- To make sense of the relevance of Silence in African History today: what is silenced, why and why should we care? This is in the context as well that this seminal book was about to be shredded by its publisher—because it is a ‘slow moving item’
- The agency of today’s youth—what do they know that inform their actions? From what sources? Is it enough to help us chart a liberated course for the future of the continent?
- What makes a writer of Jacques Depelchin’s caliber? Are they celebrated and recreated beyond their generation? Under what conditions?
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Join Soma in Commemorating Africa Day with a Public Dialogue
Date: Saturday, 28th May, 2016
Time: 1000hrs – 1300hrs
Venue: Soma Book Café
TOPIC: “UN-SILENCING AFRICAN HISTORY: A DISCUSSION ON JACQUES DEPELCHIN’S BOOK— SILENCES IN AFRICAN HISTORY Published By Mkuki na Nyota
MAIN SPEAKER: PROF. WAMBA DIA WAMBA, a renowned Historian and Scholar.
The dialogue intends to bring out intergenerational perspectives on ‘academic violence; collective intellectual; culpable erasure; and deliberate omission of African history by scholars’ and engage young on the ‘complex linkages between historical knowledge and our collective freedom’.
The scope of the discussions is threefold
In brief, Prof. Jacques Depelchin analyzes in depth the influence of capitalism on the continent, in relation to various historical events through the centuries. He castigates those whose only vision of Africa is through the eyes of colonialism, and systematically erodes misconceptions about Africa and the nature of the Black man which have taken on the status of history.
Free Books available to all participants—courtesy of the author [you may wish to donate a small amount of money to facilitate postage to schools and regional libraries]. For those who wish to have a brief look at the book prior the day of the event you can drop by Soma and get your copy for Free.
For more information contact: 0712568699 – Jasper Kido; 0673014071 – Paulina; 0718484142 – Lilian.
Directions to Soma: You take your 2nd right – as if coming from Morocco to Mwenge just before the Bayport building (previously the AAR junction). But if you are coming from Victoria/ Mwenge heading wards Posta, it is your 1st left past the Victoria bus station. Thereafter you’d take your 1st left, soon after you finish the Sunrise Children School, few steps ahead then you take another left (you will see a road sign – Mlingotini Close). The last house on the right is Soma.
Kindly share with your network and observe time.
Jasper "Kido" Sabuni
E&D Readership and Development Agency (SOMA)
M: +255-712-568699/ +255-673-014071
ADDRESS: Mlingotini Close, Plot Number 53 Regent Street - Mikocheni A, Dar es Salaam
DIRECTIONS: Soma Book Cafe's Google Map
"You give a little but when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." - Khalil Gibran (THE PROPHET)
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Kutumbuliwa Kwa Kitwanga Kunaashiria Kitu Kipi?
Uamuzi wa Rais Magufuli kutengua uteuzi wa (aliyekuwa) Waziri wa Mambo ya Ndani, Charles Kitwanga, umepokelewa kwa msisimko katika mitandao ya jamii. "Hii", anadai Mtanzania mmoja katika Twitter, "haijawahi tokea tangu Tanzania iumbwe". Mhariri mfawidhi wa gazeti maarufu anaungana naye kwa kusema "Haijapata kutokea. Namba inasomeka kila kona #Tanzania".
Mtetezi wa mchakato wa kuwapima watu kiuchunguzi kabla ya uteuzi wao (vetting) anasisitiza kwamba kilicho muhimu ni 'tiba'. Naye mwandishi mahiri wa vitabu vya 'ushushushu' amempongeza Mtumbua Majipu kwa 'kutwanga' baada ya kilio chetu 'kumbipu'.
Hata mwanasiasa machachari na mbunge pekee wa chama kinachochipukia kwa kasi cha ACT-Wazalendo naye kaguswa:
"Uamuzi wa Rais kumfukuza kazi Waziri wa Mambo ya Ndani unatuma ujumbe mmoja - hataki mchezo. Rais amethibitisha kuwa anao uwezo wa kutumbua hata aliowateua. Ni maamuzi muhimu sana kwa Kiongozi wa aina yake. Wale vijana waliokuwa wanatumwa kumtetea wasimame kumtetea. Rais kaonyesha Uongozi ' no nonsense '"
Hakika Rais anastahili pongezi nyingi. 'Tusimbanie'. Hongera sana!
Wakati tunaendelea kumpongeza pia tukumbuke 'hapa kazi tu' kwa wanahistoria ni kuyafukuafukua makabrasha ili kujaribu kuelewa tumetokea wapi katika masuala fulani, tupo wapi na tunaelekea wapi ili tusije tukayarudia (makosa) yale yale kiuwendawazimu.
Historia ya kisiasa inaturudisha kwenye kampeni za uchaguzi za mwaka 2015. Pale tunakutana na maneno haya ya Magufuli:
"Mmemuona Kitwanga. Huyu ni rafiki yangu. Nataka niwaeleze: Chuo Kikuu nimesoma naye. Namfahamu kweli kweli. Na nataka niwaeleze nampenda. Ndiyo maana nimekuja hapa kumwombea kura. Ninaomba mumlete Kitwanga awe Mbunge wa jimbo hili. Ninafahamu wapo watu wachache wanapiga piga ma ma nhe wanapiga piga maneno. Mwembe wenye matunda ndiyo unapondwa mawe na watoto.... Mtu anaweza akawa hapa mkamuona ninyi kuwa hafai lakini kumbe ndiyo faida ya Misungwi. Mkachukua hatua za kumwadhibu.... siasa saa nyingine zinaweza zikatumika kama baba asiye na busara.... majuto huwa ni mjukuu...."
Kwa wafuatiliaji wa kila kichesemwacho watakumbuka kuwa hata baada ya kuwa Rais, Magufuli alinena maneno kama hayo kuhusu wateule wake wengine alipokuwa akihutubia pale Kinyerezi:
"Na ndiyo maana Profesa Muhongo niliamua kukurudisha hapo. Na saa nyingine vitu vizuri vinapigwa vita. Hata Makonda alikuwa anapigwa vita, nikamwambia anabaki hapa hapa Dar es Salaam. Ili mbaya wao wamwone yuko hapo hapo tena bosi zaidi. Kwa sababu mwenye kuamua kuchagua ni mimi. Kwa hiyo nikishasali na kuswali na kumwomba Mungu ananiambia leo ni Makonda Dar es Salaam, ninampa! Na wenye chuki wajinyonge zaidi. Na ndiyo maana nilikaa nikasema Profesa Muhongo hapa hapa. Sichagui mwanasiasa. Mimi nataka mtu mchapakazi.... Na ndiyo maana ilibidi nichague watu ambao watachapa kazi kwa manufaa ya Watanzania wote bila kuwabagua vyama vyao. Na hiyo ndiyo dhana halisi ya 'Hapa Kazi Tu....'"
Mbinu hii ya uteuzi na utetezi ni ya aina yake. Inaleta ugumu na ukakasi hasa kwa wadadisi wanaotaka kujua vigezo vyote ambavyo Rais wetu hutumia katika kuteua. Tukumbuke mwaka jana Udadisi iliwahi kuhoji majibu yafuatayo ya Rais na haki yetu ya kikatiba ya kupata habari/taarifa kuhusu masuala muhimu ya nchi yetu pale wanahabari walipojaribu kuhoji mantiki ya idadi ya manaibu waziri kwa kuzingatia uunganishaji wa wizara na vigezo vilivyotumika kuwarudisha mawaziri kadhaa kutoka kwenye Baraza lililopita:
Magufuli: Kafanye utafiti kwanza uangalie hiyo Wizara ya Ofisi ya Waziri Mkuu inayoshughulikia sera, Bunge, ajira, vijana, walemavu, tumeunganisha Wizara ngapi... tumeweka Manaibu Waziri wawili. Utapata jibu lake.
Magufuli: Kwanza kwa sababu umekosea hata kupiga hesabu, kafanye hesabu vizuri. Kwa awamu iliyopita Mawaziri waliorudi ni saba sasa umesema kumi. Kwa hiyo, ukirudi huko ukapiga vizuri hesabu zako, utaelewa ni vigezo gani nilivyovitumia.
Baada ya kashfa nzito ya Lugumi kuibuliwa na mti wa Kitwanga kupondwa mawe na wapinzani, tumekuwa tunajiuliza kama vigezo vyote vya 'vetting' vilizingatiwa ilikuwaje akateuliwa kuwa Waziri na Mkombozi wetu wa kupambana na ufisadi nchini? Tunaoamini kuwa wanasiasa wa 'mjengoni' Dodoma wanajuana kwa vilemba, maneno haya aliyoaandika aliyekuwa Mwenyekiti wa Kamati ya Bunge ya Hesabu za Serikali (PAC) yalituacha mdomo wazi:
"Namsihi Waziri Kitwanga amalize matatizo yake yeye mwenyewe. Yeye kama mmiliki wa Kampuni ya Infosys yenye mkataba na Serikali katika Wizara anayoongoza sasa anapaswa aone ni namna gani hana mgongano wa maslahi. Waziri Kitwanga asitafute watu wa kuwatupia lawama kwenye mambo yanayomhusu. Mimi binafsi sijawahi kugombana na Charles Kitwanga. Hajawahi kuwa rafiki yangu. Hajawahi kuni excite kama Kiongozi ( kimsingi nashangaa mtu kama yeye kuweza hata kuwa Waziri wa Wizara nyeti kama hiyo) . Zaidi ya yote Waziri Kitwanga sio 'size yangu'. Kwa protokali za Uongozi, size yangu mimi ni Rais Magufuli, bosi wake. Naanzaje kuhangaika na Kitwanga? Ili iweje? Namsihi asijipandishe chati kwamba mimi nataka kumtoa. Ningetaka kumtoa wala asingejua maana ningeshughulika na aliyemteua. Nasema haya sababu amekaa na Waziri Mkuu na Wabunge kadhaa akilalamika kuwa nataka kumtoa Uwaziri. Asinipe dhambi, Uwaziri atatolewa na aliyemteua kwa madhambi aliyofanya. Asitafute bangusilo!"
Lakini cha ajabu zaidi mnamo mwaka jana mtandao unaopigwa vita (na mafisadi) wa Jamii Forum ulitumika kuweka maneno haya:
"Ndugu zangu, mhe Rais amejipambanua kuwa atateua watu ambao ni wachapa kazi katika baraza lake la mawaziri. Naomba niwafahamishe tena kwa uhakika kuwa Charles Kitwanga aliyeteuliwa kuwa Waziri wa Mambo ya Ndani ya Nchi ni mndani (msiri) wa mhe Rais. Kitwanga alikwishaanza kujisifu kuwa atakuwa waziri wa wizara nyeti mapema kabisa na ushahidi upo. Lakini la pekee kubwa ni kuwa ni mtu asiyekuwa na rekodi ya utendaji wa kuwa waziri wa mambo ya ndani amepewa wizara hiyo sababu ya nepotism. Muda utaamua na ni vema watanzania muelewe hata mhe Rais Magufuli na yeye pia kashindwa kuficha urafiki wa mtandao wake kinyume na kampeni zake. Kitwanga atakuwa waziri wa kwanza kufukuzwa na bunge, ni suala la muda tu"
Je, 'vetting' haikuziona ishara hizo za nyakati? Kama haikuziona, hata Mungu wa Magufuli hakuyaona yote haya? Sikio lake la yeye awekaye na aondoaye watawala ni zito hadi asisikie maombi hayo?
Mwisho kabisa historia yetu inatukumbusha kwamba Rais wa awamu ya Nne, Jakaya Kikwete, alipigiwa kelele asiteue baadhi ya watu lakini akawateua tu. Matokeo yake Baraza la Mawaziri likavunjwa baada ya miaka miwili tu tena baada ya fedha nyingi kutumika kuwafanyia semina elekezi mawaziri kwenye hoteli ya kihafahari ya Ngurdoto. Kwa miaka kumi kazi kubwa ikawa ni kuweka/kuziba viraka ambapo katika Wizara moja tu mawaziri walibadilishwa zaidi ya mara tatu - kutoka kwa Naziri Karamagi kwenda kwa Ibrahim Msabaha kisha kwa William Ngeleja halafu Sospeter Muhongo hadi George Simbachewene - na Waziri wake mmojawapo, Shukuru Kawambwa, alihamishwa zaidi ya mara tatu.
Gazeti la Mwananchi linatukumbusha kwa miaka 10 Serikali hiyo ya 'Ari Mpya, Nguvu Mpya, Kasi Mpya ('ANGUKA') na 'maisha bora kwa kila Mtanzania' ikaishia kutumikiwa na "mawaziri 120" huku JK akitema "mawaziri 60". Unawezaje kuendesha Serikali endelevu, thabiti na sikivu katika mazingira hayo ya kupanga na kupangua kila kukicha? Hakika kuwajibika na kuwajibishana ni muhimu katika kujenga utawala wa kitaasisi unaodumu kuliko utawala kinyonga na tegemezi kwa kiongozi mmoja mmoja.
Ila kinga ya 'vetting' si ni bora kuliko dawa ya kutumbua majipu?
Posted by Chambi Chachage at 9:21 AM
Monday, May 16, 2016
“Let them eat cake” – Marie Antoinette
The presidential honeymoon is not yet over. President Magufuli is still enjoying the popularity he has earned in his holy war on grand corruption. Christened “bursting the boils”, this crusade is however raising eyebrows among champions of the rule of law.
Such criticisms, or rather critiques, have not passed unnoticed in the corridors of powers. In a clear breach of the separation of the church and state, recently the president used Sunday’s Catholic Mass in Arusha to insist that the bursting of boils through the suspension of public officials should not be interpreted as cruelty. For him, all those civil servants have breached the code of ethics for public service.
Elsewhere the president chided those who defend them, stating – sarcastically – that such critics may also be boils therefore they will start watching them. These human rights defenders have been wondering what is wrong with demanding a fair hearing – and indeed trial – for the ‘accused’? To them, justice is best served when one and the same person is not a judge and prosecutor, that is, when there is separation of powers.
Recall, for instance, the case of officials who were suspended for travelling abroad without the permission from the State House. It is claimed that they applied; however, they did not receive a response on time. Given that Tanzania was regarded as the coordinating secretariat – and thus host – of an important anticorruption event, they opted to rush there, hoping their boss would cover for them. Alas, he got dismissed.
What if they were unfairly suspended? Would they get a public apology? When?
Away with constitutional procedures, some may even dare to say. How many boils have they burst? Why don’t we just let the President do his job of bursting them?
Many of us are indeed not happy with the state of corruption in the country. We are yearning to see all those behind the Escrow and Lugumi scandals, among others, have their day in court. Yet some of us need all this to be done according to the legal and institutional parameters we have been busy building. That is why we are still calling for a new constitution that would curtail the concentration of powers on one entity.
Probably nothing captures this irony more than the sugar scarcity saga that came in the wake of the presidential decision to intervene on its importation. By deciding to crack on those who allegedly hoard sugar to create artificial scarcity, Magufuli seems to be living up to the standards of the very person that some people believe is like him i.e. the late Edward Sokoine. However, it was during the latter’s crack on ‘economic saboteurs’ that Tanzania experienced its worst shortage of foodstuffs in shops yet.
Reminiscing on the battle for sugar that has been recurring since the beginning of liberalization, a seasoned politician notes: “I was almost killed by sugar importing mafia!” Such is the gravity of the war against any corrupt element in the country. It has to involve the society as a whole and not only one individual no matter how good his/her intentions are. Haven’t we seen benevolent dictators turning into despots? After all, we are told that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
For sure, when it comes to institutional building, it is one thing for the Executive to give additional money to the judiciary and quite another to nudge it to speed up the cases on corruption so that the government coffers can get filled when the public prosecutor wins. How does one win against corruption by doing the very thing that those involved in it are accused of? Is this how one builds an independent judiciary?
One cannot help but wonder whether we are eroding even the few gains in the separation of powers between the three arms of the state namely the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. If this accusation from a Member of Parliament, Zitto Kabwe, is true then the signs of the times are troubling: “Whenever we challenge the government here, we are being given letters and sometimes taken to the ethics committee. That is a threat to us and it diminishes our freedom of expression”.
It is thus in the long run that a sustained war on corruption that goes hand in hand with strengthening oversight institutions and upholding the constitution would yield a scaled-up ‘trickle down effect’. What we are experiencing now is a serious strain on what has been referred to as the ‘economy of affection’ or ‘shadow economy.’ The ‘patrons’ of corruption can hardly share their looted money with the people in the constituencies. It may take time for the people to get used to be free from ‘patronage’.
Posted by Chambi Chachage at 9:54 PM
Thursday, May 5, 2016
The Embassy of France in Tanzania, is pleased to invite you at the Alliance Française of Dar es Salaam to a debate on “Women in Politics”, to take place on Thursday, May 12th at 18:00, followed by a concert by the band the Golden Voices at 20:00.
Women were allowed to vote and stand for election in 1944 in France and in 1959 in Tanzania. Such simple and fundamental rights are actually a recent fact. This debate will look at the issues, the difficulties, the influence and the place of women in politics today.
The panel will consist of Anne-Cécile Mailfert, spokesperson of "Osez le féminisme" and founder of "La Fondation des Femmes", Aida Kiangi, East Africa Manager at Wind Lab, , Victoria Mandari, chairperson of the Gender Forum Coalition (GFC) and Mary Rusimbi, director of the Women Fund Tanzania. Maria Sarungi Tsehai, communication expert, will moderate the debate which will take place in English.
Uniting three young singers, The Golden Voices, is a dynamic band that will make you dance. Diem, Law and Maliya Jackson were revealed in France by the show "The Voice". Allying three different styles in duos and trios, their lively performance will take you from rap to gospel, soul to French variety…
Both events are open to public.
- Le Cercle Franco-Tanzanien
Posted by Chambi Chachage at 6:21 AM