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.

No comments: