Friday, June 12, 2009

No one is going to Dodoma!

Many guys in Bongo are used to talk about Tanzania’s imaginary and unbuilt capital of Dodoma. They think that by some sort of miracle the capital will be transfer from Dar to Dom.

Well, let them think anyone is going to Dom. I know bloody well that no one who matters will be going to Dodoma. Let’s check out the facts on the ground. There once was a ministry of capital development. Now it has simply been wiped off the map.

Ask any government ruler if he really wants the government to shift. As usual he or she will hide under statements like: “We committed ourselves to shift the capital to Dom. I remember Mwalimu once said…” But watch his body language. He will be oozing a negative signs from every bit of his or her body.

Watch the infrastructure in the ‘capital’. The roads are a joke. Over the decades of this Dodoma ‘capital’ one would have expected an Arusha-Tunduma via Dodoma and Iringa highway. Another road would have been Dar/Dom to Tabora and eventually Mwanza.

But in our budget joke, double lane roads are to be rebuilt in Msata area where the prez and the minister of infrastructure, Dr. Shukuru Kawamba come from and Kilosa, where the finance minister comes from. That’s it!

The roads I saw in Dodoma while I was little and going to Mkwawa Hi in Iringa are almost still the same.

The streets in the Dodoma township itself are a laugh, the service industry non-existent. That is one area in our crumbling towns which we have done a great job of destroying. There used to be a department called Town Planning in our town halls, It has been abolished, I think.

Dar es Salaam is basically a slum. Few roads have been built, especially those leading to where the rulers live. The is hardly any water in Dar. I wonder if there is any water in Dodoma. You go to a guest-house and they bring you water in a plastic bucket.

A major difference is that Dar, while a mere slum, has attracted super-markets. The increasingly consumerised and emerging middle class will do anything to sabotage plans to move to Dodoma.

The only thing which is plentiful in Dodoma is nyama at Maili Mbili area in the environs of Dodoma. Oh, another thing which is plentiful in Dodoma. It is the dust. Now I don’t think that nyama choma and clouds of dust are reasons enough to transfer the capital to Dodoma.

Our benefactors, the US, the EU and anyone who matters have made their seats in Dar. The diplomats hardly look like they are in a hurry to shift to Dodoma.

Okay, one might say that presently we can see a bit of excitement from Dodoma as the Bunge is performing. When they leave the town goes back to sleep and eating nyama choma and beer.

It’s about time we Tanzanians cut this hypocrisy that we are going to transfer the capital Dodoma. You just cannot move the capital to the town when the entire government, plus the president, are holed up in the slum called Dar es Salaam!

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