Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shkamoo Mzee Kikwete

Ah so. Mzee Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal has bounced back as running mate of the incumbent president, Jack Mrisho Kikwete. Fine. Makes one think, who is he? The Mzee has been hovering in the background of the Zanzibar politics for ages.

One would have thought that he would have retired from Zanzibar politics and play with grandkids while sipping spiced tea. Not Mzee Bilal. He seemed to enjoy the political fray in the Isles. His opponents cursed him and most have wished that he would disappear in some forest in Zenj. But he would not go away.

He looks quite a spright old fellow and maybe he should stick around, laying foundation stones, opening dispensaries and having spiced teas. As you know, in most of our countries, these old guys never retire. PS and an assortment of civil servants can retire. Not politicians.

It reminds one 0f the late Mzee Deng-Tsiao Ping in Chinese politics of the mid-80. Father of China, the late Mao-Tse-Tung tried very much to oust this communist comrade, but Mzee Teng just would not go away. He eventually achieved power when Mao died. Now Mzee Teng is credited to the four modernizations which have made China a world power.

Old chaps can be quite handy in some places. They have a tendency to say ‘No’ and mean just that. Stubborn is the word. Teng Tsiao Ping stood up to the late Chairman Mao
To the chagrin of his boss and in the end he won with his neck intact on his shoulder.

In Bongo what we see is a bunch of psychophants who would agree with anything to please their boss. I hope Dr Bilal means it when he says that he will work diligently and obey the boss. I am sure in his age, he has come to realize that sometimes ‘working dilligently’ means saying ‘No’ to the boss. You see bosses all over the world always listen to what they want to hear and disregard the rest.

Most of us have never liked the scandals which have beset the outgoing government. Most of us are outraged with a sense of impunity by our rulers and no punishment for it. Is Dr Bilal going to look at Jack Mrisho in the eye and tell him, frankly, that this cannot go on? We hope so.

Oh, by the by, how will these two guys greet each when they meet at work? I find it hard to imagine Dr Bilal smiling sheepishly at his boss and saying: “Shkamoo, Mheshimiwa rais…”

I think they will resort to: “Assalam Aleykum.” Will be in order. Although The Prez, Jack is quite westernized and for the rest of us he does not mind a: “Hi Mr President…”

You see, why I am saying that, is because there are all those boot-lickers who grovel to power to the extent of embarrassing most other people. Something like: “Shkamoo mtukufu rais. Everything is ready mzee…”

Mzee? Surely Jack is not a mzee. He is middle-aged and to see old octogenarians address him as ‘mzee’ is liable to make us faint.
May we not discover oil

I am a born optimist, but I fail to tell myself that if Bongo were to tap oil tomorrow there is a bright future ahead us.

Our local press has been saying, incorrectly, of course, that if Tanzania discovers oil, then everything is going tot be roses and lovely things are going to come our way.

TV pictures of the oil spill caused by British Petroleum (BP) on TV, show horror stories by the mess created in the Gulf of Mexico in the US. People in tears because of ruined ways of lives. The BP has been forced to pay a tonne of money – and they will pay.

But why go to the US? Let’s look at our continent. What have the Africans who were blessed with oil have to say? Nigeria tapped oil 40 years ago and what have they to show for it? A constant civil war through religious and tribalism the, outrageous pollution, outrageous and unbelievable corruption which only Nigerians are capable of.

Gabon’s oil is owned by the former president Bongo’s family. Angola’s oil is owned by the Van Dunen clan which has been calling the shots, since the late first president Agustino Neto’s reign as president. The Nguemas in Guinea Bissau are milking their country’s wealth as if that is not their country. With such psychological types as an example in Bongo – who needs oil?

We are busy plundering what we have. We are constantly being bombarded that Tanzania is a resources rich country. We have the minerals; lovely fertile land, lakes and you name it.

But the next thing you hear is a load of rubbish and nonsense. That we have to tap nuclear power. That is? When we are pussyfooting with hydro-electric power? That? When were thumbing our noses at solar-power. Well, the US president, Barrack Hussein Obama has plans to start solar farms in the US.

When other people are getting sensible, our bums in suits are talking of nuclear power. The idea is to get uranium, send to France to be purified. Then bring it back to Bongo to fuel nuclear reactors for Tanzanians. Our bums, whom people say have been to school, think in such twisted manner.

They steal crude by the ship-loads in Nigeria and other African countries ‘blessed’. They are protected by the mafia law of ‘omerta’. Silence. We have such a law in our beloved Tanzania. We will be left with cavernous holes where our gold was, like Mwadui diamonds area.

Nigeria is slowly but surely being left with frightening pollution and poverty stricken peasants in the Niger Delta were the oil is being exploited. That is with a few crooks in government, most owning airlines and turning the country a free for all to rape.

One would have thought there would be legislature on the management of our natural resources. You see it’s criminal to have a system whereby one man can parcel off bits of a country in the name of ‘privatisation’.

They sold (or rather, gave away) the NBC in the ‘privatization’ How come the NMB had it shares floated and it went well? Jamani, even the Chinese are floating shares of a bank started by Chairman Mao Testing. They never sold it to one capitalist company?

So you want oil? Who is going to own it? BP or some of those big oil companies. What will Tanzanians get out of it? Remember, the people of the Niger Delta got fed up with the looting of their resources. Now they are fighting for it. Now it is a machine-gun galore.
Don’t let them fool you. It’s not that difficult running a country. The people want free, and decent, education. They want free, and decent medicare, and they want jobs aplenty not for anybody, but Tanzanians
Sangomas win in World Cup

The sporting world is holding its breath. Will Paul the octopus bestow the winning to Spain or Holland this evening?

All week European witches, and say the world over, have been watching what Paul does. Paul the octopus has been predicting the outcome of many a World Cup match – with devastating results. Paul has been predicting correctly.

The last prediction was yesterday. Nearly the entire world watched in awe as the octopus chose a box with the German flag. Which meant that Germany would triumph over Uruguay to get the number three winner in the world cup finals?

On Friday Paul the octopus said that Spain will triumph over Holland in the finals today. We are watching. But some have not been charitable with their comments on how the world should treat the sangomas.

Someone said that Paul should be ignored, roasted nice and tender and be served with potatoes and beer. Someone in Spain said if Spain loses then Paul should be served with a glass of chilled white wine.

With us in Bongo, I think we should not eat Paul. I know that locally octopuses are a delicacy in our coast. Having grown up in Dar es Salaam, I have been hearing things about octopuses. I hear octopus is an aphrodisiac. I hear that octopus stimulates the gonads, not unlike Viagra!

So if, Spain wins the World Cup, just don’t be surprised to see me enjoying a calamari soup platter sometimes next week. You enjoy that and next week you will be so hot that they will have call in the fire-fighting services to cool you down.

It was a sad in the tournament as sangomas in the word lost to great soccer nations through sheer skills. The Samba Boys from Brazil succumbed to a 2- 1 defeat from the Dutch. I hear that the Dutch had a secret anti-sangoma counter measures. – cheese. They poured melted cheese to all those Brazilian witchcraft, called Santeria, and they could not mesmerize them with their fancy footwork.

Then the witches of the entire African continent could not zap the Uruguayans from South American. Even a tacit nod from Mzee Nelson Mandela himself did not help.

What we need now is an All-African Witches Conference to consult and deliberate on what went wrong at the World Cup meet in Sausi. Was it the too much vuvuzela noise? Were the jabulani footballs just too modernized for Africans, or was it the weather?

Whatever happens today, I have now come realize that the sangoma is doing great in the lives of people, including sport all over the world. I don’t mind, as long as nobody gets hurt.
And the totos also rise?

After centuries of cutting of each others’ heads, the quartering of crooks, the Brits have been punishing and just general mayhem in the British Isles. Now those guys have decided to be more humane in their meting out punishment. Their last elections in which former prime minister Gordon David Brown lost to the liberal-dems and Conservatives coalition between David Cameron and David Clegg went on as smooth as fish and chips.

Not for the rest of us – especially the emerging democracies of the world. Electoral campaigning has been reduced to trading insults. I remember that enemy propaganda to opposition parties in Tanzania and most of Africa have been churning out silly stuff. Their favourite slime calling Mbatia gay. Now the head of CCJ is also being smeared as gay.

As if one’s sexual preferences matter to the rest o us. We hear a lot of hookers, hustlers and plain changudowas gallivanting in the corridors of all parties. Unless you are suffering from abysmal ignorance or are plain dumb you will never fail to notice them. Men will happily pimp their way up to gain a party post.

And now a new crop is coming out – sons and daughters. They also want to be in the fray. Not because for something just and noble. It’s the millions of unaccounted for, mostly filthy lucre in the ruling party which quickens their blood.

Their tactics are the same – one has been caught lying about his age and I am sure there are many more. Most have also lied about their educational background. Most political types abhor academic qualifications. Believe me to them it’s very profitable to be quick and fast with your mouth with than with your brain.

I hope our parties are taking into consideration some good looks too. Voters all over the world have decided that they don’t wan’t ogres and old men and women to cover their newsstands and TV. Look at Obama, in the US, David Cameron and Clegg in Britain. They want fresh faced youngish men – like me, for example. Even in Britain – after loosing through Gordon Brown the Labour Party is thinking of anointing much younger blood in the form of one of the Milliband brothers.

I hope that our parties, which are mostly full of political dinosaurs will appoint decent looking youngish totos, not necessarily sons and daughters of the stone age politicians. Never mind what is between their ears!