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Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Forthcoming Book on Tanzania


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Poetry Night: For Better or Verse


Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Book on Africa with a chapter on Tanzania


Yours Truly has a chapter on:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Twaandika Ukombozi wa Wanawake Kimapinduzi


Taasisi ya Usomaji na Maendeleo – Soma, inaandaa warsha ya uandishi juu ya harakati za ukombozi wa wanawake kimapinduzi itakayofanyika Mkahawa wa Vitabu Soma, Mikocheni, Dar es Salaam tarehe 4/5/2017—6/5/2017. Tunakaribisha maombi ya kushiriki kutoka kwa: wanaharakati wachanga na wakongwe wa ukombozi wa wanawake ambao wameanza kuandika au wanajiandaa kuandika juu ya harakati hizo hapa Tanzania. Waombaji wawe ni viongozi, wafanyakazi au wanachama wa taasisi/shirika linalojishughulisha na harakati za ukombozi na utetezi wa haki za wanawake; au wanaharakati binafsi wanaoshirikiana na mashirika/taasisi, mitandao au vikundi visivyo rasmi katika michakato ya harakati hizi. 

Warsha hii ambayo imepewa jina la ‘Twaandika Harakati za Ukombozi wa Wanawake Kimapinduzi’ ni mwendelezo wa mchakato wa uandishi wa historia ya wanawake unao- fanywa kwa pamoja na mashirika kadhaa yanayofanya harakati za usawa wa jinsia na utetezi wa haki za wanawake. Makusudi ya warsha hii ni kutoa fursa kwa rika mbili za wanaharakati za ukombozi na utetezi wa haki za wanawake kubadilishana mawazo na uzoefu juu ya hatua zilizofikiwa katika jitihada za kuleta usawa wa jinsia, ushiriki wao katika jitihada hizo; warsha inalenga pia kukuza stadi za uandishi unaotokana na tafiti au uzoefu, zilizoandikwa kifasihi au kitaaluma. Washiriki wataandika juu ya harakati za kuleta usawa wa jinsia na ujenzi wa vuguvugu la ukombozi wa wanawake kimapinduzi; iwe ni: simulizi binafsi na za pamoja za jinsi mlivyojitoa kwa ajili ya harakati hizi, mafanikio yenu, ngano za kukata tamaa/kuvunjika moyo kutokana na misukosuko na mwitikio hasi, za ustahimilivu na za mitafaruku inayoambatana na mikiki ya maisha ya uanaharakati katika muktadha ambao daima ni kigeugeu. 

Washiriki wanahimizwa kujikita kwenye maeneo yenye utata na yalio wekewa miiko kama vile ujinsia (mf. mfumodume unavyoathiri mtazamo wa jamii kuhusu mahusiano ya ngono na utambulisho wa ke na me); pamoja na aina anuai za uhafidhina. 
Warsha hii ya siku tatu itatumia njia za kujifunza kwa vitendo na kwa maelekezo ya kitaalam ya misingi na mbinu za uandishi wa kazi za kubuni na zisizo za kubuni kulingana na mahitaji halisi ya washiriki kama yatakavyojidhihirisha kwenye taarifa zitakazotolewa kwenye fomu ya maombi. Baada ya mafunzo kila mshiriki ataendelea kupata mwongozo na mrejesho wa kazi yake kutoka kwa mwandishi mahiri atakayepangiwa kumsaidia kukamilisha hatua ya kazi yake kama alivyojipangia.
Maelekezo ya jinsi ya kutuma maombi yametolewa kwenye fomu ya maombi. http://www.somabookcafe.com/applica....Siku ya mwisho ya kupokea maombi ni Tarehe 20/04/2017. Washiriki watakaochaguliwa watajulishwa kwa barua pepe. Kwa maelezo zaidi wasiliana nasi kwa barua pepe info@somabookcafe.com au simu namba 0673 014 071

Watakaochaguliwa kushiriki watajulishwa kwa barua pepe 
Writing Feminist Struggles Workshop—call for participants 
E&D Readership and Development Agency—Soma, has secured funding to organize a feminist writing workshop planned to take place at Soma Book Cafe in Mikocheni, Dar es Salaam on 4 – 6 May 2017

We would therefore like to invite application for participation from: young and seasoned feminists who are in the process of/or are planning a writing project depicting feminist struggles in Tanzania. They may be leaders, staff or members of a women’s rights organization; or individual feminists affiliated to a formal or informal feminist process and/or activist network. 

The workshop, titled ‘Writing Feminist Struggles’ is meant to contribute to the ongoing ‘her- story’ documentation process currently undertaken by a coalition of various feminist and women’s rights organizations. It is specially designed to provide space for participants from two generations of feminist activist movement and women’s rights defenders to share insights on strides made in the struggles for gender equality and experiences of being a part of those struggles; as well as enhance their skills and resolve to write research and experience based literature on women’s struggle for gender transformation and feminist movement building in fiction and non-fiction. Stories will include but not limited to: ‘tales of individual and collective sacrifice, burn out, success, backlash, resilience and related complexities of activist life’ within a complex and ever changing terrain within which those struggles have taken place over time. Participants are encouraged to broach taboo subjects such as sexuality (including heteronormativity and patriarchal femininity/masculinity) and fundamentalism of various shades. 

The three-day workshop will combine learning by doing and reading into creative techniques for fiction and non fiction customized to target special writing experience that will be appraised from the participants’ applications. The workshops will be followed by a one on one coaching to assist authors to complete their writing projects/or reach a planned milestone. 

Application details are contained in an online application form found on this link http://www.somabookcafe.com/applica...

Deadline for receiving applications is mid- night of 20th April 2017. You may contact us on info@somabookcafe.com or 0673014071 for further information. 

Accepted applicants will be notified by email.

Monday, April 10, 2017

In Defense of Professor Mkumbo's Appointment

When Chambi Chachage is wrong


Reading Chambi Chachage’s well written piece on The Implication of Prof. Kitila Mkumbo appointment by President Magufuli, I couldn’t help myself thinking about one John Maynard Keynes. 

You see, Keynes was one of the foremost economic scholar of his generation. Some says, between the two world wars; 1914-1945, he was probably the most brilliant economist of the era.

But on December 15, 1917, he wrote his famous letter to a friend, Duncan Grant…... The most quotable line of the letter reads; “ I work for a government I despise for ends I think criminal”.

Keynes was working at the Treasury for the Liberal government. Prior to the appointment, he was living the life of Prof. Mkumbo before the recent development –as a public intellectual at the University of Cambridge.

Keynes peers at the Bloomsbury Group was surprised by his decision to accept working at the Treasury in a war time Britain. The group was known for its anti-war stance and one of its stars was joining the government to help in its war effort! 

So, one thing is clear, Kitila isn’t the first intellectual to make a decision that surprises many. Simply put, isn’t the only one to leave the intellectual world and accept to work with the government (he despises).
In his article, Chachage made a point that there is a precedent for intellectuals to defy the appointing authority in Tanzania. The example he gave was that of the late Prof. Chachage Seithy Chachage and others.

I think this argument is flawed. First, Kitila is a politician and an intellectual. In his student days at the Hill, he was once the President of the Student Government (DARUSO). The only other intellectual at the University of Dar es Salaam to have that credential is Prof. Adolf Mkenda alone.

The Chachage’s were not politicians. Their ambitions, desires and dreams were of the different ilk to Kitila. While the former saw himself at the Hill for the rest of his working life, the latter was thinking of quitting the University for a political career later in his life.
The writer made a mistake of thinking Kitila as Popperian Critic. Popperian critic is a public intellectual whose function, according to Prof. Edward Said, “is to represent a message or view not only to, but for, a public and to do so as an outsider, someone who can not be co-opted by a government or corporation”.

Prof Said’s assertion is an expanse of Karl Popper theory. Chambi is wrong to count Kitila in that group. How can he be while he was already co-opted by the ACT-Wazalendo in the first place? 

There is another fact that eluded Chambi dissections of former UDSM don appointment. Popperians are known for their obsession with the so called conventional wisdom.

But, as John Kenneth Galbraith once noted; conventional wisdom of the elite is not necessarily one of the mainstream. Problem is; politicians, like Kitila Mkumbo, will always listens to the mainstream and not conventional wisdom.

This is why the exercise of putting Kitila with the likes of the late Prof Chachage is futile.

What of the ACT leader Zitto Kabwe? What of his well documented loathing of CCM? Will his dream of ousting CCM out of power be realized now that Kitila is not with him?
Politicians are a rare breed. Kitila, as Chambi noted in his piece, was once of Chadema. They didn’t oust power from CCM even if the party was stronger than ACT. 

Instead, Kitila was expelled from the party with a humiliating title of a traitor. At this moment in time, Kitila might be more useful in the government than in the opposition.

Being in the Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee (IMTC), Kitila will get valuable lessons of how the government machinery–at the very topoperates. 

Some of us are also hoping that Kitila will have the same impact in the government like the one Keynes had in the Treasury. If access to water improves dramatically because of his leadership of the sector, no one will say he made a mistake.

If he performs, the masses will believe in the ability of the opposition to change the country if given the opportunity. Kitila is now the “Opposition Ambassador” in the government. That is the risk he is taking.


In some instances, an opposition party joins the ruling party in the government. This is not a sign of throwing the towel in the ring. In politics, it is not all the time that winner takes all; sometimes, you lose some and you win some. 

So, if CCM wants to have ACT-Wazalendo in the government to form a coalition (I doubt it will happen), the party may accept the offer even though the urge to kick CCM out is still there.
One thing is for sure; Kitila departure to the government is not good news to ACT and the opposition in general. But, as well, it is not that bad.

The role of the opposition, now, is to build that critical mass of supporters. And for that, it doesn’t need only conventional wisdom; it needs the mainstream behind it.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Conversations with Constantine Manda

"In this week’s podcast, we speak with Constantine Manda, a doctoral student in political science at Yale University who hails from Tanzania. We talk about recent events in Tanzania, including the firing of Tanzania’s information minister and the arrest of rapper Nay wa Mitego, and how these events signal growing authoritarianism in the country since the election of President John Magufuli. His interview begins at 7:35"-Ufahamu Africa https://soundcloud.com/ufahamuafrica/episode-13-a-conversation-with-constantine-manda-on-increasing-authoritarianism-in-tanzania
cf.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Kutoka Makavazini: Maswali Magumu ya Kipanya


TANZANIA NEEDS CRITICAL THINKING CITIZENS


TANZANIA NEEDS CRITICAL THINKING CITIZENS


Introduction

Tanzania’s General Elections of October 2015, by way of hindsight, was a very critical turning point in the political history of Tanzania. These elections took place to institute the Fifth Administration Phase of the United Republic. The previous four phases were marked by national unity construction, liberal economy adoption, market economy accommodation and accelerated wealth creation, respectively. Although the previous phase (2005-2015) was a phase of ‘accumulation’ - because leaders had begun to talk about wealth creation, meaning more wealth should be created so that they could accumulate more – thank God there were voices shouting for more equitable wealth distribution! This was so despite the scandalous disparity between those who have and those who have not! The tragedy is that these voices may be shut up in the current phase because liberal economy or the open market economy always creates poverty for the majority. Poverty is nothing but a result of lopsided and unjust distribution of both the international (global) and the national (local) wealth. In liberal economy there is no wealth democracy! This is where the need for critical thinking citizens comes in.

Civic transformation of the citizens

The citizens of Tanzania now can be transformed into a critical society in various ways, and we have the agents to undertake this noble task. These agents are none other than the NGO's, trade unions, professional associations, cultural organizations, cooperative societies, the media, the academia and the religious institutions. Each of these is capable, is willing, and should be able, to undertake the task of forming all citizens into a formidable, organized critical society. I would like to share my ideas and views about this noble civic task.

2015 Elections: Were they civic or protest elections? 

Any citizen who – having been registered as a voter - casts a vote for a certain electoral contestant is sending a message to the rest of the society which expresses at least two things: 1) that he or she believes in certain political and socio-economic ideas or principles; and 2) that the person he/she votes for is the right person to translate those ideas or principles into political and socio-economic realities. Unfortunately, the majority of citizens in Tanzania, including the so-called ‘wasomi’, have not taken (or do not take) the trouble and time to think consciously about what is only at the level of feelings or guts. For example, many Tanzanians feel that the political and socio-economic affairs of this country are unjust; that is, they feel very strongly that there is no adequate and satisfactory political and socio-economic democracy. However, many cannot process these feelings or guts into critical views and express them critically. At best such strong feelings have been expressed by casting a protest vote. One thinks of Pemba ghost votes in the 2000 elections, the 80% plus of votes to CCM in 2005, or just not voting at all! At worst such feelings have been expressed by taking part in tragic rallies and demonstrations! 

Who is a critical thinking citizen?

Tanzania now needs   critical thinking citizens more than before. A critical thinking citizen has the following qualities or characteristics: 1) a critical consciousness which expresses itself in terms of critical thinking; 2) a power awareness which is based on the understanding that structures and systems can be transformed by collective, human effort because such things (structures and systems) are results of deliberate human agency; 3) a critical literacy which shows itself by habits of critical thoughts, reading, writing and speaking which goes beyond surface or superficial meaning. Such critical literacy goes to the root of the matter, that is it is radical in the literal sense of the word. Critical thinking digs up the root causes of the prevailing socio-economic and political status quo in order to ‘fish out’ the operational ideology, oppressive presuppositions or self-interested assumptions; 4) a search for permanent de-socialization, i.e. a continuous questioning of the prevailing social order that is characterized by monopolized power and inequality in the status quo; and 5) a critical self-education and organization by continuously developing one’s knowledge of how to learn critically and how to organize transformative (and not merely formative!) educational projects or programmes.

Let me now point out what each of the agents I mentioned before should, and can, do to transform Tanzanian citizens into a critical society.
1)    The NGO’s

Members and leaders in the NGO movement can do very well in this noble task because they can easily muster collective human effort in bringing about change in the ideological structures and systems. Such ideological structures and systems are things like visions, statements of mission, constitutions and electoral procedures in their very own organizations. These NGO’s have to encourage critical literacy and a continuous questioning of the status quo among their members. Unless NGO leaders take initiative along these lines they will be contributing towards building a non-critical society which cannot analyze, question and critique the slogans and manifestos or policies of the leaders
2)    The Trade Unions

Most of the trade unions have members who are among the educated Tanzanians. The union leaders do not only have clout with their members but they also have the critical capacity and socio-political edge in the society. Through their professionalism trade unions could help to create a critical society by conscientizing their members and the society at large about socio-economic and civic rights through nurturing a passion for justice at places and stations of work, a concern for a humane organizational ecology, for the labour community and for public life in general. Through dialogical communication trade unions can awaken consciousness and prepare union members for collective action. Dialogical communication allows people to voice their socio-economic and political experiences in a country with the history of a having a government that works hard to accommodate an open labour market economy but at the expense of basic human needs and aspirations.
3)    Professional associations

Professional associations in Tanzania will contribute a lot towards creating a critical society if and only if they struggle to do away with that kind of worldview in which cause and effect operate in fragmented (professional specialisms) ways. Often there is a tendency among professionals not to address the fundamental difficulties associated with their situations in which the professions are embedded. Professional associations will help to create a critical society if they work on the following: 

a) Inspiring and challenging professional association members (i.e. individual professionals) to develop continuously a critical professional awareness and behaviour. This can be done by developing the habit and custom of critically working on one’s body of professional knowledge according to accepted standards of integrity. In doing so, the professional associations will awaken in the minds and hearts of professionals the civic sense of service ethos. In this way they will challenge the political leaders to put their power and influence at the disposal of the citizens all the time. They will critically challenge political leaders to serve citizens’ needs and interests to which they (i.e. political leaders) subordinate their own self-interests. Too often political leaders have even ‘abused’ professionals simply because they wanted certain personal desires and self-interests to be realized at the expense of the electorate and their money as taxpayers. 

b) Inviting and helping professionals and para-professionals (e.g. in the informal sectors) to experience themselves as knowledgeable persons by critically examining their knowledge and using it for the development of the society; identifying the individual aspects and social context of their professionalism and by identifying possible civic collective actions, e.g. close monitoring of professionalism in good governance and in the very process of the leaders’ implementation of their civic and political duties.

The objective here is for professionals to realize that their knowledge, expertise and capacities should enable them to explore the complexity and interrelatedness of individual, organizational and social issues that bedevil our nation.
4)    Cultural organizations

The nature of cultural organizations in Tanzania is so communicative that these organizations cannot really fail to create a critical society. Most cultural organizations in this country operate through music, dance, drama, paintings, cartoons, diatribes etc. Through these means cultural organizations could help our society develop critical awareness so as to become a critical community in the following ways: (i) Through music cultural organizations could stimulate reflection and engage the citizens into critical reflection based on social issues that musicians would sing about. (ii) Through dance and drama social and economic problems could be enacted to make the citizens aware of the forces or interests behind the socio-economic status quo, which benefits only a few. (iii) Through painting, art and sculpture the organizations could draw the attention of the citizens to the inner aspirations and longings of our society for a better, more just and legitimate order. 
5)    Co-operative societies

Cooperative societies used to have very democratic organizational frameworks, and their existence was a critique to any forces, powers or systems, which were against self-determination of local or regional communities. Today, as a way of helping to create a critical citizenry these societies could contribute a lot by:

(i) Re-establishing among the people a sense of collective economic ownership, a participatory democracy and democratic participation, a critical stance to leadership that threatens their sense of socio-economic destiny.

 (ii) Enlightening their members about the potential dangers of electing leaders who are not ‘co-operative conscious’ (i.e. leaders who are interested in economic or financial cartels or oligarchies only) at the expense of the peasants, artisans and small producers.
6)    The media

Despite the low rate of literacy among the citizens, most of them have very good oral skills! Indeed the audio media can help to create a critical society if they are more critical and analytical in their roles of informing, educating and entertaining their audience, namely listeners and viewers. The effective impact that sound and pictures can have on the subconscious of listeners and viewers could be directed towards educating the targeted audience to become more critical. This could be brought about as follows:

(i) Invite well-informed and critical analysts of various issues of our society to panel programmes to discuss, debate and prod the viewers/listeners to take the issues in their interest communities and pressure groups and follow up their practical implications.

(ii) Organize and broadcast live or publish open for  debates on the crucial questions about leadership and governance, questions on issues like integrity, national values (ethos), national independence or autonomy, political and socioeconomic sovereignty, a caring economy, cultural identity, etc.

(iii) Prepare commentaries on burning issues with the aim of challenging readers (in the case of the press), listeners and viewers not to be satisfied with the status quo.

(iv) Give plenty of air-time and page space to common citizens who will not only air their views, but also will use the media to challenge leaders to think about their (i.e. the leaders’) selfish interests.

(v) To organize leaders’ debates, programmes and/or features like Face the Viewers, Listen to Our Listeners and Write to Our Readers, at the level of hamlets/villages, wards and districts so that the citizens can come face to face and ear to ear with the leaders and debate on issues which are pertinent to the local needs of the citizens themselves.
7)    The academia

It is generally felt that the world of scholars in Tanzania has not yet built a good reputation of contributing adequately towards the development of this country in general. Too often, a lot of people ask ‘Where are our ‘wasomi’ to help us in this or that?’ Except for very few individuals, in my opinion, the academia in Tanzania has not yet become conscious of its own intellectual power. Such intellectual power, if given the right direction - the direction of why and how citizens think of the leadership - would be a crucial factor in confirming the citizens’ critical feelings towards their leaders. 

The academics can contribute a lot in terms of developing critical thinking among the people. For many Tanzanians critical thinking is still regarded as ‘ubishi tu’; that is something, which is merely arguing for the sake of arguing! The academia should help the citizens to ask content critical questions. These academics could do so in the following ways:

(i) Each academic should engage himself/herself in social change efforts, and consider teaching as an arena of social praxis and resistance.

(ii) Develop consciousness of the socio-economic and political influences and help students, young and mature, trainees and colleagues do the same in order to develop education that is both democratic and liberating.

(iii) Stimulate senior students debate on social transformation by helping them ask and analyze critical questions and give answers that are truly powerful in deconstructing social devices that breed unconsciousness or uncritical consciousness.

(iv) Resist theoretical domestication or ideological chains that leave the spirit of critical inquiry numb; instead struggle for that academic freedom which is the way towards praxis that liberates, and liberation that is practical.

(v) Work courageously for socio-economic liberation and critical consciousness as members of the society which is struggling to realize its sovereignty maturity.
8)    The religious institutions

Despite the secular stance that the government always declares in matters political and civic, citizens in Tanzania on the other hand are religious believers who, more often than not, involve God and religious beliefs in their aspiration for a peaceful, just, harmonious and human nation. For that reason, the influence and moral authority that religious institutions have on the society through their religious congregations could be harnessed to create prophetically critical citizens in the following manner:

(i) Through their religious and spiritual admonitions, religious leaders can help the citizens to develop a sense of subjectivity, i.e. the consciousness of being citizens who are not to be used as stepping stones, or objects, by leaders, but these leaders should be made aware that they owe the citizens accountability, respect and dignity; and that the citizens owe the leaders nothing, not even “takrima”! The basis for this perspective is the common religious principle that the voice of the people is the voice of God: and, as is the case with Christians at least, every citizen was created in the image of God, male or female.

(ii) Religious leaders should encourage and insist upon the believers to read the holy books or scriptures which do point out the type of leaders that are suitable for a country like Tanzania. Although this is being done in some circles, it needs to be read more critically in terms of comparing what the holy books say about the society then, with the kind of society we have today.

(iii) Religious institutions should assert their role as the critical conscience, sensitive compass and as alert ‘co-adjutors’ of the national leaders and of the citizens. They will assert this role if they follow the examples of prophets: namely to remind the nation of its authentic cultural and moral values and aspirations which were established at the birth of this nation, values and aspirations expressed by the national anthem, the song of the Torch on The Kilimanjaro, the constitutional Ujamaa and Self-Reliance philosophy, and the opening prayer for the Parliamentary sessions. The values and aspirations expressed in all these documented sources are still cherished and treasured in the subconscious of the citizens. Let the religious leaders help the citizens to voice them out critically.

God Bless Tanzania!

God Bless the Fifth Phase Administration!

HakiElimu on the Impact of Fee-Free Education

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Political Implications of Appointing Prof. Mkumbo

Political Implications of President Magufuli’s Appointment of Professor Mkumbo 

Chambi Chachage


Politics change. So do politicians. Hence we must not freeze political perspectives in the past.

However, the past demands attention. No wonder the decision of the President of Tanzania, Doctor John Magufuli, to appoint Professor Kitila Mkumbo as a Permanent Secretary has sparked a debate about their previous stance. As a leading public intellectual and political advisor of an opposition party that he co-founded prior to his presidential appointment, the Professor has been critical of the hegemony of the ruling party that the President chairs


In a country with a dearth of public intellectuals and political initiators of the stature of Professor Mkumbo, what are the implications of his presidential appointment? The clue is in the third edition of the ‘Standing Order for the Public Service 2009’. In section F.21(a), it states that “a public servant shall not be employed or hold office in any Political Party while still in the public service”. For those who are wondering why Professor Mkumbo did not resign from his party 'position' while he was working in another public institution, i.e. the University of Dar es Salaam, this may not be sufficient. But is being a Permanent Secretary in a government Ministry the same as being a University Professor with 'Academic Freedom'?

The leader of his party, Zitto Kabwe, must have been aware of this difference when he penned a press release that indicates that Professor Mkumbo submitted a letter of resignation as their party advisor. However, as if what he wrote and read was not sufficient, Zitto Kabwe used his presser to elaborate. In doing so he fell into the trap of saying Professor Mkumbo was already a public servant and as such, the presidential appointment was simply a promotion in public service hence he could have not said 'no' to his boss i.e. President Magufuli.

Our analysis begs to differ. We have a precedent. Even during the era of the one-party state, Professors Seithy Chachage, Mwesiga Baregu and Aikaeli Kweka “received letters from the Central Establishment in the President’s Office, removing them from the University and requiring them to report to other institutions.” Not all of them accepted. The University of Dar es Salaam Academic Staff Assembly (UDASA) that Professor Mkumbo came to chair later protested. So did the late Member of Parliament, Patrick Qorro, in the August House.

When I asked one of those dons why didn’t he accept it even after a senior official offered him a lucrative post, he told me that the moment you get lured, you lose the freedom you have as an academic and become someone who can moved from one post to another at the pleasure of the appointer. For him, being a Professor by application even in a public university guarantees relative autonomy compared to being direct presidential appointee. An astute a public intellectual as Professor Mkumbo should know this.

A colleague has strongly argued that being a Permanent Secretary does really not stop one from being a public intellectual, citing the articles that another Permanent Secretary, Professor Adolf Mkenda, continues to write in newspapers. Yes, Professor Mkumbo can also continue to write in Raia Mwema but as Professor Mkenda knows very well, they cannot contravene this line from Section F.21(d) of the Standings Orders: “a public servant shall not be allowed to utter any words which may embarrass the Government due to his political affiliation; a public servant shall not take part in Political activities which can compromise or be seen to compromise his loyalty to Government activities”. In other words, both professors who used to freely and openly critic the establishment are now what a Gramscian may call ‘hegemonic intellectuals.’

Zitto Kabwe is at pains to tell us that they chose between their fledging party and the country/nation. Understandably, he had to talk as a politician and even a diplomat. But, analytically, since when is choosing the role that Professor Mkumbo plays as a public intellectual, speaking truth to power in many an instance, and being a bureaucratic bourgeoisie a choice between a party and the people?

For sure, the times have changed. And as we noted earlier, we cannot freeze politicians in the past. But there is an interesting line from what Zitto Kabwe said in 2008 that captures one of the major implications of the appointment of Professor Mkumbo: “To me, the most important challenge we must overcome is to end single party dominance in our country.” What has happened to someone who once declared that his dread is to end this single-party hegemony?

Today, as their fledging party and multiparty democracy is under threat as Zitto Kabwe’s query ‘Will the real Opposition emerge under Magufuli’s repressive CCM?’ stresses, how is consolidating the hegemony of the ‘de facto’ single-party state helpful to our dear country/nation? Was Professor Mkumbo's ‘prediction’ in 2015 that CCM’s nomination process “could surely mark the beginning of the end of the party’s hegemony in Tanzania’s politics”, premature?

“A strong opposition in Tanzania”, as Nabil Omar aptly puts it, “is the beginning of a mature democratic system where the ruling party will always be held accountable.” Surely it in the ‘public interest’, and not simply ‘party interest’, for the likes of Professor Mkumbo of ACT-Wazalendo to strengthen multiparty democracy. But, alas, it seems we are back to where the late Mwalimu Nyerere left us when he said, “we now experimenting with a multi-party system.”

Sunday, April 2, 2017

CFP: Sanaa Journal - African Arts+Media+Cultures


Karibu kwenye ulingo wa kutafakari kuhusu tunapotoka,tulipo,tuendako na namna ambavyo tutafika huko tuendako/Welcome to a platform for reflecting on where we are coming from, where we are, where we are going and how we will get there

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