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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Public Dialogue on Un-Silencing African History

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
  •  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?
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.
Karibu sana!
Jasper "Kido" Sabuni
Programme Manager 
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

"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?

Kutumbuliwa Kwa Kitwanga Kunaashiria Kitu Kipi?



Chambi Chachage

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:


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:



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:

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:



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:


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?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Will the People of Magufuli Eat Boils?

Will People Eat Boils?

Chambi Chachage

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.

Yet in the context of a centralized system, we appreciate the role of a strong leader in enabling an anti-corruption dispensation. More significantly, we are aware that in the short term things might be difficult even to those who are supposed to benefit from the war on corruption. As they note, the ‘circulation of money’ is limited in the sense that it is no longer ‘trickling down’ to them from the ‘boils’ that have been ‘burst.’
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”.
Living in the times of Magufuli is so exciting. Yet it is frightening. Strange times.

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’.
However, when the presidential honeymoon is over it is not the burst boils that people will be hungering for. Rather, ‘a better life for all’. Why not institutionalize it now?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Public Debate on Women in Politics

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


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