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?

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