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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zitto: Tanesco, Mgawo na Stahili ya Jenereta

Ndugu Wanamabadiliko,

Nimeona ni vema nitoe ufafanuzi kuhusu suala la Kamati yangu kuiagiza bodi ya TANESCO kuondoa stahili ya 'standby generator' kwenye mkataba wake wa kazi.

Rationale

Shirika la Ugavi wa Umeme nchini lina jukumu la kuhakikisha kuwa nishati ya umeme inapatikana kwa wananchi wote. Mkurugenzi Mkuu wa TANESCO ndiye Mtanzania aliyepewa jukumu hilo na Taifa. Iwapo mkurugenzi mkuu wa TANESCO anawekewa stahili katika mkataba wake kwamba 'atapewa standby generator itakayolipiwa na Shirika' maana yake ni kwamba mgawo au kukatikakatika kwa umeme ni jambo litakalokuwepo tu. Kwamba Shirika linalopasa kuhakikisha kwamba Umeme unapatikana muda wote, Bosi wake anapewa stahili ya 'Generator' umeme ukikatika. Bosi huyu atajuaje machungu ya kutokuwepo Umeme? Morally this is wrong. Fundamentally this is a contradiction to CEO's mandate.

Jambo hili ni dogo sana lakini lina maana kubwa sana. Bodi ya Wakurugenzi ya TANESCO haikupaswa kuweka stahili hii.

Kuhusu wengine, kamati ya POAC haina mamlaka ya watu wengine. Mawaziri wapo kwenye kamati ya Makamba, kwenye POAC wanaohusika ni Bodi na CEO basi. Wanaonitaka kuagiza kwingine wananipa jukumu lisilo langu.

Hata hivyo kimsingi, Waziri wa Nishati hapaswi kuwa na Jenereta nyumbani kwake, iwe ya kulipiwa na Serikali au ya kujilipia mwenyewe. This is politics at higher level - Next level kabisa. Tukubali kubadilika ndugu zangu. Haya ni mambo madogo yenye maana kubwa sana.

Kuhusiana na Tanesco kutopewa fedha. Kamati imekuwa kali sana kwa serikali. Kamati ilimwita Katibu Mkuu kuhusu suala hilo. Kamati imeagiza kwamba suala hilo limalizwe haraka iwezekanavyo.

Kamati ya POAC inajitahidi sana kuhakikisha Mashirika ya Umma yanatimiza wajibu. Tunaomba mtuunge mkono na pale ambapo mnaona tumekosea, msitubeze bali mtueleze tujirekebishe. Kejeli, kurushiana maneno na kujadili mambo juu hakutasaidia Taifa letu. Tushirikiane, tusaidiane, tukosoane ili tusonge mbele kujenga Taifa letu zuri sana.

Zitto

Remembering Justinian Rweyemamu

Today I saw this entry in Issa G. Shivji's(1996: 253) book on Intellectuals at the Hill: Essays and Talks 1969-193: "Rweyemamu, Justinian A brilliant Tanzanian economist who taught at the Hill and at one time was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science. He was taken to the State House as an economic adviser to the President. He did not survive there long and left for some UN post. He died of cancer in New York". Incidentally, a young admirer whom I happened to meet and chat with about Rweyemamu has just written a very interesting eulogy that is accessible at http://vijana.fm/2012/03/29/justinian-f-rweyemamu-a-wealth-of-knowledge/. Now I am more than inspired to actually read Rweyemamu's 1971 PhD dissertation in its original form - ironically prior to its publication as a book in 1973 it was tellingly entitled An Industrial Strategy for Tanzania.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reflections on the recent polemic on land affairs

A Reflection on the Recent Polemic on the "Land Affairs" Blog

By Elisa Greco

I think the main issue here is the relation about blogging and intellectual standards.

While on the internet it all looks like "if you are not visible you don't exist" - and the attached predicament "if you can't speak / read / write in English - you don't exist", reality is much larger than what comes out of the internet! I can't read Russian, nor Arabic fluently, nor Chinese: just imagine how much I am missing out everyday. I rejoice I can at least read Michuzi.

While ordinary bloggers can ignore this basic fact, and use and quote only internet sources and academic sources visible on the internet, academic bloggers should refrain from taking this shortcut. This leads me to the second point. When you live part of your life away from your object of study - as many non - African Africanist researchers are, when not doing fieldwork - you strive for staying updated and getting books, photocopies and digitalised pics of archival documents from friends and connections who can help you to get additional docs. Most importantly, once you have the docs, you share them with colleagues and friends.

When it comes to bibliographies, one of the first dilemma faced by a first year PhD student is "how much should I read?". On a deeper level, this equals to asking "How far can I go - How deep can I dig? How large a vision can I attain? ". Part of the intellectual process is also about setting these limits. Part of personal growth is about pushing these limits further and further, as time goes by, as the limits pertains more to the sectorialisation of sciences than to the real world.

It is perhaps too trivial to remind that the world we live in is one, and it is complex, and we must make sense of it in order to make it plainer to the ordinary man on the street, who has no time to waste in reading books. This is what happens with blogs: workers, mostly middle class worldwide, read blogs to get an informed view on specific domains, a view which can possibly differ from that of mainstream media.

What I regret most in my generation of researchers - and this is the reason why I enjoy so much all the debates on wanazuoni - is that fears of loosely defined "failure" in the academic world always prevail over the courage to dare reading more, dare risking to get lost in huge amounts of reading "outside one's field" and still make sense of the detail inside a wider structure of thought.

The older generation of Africanists had inherited the intellectual clarity, rigour and strength required to be a non - African researcher on Africa at the time of African independences, without being associated to colonial intentions. In addition, the dominant pan- Africanist vision obliged Africanist scholars to always put their country-specific knowledge in the broader African vision of the covered topic. In PhD roundtables, it is always exciting to see how members of this generation of scholars can give breath to narrow discussions by simply enlarging the vision and put small ethnographies and country-specific studies in their pan-African perspective.

One can argue that in the past the negative side was that, given the high standard of research, most PhD students did not dare sharing their doubts and ignorance in public, as showing in public their deficiencies, their lack of coverage on one specific topic would have put shame on them, or expose them to the risk of being attacked. But undoubtedly, the positive side of it was in that same standard pushed most students to run to the library and read everything they could to keep up to the required standard.

As all the other academic domains, Africanist research has suffered of excessive specialisation which leads in turn to narrow-minded visions. More seriously than in other domains, the donor dependency of most research projects related to Africa force research into pre-defined themes and paradigms.

If you have the chance of attending PhD roundtables of Africanists today, it is common to find very good students, knowleadgeable and committed, who can tell you everything about chieftancy in Ghana and do not precisely know who Nyerere was. The same is true outside Africanist research - for example, historians specialised on German Nazism getting embarrassed if questioned on Italian Fascism (pardon me the parallel , I am taking these from personal souvenirs.) This is a consequence of the sectorialisation of the sciences - and social sciences are not an exception here - and also of the overcharge of information we all suffer in the mass media era.

Blogging is partly the consequence of this information surcharge. I confess I am not a big blogger reader ,but, from the few blogs I got to follow, I saw there are at least two ways authors can use their blogs. The first is blogging to share one's work in progress. Many informed debates start because of authors making public their thesis, in a more immediate way than what offered by academic publications. The second way is blogging to share one's daily reflections and random thoughts, without previously having digested them, thus using the blog as a personal diary exposed to the public.

And here I come to the main bias against entering into the merit of this discussion. In the past, I've looked at the blog we're talking about here, and never really took it seriously, because it appeared to me that it belonged to the second category, more than to the first one. I do not mean to judge it or offend it in any way, this is just the way I took it - as more a collection of random thoughts - say, a personal diary exposed to the public. Only a superficial view could produce the thoughts that "you're not supposed to criticise Nyerere". In fact, this dialectic with Nyerere - his theories and his political practice - has been at the very core of Tanzanian academic debates for three decades. Pardon me, but there is nothing so exceptional in that. We should instead reflect on the fact that history is not made by leaders but by the masses. But this is another point.

More, historical debates are always politicised, it would be naive not to expect them be so. I would hardly open discussion with a blogger who is appreciating an unscientific, discredited and propagandist would-be historian as Francis Fukuyama without expecting fire and flames! It would equal to start arguing with somebody who denies the historical existence of genocide camps. Again, pardon me the Italian-biased parallels. I am not surprised that the same pen can blog on Fukuyama and give mild appraisals on land administration in Tanzania on a most respected academic journal. Instead of commenting on that, I would invite everybody to read the excellent, unfortunately yet unpublished, work of Geir Sundet on the land reform process in Tanzania just to have a healthy comparison.

These are the main reasons for I cannot enter in the merit of discussion about Nyerere or villagisation by taking the cue from this polemic on a blog. But here I may be wrong, as I know there are many people who follow blogs and rely on them for their personal information. For what concerns Tanzania-related blogs, for example, I am aware of the fact that most NGOs expatriates heavily rely on English speaking blogs - Udadisi and Swahili Street to mention just two. Other non Swahili speaking expatriats regret not being able to read Michuzi, just to give an example, and turn to Swahili speaking expat for translation. And because I may be wrong, I appreciate that Chambi has bothered to take time and criticise this blog entry on villagisation - at least for the sake of readers, it would be nice to see the most blatantly wrong information - that on the dearth of literature on villagisation - rectified on the blog.

To conclude, on my side, should I have written a blog entry on villagisation - which I never shall, I'm afraid, as I am a pc dummy - I would have encouraged people to follow up closely on what has been going on in the last years in Ethiopia. Ethiopian villagisation in the 1970s had drawn on the Tanzanian one. The difference today is that while in Tanzania forced relocations are still undergoing - see Mbarali evictions of mainly Sukuma pastoralists, for a recent, painful example - but never resuscitated the idea and paradigm of villagisation, in Ethiopia the government has done that.

Earlier in the name of food security plans and then in function of land grabs, the forced relocation of thousands of Ethiopian people in Gambella and Oromia regions has been underway. To be more precise, the Ethiopian government is calling "villagisation" an operation which painfully replicates the worst part of past villagisation - that is , forced resettlement and eviction, with the consequent social disruption, loss of property and identity, and ecological disruption - that is, it is replicating the painful side of it, leaving out the possible developmental aspects as the construction of infrastructures (roads, hospitals, water points and schools) which are to date perhaps remembered as the main positive aspect of past villagisation programmes in Tanzania.

The current debate on Ethiopian resettlement programme is indeed revolving about these two aspects - the effectiveness of service provision and infrastructure development, and the genuinity of the government's claims that all resettlements are voluntary and no one is being forced to move against his/her own will. There is a strong similarity between the current debate undergoing about the Ethiopian second round of villagisation and its first round. Similarly, outsiders' account of its failures and violences are being used politically to attack the government (see HRW January report on that) .

Many more historical parallels can be drawn here, if we only bother to go back to the past with an unbiased mind and to cope with long toiling hours on hard-to-find history books, which are not always listed on internet databases.

Elisa Greco, PhD African Studies
L'Orientale, Naples, Italy
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Photo Courtesy of:


Bibliography on Villagisation:


Jamii Forum Debate:

PROFESSOR ZELEZA'S NEW BOOK ON AFRICAN DIASPORAS

Announcing Publication of Paul Tiyambe Zeleza In Search of African Diasporas: Testimonies and Encounters (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, March 2012)

Author's Bio: Paul Tiyambe Zeleza is Presidential Professor of History and African American Studies and Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at Loyola Marymount University. He has published scores of essays and more than two-dozen books.

Book Description: This is an ambitious and brilliant book by one of Africa's leading historians and diaspora intellectuals. It is the first book by an African scholar to take us on such a captivating analytical and narrative journey in search of African diasporas around the world from Latin America to the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

From the Foreword: As the over 500 pages of the book show, it is an ambitious intellectual and political project, a relatively uncharted and unrecognized terrain of scholarship, action, and interactionsŠ. The book is analytical, in places combative, filled with insights and stories. It is an unusual genre in African writing - a combination of a researcher's field notes and a travelogue. - Tade Akin Aina, PhD., Program Director, Higher Education in Africa, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Blurbs

"Zeleza has been thinking about and living with pan-Africanism and Diaspora before its second wave of popularity and has done the experiential and intellectual work. In this book he takes us with him as he documents the existence of our various journeys and arrivals, and the ways we re-create and redefine an African world wherever we are. As we travel with him, the flavors and colors of the African Diaspora around the world vividly unfold." -Carole Boyce Davies, Professor of English and Africana Studies, Cornell University.

"For over a century, we have been flooded with Black American narratives of returning to Africa. Zeleza, a distinguished African scholar, reverses the poles and seeks to discover the global African diaspora. Part memoir, part travelogue, part history, part critical interrogation, Zeleza has given us a brilliant compendium of richly detailed and astute insights into how contemporary black intellectuals and activists understand racism and blackness, and how the black world sees itself, its relationship to Africa, and the future. As with Richard Wright's traveling observations a half-century earlier, Zeleza never avoids the hard questions or the difficult truths. A stunning achievement." - Robin D. G. Kelley,
Gary Nash Chair in U.S. History at the University of California, Los Angels

"In Search of African Diasporas offers a landmark contribution to the growing scholarly inquest into the African Diaspora. Based on years of travel, discussion and reading, Zeleza presents a veritable tour-de-force, generating an utterly unique account that fuses his travelogue of a modern Diasporic odyssey with a penetrating analysis that both interprets the Diaspora's larger meaning, while also inhabiting its migratory flows. Highly readable, perceptively written, geographically broad, and refreshingly critical, Zeleza's 21st century rendition of the timeless' travel diary' is sure to set the bar for those who are attempting to grapple with questions of identity, culture, and society in a fast-paced world of global change." - Ben Vinson III, Herbert Baxter Adams Professor of Latin American History, Johns Hopkins University.

"A groundbreaking and powerful look at the African Diaspora in the world. Zeleza's existentialist commentary on multiple African Diasporas reminds the reader of Richard Wright's Black Power in reverse: sincere, intimate and controversial. The novelistic descriptions of people and places also recalls some of the best travel narratives of Ryszard Kapu_ci_ski." - Manthia Diawara, Professor of Comparative Literature and Africana Studies, New York University.

"Africa's memory and relationship with its diaspora is a troubled one, a mixture of ignorance, stereotype, sentimentality, alienation, admiration and distortions. Zeleza's book is an authoritative contribution to the initiation of Africa's own exploration of whatever happened to its descendants outside the continent and how they are faring today. It is a tour de force that combines the aesthetic sensibilities and descriptive force of a novelist and essayist that Zeleza is and the scholarly authority of a renowned African historian. Zeleza is an erudite traveler and thoroughly reliable guide whose account opens new vistas to the lives of Africa's dispersed descendants. The book is a must-read for anyone who seeks to understand the complex outcomes of the Presence Africaine in the world." - Professor Thandika Mkandawire, Chair in African Development at the London School of Economics, University of London

KITABU KIPYA CHA PROFESA SHIVJI KUZINDULIWA APRILI

YALIYOMO

Orodha ya vifupisho..................................................................................................... 5

Utangulizi wa Mwandishi: Simulizi za Mapambano ya Ukombozi wa Wanyonge..... 8

Utangulizi wa Mhariri: Mwelekeo Wa Mapambano Ya Wanyonge.......................... 11

SEHEMU YA KWANZA

UCHUMI WA TAIFA NA RASILIMALI ZA UMMA

Ujenzi Wa Uchumi Wa Kitaifa.................................................................................... 25

Mijadala Kuhusu Misingi Ya Mfumo Wa Umilikaji Ardhi Vijijini.............................. 49

Upanuzi Wa Miji Na Haki Za Ardhi Za Wenyeji.......................................................... 59

Dhana Za Msingi Katika Mfumo Wa Umilikaji Ardhi................................................ 63

Ubinafsishaji Na Ugenishaji Wa Ardhi: Je, Ni Ukombozi Wa Wanyonge Au Unyonge Wa Wakombozi? 73

Ardhi Kuwa Bidhaa: Kujitokeza Dhahiri Kwa Tabaka La Kuwanyonya Wakulima Na Wafugaji 80

Mapambano Ya Umma Na Maendeleao Ya Jamii:..................................................... 83

Masimulizi Ya Wazalishaji, Wawekezaji, Wafadhili, Wasomi Na Wana-’Ngo’........ 83

SEHEMU YA PILI

MEDANI YA USHIRIKISHWAJI

DEMOKRASIA, KATIBA NA MUUNGANO

Haki Na Wajibu Wa Raia Katika Demokrasia........................................................... 90

Mambo Muhimu Katika Katiba Ya Jamhuri Ya Muungano Wa Tanzania, 1977.. 108

Changamaoto Za Demokrasia Shirikishi................................................................ 117

Dhana Ya Kijiji Katika Mtazamo Wa Mwalimu Nyerere......................................... 121

Je, Chaguo La Wananchi Ni Lipi: Vyama Na Viongozi Au Uhai Na Kifo?.................. 129

Kusimamishwa Kwa Zitto Kabwe Bungeni: Je Ni Tukio La Kawaida Au Ni Risala Ya Maombolezo? 130

Tafakuri Juu Ya Matatizo Ya Muungano................................................................. 135

Maoni Juu Ya Mpasuko Wa Kisiasa Zanzibar......................................................... 143

Mkanganyiko Kuhusu Zanzibar Si Nchi.................................................................. 146

Madai Ya Katiba Mpya: Unyonge Wa Katiba Au Katiba Ya Wanyonge?............... 150

SEHEMU YA TATU

UBEPARI, UJAMAA NA UFISADI

Edward Moringe Sokoine: Fikra Zake Juu Ya Maendeleo...................................... 160

Mtazamo Wa Mwalimu Juu Ya Ujamaa, Ubepari Na Ufisadi................................... 166

Mwaka Mmoja Wa Uongozi Wa Rais Kikwete: Mwanzo Mbaya............................. 173

Tathmini Ya Zama Za Baada Ya Mwalimu Nyerere................................................ 179

Maadhimisho Ya Tisa Ya Kifo Cha Mwalimu Nyerere............................................. 186

Miongozo Miwili Ya Chama Na Tabaka Lililopindua Ujamaa.................................. 190

Tafakuri Ya Kina Juu Ya Azimio La Arusha. Je, Lina Nafasi Gani Katika Mjadala Wa Katiba Mpya? 195

Tafakuri Ya Miaka 50 Ya Uhuru.............................................................................. 209

SEHEMU YA NNE

FALSAFA YA MWALIMU NYERERE NA USONONI WA WASOMI

Tukijua Tunakoenda, Tutafika: Mapitio Ya Kitabu............................................... 219

Naililia Nchi Yangu Kipenzi!..................................................................................... 224

Ualimu Wa Mwalimu Nyerere.................................................................................. 228

Barua Ya Wazi Kwa Marais Kikwete, Kagame Na Kaguta Juu Ya Hali Ya Wakenya 232

Barua Ya Wazi Kwa Mhe. Benjamin William Mkapa, Rais Mstaafu....................... 235

Barua Ya Wazi Kwa Mheshimiwa Rais Karume Na Maalim Seif............................ 238

Haya Ni Mahindi, Sio Makana.................................................................................. 241

Usononi Wa Makwaia Wa Kuhenga........................................................................ 246

Msomi Wa Umma Utangulizi Wa Kitabu Cha Maandishi Ya Chachage................. 253

Marejeo..................................................................................................................... 258

AZIMIO LA ARUSHA.................................................................................................. 260

KITAZINDULIWA 12-13 APRILI KWENYE TAMASHA LA MWALIMU NYERERE KATIKA CHUO KIKUU CHA DAR ES SALAAM ( http://udadisi.blogspot.com/2012/03/4th-julius-nyerere-intellectual.html) NA GHARAMA ZAKE NI:

BEI YA KAWAIDA: T.Shs. 18,000/=

NAKALA MOJA WAKATI NA KABLA YA UZINDUZI: T.Shs. 15,000/=

NAKALA NYINGI (20 + ZAIDI): T.Shs.13,500/=
MCHAPISHAJI: TATAKI (TAASISI YA STADI ZA KISWAHILI, UDSM)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chimamanda: Connecting Cultures


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Have Tanzanians Forgotten Forced Villagization?

The "Danish PhD Candidate researching land rights and land reforms" in the so-called "Sub-Saharan Africa" never ceases to amaze me with his 'revisionist history'. This time he has come up with a blog post entitled 'Nyerere, Operation Vijiji and Violent Land Administration'. There are strange claims that makes me wonder if doing doctoral studies entails concocting a revised history to make one appear as if s/he has something new to say!

Writing in his blog known as 'Land Affairs' the researcher makes this claim: "Most Tanzanians prefer to forget operation vijiji?" But which Tanzanians is he really talking about? Virtually everywhere I have done research on land conflicts in the last seven years or so the year 1974 keeps coming up because it still has implications on the Tanzanians in the present - how can they then forget? I recall even asking my grandmother what she remembered about Nyerere and her response included 'Operesheni Vijiji'! While in Kilwa in Lindi and Kilolo in Iringa researching 'land grabbing/grabs' that moment was invoked again by villagers in relation to how it continued to add conflictual nuances to the land tenure problems intensified by larg-scale land investments to the extent that the repetition even made me think of writing an article entitled '1974 in the Tanzanian Imagination'!

Yet our new found expert on land affairs goes on to make claims that can hardly be justified:


Coincidentally yesterday I was quoting from this same article/chapter by Issa Shivji in my paper on Mahmood Mamdani's conception of decentralized/centralized despotism as applied to Africa in general and Tanzania in particularly. The article that the traveling researcher dismissively quote from has been of particular interest to me because out of so many texts that Shivji has produced that is the one I and my co-editor, Annar Cassam, chose to include it in the Pambazuka News' Special Issue on Mwalimu Nyerere that was subsequently published as an edited book entitled Africa's Liberation: The Legacy of Nyerere as it did not simply hailed him uncritically. Nowhere does Shivji ignore the obvious fatal consequences of Operation Vijiji as it is claimed. The quote below that the researcher apparently used to make his outrageous claims by no means ignore such consequences that Shivji has also covered agitatingly in many of his publications on land including the 1994 report from the Presidential Commission on Inquiry into Land Matters that he chaired in 1992.


Now does the new land explorer want the seasoned land rights activist and lawyer to enumerate all those "dubious achievements" associated with forced villagization to qualify himself as not ignoring its fatal consequences? Or does he want him to recycle the passage below from his 2009 book entitled Where is Uhuru? Reflections on the Struggle for Democracy to show that he has not forgotten what forced villagization did to Tanzanians?


And if that is not enough does he have to recite again this passage in his media articles collected in his 2006 book entitled Let The People Speak: Tanzania Down the Road to Neo-Liberalism to convince the doctoral researcher that villagisation still matters?


Does one need to reproduce over and over again 'violence phonographically' to appear that s/he is not ignoring the suffering that his/her fellow citizens/subjects went through? Is that the way a nation heals - by replaying a tragedy graphically and frenziedly lest they forget? A people need such a reminder about their history that is not ancient but an actual lived reality?

The researcher, alas, seems to have found a new minefield of research to the extent that he makes the shameful claim below about the dearth of literature on forced villagization even though he has never even bothered to ask some of the key researchers and main research institutes/organizations on land rights in Tanzania about such literature - it was even a pity to learn that there can be a land affairs researcher who get to present papers in credible conferences and write working papers on Tanzania in a respected series whilst making sweeping claims about the state of the literature on land without visiting the physical archival library of Land Rights Research and Resources Institute (LARRRI/HAKIARDHI)!


Did the researcher ever bother to revisit the archive of the African Review of Political Economy (ROAPE) that is 'littered' with academic articles on - including those written during the context of - villagization? Has he bothered to do a literature review of the books - including those that are out of print yet accessible through various channels - that were published by the then Tanzanian Publishing House (TPH) in the 1970s and 1980s? And does he even try to read Tanzanian novels such as the one that I cited in the quote below from an article I wrote or maybe they are not of an academic genre for doctoral studies? Could it be his ranting is a simple shortcut to get rebuttals that would give him a clue about references?

"It is not surprising then that the negative effects on the dignity and autonomy of those who were forcefully collectivized into villages are engraved in our collective consciousness. In imaginative ways that clearly borders the reality of non-fiction vis-à-vis the fantasy of fiction, they are reflected in cultural works such as Claude Mung’ong’o’s (1980) Njozi Iliyopotea i.e. ‘The Lost Vision’ and Chachage’s (1981) Sudi ya Yohana i.e. ‘The Tragedy of John, which appeared in the aftermath of enforced villagization. This paradox of development is summed up well by Africa’s first Nobel Laureate for Literature in his muse on Culture, Memory and Development:

"On the one hand, Ujamaa was evolved from certain principles of traditional social organization which had emerged through cultural evolution. On the other hand, violence was done to this obviously organic process by uprooting cohesive communities, relocating then in comparatively modernist villages where social amenities and access to centralized organs of development could be provided. The effect of this on the existing cultural security, itself a non-negligible factor and agent of productivity, was underrated. We are speaking here of a quantity beyond sentimental attachments. Century old and tested modes of production were abruptly interrupted; the results was, even in Nyerere’s admission, not the developmental model it was expected to be. Let me add by the way that I was, and still am, a believer in the basic philosophy of Ujamaa; indeed, I eulogized it in a poem. That aspect of interrupting, in such artificial way, the cultural cohesion of a community was however, one which remained for me, frankly, troublesome (Soyinka 1992: 205)" - http://www.norrag.org/issues/article/1096/en/engendering-sustainable-development-through-a-synthesis-of-struggles-for-cultural-liberty.html?PHPSESSID=947d5669e553ae242f631812c33206b0


Howard Stein who, together with Kelly Askew, have been researching land titling in such villages in the last three years or so do not even dare to make such sweeping claim that the doctoral researcher makes as if he has really exhausted the Tanzanian archive. Why? Because Stein is very much aware of the literature on the subject given the fact that he was living and lecturing in Tanzania when it was hotly debate and written about. In fact he co-edited a book in 1992 that has chapters that address the forced villagization problematic. No wonder an article with some of the preliminary results fom their ongoing research has this passage:


It is actually very difficult to meet any scholar of Tanzania who does not associate, even if it is in passing, Nyerere and forced villagization. Similarly it is very hard to get a book on Tanzania, whether political or historical, that covers 1970s yet does touch, even if it is scantly, on the issue of forced villagization. Now how can such a preoccupation escape our rising Africanist researcher? Maybe the clue is in this introduction of his to another post:

"Some days, I find reports on my desk which are so thick that I’m about to give up before opening them. In particular, scholars and activists working within the land grab business tend to produce this type of reports. It is as if they believe that the multitude of words, the length of the list of abbreviations, and the sheer number of pages can transmit the sufferings experienced by the local communities, whose land has been illegally acquired by investors or expropriated by the state. The Tanzanian policy analyst, Chambi Chachage, has produced a couple of this kind of reports. I have had them on my desk for quite a while, wondering if I would ever get to read them. Over the last couple of weeks I did. It turned out to be rewarding and thought provoking reading" - http://land-affairs.typepad.com/tanzania/2011/06/a-crash-course-in-tanzanian-politics-please.html

In the quest to come up with new findings in a path that is well trodden own can do a lot of injustice to those who have passed before. As much as critical revisionist history is important in debunking conventional historiography it is not an excuse to make dubious claims that masquerade as authoritative scholarship. Maybe the professor who advises his doctoral students not to rush to present/publish before they really have something to say has a point.

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