Tuesday, April 7, 2009


The joys of an MP

Most Tanzanians will be forgiven for thinking that most of our ‘honourables’ are seeking the higher ideal when they bundle themselves in suits and sit in Dodoma ready to make laws for us. But the majority of them are not there to serve the Tanzanian masses. They are there for the moola, money, pochi. Once you find yourself an MP, you can be rest assured that your chow and drink will be secured for the next five years. 

It’s the pochi thing which is the forefront of their minds. A fake PhD helps, of course. From the looks of it, the government is giving an encouraging nod to the fakers in our Bunge. This seems to be the trend of time. Few things are real in Tanzania . Fakes run supreme. But the pursuit of money is the real motivating factor for most of the Bunge guys to achieve that office. 

But to be fair to a few of them, some Bunge guys are real patriots and feel something for their country. They are honest guys although they seem to be swimming upriver.The vast majority are the pochi guys. I remember the late patriot, former Prime Minister Edward Moringe Sokoine, used to call them the goon squad. These guys would sit in the Bunge and enjoy a lengthy snooze. They would never support nor oppose anything. 

But, come the elections, they would come out of their snooze and claim to want to ‘serve’ the masses (read, serve their pockets!). But the wananchi are hitting back. A member of House of Reps in Zanzibar has just baulked at the demands from some of his constituents. One mwananchi demanded from the MP that he was marrying off his daughter. Would the MP kindly contribute ‘something’ for the wedding ceremony? The MP obliged. 

The MP had hardly had a bath when another call came. One of his constituents said he had a Maulid ceremony on a night next week. Would the MP, you know, contribute something? The MP reluctantly donated something while muttering unpleasantries. Then there was a call next day from an old buddy of the MP. He wanted to get himself another wife. So he wanted the MP to contribute to the dowry. The MP parted with some cash for the dowry. But was not before he privately lectured to his friend that footing bills for his constituents are not part of his job. 

The last straw was a few days later, when one of the constituents went to the MP to ask for a donation. You see the hapless mwananchi had an overflowing toilet. He wanted the MP to contribute ‘something’ to help unblock the overflowing loo The furious MP called a press conference instead. He lambasted his constituents that he could understand his peoples’ demands for dispensaries, and decent schools. But his job was definitely not to help guys to pick second and third wives and help unblock overflowing toilets! I wonder if he will win the general selections, some call elections, next year. 

Big thanks Dr Ngassa, Dr Haroub and Dr Nsajigwa!

I thought the ludicrous clamouring for fake doctorate degrees in our United Republic was confined to the Mainland only. No sir, the people of Zenj are also at it – big time. Everyone wants to adorn his or her name with a ‘Dakta’ from the universities of Kusadikika. It looks pretty. Just like having earrings on one’s ears. 

My spies in Zenj tell me that a PS in some ministry there has adorned himself with a ‘dakta’. His staff was not impressed. So he closed his office and roamed the entire islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. His message: “From now on, all Ministry of Education staff should call me ‘dakta’ or serious disciplinary measures are going to be taken!” he has ordered. 

My spooks tell me that, the staff, and especially in the education ministry, are gunning for the ‘dakta’ title like there is no tomorrow. Most of them are ex-Form 4. But they hate it. The real fun comes when you tell them to write a short speech in either Kiswahili or English. 

You got to have strong ribs when you go through that speech, otherwise you could end up dead with laughter. The ‘daktas’ we have can hardly spelltheir own names. Their only qualification 
is being staunch party members. But I am not surprised. This is because Bongo has long ignored merit. 

In my beloved motherland, mediocrity is king. People with heads so thick you can hardly drive a six-inch nail into them are the winners. They rule because they have the King’s ear. The dog of the king is the King of dogs, you know! 

One day we will wake up to be told that the United Republic of Tanzania does not belong to us. It will have been sold to a bunch of some 21st Century thieves called investors. They will subsequently fence it like in Rujewa District and then rent it to the Tanzanians for farming at a handsome rent. 

But Wednesday night I noticed the real guys who deserve the title ‘Dakta’. They were Dr(s) Mrisho Ngassa, Shadrack Nsajigwa and Nadir Haroub ‘Cannavaro’ of the Taifa Stars. I saw them with my very eyes when they clinched a well-deserved 1-Nil victory over Cote d’Ivoire. 

In that you saw hard work, skill, tenacity, stamina and grit. The diminutive Dr Ngassa’s goal was a classic, which warned my evening. The mental strength of the team under their Captain Shadrack Nsajigwa was evident that our boys (the real daktas) are growing in stature. 

Those are the real daktas that Tanzanians like to see. Not a bunch of guys with nothing above their shoulders, adorning themselves with some decorations to their names and pompously 
strutting around, blubbering a lot of words without actually saying anything. 

But come to think of it, if the empty heads want to decorate themselves to look pretty then we should let them. This is a democratic country. If men want to wear earrings and adorn themselves with henna or ‘dakta’ titles, then let them. But then, there ought to be a law on okaying fakes in the country!

Equality? What equality?

IN the anti-AIDS advert in the media, a guy called Fataki is busy trying to seduce a little girl for some hanky panky. At first it’s funny, but then later you start thinking – are men the only culprits in the love game? 

I certainly don’t think so. Having been a man all of my life, I think I know a thing or two about the game. One thing I am sure of is that women control the game all along. They check the scene out and when they are ready they pounce. 

Men all along think that they are the smart ones chasing the ka-chick. They will lie their heads off that they are what they are not. The smart women playing along and let the poor dude think that he is winning. In the end, the guy goes to his mates and brags that he has ‘gotten her’. 

The truth is that the guy has been had. He has been neutralised. Finished! Kaput! While most men are scratching their crotches and reading this column this morning, they might as well consider this, for starters. Oftentimes, I always insist that women treat men as walking wallets. 

When women sense that the guy is loaded with EPA monies they pounce on him. They wear those hypnotising eyes. The guy ends up looking like a poor dog glaring at a hungry python. Instead of running away the dog runs towards the snake and gets eaten. While the Fataki advert is about to some jibaba wanting to take advantage of ka-little chick, that is not the reality. Ask any man worth his gender and they will tell you that the deadliest seductresses are young bintis on the prowl. 

I know how dumb men can be. You offer her a drink at some place and before you can say ‘wallet’, she has already gotten his cell-phone number. Then God help you. 

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