Anna B. Estes, John Fryxell, Charles Foley, Michelle E. Gadd, Dan Haydon, Ricardo Holdo, Robert D. Holt, Katherine Homewood, J. Grant C. Hopcraft na Ray Hilborn. Wengine ni George L. K. Jambiya, M. Karen Laurenson, Lota Melamari, Alais ole Morindat, Joseph O. Ogutu, George Schaller na Eric Wolanski; kwa mpangilio huo. Wako wapi waTanzania na waAfrika kwa ujumla? Kama majina ni kielelezo, ukiwaondoa Bigurube, Jambiya, Melamari, Morindat na Ogutu genge zima hili ni Wamarekani na binamu zao toka Ulaya. Ajabu ni kwamba siku chache baadaye wanasayansi 290 walijiunga nao.

30 Septemba 2010

Dk. Jane Goodall aandika kujitetea kutokana na mashambulizi dhidi yake kutoka kwa wahafidhina wa uhifadhi wa wanyamapori, karibu 22,000 wakati huo, kwenye tovuti FB ya Stop the Serengeti Highway (STSH). Itakumbukwa kuwa Taasisi ya Jane Goodall ilimtunukia Rais Kikwete nishani kwa ajili ya uhifadhi wa wanyamapori. Wahafidhina walimtaka Goodall ajiweke pembeni ama wamchanganye na Kikwete (Barua kutoka kwa Dk.Jane Goodall kwenda STSH iliyochapishwa kenye FB).

1 Novemba 2010

Baada ya mapambano makali kwenye FB wahafidhina wanasalimu amri na sasa kupendekeza barabara ya Arusha-Babati-Singida-Shinyanga-Mwanza-Musoma. Awali walipendekeza barabara ijengwe kuanzia Karatu-Eyasi-Lamadi-Musoma kupitia ardhi ya Hadza.

Novemba 2010

Serengeti Watch (SW), Shirika Lisilo la Kiserikali, latangaswa kuanzishwa mapema mwezi huu. Inaelekea Dave Blanton na Boyd Norton wanaliendesha watakavyo na wahafidhina wengine wamebaki mashabiki. SW lilisajiliwa chini ya Sheria 501(c)3, maana yake inaweza kuchangisha fedha bila kodi, ya Marekani. Hii nayo ni taasisi nyingine ya Marekani.

10 Disemba 2010

ANAW, taasisi ya kutetea haki za wanyama Kenya, yafungua kesi dhidi ya Serikali ya Tanzania katika Mahakama ya Afrika ya Mashariki. Kwa mujibu wa Saitabao ole Kanchory, Wakili wa Mahakama Kuu ya Kenya, anayeiwakilisha ANAW, mteja wake anaiomba mahakama kuipiga marufuku Serikali ya Tanzania kujenga barabara hii sasa na hata milele.

27 Januari 2011

Rais Jakaya Kikwete akutana na Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa Benki ya Dunia, Ms. Ngozi Ikonjo-Iweala, Davos, Uswiss, na kumhakikishia kuwa Serikali ya Tanzania haitajenga barabara kupitia Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti kwa kiwango cha lami (Taarifa kwa vyombo vya habari iliyosainiwa na Mkurugenzi wa Mawasiliano Ikulu Januari 28, 2011).

8 Februari 2011

Mabaraza ya Madiwani kutoka wilaya nane za Mikoa ya Arusha na Mara yatoa tamko la pamoja kuunga mkono mpango wa Serikali kujenga barabara kuanzia Mto-wa-Mbu kupitia Loliondo na Mugumu hadi Musoma. Wilaya hizo ni Monduli, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Tarime, Bunda, Musoma, Rorya na Musoma (Daily News, February 9, 2011).

9 Februari 2011

Mwakilishi wa Benki ya Dunia Tanzania, John McIntire, pamoja na wasaidizi wake wakutana na Rais Kikwete Ikulu Dar es Salaam na kuahidi kuipa Serikali fedha kwa ajili ya kujenga barabara kupitia Kusini mwa Hifadhi ya Taifa Serengeti. Rais aliwashukuru na kurudia kusema kuwa wananchi waishio Mashariki na Magharibi mwa Hifadhi ya Taifa Serengeti wanahitaji maendeleo (Daily News, February 10, 2011).

14 Februari 2011

Ripoti ya Uhakiki wa Athari za Kimazingira za Ujenzi wa Barabara ya Serengeti (Environmental Impact Assessment - EIA) inachambuliwa mtandaoni na mpinzani wa ujenzi wa barabara hiyo baada ya kuvujishwa kwenye tovuti kadhaa na watu wasiojulikana.

18 Februari 2011

Waziri wa Maendeleo wa Ujerumani, Dirk Niebel, ajiunga na wanaopinga barabara kupitia Hifadhi ya Taifa Serengeti. Niebel alisema Ujerumani, kama Benki ya Dunia, itatoa fedha kufadhili ujenzi wa barabara kusini mwa Serengeti. Niebel aimiminia sifa Frankfurt Zoological Society kwa kazi nzuri inayofanya (Frankfurter Rundschau Februari 17, 2011).

11 Machi 2011

Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators (TATO) wanatoa tamko kwenye Daily News linaloitaka Serikali iache mpango huu na inapendekeza ijenge barabara mbadala - tangazo hilo linakuja kutolewa tena kwenye Arusha Times.

19 Machi 2011

Ni siku maalum iliyopangwa na wanauhifadhi wa wanyamapori kote duniani (samahani Ulaya na Amerika ya Kaskazini) kwa ajili ya maandamano ya amani kupinga barabara ndani ya Hifadhi ya Serengeti.

21 Machi 2011

Shirika la Habari la Kijerumani la Deutche Welle (DW) linaripoti kuhusu kuongezeka kwa shinikizo la kuizua Tanzania isijenge Barabara Kuu ya Serengeti. Inaripotiwa kuwa shinikikizo hilo limeongezeka baada ya Serikali ya Ujerumani na Benki ya Dunia kuahidi kutoa fedha kwa ajili ya kujenga barabaraba mbadala. Magazeti na blogu mbalimbali zinaitangaza taarifa hiyo pia.

26 Machi 2011

The Citizen inachapisha makala kuhusu uhusiano kati ya barabara ya Serengeti na Loliondo baada ya ziara ya muandishi wa makala hiyo kwenye kijiji cha Samunge ambapo Babu Mchungaji Ambilikile Mwasapile anatoa kile anachodai ni tiba ya kikombe cha dawa kwa maelfu ya watu.

27 Machi 2011

Ripota wa The Observer, Tracy McVeigh, anachapisha makala inayopinga ujenzi huo ambayo inachapishwa pia katika tovuti ya The Guardian la Uingereza na kusambazwa kupitia mitandao mbalimbali duniani. Makala hii inatumia zaidi vyanzo vya wanasayansi waliotajwa hapo juu japo ina makosa kadhaa ya kitaarifa. Mjadala unaendelea mitandaoni.

28 Machi 2011

Mazingira Network - Tanzania (MANET) nao wanatoa tamko kwenye The Citizen dhidi ya pendekezo la kujenga barabaraba kuu ya Serengeti na kupendekeza ijengwe barabara kupitia kusini mwa Serengeti.

Hawawajali Wananchi wa Tanzania

Itakumbukwa kwamba wananchi wengi wanaoishi Mkoa wa Arusha (Mashariki mwa Serengeti) na Mkoa wa Mara (Magharibi mwa Serengeti) waliondolewa kimabavu miaka ya 1950 ili kupisha uanzishwaji wa Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti bila ridhaa yao.

Loliondo ni makao makuu ya Wilaya ya Ngorongoro. Ni karibu kilomita 400 hivi kutoka mjini Arusha. Kwa kuwa hakuna barabara msafiri hupoteza zaidi ya muda unaopotezwa na msafari anayetoka Arusha kwenda Dar es Salaam karibu kilomita 800. Endapo barabara hii ingejengwa bila shaka huduma ingewasogelea wananchi hawa.

Sasa hivi magari zaidi ya 400 yanayobeba watalii kutoka nchi wanakotoka wahafidhina hawa wanaopinga ujenzi wa barabara hupita kwenye Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti kwa siku (Daily News [Dar es Salaam] February 24, 2010). Kulinganisha, kuna basi moja to kwa siku linatoka Musoma kwenda Arusha na moja kutoka Arusha kwenda Musoma. Kuna wakati wanamazingira alilazimisha kusimamishwa uzalishaji wa umeme kwa ajili ya vyura wa Kihansi na sasa wanapinga mkakati wa kujenga bwawa la kuzalisha umeme kwenye Bonde la Stiegler katiaka Pori Tengefu la Selous. Madai ya wahafidhina wa uhifadhi wa wanyamapori ni kuwa ujenzi wa barabara kupitia Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti wanyama kama nyumbu na wengine wataangamia. Hoja nyingine inayotumika kuwanyima wananchi waishio pembezoni mwa Serengeti kwamba Serengeti ni Eneo la Urithi la Dunia. Kwamba Tanzania haina kauli ya mwisho kuhusu Serengeti na maeneo mengine ya urithi wa dunia. Wahafidhina wa mazingira wanapendekeza barabara kupita Kusini mwa Hifadhi ya Tafa ya Serengeti (Arusha-Babati-Singida-Shinyanga-Mwanza-Musoma).

Barabara hii kwanza tayari inajengwa na hivyo hawawezi kuiambia Serikali kujenga barabara ambayo inaendelea kujengwa. Pili, barabara hii inapita katika kundi kubwa la pili la wanyamapori wanao hama hama waliobaki katika uso wa dunia hii kule Tarangire-Manyara. Tatu, barabara kupitia Mto-wa-Mbu na Engaruka ni maamuzi ya kisiasa ya Edward Lowassa.

Barabara Mbadala ya Afrika Mashariki

Mbunge Mwanzilishi wa Ngorongoro, Moringe Parkipuny, anapendekeza barabara ya Afrika ya Mashariki. Barabara hii itaanzia Lengijape kwenda Ngaresero na hatimaye Naan Mashariki mwa Loliondo. Kutoka pale itavuka mpaka na kuigia nchini Kenya kuelekea Narok na mbuga za Ngano kule Lemek. Itaendelea hadi Lolgorien na kuvuka tena mpaka pale Sirari na kuendelea kwenda hadi mjini Musoma. Barabara hii inaepuka kukatisha katikati ya wanyama wanao hama hama Tarangire-Manyara na Serengeti-Maasai Mara bila kuathiri haki ya wananchi waishio pembezoni mwa Hifadhi ya Taifa ya Serengeti kupata barabara kama wananchi wengine. Vile vile inaifanya Kenya iwajibike kwa kubeba mzigo wake wa wanyamapori badala ya kuiachia Tanzania pekee. Hii pia inaiweka majaribuni roho ya muungano wa Afrika na juhudi zinazoendelea kuunganisha Afrika Mashariki.

Je, Tanzania ni nchi huru yenye haki ya kutumia maliasili zake kwa ajili ya maendeleo ya watu wake? Kati ya wananchi na wanyamapori nani ana haki zaidi? Wote wako sawa? Tanzania ina uhuru bado wa kujiamulia mambo yake yenyewe kama nchi huru? Rais Kikwete ataweza kuhimili mapambano dhidi ya vyombo vya habari vya Magharibi? Kwa nini UNESCO wanaweza kuipelekesha Serikali ya Tanzania kuhusu maendeleo ya wananchi wake lakini UNESCO hiyo hiyo inaziogopa Serikali kama za Ujerumani? Tanzania bado ni nchi huru?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Will Loliondo Cure the Serengeti Road Headache?

Will Loliondo Cure the Serengeti Road Headache?

I am back in Dar es Salaam. But the dust has not settled in Arusha. Loliondo’s road is still busy.

Coincidentally, the road that patients use on their way to get ‘cure’ from Ambilikile Mwasapile, alias Babu, is the controversial proposed Serengeti highway. As I narrated in ‘Healing a Sick Nation the Loliondo Way’ (The Citizen 17/03/2011), it took us 12 hours to reach Babu’s Samunge village via that road. In fact I saw at least 10 vehicles that broke down along the way. The quest to construct the Serengeti highway has pitted the high echelons of powers in Tanzania against erstwhile donors and conservation experts. As I type this article the new media is splashed with news on new pressures to halt the plan. Deutche Welle’s coverage is quite telling.

Originally, the German radio’s online text dated 21/03/2011 notes, “it was environmental groups and scientists who were vocal in their opposition to Tanzania's proposal to build a highway through the vast Serengeti national park - home to the biggest animal migration found on earth”.

Now, this radio further notes, “heavyweights like the German government and the World Bank are making it clear that they also oppose the plans, which threaten to disrupt the annual migration of more than one million wildebeest, plus thousands of zebras, gazelles and other herbivores”.

A keen observer cannot help but wonder why they are stepping up the pressure now when Babu has stole the show. In fact just before I travelled to Loliondo a colleague showed me a press statement in the Daily News (11/03/2011) issued by the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) and signed by Mustapha Akunaay who happens to be Mbulu’s Member of Parliament (MP). Expectedly, it virtually regurgitated the concerns of those opposed to the government plan.

Degradation of the Serengeti ecosystem and interference with migration of animals which will lead to “declassification by UNESCO World Heritage Commission” are some of their concerns.

As an alternative the statement recommended “to the Government that in order to link the districts north of the Serengeti to the existing road network without crossing the Serengeti i.e. the road should pass on the southern borders of Serengeti or to build the tarmac road from Karatu-Mbulu-Haydom-Sibiti River -Meatu and branch to Shinyanga, Singida and Musoma from Meatu - this will serve greater number of people than the proposed one”. What about Loliondo people? Those who are currently crisscrossing to Samunge village via Mto wa Mbu, Engaruka and Ngaresero do not even get to see the famed Serengeti national park as the road branches off just before Loliondo. The best they can see is a few zebras, giraffes, monkeys and antelopes near the volcanic Ol Doinyo Lengai (Mountain of God) and the fabled Shimo la Mungu (God’s Crater).

All they need is a better and shorter road. They don’t want to take the longer route via Serengeti when it gets rainy as it is now. But even peasants and pastoralists in the area need a better road regardless of whether it serves the interest of the government and its investors who are eyeing the soda ash in Lake Natron. As the Samunge elders I recently talked to indicated, they need a road that will reach their village. In fact that is the cry of many a remote villages across our country.

By the way, not so long ago the then MP for Ngorongoro, Moringe Parkipuny, came up with an alternative road that is now publicized by Navaya ole Ndaskoi. Interestingly, he dubs it the ideal East African Community (EAC) Highway.

Mind you I even saw a bus that came all the way to Loliondo from Nairobi via Dodoma, a journey that could be cut short by this proposed highway.

The proposed road starts at Lengijape and pass through Ngaresero as it connects to Naan on the eastern side of Loliondo. It then goes all the way to Kenya and pass through Narok and Lemek; it continues to Lolgorien and connects back to Sirari at the border and goes all the way to Musoma. It thus avoids interfering with the Tarangrire-Manyara and Serengeti-Maasai Mara ‘ungulate’ animal migrations. In contrast to the proposal of international conservationists, this road would not affect the rights of those who reside on the sides of Serengeti to access roads nor does it affect the environment of the hunter-gatherer community residing on the southern tip of the park.

So, when Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) pursues their position “in collaboration with Tourism Confederation of Tanzania (TCT)” and in line with international conservationists one wonders in whose interest are they doing so. Is it in the interest of animals at the expense of people for the sake of tourist investments? Or is it in the interest of the people? It is in this regard the emergence of Babu and the government’s alleged interest in promoting ‘medical tourism’ could actually prove to be a cure to the Serengeti highway, nay, Loliondo road.

We can go on and debate whether a 53 kilometers tarmac road should cut the Serengeti park or not. But we can surely not argue against constructing a road that will reach the capital of Ngorongoro i.e. Loliondo. After all Tanzania’s rural and urban areas ought to be interconnected.

© Chambi Chachage

The Citizen 26/03/2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mamdani on South Sudan's Self-Determination

Click the link below to read and listen to Prof. Mahmood Mamdani's recent talk on South Sudan at Makerere University:

"Let me ask one question to begin with: who is the self in what we know as self-determination? In 1956, when Sudan became independent, that self was the people of Sudan. Today, in 2011, when South Sudan will become independent, that self is the people of South Sudan.That self, in both cases, is a political self. It is a historical self, not a metaphysical self as nationalists are prone to think. When nationalists write a history, they give the past a present. In doing so, they tend to make the present eternal. As the present changes, so does the past. This is why we are always rewriting the past" - Mahmood Mamdani on Implications of South Sudan's Referendum

Quote Source:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why Museveni's Article on Gaddafi is Divisive

Museveni and Gaddafi have had an ambivalent relation. Way before some of us could even predict what is happening now in Libya, Wikileaks 'revealed' that Museveni was worried that Gaddafi "would shoot down his plane as he travelled over international air". Ironically, it is said that he shared his worries with the then US' top ambassador to Africa. Yet more ironically until recently it is the US that has been spearheading the demolition of Gaddafi's air force to enforce the contentious UN 'no-fly zone' resolution. It is within this context that one tries to make sense of why Museveni's article 'Let Libyans Solve Their Own Problems' is circulating so widely and eliciting such divided responses from intellectuals, activists and revolutionaries. It indeed makes an interesting read especially when one reads it with respect to Museveni's own struggles to maintain what is increasingly seen as dictatorial/despotic power in Uganda.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scientific Journal Articles on Loliondo 'Cure' Tree

Read the following collection of scientific journal articles on the said tree with respect to this quotation from Rose Shija (NPO-EDM,WHO) in regard to the first article below: "Please find herewith attached some information on the plant being used in Loliondo. Plants from this genus have been used traditionally in Africa and other parts of the world to treat a variety of disease conditions. The genus has also already been studied and various chemicals extracted and tested for their medicinal properties. The plant in Tanzania is Carissa edulis. It is also found in Kenya and KEMRI last year did a study and isolated some compounds which have antiviral properties. NIMRI and the Traditional Medicine Institute are now working on it too. I hope that more African research institutions will be supported to do further studies especially on the identified compounds to make 'medicines'."

Prof. Mahuna Kulikoni Mti wa Babu wa Loliondo?

Yu wapo Profesa Mahuna ambaye amebobea katika tafiti za tiba za mizizi/miti kama huu mti ambao Babu wa Loliondo anautumia? Kwenye mtandao kuna taarifa chache sana kuhusu Profesa huyu mahiri! Itakuwa vyema kama wadadisi wa mambo tutaweza kupata mada na makala mbalimbali za Profesa R.L Mahuna pamoja na maandiko ya shahada zake za Uzamili na Uzamivu. Zifuatazo ni dondoo, rejea na nukuu chache ambazo Udadisi imeziokoteza mtandaoni:

"Shughulikeni kwani bado kuna vitu vingi ambavyo dunia haijui lakini sisi tumevifanya kama mazoea tu. Kina Prof mahuna na zile dawa zetu nk ni vitu ambavyo havijulikani ... kwani kitu kama massage ya tumbo (kutufiwa) wakati linauma .. Tiba ya Mburathi (kimeta?) na Kirie (Cancer) wapare walikua navyo ni vile tu miti na majani yamepotea au wajuzi wamekufa nao.." - Yassin Mshana, 4 Oktoba 2010

"M., Magingo, F.S., Minja, A.N., Bitanyi, H.F. & Mahuna, R.L. Plant Genetic Resources and Biotechnology. Proceedings of the first national workshop held at Arusha, Tanzania, January 16 - 20, 1990" - Literature and References

"...Vuguvugu la tiba asilia lilianza kuibuka tena mwaka 2002 wakati Bunge la Jamhuri ya Muungano liliporidhia na kupitisha sheria Na.23 ya Tiba Asilia Mbadala ambapo Rais wa Awamu ya Tatu, Benjamin Mkapa alimteua Profesa Rogasia Mahuna kuwa Mwenyekiti wa Baraza la Tiba Asilia Tanzania...mbali na kuwa mwenyekiti wa Baraza hilo, Profesa Mahuna pia yumo katika kundi la wataalam wanaowashauri marais wa nchi 12 za Afrika juu ya matumizi ya Tiba Asilia na pia ni Makamu Mwenyekiti wa Baraza la Tiba Asilia barani Afrika" - Maishani

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sala ya Babu Loliondo/Babu's Prayer in Loliondo

Fungua, tazama na sikiliza hapa/Download, listen and watch at:

Monday, March 21, 2011


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Scientific Explanation of Babu's 'Loliondo Dawa'?

Yesterday I talked to someone whose grandmother used to heal (or at least claim) to heal cancer but she died without passing that healing knowledge to anyone. The person told me that from the narration of Babu of Loliondo it is quite possible that his 'medication' is a herb or concoction that falls in such a category of African 'traditional medicine' and what he is saying and doing now is only to protect it from being stolen or/and patented. In African traditional healing, this person asserted, it is not uncommon to hear of 'medicinal men/women' getting a vision of where and how to get a certain herb that heals and he also know of someone else who died without revealing the formula of a seemingly effective medication he was administering to patients. I am still a student of African knowledge systems and I found this explanation given by someone from Mwanza quite interesting as it was not any different from an explanation I independently got from someone from Kilimanjaro that 'herbs follow the healer' as it is normally shown in a vision and the person who gets it goes to the forest to seek it. It should be noted that Babu uses the general name 'Mungu' as in 'God', rather than a specific name such as Jesus, to refer to who showed him the medication thus indicating that it could any higher being as claimed by any religion including the so-called 'animistic' religions of African ancestors. All these explanations are more intriguing given the fact that the five elders of Samunge village in Loliondo that we spoke to claimed that they have been using that same tree to prevent 'cancer' and contain 'anthrax' and it has also been a good treatment for pain in arms and knees/legs' joints when they boil and drink it as a soup; to them this knowledge was/is a heritage from their ancestors. What is also quite interesting is this email that I received yesterday from a colleague:

Re: Upande wa Pili wa Babu wa Loliondo

[The Other Side of the Story of Babu of Loliondo]

Hiyo [that] plant inayotumika huko [that is used there] inaitwa [is called] Carissa edulis Family: Apocynaceae, it has been there since ancient time and C. edulis is found in Arabia and reaches through tropical Africa to the Transvaal, Botswana and north and northeast Namibia, in warm bushveld and scrub. Geographic distribution Native : Botswana, Cambodia, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Japan, Kenya, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia,Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen Products Food: Fruits are sweet and pleasant to eat; in Ghana, they are normally added to the food of invalids as an appetizer. Vinegar can be made from them by fermentation; in Sudan and Kenya, they are made into a jam. The roots are put into water gourds to impart an agreeable taste and are added to soups and stews for the same reason. Fodder: Goats and camels in the dry parts of Sudan browse on C. edulis. Fuel: The species is a source of excellent firewood. Poison: In Kenya, a piece of the root is fixed into a hut roof as a snake repellent. Medicine: Roots contain an active ingredient, carissin, that may prove useful in the treatment of cancer. The twigs contain quebrachytol and cardioglycosides that are useful as an anthelmintic against tapeworm. In Guinea, the boiled leaves are applied as poultice to relieve toothache. Root bark is mixed with spices and used as an enema for lumbago and other pains in Ghana; root scrapings are used for glandular inflammation; ground-up roots are used as a remedy for venereal diseases, to restore virility, to treat gastric ulcers, cause abortion, and as an expectorant. An infusion of roots along with other medicinal plants is used for treating chest pains, and a root decoction is also used for treating malaria.It has also Antiviral effect very successful in treating Herpes simplex virus and other several viral infections. Well, I can hardly wait to talk to Bongo Mzizi, the famous 'medicinal man' in Tanga, and our medical researchers as well as medical doctors about all this within the context of 'modern science', 'western rationality' and African systems of knowledge production and preservation!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Healing A Sick Nation The Loliondo Way

Ours is an ailing nation. It is sick socially, politically and even spiritually. That is our Loliondo.

In ‘What Makes Loliondo Treatment Tick?’ (The Citizen 15/03/2011) I curiously concluded that I can hardly wait to see what is happening there. Well, I went. Yes, I saw. But, I did not conquer.

We took off from Arusha at dawn. The bus was fully packed. Nay, it was seemingly fully packed as we kept picking more passengers, if not patients, along the way. Unsurprisingly my ticket was doubly booked. Yes, yet another symptom of a very sick nation that can barely regulate anything.

But everything, as we say in the parlance of miracles, happens for a reason. So as a blessing in disguise I got to sit in the bus staircases right in front, just next to the driver. After all one could not generate any strength, moral or otherwise, to fight for a seat with those who were not feeling well at all. Some could barely walk. Yet some could hardly talk. This bus was their ‘ambulance’.

Of course there are those who opted for relatively more comfortable cars – some hired others privately owned. But as you can tell our society is not only classed but also gendered. No wonder the composition of the fifty plus passengers in the bus reflected health statistics that are frequently splashed in national demographic reports – a lot of women, children and old people.

Perhaps no one knows better than the drivers/conductors of Toyota Land Cruisers which for the time being have forfeited their usual business of tourism in Arusha and Manyara. As they tried to convince me to join them a woman came by. One of them told the other not to even bother to ask her if she could take the remaining two seats in their Toyota. Why? Because he could tell who is a bus passenger’. How? I still don’t know but he kept insisting that ‘you can just tell by looking’.

But even the bus was not that less costly. Some passengers had to pay as much as Tsh 60,000 for a roundtrip to Loliondo and the ‘black-market’ could even peg it at a higher cost. Now imagine a poor woman travelling with her family, surely she cannot afford Tsh 100,000 per person in the cruiser over and above the Tsh 500 that one has to ‘give’ so as to get the treatment let alone afford food required to survive through the night if not ‘lucky’ enough to return on the same day.

But we all came – from Arusha, Mwanza, Dar es Salaam, and beyond. Along the way we even saw a bus from Nairobi, Kenya and another from Kampala, Uganda. They all braved the rough and contentious road which, as I would argue in my forthcoming article on ‘All Roads Lead to Loliondo’, has found a new impetus for construction thanks to the sensational ‘cure’ of Loliondo.

It took us about 12 hours to reach our destination. By twilight passengers in our bus had yet drunk from the cup of what is now regarded in Biblical terms as the ‘water of life’. For a moment the treatment had to be suspended because there was no enough water. They went to fetch more.

We thus used that window of opportunity to talk with Ambilikile Mwasapile, famously known as ‘Babu’ (Grandfather) and ‘Mchungaji’ (Pastor), about the treatment. There is no time to waste so I go straight to the point and ask about the nature, origin and strength of that ‘dawa (medicine)’.

Babu, clearly comfortable with the limelight of the media, also goes straight to the point: ‘The origin of the medicine is God Himself.’ He goes on: “The tree is ordinary, it is just a common tree like any other tree but God has put his Word inside the tree.’ In that regard he concludes: “So it is the Word of God that heals.’ In other words, as he puts it later, ‘this is a matter of faith’.

That keyword ‘faith’ does what one may regard as the ‘trick’, ‘magic’ or ‘miracle’ depending on his/her vantage point. Babu also adds another nuance to it that opens the gate to Loliondo wide open – the treatment, he insists, is ‘not a flag to champion a particular religion’. No wonder he is criticized by some Christians by not using the name of Jesus although in an indirect way he does so when he asserts that if ‘God removes His Word in the tree the dawa becomes ineffectual’.

From a Biblical vantage point Jesus is presented as the “Word of God”. Therein faith revolves around Him as highlighted by the famous phrase “Thus Saith the Lord”. Moreover, the Bible defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” or, as another version puts it, it “is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”.

It should not come as a surprise then when we see people from all walks of life full of ‘confidence’, ‘hope’ or even on what they consider ‘evidence’ go to Loliondo in search a ‘miracle cure’. What is happening in Loliondo has its own internal logic and can hardly be explained by conspiracy theories on the quest to boost tourism in the Northern circuit. Rather it is driven by what we hear and see in the context of a country with pathetic basic social services.

In this regard mass media and religion, two out of five institutions that matters a lot to people according to Twaweza’s study, play a major role. After all Babu did not start his treatment today. When I asked him why such publicity now? He simply said it is because of what patients testify. What is my testimony? I heard and saw a people in pain and in need of a better society that caters for their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. They clung to any sign of miracle they had heard of or claim to have seen. Unfortunately I did not see any instant miracle. I missed the much talked about helicopter that is said to have brought a critical patient from Kenya who managed to wave on the way back after s/he was helped to drink the dawa. I kept missing such phenomena.

All I could see is a number of my fellow passengers who looked sick and weak even when we arrived back in Arusha after spending a whole night in Loliondo. While there class emerged again. Some of us slept in a tent for Tsh 20,000, others on the bus and yet others on the ground.

Our ‘Ujamaa’ (Familyhood/Socialism) of sharing foodstuffs and seats as well as helping those who were very ill that we attempted in the bus could hardly survive the vagaries of a ‘free market’. There is indeed good business in Loliondo for all sorts of vendors. Some call it a ‘mine’. Its district is not only seen as ‘Eden’ or the ‘cradle of humans’ but also of ‘curing’ AIDS.

A nurse at a nearby village dispensary is cautious enough. She admits their ARV patients who took the dawa still have HIV after testing them. But she also affirms that they are doing very well to the extent that one of them can now walk and work. The nurse, so she claims, has also been healed of ulcers and has stopped taking tablets. But Babu is quoted over and over again as saying it takes time for AIDS viruses to go away while the dawa works on disempowering them.

But those who seemed so ill still have a glimmer of hope though the psychologist in me keeps insisting that there is an element of disillusionment and denial. No wonder a few days ago upon hearing unconfirmed reports of someone who died despite being treated in Loliondo, a close relative who has also been there for medication exclaimed: ‘The dawa is not for stopping death!’

So here I am in Arusha getting ready to go back to Dar es Salaam. But another coincidence is in store for me. One of the women who volunteered to help Babu provide medicine to those in the queue is lodging next door in route to her home. She remembers me as I was begging her to give me her side of the story while in Loliondo. Her story is not any different from the many I hear: ‘I have been healed of ulcers, I even ate chips yesterday’. Her verdict: ‘Babu is from God – that is not Witchcraft’. Who am I to dispute her testimony? After all I am neither a doctor nor a prophet.

© Chambi Chachage

The Citizen 17/03/2011


Ana kwa Ana na Mababu wa Loliondo

Hatimaye nimefika kijijini Samunge huko Loliondo wilayani Ngorongoro. Nimekutana na Ambilikile Mwasapile maarufu kama ‘Babu’. Pia nimeonana na kuzungumza na wazee wengine.

Mababu hawa watano ni sehemu ya wazee nane wanaojulikana kama ‘Wazee wa Mji’ hapo kijijini. Kwa mujibu wa mmoja wao, huchaguliwa na wazee wa rika lao kushikilia uongozi wa kimila wa jamii yao ijulikanayo sasa kama Wasonjo japo kwa asili kabisa wanaitwa Wabatemi.

Kilichotuleta hapo Samunge ni kitu kimoja tu: Kujua asili na nguvu ya dawa inayotolewa na Babu Mchungaji kwa maelfu ya watu wanaozidi kufurika kijijini hapo kutoka katika kila kona ya nchi na hata nchi za mbali. Babu tulipoonana naye kabla yao jibu lake lilikuwa ni fupi tu: “Asili ya dawa ni Mungu mwenyewe, mti ni wa kawaida; ni mti wa kawaida kama miti mingine ila Mungu ameweka Neno lake ndani ya mti hivyo Neno ndilo linaloponya.” Na tena akasisitiza kuwa Mungu akitoa Neno lake ndani ya mti huo basi mti hautakuwa na nguvu hiyo ya uponyaji.

Tulipomdadisi Babu kuhusu matumizi ya zamani ya mti huo alisema kuwa wenyeji walikuwa wanautumia kama supu/mchuzi ila hajui la zaidi. Jibu la ziada ndilo tulilolipata kutoka kwa wazee wa mji na bado tunatafakari jibu lao katika muktadha wa imani za asili za tiba za Kiafrika katika kipindi hichi ambapo vuguvuvugu la uasilia linazidi kupamba moto sehemu mbali mbali.

Mti hii, wazee hawa wa Samunge wanadai, una majina mawili: Mgamryaga na Mbaghayo. Lakini hawajui kwa nini una majina mawili. Ila wanasema unapatikana kwa wingi katika Mlima Mwegaro hapo kijijini. Eneo hilo la mlima ndilo Babu Mchungaji alituonesha kwa kidole alipokuwa anaeleza kuwa ameoneshwa na Mungu kuwa huko ndipo huduma yake itakapohamishiwa kwa ajili ya kutibu watu wengi zaidi ambao wataendelea kuja kutoka mbali.

Kwa mujibu wa wazee hao, dawa hiyo ilikuwa inatumika kama “kinga ya kansa”. “Inapokuwa katika mnyama ni kimeta ila inapokuwa katika mwanadamu ni kansa”, anasisitiza mzee mmoja anapokuwa anajaribu kutuelezea huo ugonjwa ambao walikuwa wanaamini unapatiwa kinga pale wanapokunywa supu iliyochemshwa kutokana na mti huo. Mzee mwingine ananichorea kwenye udongo kabisa jinsi gani hicho kidonda cha ‘kansa’ kinavyojitokeza mwilini mwa mwanadamu.

Walikuwa wanaamini na inaonesha bado wanaaamini kuwa mnyama akifa kwa ugonjwa huo basi nyama yake ikichemshwa pamoja na mizizi ya mti huo na kuliwa ama kunywewa basi wanapata kinga ya kansa. Lakini mlijuaje, nawadadisi? Tulikuwa tunagundua kibahati bahati anajibu mmoja ila kabla hajamaliza mwingine anadakia: ‘Sisi tulirithi kutoka kwa mababu zetu.”

Pia kulikuwa na tiba ya ugonjwa huo, wanasisitiza wazee hao, ambayo ilitokana na kuchoma mti mwingine na kutumia masizi ya moshi wake yanayoganda kwenye dari la nyumba. Wanasisitiza kuwa kinga na tiba hizi bado zinafanya kazi. Lakini inapokuja kwenye suala la dawa ya babu wote wanakiri kuwa ni suala la kiroho/kiimani. Tena wanakiri kuwa na wao wameshainywa na wanaelezea sehemu ambazo imeshawaponya – mmoja mgongo, mwingine mguu na kadhalika.

Wazee wa mji wanne kati ya watano tulioongea nao wana majina ya Kikristo. Tena wote wanakiri kuwa ni waumini wa dhehebu la Kikristo la Kilutheri. Lakini wanasema mila zao hazigongani na imani hiyo ndio maana wao kama wazee wa mji bado wanazisimamia na kuziongoza. Kwa mfano, wanasema Jumapili ya 13 Machi 2001 walifanya tambiko dogo linalojulikana kama Ghorou kwa lugha yao ambapo waliombea huduma ya Babu na masuala mengine ya Kijiji. Mmoja wao anasema mvua iliyonyesha Jumatatu ni matokeo ya tambiko hilo.

Je, walimjulisha babu kuhusu hilo tambiko? La hasha! Wanasisitiza kuwa lilikuwa ni tambiko la wao wazee tu ambalo watu wengine hawakuwa na haja ya kuambiwa kama yalivyo matambiko mengine. Matambiko hayo ni pamoja na lile la kupeleka utumbo wa kondoo na asali kwenye chanzo cha maji katika Mlima Mwegaro kwa ajili ya kuomba kupitia kwa mizimu ya mababu.

Lakini wanatoa angalizo kuwa hapo kwao hakuna “waganga wa kienyeji” pengine katika jitihada ya kusititiza kwamba yanatokea huko sio masuala ya ‘kichawi’ ama ‘kishirikina’. Wanaendelea kusisitiza kuwa ujuzi wa dawa wanao mababu. Hivyo, wagonjwa kijijini wanawaona wazee hao.

Kwao hakuna hili suala la uwili au upacha unaopingana katika kuendeleza imani yao ya kimila na imani yao kikristo. Wanachoona ni kuwa imani hizi hazipingani. Kwa mfano, huduma yao katika chanzo cha maji hayo imejikita katika kuhakikisha wanalinda chanzo hicho cha uhai wa jamii yao. Moja ya taratibu hizi inamkumbusha mwanafunzi wa Biblia kuhusu taratibu za wana wa Israeli walipokuwa wanatoka utumwani katika Nchi ya Misri na kukaa jangwani kwa muda.

Wakiwa huko jangwani walipewa maagizo mbalimbali ya kujitunza na kuitunza jamii ikiwa ni pamoja na kudhibiti hali ya mwanamke aliye katika hedhi isiathiri vitu vinavyotumiwa kwa pamoja katika jamii hizo. Wazee hawa wa Samunge nao wanadai kuwa si ruhusa kwa mwanamke aliye katika siku zake kugusa maji achilia mbali kuoga huko kwenye chanzo hicho.

Tena mwanamke akiwa katika hali hiyo hata akiteleza katika maji hayo basi inabidi alete faini ya kondoo na asali kwa ajili ya tambiko hapo katika chanzo cha maji. Msisitizo wa hili tuliushuhudia pale mzee mmoja alipoondoka na kwenda kuwaonesha wasafiri wenzetu waliokuja kupata dawa ya Babu mahali pa kuoga. Ni suala ambalo mwanaharakati yoyote wa usawa wa kijinsia anaweza kulivalia njuga. Ila kama navyosisitiza, ni muhimu kwanza kujua mantiki yake.

Mjadala huu mfupi na wazee hawa wa mji unaniacha na maswali mengi: Je, kuna uwezekano wowote kuwa hii dawa ina nguvu za kikemikali za tiba ndani yake ndio maana walikuwa wanaitumia kama kinga? Na kama ni kweli, je, suala la kiimani analolisisitiza babu na wazee hawa lina nafasi gani katika hili? Bado naendelea kutafakari hasa ukizingatia kuwa nimeambiwa eti maana ya neno mojawapo kati ya maneno hayo hapo juu ya asili linamaanisha ‘kutafakari.’

Ama kweli wazee hawa wa mji wanatafakari. Kisiasa hii pia ni fursa ya kuendeleza kijiji chao. Ndio maana wanasisitiza tuandike kuhusu umuhimu wa kutengeneza barabara inayokwenda kijijini kwao ili watu wafike kwa urahisi. Pia wanataka makampuni ya simu yalete huduma zao.

Nilichojifunza mpaka dakika hii ni kuwa ni kweli kwa kiasi kikubwa jamii za Kiafrika zinaangalia nini kinafanya kazi au kinaonekana kufanya kazi. Kama dawa ya ‘kiasili’ iko hivyo basi wataitumia. Na kama dawa ya ‘kisasa’ iko hivyo wataitumia. Pia kama dawa ya ‘kiroho’ iko hivyo nayo wataitumua. Ndio maana tulipokuwa tunarudi wasafiri wenzangu walinunua vipande vya magadi pembeni ya Ziwa Natron, wakaniambia navyo ni dawa na kuniuliza: “Kwani hujui?”

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Loliondo: A Marching To Heaven?

By Ng'wanza Kamata

Yes brother, go and discover and resolve the tension in you. Perhaps your next article should be on 'The Dilemma of the Africanist Adventist'.

I am in the same confusion, but yet I won’t budget an inch to agree with the hundred testimonies I have heard so far. But for me, as a Materialist Africanist, the Loliondo is (to those who are going and those planning to go, and those who are still making up their minds) like a New Jerusalem! If New Jerusalem means emancipation, Loliondo is revealing before our eyes that people want freedom!

What a coincidence, while in Egypt and Tunisia they marched in protest against the regimes, and in Libya they are fighting (a bit confusing!) against Ghadaffi (!), and in Ngugi's Wizard of the Crow they are marching to Heaven (what a prophetic novel) in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, as we are told, are marching to Loliondo.

One point which attracts my curiosity about Loliondo is that they are all queuing, in one long queue. Rich and poor, big and small, powerful and weak, men and women, old and young (ajuza na vikongwe - I don't know the english words that expresses this age category!), you name them! They queue waiting for their turn to see the minister (Mzee, Babu Ambilikile). I find this interesting and would perhaps try to explain it, but after you tell me what you have witnessed.

In ‘the Marching to Heaven’ portrayed by Ngugi’s Wizard of the Crow, the rich and poor had different queue! In Loliondo, the arrogance of the Arab Rich Hunter is nothing, it is easily humbled by the free and crudely administered liquid in a plastic cup, not the expensive gold and silver glasses, like the Holy Grail most churches have.

There are so many questions, and perhaps you can help answer them after your sojourn. When it comes to bodily health, Loliondo is saying, we are all equal! But are we drawing any lessons from this? In life we live to show off, but in Loliondo there is no chance for that. Sick rich, or poor sick, will all want to show off. Which hospitals they went (India, America, South Africa) you name them! In Loliondo there is only one doctor and one medicine for all. There is no fast tracking, no first class. No classes! There is only Medicare for everyone. There is no emergency; there is no Intensive Care Unit (ICU). There is one doctor and one medicine for all, and the price is fixed – not more not less – it is 500. The Loliondo will pass, and the most important lessons would not have been learnt.

It does not matter whether it cures or it does not, but it reminds us of our humanity.

The freedom we want here, which makes all of us equal is the health of the body. On this the rich and poor, no matter how they became unhealthy (because the sources can be different) are united by one hope, cure of their bodily needs, which unfortunately in most of the testimonies are not revealed.

And you pay only Shs. 500. What a bluff, to the rich especially.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What makes Loliondo treatment tick?

I am on my way to Loliondo. The area is on the limelight again but then, this time around, it is not on the headlines because of the contentious Serengeti Highway or the scandalous Loliondogate.

A retired pastor-cum-healer is treating thousands of patients there. Various versions of what has been going on continue to grip the public imagination. The proverbial curiosity that killed a cat has not spared the sceptic in me. That is why I had packed my bags and started this journey to Loliondo.

For some strange reasons my ticket got mixed up. So I ended leaving Dar es Salaam earlier than planned. That is when a series of incidences, or rather coincidences, began to happen. At the airport I found a member of my extended family escorting her 83-year-old ailing dad to Loliondo.

In the parlance of miracles one would claim that it was not by chance that I ended up flying with them since he actually needed some extra escorting from a fellow male in the airport.

While waiting for our delayed flight a fellow passenger asked if our granddad was/is sick. I could not give a straight answer, as I was not sure how much I should disclose to a total stranger about his medical condition. “Send him to Loliondo,” he quipped, “I was one of the first people to be treated there for a high level of cholesterol.” As he testified he was, interestingly, munching crisps.

In our short ride from the Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha with a couple of friends the hot topic was the Loliondo treatment. One could sense that what has made people seek a miracle cure in Loliondo is not only what they have heard but also what they have seen. I have also heard. But, frankly, the “Biblical doubting Thomas” in me has not seen anything yet.

Yet Arusha is abuzz with testimonies. A taxi driver I met was thus categorical about Loliondo: “I drive medical doctors and they affirm that Loliondo’s healing works.” I ask: “But how do they know?” He responds: “They say they have cross-examined their patients who have gone to Loliondo.”

I wonder if that is indeed true why they have not come out in public. Then I remember, oh, ours is a very “political” bureaucracy of “well, I am not the official spokesperson”.

The intrigue continued when I met my three close relatives who have been to Loliondo. They all assert that they feel very well after being treated in Loliondo. One even admits that she has stopped using her daily medication for an ailing heart and blood pressure. Yet they are all honest enough to disclose that they have not yet gone for the “modern” medical check-up in any hospital.

They went to Loliondo after hearing that the treatment works from other relatives. So, I drop my bombshell: Have you ever seen anyone - with your own naked eyes - who was very sick and has recovered?

“Yes”, one of them affirms, “there was this person we travelled with from Arusha to Loliondo who could not walk because of paralysis but he started to walk five minutes after getting treated.”

My mind drifted to those preachers who demonstrate similar cases, albeit, on TV. She continued: “I also saw a lady from Singida who was too sick to eat and walk and had to be allowed to bypass the queue; she returned walking and rejoicing.” Well, my mind drifted, again.

How do we classify such a treatment as African traditional healing or/and spiritual Christian healing? None could really tell but the Christianity in them affirmed that they did not see anything related to witchcraft. They would have not even gone if it had a semblance of sorcery.

These are second, third and fourth generation Christians in Tanzania. They grew up in an area called “Misheni”, that is, “Mission” that was named so because of the German missionaries who introduced the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) brand of Christianity in Tanganyika. SDAs are well known for strict adherence to health principles with respect to what the Word i.e. the Bible, says.
To an SDA, any claim to miracle healing must be subjected to Biblical/Doctrinal tests of spirituality. However, by the very nature of SDA’s adherence to healing from natural remedies as captured in the acronym NEWSTART (Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Air, Rest and Trust in God), these relatives of mine still use traditional Pare herbs which work well.

No wonder, from the SDAs have come out natural/herbal remedies’ experts such as Evangelist Ndodi, Doctor Mtango and the late Pastor Shuli of Mwanza. It is this context that seems to inform my relatives as they seek the treatment from Loliondo. To them there is no “duality” that is often used to explain why Africans subscribe to inconsistent or mutual exclusive sets of belief.

It is that quest for an explanation that is driving me to Loliondo. The Africanist in me is curious to know the place, if any, of African traditional/indigenous knowledge systems of healing in the treatment of Loliondo. Yet the Adventist in me is interested in knowing the role of SDA Biblical analysis in making sense of what is happening in Loliondo and beyond in the current global age.

So at dawn I board a bus to Loliondo. I can hardly wait to hear things. And to see what happens.

© Chambi Chachage - Published by The Citizen 15 March 2011

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