Friday, March 29, 2019

Hongera Sana Taifa Stars - Sasa Tugange Yajayo!

Kongole Emmanuel Amunike, Hongera Taifa Stars - Lakini Hatuna Budi Kujitathmini!


Richard Mbunda
@richiembunda 

Nilitamani makala haya yawe kwa lugha ambayo Kocha Emmanuel Amunike ataielewa. Lakini, la hasha! Ni andiko la umma, najua ujumbe utamfikia tu. Kwa kweli nampongeza kwa kuweka historia, kwa kuipeleka Tanzania kwenye Michuano ya Kombe la Mataifa ya Afrika (AFCON) nchini Misri baada ya mika 39. 

Haikuwa kazi ndogo. Ama kweli wachezaji wetu, viongozi wa Shirikisho la Mpira wa Miguu Nchini (TFF) na Kamati ya Uhamasishaji wanastahili pongezi. Kwa takribani wiki moja furaha ya Watanzania iliongezeka maradufu. Kwa hakika Watanzania wanapenda michezo. Hasa ukizingatia pia kuwa usiku wa tarehe 23 Bondia wetu Hassan Mwakinyo alimnyuka Muajentina Sergio Gonzalez kwa KO. Hii inatoa changamoto kwa Serikali na taassisi zinazosimamia michezo kuwekeza zaidi. Kuna faida nyingi katika michezo, ikiwemo kuongeza furaha katika jamii ili tuondoke mkiani mwa nchi sizizo na furaha Duniani.

Tumebahatisha?

Naam, hatimaye tunaenda Misri. Ilikuwa kama ndoto tu, maana kimsingi tangu tulipofungwa kule Lesotho, tulipoteza matumaini kiasi. Swali la kujiuliza je, tulistahili au tumebahatisha? Vijana wa Kitaa wangesema tumetusua!

Mimi sitaki kupepesa macho katika hili. Napenda kusema wazi kuwa Tanzania ilistahili kwenda Misri. Nina sababu kuu mbili katika kutetea hoja yangu. Mosi, uzoefu wa kufuatilia kwangu michezo ya kufuzu AFCON. Mara zote huko nyuma, Tanzania ilikuwa ikipangwa na timu angalau mbili ngumu na wazoefu wa michuano hiyo. Kwa namna yeyote Tanzania ilikuwa  ndiyo timu nyonge - ‘underdog’. Kwa mfano, mwaka 2016, Watanzania watakumbuka tulimenyana na Misri, Naijeria na Chad (ambayo baadae ilijitoa). Tulimaliza wa mwisho na point 1 tu wakati Misri ilikuwa na pointi 10.

Lakini mwaka huu ulikuwa wetu. Tulipangwa na Uganda, Cape Verde na Lesotho. Japo Cape Verde na Uganda walishawahi kushiriki AFCON hivi karibuni, lakini tulikuwa tunawamudu. Na kimsingi Uganda ndiyo iliyoongoza kundi, lakini historia inaonesha kama wachezaji wetu wakihamasika huwa tunawafunga Uganda. Matokeo ya kundi hili yanadhihirisha wazi kuwa tulikuwa na uwezo wa kupata nafasi. Niliwahi kusema mwaka jana kuwa kama hatutashiriki AFCON mwaka huu kutokana na hili kundi, huenda tusingeshiriki tena miaka 10 ijayo.
Pili, tofauti na siku za nyuma, wachezaji wetu wameongeza ujuzi na ari ya kupambana. Tuna karibia wachezaji 10 wanaocheza katika ligi zenye ushindani Ulaya na Afrika, wakiongozwa na nahodha wao Mbwana Samatta, ambaye ni mfungaji bora wa ligi ya Ubelgiji. Haya si mafanikio kidogo. Kwenda kucheza nje kwa wachezaji kama Simon Msuva, Thomas Ulimwengu, Shaaban Chilunda, na Abdi Banda kumewapa ari, kujiamini na mbinu mpya. Lakini pia tumeona mpira unaochezwa na wachezaji wa ndani umeendelea kukua na kuwa wa ushindani zaidi. Wachezaji hawa wameweza kupambana na kutupeleka Misri. Mtu awaye yeyote asiwabeze na kuwabagaza wachezaji hawa. Wanaweza, na ndiyo maana wanang’ara hata kwenye timu zao nje na hapa nchini.

Wapi Tulichemka?

Watu wakifanikiwa hawataki tena kurudi nyuma na kufanya tathmini ya wapi walikosea. Mimi nitajitahidi kuwakumbusha tu, hata kama hamtaki. Tumeshangilia sana mechi ya mwisho, na wengine kidogo tufe na shinikizo (pressure) kwani tunapenda kwenda Misri. Naam, kuna changamoto tulizokumbana nazo.

Mosi, naikumbuka sana mechi ya kwanza kati ya Taifa Stars na Lesotho. Nilihamasika sana kwenda kuishangilia timu yangu ya taifa pale tu ratiba ilipotoka. Lakini pasi na sababu zenye ushawishi, TFF walipeleka mechi yetu ya ufunguzi Chamazi. Binafsi naona kulikuwa na changamoto za aina mbili. Pamoja na kuwa Chamazi ni Dar es Salaam, na tunajua hamasa wa mashabiki wa soka wa Mbagala, lakini ni ukweli usiopingika kuwa Taifa Stars ilikosa mchezaji wake wa 12 ambao ni mashabiki katika ujumla wao. Lakini vilevile, kwa kuwa mechi ilikosa hamasa, wachezaji wetu walicheza kama wapo ugenini pia. Nilifuatilia mtanange huo kwa runinga, na nikasikitishwa sana na sare. Kama TFF wangefanya maandalizi vizuri kwa kuleta hamasa na kuhakikisha mechi inachezwa kwenye Uwanja wa Ben Mkapa, zile zingekuwa pointi tatu safi kabisa kibindoni.
Changamoto ya pili, inamhusu Kocha Amunike. Mimi nikiri kuwa nilisisimka na kuhamasika sana alipoteuliwa kuwa kocha wa timu ya taifa. Huyu ni kocha mwenye wasifu (CV) (m)kubwa na hasa uzoefu katika soka, na amecheza katika klabu bora zaidi duniani - Barcelona - na ameshiriki Kombe la Dunia. Lakini aliniacha hoi sana alivyoamua kuwaacha wachezaji sita katika mechi yake ya kwanza tulipoenda Uganda. Najua Kocha anapaswa kuhimiza nidhamu, na najua kuna wachezaji wengi walioshindwa kunufaika kwa vipaji vyao kwa sababu ya nidhamu. 

Lakini, kwa maoni yangu, siyo majukumu ya kocha wa timu ya taifa kutengeneza vipaji au hata kufundisha nidhamu. Hii ni kazi ya vilabu na makocha wa vilabu. Kocha wa timu ya taifa anakuwa na wachezaji kwa muda mfupi sana. Kwa hiyo, kazi yake yeye ni kuchagua wachezaji walioiva. Kuhusu wachezaji wa Simba tuliambiwa kuwa aliyekosea aliwajibika lakini kocha bado aliwaacha wale wachezaji. Na hawa ndio wachezaji wetu ambao sisi Watanzania tunadhani wangetupeleka Cameroon kabla haijapokonywa uwenyeji wa michuano na kupewa Misri. 

Kwa maoni yangu, nilitegemea kocha achukue majukumu kama mlezi wa vijana, awajenge wachezaji kisaikolojia ili wasipoteze morali. Lakini kubwa zaidi, fikra za kila Mtanzania ilikuwa juu ya ushindi wa mechi dhidi ya Uganda ugenini. Mimi sisiti kusema ya moyoni. Niliangalia ile mechi dhidi ya Uganda na, japo tulikosa nafasi moja au mbili za kufunga, nikiri tu kuwa kilichotuokoa ni mvua kubwa iliyokuwa imenyesha ikafanya uwanja usiwe rafiki kwao na kwetu. Tukarudi nyumbani na pointi moja na ikamuongezea Amunike kujiamini na pengine kuhalalisha maamuzi yake.

Naomba nisiongelee yaliyotokea ugenini Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde, kwa kuwa tulipigwa kipigo cha aibu, lakini tulijifunza. Tuliporudi katika mechi ya marudiano, sijui benchi la ufundi lilipatwa na nini nikaona baadhi ya wachezaji wazoefu waliokuwa katika kiwango cha juu kabisa wakiitwa na kupewa majukumu. Tukashinda 2-0 na kila mtu akahisi sasa ndoto imekaribia. Kimsingi mechi ya Lesotho ndiyo ilikuwa fainali yetu, hasa kama tulikuwa tunataka kujihakikishia ushindi. Namshukuru Mh. Rais Dkt. John Magufuli kwa kuongelea mechi hii, hususani jinsi kikosi kilivyopangwa. 

Mh. Rais, si wewe peke yako, Mimi niliangalia hii mechi nikiwa mjini Sumbawanga. Wanasumbawanga walisikitishwa sana, na niliwasikia wakitaja majina ya wachezaji ambao hawaamini kwa nini hawakuwa chaguo la kocha. Timu ilicheza kwa kiwango duni sana, na sijui kocha na benchi la ufundi walikuwa wanawaza nini. Haya, tukafungwa. Lakini hatukuishia hapo. Benchi la ufundi likajifunza tena. Tukaona wachezaji kama John Bocco, ambaye naamini anabezwa kuliko sifa anazostahili kwani amekuwa katika kiwango bora kabisa, akifunga na kutoa mapande (assists) muhimu kwa timu yake ya Simba. Mungu mkubwa na sasa tunaenda Misri.

Tugange Yajayo

Tanzania ni moja kati ya timu 24 zitakazoshiriki michuano ya AFCON kuanzia June 7 hadi Julai 13, 2019. Kwa utaratibu wa michuano ya mwaka huu, kutakuwa na makundi 6 yenye timu 4. Timu mbili katika msimamo wa kundi baada ya mechi za makundi zitaingia hatua ya 16 bora. Hii ni hatua ya mtoano. Lakini kwa kuwa timu zitakazoingia moja kwa moja ni 12 tu, basi zitaongezeka timu 4 zitakazoingia kwa tiketi ya walioshindwa kiasi (best loser), ili kufanya idadi ikamilike 16. Ndipo timu hizi zitacheza mtoano, Timu 8 zitakazofuzu zitaenda robo fainali. Timu 4 zitakazoshinda hatua ya robo fainali zitacheza nusu fainali. Kuna mshindi wa tatu katika michuano hii, ambapo wale watakaotolewa katika hatua ya nusu fainali watachuana tena kupata mshindi wa tatu, wakati washindi wa nusu fainali watacheza fainali Julai 13, 2019.

Sisi tunataka kuishia wapi? 

Ni swali gumu. Lakini mimi kama shabiki naona haitoshi kuishia tu hatua ya makundi. Tunapaswa kuutangazia ulimwengu kuwa soka letu limekua na tunapaswa kuangaliwa tofauti na ilivyozoeleka kuwa Tanzania ni kichwa cha mwendawazimu. Tunapaswa kufika hatua ya mtoano. Hii itasaidia Tanzania kupanda katika orodha (rankings) za Shirikisho la Soka Duniani (FIFA) na Shirikikisho la Soka Barani Afrika (CAF) kitu ambacho kitasaidia wachezaji wetu wenye vipaji adimu kupata timu Ulaya na kwingineko. Naamini kama benchi la ufundi likifanya ipasavyo na wachezaji wakapata hamasa, tutafika mbali.
Maangalizo

Mtanisamehe tu kwa kuwa sitawaacha bila vidonge hasa kwa benchi la ufundi. Rukhsa kunipuuza kuwa sijui soka. Lakini nitatumia nafasi yangu kama shabiki kutoa maoni. 

Tutaweza kufanya vizuri kama Kocha Amunike na benchi la ufundi wataanza kuamini kama wachezaji wetu wanaweza. Nilikuwa namsikiliza Amunike wakati wa mkutano na waandishi wa habari (press conference) baada ya kuwachabanga Uganda goli tatu kwa nunge, Kocha alionesha wazi hakuiamini timu yake. Ni hatari kwenda vitani na kamanda ambaye hawaamini askari wake.

 Nimemkumbuka Kocha Marcio Maximo. Tanzania itamkumbuka kocha huyu Mbrazil kwa kuleta hamasa kwa timu wa taifa. Lakini Kocha huyu hakuwahi kuamini kama Watanzania wanajua kucheza mpira. Moja ya vielelezo katika hili, Maximo hakuwahi kuwa na kikosi cha kudumu [kwa maana ya First Eleven].

Uzoefu wa makocha magwiji duniani, kama Sir Alex Ferguson aliyeifundisha Manchester United kwa miaka mingi ya mafanikio na Arsene Wenger aliyepata kuifanya Arsenal ikawa moja ya vilabu vikubwa Ulaya, unatufundisha kuwa hupaswi kubadili kikosi kinachokupa ushindi bila sababu ya msingi. Sasa unajiuliza Amunike aliwaza nini kubadili kikosi kilichompa ushindi dhidi ya timu nzuri kama Cape Verde?

Hakika ni ndoto ya kila mchezaji kucheza katika timu ya taifa. Na makocha wote wa timu ya taifa wanalijua hili. Hivyo, wanapaswa kuwa na moyo wa ukarimu ili kuwapa wachezaji motisha ya kujituma katika vilabu vyao. 

Lakini inanishangaza kuona mchezaji mwenye kipaji kama Ibrahim Ajib, aliyeifungia Yanga magoli muhimu na kutoa assists za kutosha, na akaaminiwa na timu yake kuwa nahodha hata katika umri mdogo, bado haitwi timu ya taifa! Inashangaza pia kuwa Mohammed Hussein, almaarufu Zimbwe Jr., aliyewahi kuwa mchezaji bora wa ligi miaka miwili iliyopita, na anang’ara na timu ya Simba katika kombe la Klabu Bingwa Afrika, na juzi tu alifunga goli na kusaidia kuipeleka Simba robo fainali, lakini hagusi benchi la timu ya taifa! 

Wachezaji kama hawa unawajengea mtazamo gani juu ya timu ya taifa? Au kuna mengine ambayo sisi mashabiki hatuyajui? Yepi?

Nimalize kwa kusema kuwa, Tanzania tuna imani na wachezaji wetu na wametuonesha mara kadhaa kuwa wanaweza. Hivyo basi, TFF na Kocha Amunike, tunataka mtuhakikishie kuwa tunaenda kushindana AFCON na si kushiriki tu. 

Mungu Ibariki Tanzania, Mungu Ibariki Taifa Stars. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Revisiting Wanazuoni's Event to Honor Karim Hirji

Revisiting Wanazuoni's Event to Honor Karim Hirji


An informal network of Tanzania intellectual famously referring to itself as Wanazuoni (the intellectuals) brought together its members and general public in January to honor the Tanzanian scholar Prof. Karim Hirj, a retired Lecturer over his immense academic contribution through teachings at different universities within and outside the country.

It is worth to note here that it is very common in our society to notice and honor key persons contributions in various walks of lives after their demise, something that Wanazuoni are determined to break. One of the cofounders of Wanazuoni Dr. Chambi Chachage told this author that it was important to acknowledge and honor individuals’ key contribution in changing lives while they are still alive.
Dr. Chachage said that this was a step ahead for the intellectual members of the Wanazuoni network that primarily aims to share knowledge-based materials and information on scholarships and scholarly job opportunities as well as guidance on how to apply, etc. Honoring living scholars emerged as a key activity of Wanazuoni and more is to be expected in the future.

Prof. Hirji, a Tanzanian national of Asian origin, born in 1949 in Newala District, is a professor of Medical Statistics who has spent 40 years working in academia in Tanzania and abroad.
He started working at the University of Dar es salaam (UDSM) in 1972 as an assistant lecturer after completing his Masters degree in research statistics at the London School of Economics (LSE) in the UK, which he had joined after completing Bachelors of Science Degree in Mathematics and Education at UDSM.

The patriotic Professor had to leave the teaching job in 1974 to become a planning officer at Sumbawanga District council Rukwa region, the role he assumed up to the year 1975 when he went back to teaching, this time at the National Institute of Transport (NIT) in Dar es Salaam.
His quest for knowledge stayed higher as in the year 1982 he was conferred with the second Masters degree in Biological Statistics (Biostatistics) from Harvard University in the USA. He taught Biostatistics as the Muhimbili University of Heath and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) until 2012.

Like a knowledge baobab tree that produces fruits for the hungry, Prof Hirji has published over 120 books and other publications in the fields of Medical Statistics, politics, social sciences and the media.
The book titled Statistics in the Media:  Learning in Practice (2012) is described as one of the roadmap for journalistic clarity in reporting while adhering to data journalism.

“Although media is an important source of news, they can statistically mislead. We trust multinational media outlets like BBC or CNN, but they as well have been warned several times for misleading in their own countries, Hirji’s book on Media Statistics is a must read not only to Tanzanian journalists but also beyond” says Nizar Visram, a veteran journalist.

Visram added that Prof. Hirji’s book stimulates journalists’ brains to make them think creatively and deliver information that are accurate and attract audience to read even more.
Economic dependence is among the reasons that has led to misreporting in local media, according to Visram. He warns that statistics can be easily used for manipulative purposes to readers hence the relevance of Prof. Hirji’s book to journalism practitioners in the country and abroad.

Considering that Prof. Hirji was, professionally, both a biological and medical statistician, Visram uses his book to remind us of media deception that led many Tanzanians and foreign citizens to flock to the Loliondo District for a drink of what was believed to be a miraculous cure for healing all diseases i.e. the healing cup with its common Swahili name, Kikombe cha Babu (Old man’s cup).

Visram blames delayed government intervention as the media went on to report incorrect statistics on miraculously healed people, which deceived even more of them until when the Ministry of Health issued a press release warning that there were no scientific research proving the old man’s cup to be of significant medicinal value.

The veteran journalist concluded by calling concerned stakeholders to intervene and translate the book in Kiswahili so that it can be easily read and understood by different stakeholders and the society at large.

During his studentship at the UDSM, Prof, Hirji is recorded to have been among those on the front seat in fighting imperialism and other forms of exploitation in the Tanzanian community. He is as well remembered for his work as an editor of the then University based Cheche magazine that analyzed social, economic, and political situations within and outside the country. Prof. Hirji also embraced Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s Ujamaa ideology, albeit critically, while facing and fighting post-colonial racism.
On behalf of his fellow Wanazuoni, Dr. Chachage asserts that honoring Prof. Hirji’s academic contribution will create awareness and motivate more people to read his work and meet him personally for consultation and earning more wisdom than doing it after he is nowhere to be found.

However, all might not be well with Prof. Hirji. As the keynote speaker noted in the event, at approximately the age of 70, he is bedridden and under special medical attention and very specific dietary observation. This is after retiring seven year ago from his role of lecturing at MUHAS. 

His vast knowledge continues to be reaped and has benefited some other foreign universities and students abundantly. Some universities abroad that Prof. Hirji exported his knowledge to includes the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF), both located in the USA. His book on Exact Analysis of Discrete Data (2005) is widely read as a seminal contribution to Mathematical Statistics.
During his schooling at UDSM, Prof. Hirji was mentored by the likes of Walter Rodney alongside his brother in Law and a Law lecturer, Prof. Issa Shivji and Yoweri Museveni, among others. He is said to have mentored a lot of young people and shaping their thinking towards rational thinking. The fact that Wanazuoni gathered to honor his contribution attest to this generosity in sharing knowledge.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Tribute to the Returned Son of Africa

A Tribute to the Returned Son of Africa Pius Adesanmi

Chambi Chachage

Africa is still mourning the loss of one of its finest sons, Pius Adesanmi, and 156 passengers in the tragic crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on a Sunday morning. Touching tributes are pouring from all corners of the African continent and its Diaspora. Payo as his compatriots called him surely touched many Africans.

I am one of those who were touched by his love for Africa and its people. We met virtually through the USA Africa Dialogue Series' listserv. For over a decade I took it for granted that one day we will meet physically in one of the African public forums. So, I received the shocking news of his untimely death with regret, sadness and, of course, anger at such an avoidable loss of lives in our continent.

While grappling with the finiteness of our lives on this earth that prompted Moses, as recorded in Psalms 90, to pray, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom", I have been thinking about the life and times of Pius. His apparent premonition is replayed over and over again in my mind. I have been wondering what went in his mind when he thus quoted Psalms 139 a few minutes before he boarded the plane: “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost part of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

The touching tribute from his lifelong friend has helped me to put all this in perspective. "When your plane stalled three hours before landing in Accra in 2016," recalls Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú, "you were shaken." She goes on: "I tried to dismiss it as turbulence but you told me oxygen masks deployed and that events of your life flashed in your face. You told me; “Bamidele, ó dà bí plane crash lọ má pá mi”. (Bamidele, it seems I will die in a plane crash)...."

For Pius, it seems, counting ones life like Moses was the order of the day. No wonder, as Bámidélé aptly puts it, Pius lived quickly and circumspectly by tirelessly and hurriedly working as if he knew he won't live to see his 50th birthday. While in Nigeria in 2013 he is said to have penned this other premonition: “Here lies Pius Adesanmi who tried as much as he could to put his talent in the service of humanity and flew away home one bright morning when his work was over.” It is hard to accept that his work was over on that fateful Sunday morning when he was on his way to meet African colleagues in Nairobi in the service of humanity in Africa.
Judging from the tributes from those he has passed the baton to, however, it seems his work is only over as far as mortality is concerned. In terms of immortality, the work will continue through those he has mentored and inspired both directly and indirectly. Even the spiritual book he loved gives credence to that for it states somewhere in Revelation 14: "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." As far as his African country is concerned, and by extension, Africa broadly defined, Pius thus summed up the role of his writings for posterity:


Yes, it is sarcastic. Ironic. Witty. That was Pius at his best. I am thus reminded of his intervention in a discussion sparked by my 'Not So Long a Letter to a Prodigal Son of Africa', a rejoinder to his article on 'The Prodigal Son' in The Zeleza Post. Pius responded:


Pius felt, rightly so, it was a given that any member of the USA Dialogue Africa Series and any similar virtual and physical space ought to, first and first foremost, work for the betterment of Africa(ns). That was not debatable. What was open for discussion are the approaches, for better or worse. He, therefore, elaborated:

 "The point is we have fundamental differences in terms of how we perspectivize contributions to the advancement of the continent. We are also debating how such philosophical differences affect or determine our conflicting understandings of African studies as epistemological proposition and institutional reality. Chambi and I are at antipodal points of these issues because, for him, African studies as epistemology and as institutional reality would appear to be tied to an inflexible idea of geography as destiny: inside good/outside bad, a most insipid Orwellian binary that has led him to the even more insipid assumption that the Africa of his understanding can only imagine narratives of the outsider as prodigal, never mind that the very text he is critiquing speaks of the lumping together as amoral flight of so many rich and diverse trajectories in the transnationalization of African academic labour. If, on the other hand, you believe that African studies as epistemology and institutional reality inhabits multiple loci and spaces of articulation that are not bounded by geography, it follows that agents in those spaces, local or outside, face institutional vicissitudes. The question then, Ken, is: is one set of vicissitudes worthier of enunciation than others? Are the institutional challenges you face as an Africanist in Michigan less equal than those you face in your classrooms in Yaounde and Dakar? Are you a moral, Africanist in Yaounde, an amoral Africanist in Michigan? When is an African classroom?"

One cannot help but say touché in hindsight. At that point I was so disillusioned by spatial location that seemed to limit the material and intellectual contribution of Africans who resided outside Africa's geographical boundaries. No matter how well-intentioned, it seemed to me, they had ontological and epistemological limits of having to engage with Africa from a faraway vantage point. It is thus not surprising that Pius took me to task when addressing his rhetorical questions on whether geographical locations matter: "These are the questions that nombrilistic and moralizing nativists like Chambi reframe malapropistically in terms of the obviously more formidable material conditions of the African classroom in Africa. But who the heck is arguing with the that?" Ouch!

Now, ten years after that exchange, I am seriously rethinking my apparent nativist position in regard to African scholars living in the Diaspora. It is possible, I am starting to be fully convinced, that one can reside far away from the continent geographically/physically and yet contribute meaningfully to the continent, materially and intellectually. The life of Pius is a testimony to that. The responses he received to his article under discussion exemplify this. He noted:

 "This, [is] a text that speaks of "many stories and numerous experiences" of diasporic African friends, colleagues, students, acquaintances gathered over the years. Were she to be able to read English, even my grandmother in the village would understand that the text in question self-fashions as a composite of all these different stories and experiences, hence the deluge of emails flooding my inbox from diasporic African readers of The Zeleza Post since that blog appeared there: "Dear Prof Adesanmi, thank you for telling my story in your Letter to an Old Flame..." Incidentally, the most moving of such testimonial emails came in from Chambi's Tanzania, authored by a good lady tired of having her Canadian trajectory criminalized every time she is in Tanzania. I hope she forgives my indiscretion because she is one of the numerous silent members of this listserv. Don't we teach our students not to swith into automatic mode and receive every African text as autobiography? Don't our friends in Francophone Africa teach their students not to instinctively establish une parfaite adequation entre la vie et l'oeuvre?"

Pius' conclusion to the debate is as damning to nativism as it is illuminating about appreciating the role of 'natives' who have either been forced or even opted to reside outside of Africa 'proper' due to various reasons yet work tirelessly for the continent and its people:


Since then deeper collaborative efforts between African scholars in the Diaspora and have been on the increase. For sure, they have their challenges some of which are born of the apparent animosity between their 'loci'. Nonetheless, overall, there is a clear indication that they are beneficial for what Pius has referred to as ameliorating Africa's material and developmental condition. In his case, he also became more and more involved in such mutual efforts. As his dear wife, Olumuyiwa Balogun-Adesanmi, reiterates, he "lived and died in service to Africa." Why, then, am I calling him the returned son of Africa? Simply because Pius was connecting even further with continental Africa as the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)'s tribute highlights:

"Though he does not formally appear in the registers of CODESRIA as a member until 2018, Pius’ intellectual work intersected with that of the Council. His convictions, his take on the politics of knowledge production, his interest in mentoring young academics and his expectation, indeed his demand for excellence, all reflect positions that the Council holds, cherishes and advances. It was therefore easy to convince Pius, at a meeting of Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program Advisory Council in Nairobi in March 2018 that he needed to engage the Council activities more. On the basis of such discussions, Pius was invited to the 15th General Assembly with the express task of observing the Assembly and submitting a critical piece on the proceedings. Pius was struck by a tension between the social sciences and the humanities at the Assembly and offered to support our work to enhance the interdisciplinary conversations he sensed the Council wanted to encourage. He was on course to submit this critical piece to a syndicated weekly column carried in four different papers. He also was on course to submit an expanded version of the piece for publication in the CODESRIA Bulletin when the hand of death robbed us of this rare privilege. Pius had also just accepted to support the Council as a resource person for the Meaning-Making Research Initiative (MRI) Methodology and Scholarly Workshop to be held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire from 1st to 5th April 2019. Additionally, he had accepted to be on the scientific team of advisors working with CODESRIA’s Carnegie Corporation of New York-funded programme on African Diaspora support to African Universities. The indefatigable worker, Pius had also just set up a new team that he was leading on a Carnegie-supported project on Higher Education. There is no doubt that the crash has robbed us of a young, energetic, boisterous colleague, one whose presence among us elevated us and bestowed a sense of direction to our work."

Boeing, why, why? Africa, why, why? God, why, why?

Yes, "Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God"!

Rest in Power Pius 'Payo' Adebola Adesanmi.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

CUF-Seif Kuhamia ACT:Maswali Mengi Kuliko Majibu

CUF-Maalim Seif Kuhamia ACT:Maswali Mengi Kuliko Majibu

Emmanuel Mohamed

Habari za Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad kutoka chama cha CUF kwenda ACT yawezekana ikachukuliwa kimazoea maana imeshakuwa kasumba kuwaona wanasiasa wakihama vyama. Isitoshe si mara ya kwanza kwa Maalim Seif kufukuzwa  katika chama kikubwa. Lakini tofauti ya Maalim Seif aliyefukuzwa CCM miaka ya 80 ambapo alilazimika kujenga vuguvugu lililokuja kuunda CUF ni tofauti na wa leo. Si haba leo anapohama huku tayari akiwa na uwanja mpana wa kuchagua chama cha kuhamia.

 Sasa ni kwa nini Maalim Seif na watu wengi waliokuwa wanachama wenzake wa CUF wanakata tanga la CUF na kupandisha tanga la ACT? Maalim Seif anatoka katika chama kikubwa chenye misingi na nidhamu ya chama na uzoefu wa kitasisi akihamia katika katika chama kidogo na kichanga. Wengine wanasema tembo kahamia kwenye kibanda. Kitasalimika? Pia wengine wanasema dodo limeokotwa kwenye mnazi. Litalika?

Nilisubiri kwa shauku kubwa kuona mapokeo yake leo pale kwenye ofisi za ACT na kumsikiliza kwa makini Maalim Seif; mosi, nikitamani aongea juu ya Muungano na hatima ya vyama vya siasa ili kujibu swali iwapo umefika wakati wa kutanua wigo wa siasa zake na wafuasi wake hadi bara? Pili, ili kujua ni kwa nini 'CUF-Maalim' ijiunge na ACT badala ya vyama vingine hasa chama kikubwa cha CHADEMA ambacho ilishirikiana nacho kupitia UKAWA kwenye uchaguzi wa mwaka 2015. Tatu, nilitaka kujua kama Maalim Seif ametoka CUF kama mtu au taasisi. Nne, kutaka kujua ACT itajiendesha kwa mfumo upi huko Zanzibar ambako ndipo medani kuu ya kisiasa ya Maalim Seif. Tano, nilitaka pia kujua ni jinsi gani ACT imejipanga kujihuisha kwenye baadhi maeneo ya Tanzania Bara ambayo, kihistoria, CUF imeota mizizi.

Ingawa maswali haya nilikuwa nayo kichwani, yalishabihiana kwa kiasi kikubwa na maswali kadhaa ya waandishi ya habari kwenye tukio la leo. 
Maalim Seif na Viongozi wa ACT walijaribu kuyajibu. Ufuatao ni muhtasari wangu wa baadhi ya maswali waliyoulizwa:

  Inasemekana umehamia ACT ili ugombee urais, je, ni kweli? Wafuasi wako wa CUF wanashusha na kuchoma bendera pamoja na kukwangua rangi majengo ofisi za CUF, huoni huo ni uharibifu? Huo msemo wa wafuasi wako wa 'ulipo tupo', hauoni unakuza siasa za mtu (personalities)? Ni nini maoni yako kuhusu siasa za taasisi (institutions)? Kwa nini baadhi ya wabunge hatuwaoni wakihama nawe? Pia inasemekana walikudekeza na kukufanya Sultani CUF, je, umejitayarisha na mazingira utakayokutana nayo ACT? Je, una lengo la kuuvunja Muungano toka moyoni?

Kama ilivyo ada, wanasiasa kutokuwa na majibu kamili siyo jambo la kushangaza. Lakini msikilizaji anaweza kudadavua maongezi yaliyojiri katika mapokezi hayo na hotuba zilizotolewa kupata majibu ya maswali. Majibu hayo yanaweza kuibua maswali zaidi.

Mwenyekiti wa ACT, Yeremia Maganja, alijibu swali la kwanza la kwa nini ACT kwa mkanganyiko mkubwa wa lugha na maudhui. Ila ukimsikiliza kwa utulivu mkubwa unaweza kukokotoa mambo makubwa matatu. Mosi, Mwenyekiti alisema chama cha ACT kinaongozwa na Maganja Doctrine ambayo ni mchanganyiko wa itikadi, kwa lengo la kutanua demokrasia na kuleta mabadiliko ya kuondoa ukandamizaji wa wananchi. Hivyo, ACT ambayo inajitanabahisha na siasa za ujamaa wa kati, inaweza kabisa kufunga mbeleko na siasa za uchumaji, kama lengo ni kuunda Tanzania yenye usawa. Ingawa huu ni mwanzo mzuri, maongezi ya kina yanahitajika kuoanisha itikadi zao. Ukizingatia kuwa hii ni mara ya kwanza kwa baadhi yetu kuisikia 
Maganja Doctrine nachelea kusema pengine ilikuwa ni jitihada ya ACT kujioanisha kiitikadi na kile ambacho CUF hupenda kujitanabahisha nacho sana, hasa hapo zamani, kama itikadi yake, yaani 'Utajirisho.' Hapa kilicho muhimu ni namna ambavyo Azimio la Tabora litatumika kuoanisha na kuiuza itikadi ya CUF/Utajirisho na ACT/Ujamaa katika uhuisho mpya wa ACT.

  Pia Mwenyekiti Maganja alisisitiza kuwa ujio wa CUF-Maalim umekuja wenyewe bila shurti. Suala hili lilikaziwa baadaye na Malim Seif aliposema ACT walituomba tuhamie kwao hatukuja. Ila tukafanya tathmini na mwisho tukaamua kuja Maneno ya Biblia kutoka kwenye sura ya 60 ya Kitabu cha Isaya mstari wa 22 nayo yalitumika kujenga hoja kuwa tukio hilo limetokea muda sahihi au mwafaka na kupelekea familia ndogo kuwa kubwa. Suala la kutafakari ni, je, muda sahihi ni muda gani hasa? Ni kipi hicho kimewezesha wanachama wa CUF kuhamia ACT sasa? Je, ni ugomvi wa CUF-Maalim na CUF-Lipumba tu? Au kuna masuala mengine nyuma ya pazia kuhusiana na mkono wa Chama-Dola, mtafaruku wa Chadema-Ukawa, na mchanyato wa Udini-Ukanda?

Kabla ya kuhitimiha hotuba yake, Mwenyekiti aliweka nadhiri akisema kuwa haki ambapo haipo, kwa pamoja tutapambana. Akitumia mfano wa jamii ya Wakurya, alitoa rai ya udugu wa ACT na CUF uwe ni wa kudumu. Alisema kuwa, kwao mkoani Mara watu huchanjiana, na kula damu, ili wadumu. Kiongozi wa Chama, Zitto Kabwe, alidhihirisha hili pale ambapo kadi za wanachama waanzilishi wa ACT, kama Profesa Kitila Mkumbo, waliokuwa wametoka zilipewa kwa wanachama wapya waliokuja kutoka CUF ambapo Maalim Seif alipata kadi nambari moja. Walipata kadi hizo zilizogombolewa kwa pesa na kulipiwa ada yenye fungamano la uwanachama wa miaka 10. Sasa mtu unabaki unajiuliza kwa nini umlipie mtu ada miaka 10? Je, hili lilikuwa ni suala la kuchangia chama na/au ishara ya kuonesha kuwa kiukweli huu ni muungano wa kitaasisi na kiungozi wa vyama viwili, hivyo, itarajiwe kuwa wanachama wapya watakuwa na nafasi za juu za uongozi katika ACT? Ama pia likuwa ni ishara ya kuwa watadumu muda mrefu?

Swali la kwa nini CUF-Maalim imejiunga na ACT lilijibiwa zaidi na Kiongozi wa Chama. Maalimu Seif na viongozi na wanasiasa waandamizi waliombatana nao, Zitto alisisitiza, wamejiunga ACT kutafuta namna ambavyo upinzani utaendeleza safari ya kudai haki na demokrasia katika Tanzania. Ukiwa kiongozi ulioko kwenye nyoyo za wananchi, alisema, hawawezi kukutupa. Zitto pia alitumia fursa hiyo kuzungumzia somo ambalo ambalo viongozi vijana wanalipata kutokana na uzoefu huo wa Maalim Seif wa kujenga imani kwa watu wanaokupa dhamana ya uongozi maana wao wana uwezo wa kufanya lolote ili kufika wanakotaka kufika.

Ni dhahiri pia kuwa suala la muungano mpana wa vyama vya upinzani lilikuwa vichwani mwao hasa ukizingatia kuwa uhamaji huo haujatokea katika muktadha wa UKAWA na pengine kupelekea hofu kwamba utakuwa kikwazo. Kwa mfano, Zitto alikishukuru CHADEMA kwa kuipongeza ACT kwa ujio huo wa CUF-Maalim. Kutokana na changamoto na mitihani ambayo vyama vinakutana navyo sasa hivi, alisisitiza, tunahitaji kushirikina kwa pamoja.

Maswali ya kujiuliza hapa, ni: Je, katika siasa za kutoaminiana ACT, imejipangaje kushirikiana na vyama vingine hasa katika muktadha huo ambapo Maalim Seif hakujiunga na washirika wake wakuu wa UKAWA, yaani, CHADEMA? Yale madai ya kuwa kumekuwa na jitihada, za kupangwa au kutopangwa, za kuikuza ACT na kuishusha CHADEMA ili kupunguza upinzani kwa CCM yatajibiwaje katika muktadha huu cha chama kidogo kuhuishwa ghafla katika kipindi cha kuelekewa Uchaguzi Mkuu wa 2020? Katika mazingira ambayo CUF ilijengewa wasifu hasi wa kuwa chama cha kidini kutokana na kuonekana kuwa kina wafuasi wengi zaidi wa dini mojawapo, je, ACT ambayo nayo inaonekana ina mwelekeo huo huo imejipangaje kujenga taswira ya chama kisicho cha kidini ama cha kikanda hasa pale kanda inapohusishwa na dini?

Inaonekana CUF-Maalim ilifanya uchambuzi wa kina kujua wajiunge na chama gani na naamini nao walijiuliza baadhi ya maswali hayo hapo juu yanayonitatiza. Ambacho ningependa kujua ni namna ambavyo watayajibu maswali kwa sera na vitendo. Kwa mfano, katika majibu yake leo Maalim Seif nilimsikia akisema:

Wachambuzi walisema pa kwenda ni ACT wazalendo – nawatoa wasiwasi wanachama wa ACT wazalendo. Tujue kwamba tuna jukumu kubwa kwa wananchi. Wamechoka hawajui waende wapi. Tumekuja kuonesha njia. Tumekuja kuongeza nguvu, siyo kuiteka kwa kushika nafasi ya uongozi. Watanzania wajue wanachoomba iwapo wakikiunga mkono tutaleta mabadiliko ya kisiasa na kiuchumi. Kutoa uhakika wa chakula, elimu, afya – ndio malengo ya wananchi wa bara na visiwani.

Huo wasiwasi wa kumezwa na/au ACT kuchukua zaidi taswira ya CUF-Maalim siyo jambo dogo. Ni suala ambalo ACT inapaswa kulishughulikia kwa umakini na stratejia ya hali ya juu. Pamoja na Maalim Seif kumsifia Zitto na viongozi/uongozi wake kwa kuwa na maono, ujasiri, na nidhamu ni ukweli usiopingika kuwa timu ya CUF-Maalim ndiyo ina uzoefu mkubwa wa kitaasisi katika hayo. Maalim Seif mwenyewe nilimsikia akilithibitisha hilo aliposema.

 Tulipokuwa CUF tulijitahidi kujenga taasisi. Ndio maana mimi naondoka nchini kwa miezi sita chama kinakwenda. Chama kina competent leaders. Tumekuja hapa kujenga taasisi. Wananchi wana mapenzi yao vile vile. Jiulize kwa nini wanipenda? Hajajikweza. Anybody is free to speak to Maalim Seif. Anatembelea watu katika vijiji vyao. Maalim ana-represent aspiration za watu. Niwe ndani au nje ya chama au serikali, nitaendelea kuwa na wananchi....Watu wanashusha tanga na wanapandisha tanga ili safari iendelee. Wanachama ndiyo rasilimali yetu. Ni chama masikini. Majengo siyo ya CUF tumekodishwa au kuazimwa.

Utaasisi wa CUF-Maalim unaweza kuwa mbaraka mkubwa kwa ACT. Lakini pia unaweza kuwa laana kubwa. Hivyo, changamoto ni kuhakikisha unakuwa ni mbaraka badala ya laana kwa kujenga chama ambacho taswira yake ya kitaasisi siyo wasifu tu wa ki-mtu na kidini wa mafahali wake wakuu wawili: Maalim Seif na Zitto.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Women and Men: Balance for Better?

Balance for Better?

Mwanahamisi 'Mishy' Singano


It's International Women’s Day (IWD) today, a big day for the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and governments across the world. So, let me start with a traditional salutation: Happy Women’s Day everybody! I know most of you are busy now, hosting IWD events, either in public or within your organizations, what an impressive achievement! 

But, for how long have we been celebrating International Women's Days? Over 100 years, right? Yes, this year it is the 108th IWD commemoration, to be precise. The question is, have we made progress worth the celebration? Are we actually using this day to reflect and strategize on practical steps to advance women's rights in our spaces as it is expected of us? Or it has somewhat become another Christmas and Eid for CSOs to host a public feast?

If you ask me, I will say, with confidence, that the International Women's Day is being used and abused by CSOs, who ought to be custodians. It's no longer a day to galvanize women around specific issues and press hard for action. Yes, it's no longer a day to put our feet down and demand the right to be heard and action taken. Surely, it is no longer a day to pledge for the changes we want to advance within us and outside us.

 It has become a day to eat fancy food, wear a nice new polo t-shirt, and giving women a new set of khanga and/or kitenge, without forgetting dancing to a famous Swahili song, ‘ wanawake na maendeleo, tufanye kazi tusonge mbeleeee’ or ‘malkia mwenzangu wa nguvuuuuu jasiri….” This is depressing to say the least.

Let’s consider for a moment this year's theme, ‘balance for better.’ How many CSOs are reflecting on how they could balance their organizations for better? I decided to speak to CSOs because, if we are not living the values we aspire, we got no moral authorities to demand them from anyone, including the government. And by CSOs, I don’t only refer to women's rights organizations, but the entire organized civil society community. 
To date, we still have many CSOs rejecting the basic concept that the neutral position is a male position. I am thunderstruck every time I hear learned brothers and leaders of organizations publicly saying, ‘this is neutral, there is nothing gender on this.” Really?

Do I really have to level with you about that? So, long as what you’re doing is consumed by, or affect (directly and indirectly), human beings, be it electoral policy or call for transparency in extractive industry contracts, there is everything gendered about it. I know you know this because all of you keep on singing, ‘men and women experience the world differently.’ Why, then, do you assume that there ought to be something called a ‘neutral position’ if men and women experience the world differently?

A neutral analysis or proposition equals a male-favored analysis or proposition. It is as simple as that. And you know what? Because of the so-called neutrality in what we do, we aid patriarchy to persist by consciously perpetuating the systematic exclusion of women across the board. If there is one thing CSOs have to stop in order to attain the balance for better’, then it is this lunacy of neutrality. Or, if CSOs dont want to query the patriarchy of neutrality, at least they should be open about it and say publicly, ‘we are men-focused organizations, so, we can all keep the records straight. 
I don’t know if, after all these years, we still need to have a national forum to discuss and debate if there is such thing as ‘gender issues’ and non-gender issues, or famously known as ‘technical issues.’ Honestly, you got to love men, the way they have mastered the art of packaging ‘their things’ to look so fancy and important. Its a known fact that CSOs are spending millions of money paying ‘male consultants’ to give ‘male positions’ on the so-called technical issues. When these organizations are pushed harder by gender activists and women s rights organizations, they often respond to them, with attitude, by saying, ‘you should have shared with us, that gender analysis.’ 

Let me break this down so you can understand my frustration. You  pay millions of money to men to come up with half-baked positions and analyses. Then you ask for a free gender analysis? Isn’t that first class exploitation of women by our very organizations which are supposed to embrace and advance our rights? 

I could go on and on, on everything we are doing wrong in the organized civil society community when it comes to advancing women’s right. But I intended this to be a blog post, not a policy paper. So, I present to you these punchlines, categorically:

  • If your organization is best known for ‘neutral’ analyses and propositions, you are not balancing for better.

  • If you major spending on consultancies goes to male consultants, you are not balancing for better.

  • If most of your procurement are to male-owned businesses, you are not balancing for better.

  • If women staffers are paid less than their male colleagues, you are not balancing for better.

  • If you have less women in leadership positions, you are not balancing for better.

  • If you only invite women to speak on ‘gender issues,’ you are not balancing for better.
As a womens right advocate and a feminist, it gives me no pleasure to consume all my energy for internal battles. We have the bigger war to win outside our organizations and you are not doing us a favor by continuing to nurture a patriarchal culture within civil society spaces. This holds us back. 

The fact that you have decided to dedicate your life in the organized civil society community means you believe in it and want to be part of the change for the better world. Then let me use this day to remind you that women makes more than half of the world population, are the majority of the poor, the most excluded, and thus at the periphery of the democratic and political spheres. Balancing our narratives, stories, policy analyses, research, resource use, and representation, will make our organizations and the world a better place for both women and men.
Happy Women’s Day!

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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