Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pinda goes public on his poverty!

The national jaw has dropped on the utterances of the premier, Mizengo Peter Pinda. Eyebrows have soared to the stratosphere. Is he okay? I mean, how do you just declare your personal poverty to the media and say you own peanuts? There ought to be a commission of enquiry about this. How can a prime minister of Tanzania be so poor?

Premier Pinda has said that he owns three shacks, which he calls houses, in Dodoma, Sumbawanga and a room on a shamba somewhere around Pugu. The Sumbawanga shack is somewhere called Makanyagio, definitely not in the posh area of the town.

Now Makanyagio area must have been an abattoir or a place they used to sell beef leftovers, like boiled hooves, heads, entrails (utumbo) and such. There are such places in most towns in Bongo.

So the premier called his property houses. Presumably he has not seen the castles which have been built in Mikocheni area and the likes in Tanzania’s urban centers. Tasteless godowns adorned with luminous lights here and there portrayed as residential houses.

You look at those godowns and you wonder - do those couples want to play lawn-tennis indoors? How do they communicate, by using the latest intercom technology?

But you understand the psychology. If you come from a hole in the ground for a home, you will want to revenge. Once you get fisadi money, you build your personal Ikulu so that the world sees that now you are made.

That mindset is at the sub-conscious of many a head. Big house, big car, big bank account, and probably big mama, as well. But you get surprises amidst the looting frenzy we live in. Former premier Judge Joseph Warioba is one surprise. He is relatively modest.

Premier Pinda comes in mind. He has about 25, 000 dollars in his account. Basi? The prime minister of the United Republic of Tanzania has only that? Is he serious? There must be a catch somewhere!

I mean, for example, there is this $40 million deal to bring tractors from India. Normally, the premier would have found this Tanzanian ‘businessman’ and there already have been two of them at each others’ throats to clinch the deal. The ‘businessman’ would have had the necessary ‘qualifications’ like being of Indian origin. Black Tanzanians can’t be businessmen, they cannot trade. Maybe selling the odd mango this season.

Then the premier would have given the deal to the Asian businessman, with homes in Switzerland, Bombay and Ottawa partnered with mzee’s brother Then the Pindas would have been awarded with the usual 10 per cent commission of $4 million to be salted away in some off-shore account, somewhere far from the prying eyes of envious Tanzanians. Wivu tu!

But no. The Premier talks of giving the deal to the SUMA JKT and TPDF Nyumbu, to assemble the darn tractors in Tanzania. Odd fellow, this guy. I mean, why can’t he just be normal like everybody else, grab the 4 million dollars and run? I mean, nothing will happen!

But he says strange things: “I am very comfortable and would not use my position to enrich myself. I am very privileged because I am being fed, housed and all my other needs are taken care of by the State and even in retirement. I consider this a reward enough to dedicate my energy to serving the republic.”

Kick me if I am dreaming! I think quite a number of us wananchi will need a wallop in the butt. This can’t happen in today’s Bongo! He has had sense to realize that you cannot eat 20 roast chickens all by yourself at one sitting. Because that is called greed –which is most contemptible. Great. Do such types still exist in the United Republic of Tanzania?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

MP’s car suffers from hernia!

Ah, so, the juju election campaign is on, eh? At least that’s what Kilindi MP Beattie Shelukindo has said. She has been seeing red over matters superstitious. Seeing visions of people with broomsticks wearing pointed noses, and big eyes not dissimilar to mine (watch the picture) casting spells in her constituency in a plot to make her lose the October elections.

The MP, who says that she will never be swayed from her path of seeking re-election in Kilindi has said that she has been having encounters of an odd kind whenever she visited her area to meet the people.

It is believed that one morning last week her pet cat winked at her and made suggestive and salacious noises at her in the morning while she was having breakfast. She warned the cat that she was married, but the cat cheekily kept on winking and being naughty.

The CCM MP said she believed the antics were part of a wider campaign by her political rivals to unsettle her in the runner-up to the elections. Then came the turn of her car. She said it was not unusual for her car to stall or be involved in accidents whenever she visited the constituency.

Then she added: “I am amazed what is happening to me these days…whenever I plan a tour to the constituency, my car breaks down. For instance I was rushing to a public rally recently when my car broke down in mysterious circumstances. It must have been a car hernia.” she said.

“I boarded a bus which also broke down. The second bus that I boarded met a similar fate, and I was late for the important meeting.” She complained. This naturally un-nerved the law maker.

Presumably the juju guys cast their spells on the ladyship’s shangingi. Then added other evil sorcery devises which stalled the subsequent buses she had boarded, resulting into her missing an important meeting with her constituents.

Beattie Shelukindo is not the only one worried about the ways of the juju men. A lot of politicians are presently busy seeking the attentions of witch-doctors. Some serious money is being thrown in the juju game.

They say, if you need to be an MP you must have at least 100 million, or even more, salted away as bribes and all those sweeteners, I call them insults, for the voters.

But to have a juju man or two is normal procedure. Which is why Beattie Shelukindo is worried about foul play? Tanga is one of the regions where politicians are said to ‘invest’ in their futures in juju. It is an open secret that people hailing from Tanga would rather invest in Dar es Salaam or other areas in Tanzania than in their home region. Unless, of course, you have a formidable witch or two to ‘clear’ the route for you.

Right now my spies in Upare tell me that an MP, who is also a professor, has lost his juju man. I did not know the almighty juju man also die like the rest of us. Disappointingly the witch-doctor has died. The MP’s pressure is soaring to dizzy heights. It is said the man might easily explode with worries any time.

He fiercely believes that this is not for nothing, but the evil deeds of jujumen of rival camps who have done the professor’s juju man in. This is not normal juju technology. The professor swears that the juju man’s death has all the hallmarks of nano-technology.

Ostensibly, Mrs. Shelukindo does not believe in juju. But she baffled her voters when she appealed to the ‘witchdoctors’ to endorse her as she had done a lot to bring development in the area.

“It’s time we stopped believing in witchcraft. We should change our mindsets, and concentrate on development and education.” She said.

Indeed. One wonders why then, did she narrate her juju story if she does not believe in juju. And why has she herself not transformed her mindset in the first place?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Now... the Bill Ngeleja show!

I hear energy and minerals minister, Bill Ngeleja on Tuesday flipped at an ATM station in Dar and yelled profanities at the attendant, Pascal Mnaku.
His mistake? Pascal told ‘mzee’ that he should please give room to other people in the queue, who were waiting for their turn to draw some cash.

It seems that Bill was busy talking to a VIP (God?) on the phone and could not be disturbed while he was busy rapping on the phone in the ATM room.

That was enough insult to Bill, he started prancing like a champion boxer and threatening to annihilate the hapless watchman.

The minister then decided to offer the watchman his CV, just in case: “Do you know who I am?” he yelled. Then he started screaming unprintables at the poor fellow. Pascal says he was taken aback by this childish show of careless tantrum by a senior minister.

“I didn’t even know he was a minister. All I wanted him to do is ease him out of the ATM booth so that other people can use it. There was a long queue waiting while ‘mzee’ was busy speaking on his phone.” Said the tearful Pascal Mnaku.

You might think that this was a storm in a tea-cup and everyone might have quickly forgotten about it. Not, Bill. He made sure that Pascal Mnaku was hauled before him, like in some Kangaroo court, before him. He tried by atoning to his sins and offering to be Ngeleja’s campaign man, but ‘mzee’ was simply furious.

“I won’t forgive him until he gets a very stiff punishment!” yelled an outraged Bill Ngeleja to the terrified Ultimate Security bosses who had removed the watchman to the headquarters.

What the watchman, Pascal Mnaku is awaiting now is Bill’s wrath. What is the maximum penalty for the terrible offense of disturbing a minister who was in the very important job of talking to God while in an ATM booth?

Human rights activists have questioned the mental state of the minister, while at the time he was ranting at the watchman. He could have been exposed and indulged in too much of a joyous season, meaning that he could have had too much to drink and plenty to eat. These could have clouded his judgment and let lose traces of vanity common to those who find themselves in high government offices.
Impeccable legal observers are thinking of advising Bill Ngeleja not to forgive Pascal Mnaku’s heinous crime. But they have advised the minister to accept Pascal Mnaku’s offer to be his campaign manager in the Ngeleja campaign trail, which starts anytime now.
EU aid with strings attached

The head of the European Union to Tanzania, Ambassador Tim Clarke has read the riot act to the Tanzania government, saying that the EU will no longer bankroll the now openly rampant graft in the country.

I like that, and I think it has long been overdue. Watching events over the past years the government has been acting as if the warnings are a big joke. They EU will say that, wouldn’t they? Something to please their governments back home.

I just hope the Mr. Clarke, and the EU in general, mean what they say. He wondered “the rationale of providing such resources at a time when the local media is full of corruption scandals, alleged abuses of power, of grotesque wastage of public resources, of elitism and insufficient attention given to the plight of the poorest of the poor, of the disabled, of the most vulnerable parts of society.”

I hope the government thinks about this. Otherwise we, the wananchi, might think what is the point of the EU pouring millions of euros into Tanzania government coffers when the money is openly stolen and pocketed by the rulers with impunity while efforts to curb these crimes are hardly made. What’s the point of any aid at all?

I think, like any family, if some members of the group feel they are being short-changed by the minority, we have to start asking each other some pertinent questions. How much did we get in aid? How did we spend that money? Who spent it?

Otherwise Tanzanians might as well line up, everyone gets his cut and everybody gets on with it. What’s the point of getting 383 million euros to buy silly four-wheel vehicles for district commissioners? It’s a question of status conscious Tanzanians playing around with badly needed resources.

Chadema opposition leader, Dr Wilbrod Slaa has just accused the ruling CCM party for importing 200 vehicles without paying taxes. Fine. They hold the guns so they can’t and don’t feel the need to pay tax. But can anybody really say that not paying tax is a crime, when a brilliant example is shown by the government?

“The government’s fight against corruption is just a rhetorical smoke screen unless we see the main corruption cases prosecuted, particularly
the infamous Kagoda Agriculture Company of the EPA (external payment arrears) scandal,” Dr Slaa said.

“Tanzanians and development partners are being cheated . The government talks about fighting graft, but in real sense nothing is being done.” He declared.

We Tanzanians already know that. It seems Ambassador Tim Clarke has work to do to find out what he already suspects!
Zenj’s 10 year itch, again!

Now, what? Wags, including the CUF’s Foreign Affairs Director, Ismail Jussa have started thinking aloud with their mouths again. That there is need to allow the outgoing President Karume to consolidate peace initiatives in the Isles, so he thinks.

After deep deliberation I have started to wonder – it is a 10 itch which afflicts rulers in the Isles after that period which makes then come out kicking and screaming against retirement?

Just when the rest of the us citizenry were beginning to make a sigh of relief on the events in the Isles, then the likes Ismail Jussa opens up talk like” “There is nothing wrong in letting him )President Karume) finish what he has started.”

Who, in the name of the Almighty, has said that the coveted Union between Mainland Tanzania and the Isles, between the Late Mzee Karume and Mzee Nyerere has been finished?

We have constantly been at each others throats trying to survive and we are still on it. The people of people have been grumbling since Adam and Eye that for ages they have been treated as second class citizens. Some 50 years plus and both sides are far from satisfied with the Union. Should we call the founding fathers back?

The people of Tanzania had all but raised their arms in hopeless despair when lo, and Behold, out comes the Chairman of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council and waves an olive branch to CUF. President Karume and CUP boss Maalim Seif and put their heads together to talk shop, not blood.

President Karume unleashed a killer blow to opponents of the union between the Zanzibar Islands, by saying that anybody from the Islands can be a president of the Zanzibar.

The country and our friends abroad rejoiced and we all now look forward to a new chapter to the sister Islands. Hopefully no more, uncouth and savage behavior from a government purportedly claiming to be civilized and democratic.

Then, the like of Jussa comes and sneaks in a line about changing the constitution to allow the out-going President Karume to “let him finish what he has started.”

I can see it in my mind’s eye. From the way things, Jussa and his mates are onto a good thing (urojowise) as long as President Karume stays at the top for awhile. How long? Well for a while.

There is nothing wrong with that selfish thought, it’s very human. As long as I am in the gravy train, the president of Zanzibar can go on for awhile or, even forever.

I am afraid Bwana Jussa, should realize a country if built by the collective, through ups and downs. You find some with a flash of brilliance, like President Karume, and some just a bunch of nincompoops.

What the citizens should do it to grab fast the progressive ideas like the good sounds coming from Zenj. The progressive ideas spurred by outgoing President Amani Abeid Karume must be embraced and promoted by the all the peace loving le we all expire and become history, if at all. Posterity will finish the job of peaces not individuals.people of Tanzania.
Bwana Jussa, it is not about us, human beings. After a whi
Jihadhari na mamluki wa uandishi!

Nimeliona jambo hili linatokea mara kwa mara kukiwa na uchaguzi au kama kuna tukio ambalo limelitingisha taifa kama vile kujiuzulu kwa aliyekuwa waziri mkuu, Edward Lowassa na mawaaziri wawili. Naliona mwaka huu, linajirudia pole pole.

Jambo lenyewe ni kutokea kwa tabaka fulani katika fani yetu ya uandishi ya watu ambao huwezi kuwaita waandishi, bali mamluki wa fani hii.

Wakati wa uchaguzi uliopita wanasiasa waliajiri wazi wazi mamluki hao. Wao hawana maadili yo yote katika maisha yao. Wao wanachoabudu kiko katika madhabau (altar) ya fedha.

Watu kama hao watakupamba mpaka utaona kizinguzungu. Hawana aibu. Kama wewe ni jambazi lenye kuvaa suti, mamluki hao watasema wewe ni mkombozi na uishi milele, Amina!

Nakuwa wa kwanza kukubali kuwa wapo sana mamluki hao. Sasa hivi umetokea ujanja wa mamluki hao kutaka kuwakosha watu fulani waliotuibia mabilioni kuwa,eti, ni watu safi.

Kwanza mimi binafsi nashangaa kwa nini watuhumiwa hao wasichukuliwe hatua za kisheria? Nasema kila siku nchini hii mtu ukiiba kuku mmoja basi tunakuchoma na moto. Lakini ukiiba mabilioni – hapo sawa!

Mimi wala sitaupamba uhalifu huo mchafu na kuuita ufisadi. Nauita vile nilivyozoea – wizi! Mijizi imetuibia mabilioni, halafu sasa imeanza kupakaziana.

Tatizo la mwizi ni kusahau kuwa siku zake ni arubaini. Na jinsi ya kumpata mwizi ni kama ukitaka kumvua yule samaki wa baharini. Chuchunge.

Akiuma chambo wewe muongezee mshipi aende nao. Atakwenda weee-e-e! Akijua mambo shwari atameza chambo. Ndipo hapo utampata kwa ulaini.

We msomaji, unafikiria mambo hayo ya wizi baina ya viongozi tumeanza kutasikia leo? Wala! Tumeyasikia siku nyingi tu zilizopita. Lakini ukisema tu watu kama Mzee Kingunge Ngombale Mwiru wanakujia kama kifaru. Ushaidi uko wapi?

Mamluki wengine wanatafuta mambo ya ajabu kabisa. Ukabila.Eti akiwekwa mmasai mmoja hatiani basi kabila lake lote linaharibiwa jina na wengine kudhalilishwa. Utumbo mwingine huo. Hakuna kitu kibaya kama wapambe.

Wengine wanajidai kuwa wakati wa kuanza kampeni za uchaguzi nchini Tanzania hazijaanza. Wala msomaji asiamini madude hayo. Siku hizi kampani zinaanzishwa kila siku. Chini chini.

Unachotakiwa kufanya msomaji ni kuweza kusoma staili na mbinu tofauti wanazozitumia wanasiasa kufanikisha lengo hilo. Kwa sasa hivi mlengwa mkubwa ni yule mtu anayejiita mwandishi wa habari. Sisi wenyewe tunawajua. Wajomba hao wana njaa kali na wanasiasa wanawanunua wazi wazi.

Kimya kimywa tu unamuona bwana mdogo mmoja au kadada ghafla kanaanza kushabikia upuuzi wa fulani na kuuita habari. Nimeona Mbunge mmoja, yeye ni profesa, ghafla anashabikia mradi wa maji wa mjini Ilula, huko Iringa. Habari hiyo imetokea kwenye vijarida mtaani, kama mara tano hivi. Habari ile ile.

Mwanasiasa huyo ameisha mtia bwana maji wa Ilula jamba jamba, na kuuliza kwa nini maji hayatoki mjini Ilula. Jamaa amempa bwana maji siku 20 kueleza kwa nini Ilula iko kavu.

Swali ni kuwa, kwa nini sasa, kwa mbunge huyo kujifanya yeye ni bingwa wa kuleta maji mjini hapo. Mimi naona kama huo ni utani na kejeli kwa wananchi wa Ilula. Haya maji yanayoshinikizwa yatoke wakati huu yanatoka wapi? Ina maana kuanzia 2005 watu walikuwa hawajui maji mpaka alivyokuja mkuu na uchaguzi unaonekana huu umefika? Basi iko kazi.

Huku anakurupuka Waziri wa Utalii na Mali Asili, Shamsa Mwangunga amepiga marufuku safari za maofisa wake kusafiri kwenda nje kuzurura – wao wanaziita safari za kikazi. Eti kuendeleza utalii.

Kila mtu mwenye akili mzuri anajua kuwa sekta hiyo ya wizara ni ya wa wazururaji na watu wenye kwenda shopping kila siku. Sasa waziri huyo, baada ya kukaa kimya miaka, anasema amepiga marufuku safari hizo ambazo kwa msingi ni kudokoa fedha za walipa kodi. Hiyo ni danganya toto ya kila siku.

Mabilioni yemekuwa yanaliwa na maofisa wa serikali, na hata watu binafsi, kwa kusafiri nchi za nje. Huu mradi sasa umekuwa mkubwa kiasi ya kutia aibu. Lakini wao hawaoni hiyo. Sasa uchaguzi unakuja kila mjomba na anti wanajifanya nchi hii inawauma.

Shamsa hajatuambia lilicholotokea hasa hiko Loliondo, ambako waTanzania wa naonewa na kunyanyaswa na serikali yao. Shamsa hajasema wakoloni wa kiarabu wanaendeleaje na utawala wao wa sehemu kubwa kaskazini nchini Tanzania.

Nionavyo ni kuwa bado wabunge wengi hawana jipya la kusema na kwa watanzania wakati tukieleekea kwenye uchanguzi ujao mwezi Octoba. Wengi wa wapumbe wanasema hewa tupu. Wengi zaidi wanatayarisha shahada za PhD, juu ya kuwa kuwa wengi tumekubaliana kuwa hizo shahada ni hewa.

Lakini katika pumba nyingi unakuta watunga sheria wengine wanasema kunachowezekana kusikika. Napenda Mbunge Christopher ole Sendeka alivyowanyooshea wazazi wa Kiteto kidole kuwa yeyote atakaemzuia mtoto wa wa kike au yule ye yote yule,wa jimbo hilo la uchaguzi kutokwenda shule, astashitakiwa.

Sawa kabisa. Sheria hiyo ilikuwepo zamani na nilitegemea wabunge wangeivalia njuga sheria hiyo. Lakini naona wabunge wengu wako kwenye, kujenga U-dokta, na imaonyesha serikali nayo inanaafiki kuwepo kwa mafeki kibao kila mahala. Na huu ni mwanzo tu wa kasheshe itakavyokuwa mwaka huu.

Kuna hongo za kila siku katikakachuzi za nchini hapa. Sijui mwaka huu kutakua na nini kipya. Wasi wasi wangu ni kuwa sisi waTanzania tunaweza kufikitria kuwa hii nchi ni yetu, lakini mimi nina wasi wasi kuwa wajanja wanaweza wakawa wameiuza nchi hii zamani!
Number of people with BP rising. Why?

An Indian heart surgeon, Dr Pujar Suresh recently paid a tour to give a free check out the conditions of the hearts of 200 people in Dar. He did not like what he saw.

The result of their medical conditions did not make sexy reading at all. He blamed bad eating habits, especially in the big towns like Dar es Salaam. It’s an easy analysis, in cities, lives a guy called Fisadi Jones. The more money he gets, he ends up increasingly to be a victim of his mouth and chow.

Eating, almost anything expensive, is his definition of the good life. He hardly is aware that in treating his tummy like a garbage dump,
he is actually slowly but surely digging his grave with his teeth!

The consumerist habits of the middle class, now pitifully reduced to an eating zombie, is everywhere to see, especially during the just ended festive season. The kids are wrongly being brought up to believe that fun is about serious gorging and drinking. Therein lies happiness, they wrongly think.

A young man could risk losing his babe, if he suggests, that they go for a nice little walk, you know, loose themselves in town and have fun. That would be almost treasonable. Walk? Whom do you think she is, to be seen walking? You definitely are out!

So you don’t exercise, you don’t eat reasonably (I did not say a lot), you start getting all those problems. I remember being taught that walking to school is actually good for the little fellas. Today if you tell couples, who have just entered the ‘rat race’ to walk, they could lynch you.

How dare you suggest that their little er…Fifi, walk two miles to her nursery school? Oh, our grand kiddies even have grand names too. I know a Maxine (Mhehe) Fifi (Mdengereko) and Junior (Mhaya) and Rihana (Mfipa).

One day I asked my lovely daughter (whose name is classified) why she had a funny name for her kid. She looked at me straight in the eye and said; “Because the names you gave us are not computer friendly, dad.”

Which means that the modern parents are at the mercy of Bill and Melinda Gates? I am sure shortly when you buy a laptop there will be a large file for names. We could have names like Pixie Frou Frou, after the girl’s dog. The name of the town the kid was conceived like Paris Hilton after the daughter of the hotel magnate. Or, Brooklyn, one of David Beckman’s little boys.

It’s normal to be a copycat. Now you are an African American, until you grow to find out few African Americans give a damn about Africa. You could ape David Bekham and name you baby after the name of the town baby was conceived.

Say, two partners could have a quickie while spending a night at Mpwapwa or Kintinku in Dodoma Region. Say the dad is called Balyorugolu. Their baby could end up being called Kintinku Balyoluguru. Or Mpwapwa Kasusura? You see,Mpwapwa is not exactly Paris.

I don ‘t know if those names will wash. I mean a guy like me – Lusekelo and end up with a kid conceived in Kisiju. Kisiju Lusekelo or Lusekelo Kisiju?

Hang on – let’s zoom back to what causes all those unhealthy pressures and the healthy life. I think it could be partly what we throw into our bodies, and partly the joining of the rat race. You see it every day. Just observe carefully. (Watch this space) The truth is you cannot be everything at the same time!