Friday, August 30, 2013

Tanzania asks Museveni to mediate in row with Rwanda

Tanzania has asked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to mediate in its spat with Rwanda.

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda made the revelation in Dodoma yesterday when responding to a question by the Leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament, Mr Freeman Mbowe.

Mr Mbowe, who is also the Hai MP, wanted to know what was being done to normalise relations between the two East African Community (EAC) member states.

He said Rwanda had apparently convinced other EAC member states to sideline Tanzania.

Mr Mbowe asked the government to clearly state its position and measures being taken to address the situation.

Mr Pinda told Parliament that President Kikwete had sought President Museveni’s mediation to prevent relations from deteriorating further. “It is our hope that wisdom will prevail and this issue will be solved amicably…if these efforts will not bear fruit, we shall consider another course of action, but we are committed to resolving this peacefully,” he said.

But Mr Pinda accused Rwanda of overreacting, saying Tanzania had no reason to differ with its neighbour. He added, however, that Tanzania does not believe that it is being sidelined from EAC matters as a result of its strained relations with Rwanda.

There was no official EAC engagements from which Tanzania had been sidelined, the PM said.

Mr Pinda reiterated that President Kikwete made it clear in his latest end-of-the-month speech that Tanzania had no intention of entering into conflict with Rwanda.

“And let me emphasise that as far as Tanzania is concerned, we have no problem with Rwanda. But listening to what Rwandan leaders are saying, it is obvious that they are still not happy with President Kikwete’s suggestion that they should talk to rebels as a way of bringing lasting peace to Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region.

“The way Rwanda reacted to the suggestion is not proper. Rwanda could have turned down the advice and no one would have had a problem with that,” Mr Pinda said.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries began to sour in May when President Kikwete urged Rwanda to engage FDRL rebels in talks. He made the suggestion during a meeting of Great Lakes Region countries, which met on the sidelines of the Africa Union Summit in Addis Ababa in May.

“Politics is lobbying…our partners are doing things which were supposed to involve all EAC states like the use of our ports, but they have not been inviting Tanzania” Freeman Mbowe, Leader of the Official Opposition 

But Mr Kagame rejected the advice, saying there was no way his government was going to sit with groups that were responsible for the 1994 genocide in which more than 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis, were killed.

Mr Pinda said there was no need for Rwanda to react in such a manner if it felt the suggestion was not in its best interests.

In his supplementary question, Mr Mbowe said it seemed that Rwanda had lobbied Uganda and Kenya, which were siding with it at Tanzania’s expense.

“Politics is lobbying…our partners are doing things which were supposed to involve all EAC states like the use of our ports, but they have not been inviting Tanzania to such events,” he said.

He said a push at the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) in Arusha to have Eala sittings rotate among the five member states showed that the rest of the EAC member states had ganged up against Tanzania.

He urged the government to form a team which would look into the issue and determine the way forward.

But Mr Pinda said there was no need to take such action.

The revelation that Tanzania had asked for President Museveni’s intervention came a few days after EAC Secretary-General Richard Sezibera said the two countries were engaged in behind-the-scenes efforts to normalise relations.

Let hoopla not deter our relations with Rwandese

The going between Tanzania and Rwanda has not been cosy as it used to be before President Jakaya Kikwete’s attempt to counsel the neighbouring country.

President Kikwete advised Rwanda to consider going to the negotiation table with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels for peace talks.

Alas, we have witnessed verbal attacks and misplaced interpretations of the advice between the sister countries since then. For instance, President Kikwete told the nation in good faith that our borders are secure and the government is determined to maintain the situation when addressing the Heroes Day.

The media, unfortunately including the local ones, construed it to target Rwanda and Malawi following their misunderstandings with Tanzania. The media took Mr Kikwete’s statement as a declaration that Tanzania was ready and capable of waging a full-fledged war against both countries if need arises.

While Mr Kikwete was still in his routine visit of Kagera, he ordered a clean-up of aliens in the region as well as in the neighbouring Geita and Kigoma regions.

The Rwandan media took the directive as Tanzania’s attempt to retaliate against Rwanda leader’s refusal to buy President Kikwete’s advice.

We learnt how Rwandans took issue with President Kikwete’s directive through the media. Some leaders in Rwanda implied that the repatriation of illegal immigrants targeted their country’s nationals living in Tanzania.

Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda striking a deal which singles out Mombasa as the landlocked country’s sole port rubbed salt into the wound. The local media implied that the move was  Rwanda’s attempt to punish Tanzania by isolating its strategic neighbour economically.

And the way some Rwandan media outlets are ridiculing President Kikwete has been getting on the nerves of many Tanzanians lately. The media outlets are quoting some of the Rwandan leaders as using a derogatory language against President Kikwete.

In fact, whatever any of the leaders of one of the two countries at loggerheads utters or does gets a different connotation altogether in another country.

Leaders, particularly those of Rwanda, cannot escape the blame for taking President Kikwete’s advice out of proportion. Their response to him was, in the first place, uncalled for.

If they were not contented with what the Tanzanian President had asked them to do, they could have ignored it.  Neither President Kikwete nor Tanzanians would have harboured a grudge for turning down an advice which attracts both affirmative action and a negative response as well.

Besides the leaders, equally to blame for inflaming the sour relations are the journalists and their media houses. The media stand is worsening instead of helping the situation, for some of the outlets fail to observe their gatekeeping role and carry politicians’ comments without gauging their implications.

The journalists and their media houses are committing this grave mistake in the backdrop of untold suffering their colleagues caused to innocent people elsewhere. And Rwanda is a living example of irresponsible journalism in fanning the 1994 genocide. 

Whatever stance one takes in this war of words, Rwanda and Tanzania still need one another.  Being a land locked country; Rwanda needs an outlet to the sea just as Tanzania needs someone to provide with the port services to.

Journalists and politicians will be deceiving themselves to think they will be immune once the verbal fire flares up. If they will not be among the victims themselves, their close relatives will be.

CCM: We’re Searching for Union panacea

What does Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) need the most from the new constitution? A two-government Union structure might be top on the ruling party’s shopping list.

CCM has all along resisted yielding to public pressure on this along with several other issues such as the dual citizenship and public leaders’ ethics.

And so the CCM three-day institutional constitutional forum has, among others, resolved to stick to its gun about the Union structure.

This is despite a considerable number of Tanzanians attributing misgivings surrounding the 1964 blending of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in the existing structure.

The ruling party’s support to the two-tier Union remains unwavering mainly because it believes it has the capacity to improve it.

When asked why the ruling party prefers the status quo, Ideology and Publicity secretary Nape Nnauye told the Political Platform that CCM had finally found a panacea for the Union hiccups.

“We’ve analysed the Union’s wellbeing and realised that few issues make it unpopular. If we iron them out, the present Union structure will work wonders for us all,” Nnauye said on the sidelines of the CCM top organs meetings.

He said CCM was finding a lasting solution for getting rid of the deterrents for the two-tier Union structure to operate effectively, promising to disclose the panacea after the submissions. “Once we address these few bottlenecks, everyone will admit that the two-government Union is not bad at all,” he stressed.

The Union structure has placed CCM between a rock and hard surface after the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) proposal to depart from the status quo to a federal government structure.

The ruling party’s national chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, gave members ample time to debate on the issue of national importance.

Mr Nnauye said CCM wanted members to come up with strong proposals during the two-day forum. To ensure each article of the draft constitution was scrutinised and debated extensively, the forum had to be extended for one day.

“We don’t want to overstep any section of the first draft constitution,” Mr Nnauye said in response to journalists who wanted to know why the forum had taken more than the scheduled time to conclude its business. Although there were some feeble dissenting voices during the closed door meeting, reports said the two-government Union structure was from the outset known that it will be there to stay.

Other issues

Mr Nnauye said the meeting wanted to come up with resolutions which would form a strong constitution for the nation. Some of the contentious issues which preoccupied the delegates, according to him, were on national ethics.

“Everyone would like to see national ethos guiding our dealings as leaders and individuals,” he said.

“Although the current Constitution is furnished with the ethics clause, the focus of CCM is on articulating and strengthening it,” Mr Nnauye said.

The dual citizenship, which has remained contentious for years now, also consumed the delegates time.

President Kikwete and the Foreign minister, Mr Bernard Membe, have been supporting debate and process which would see Tanzanians holding citizenship of another country without losing their nationality.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hotuba ya Mwalimu Nyerere Kilimanjaro Hotel - 1

Hotuba ya Mwalimu Nyerere Kilimanjaro Hotel - 2

SerikaliSerikali isiwachochee wanaofanya uchochezi

Watanzania wengi wameshitushwa na kujeruhiwa kwa katibu wa Jumuiya na Taasisi za Kiislamu nchini, Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda huko Morogoro. Sheikh Ponda alijeruhiwa katika tukio lililohusisha askari polisi ambao wanasema walikuwa na lengo la kumkamata baada ya kiongozi huyo wa Waislamu kumaliza kuhutubia mkusanyiko wa Baraza la Iddi.

Happy birthday to me

Natimiza miaka 44 leo, si umri mdogo hasa ukizingatia aina ya maisha ya sisi wa dunia ya tatu. Wakati nikiungana nanyi kujitakia siku njema, naomba nanyi muungane name katika tafakuri yangu ya siku hii.  Naitumia siku hii kujihoji na naomba na ninyi mjihoji; what has been the purpose of your life? Why am I still alive today? Why I am where I am and why am I doing what I do? Oh, did I hear someone yelling how old I am? Well, not very old, only turning 44 today. That age is not very much old because if life starts at 40, then, I am only four years into life. I hope you have a fine day today

Kwa nini - Rose Mhando gospel

nyerere 20%

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One day the state will be ignored in genuine terrorism cases

There is a tale of a villager who used to cheat his neighbours. This villager had developed a habit of crying for help, pretending that a leopard had invaded him. His fellow villagers rushed to his rescue only to see him laughing at them. The ordeal went on for sometime, prompting his fellow villagers to ignore his calls, believing he was just kidding.
Alas, he was farming one day when a real leopard attacked him. His calls for help went unanswered, not because his neighbours did not hear him, but rather because they believed he was making a fool of them.
The government has filed terrorism charges against Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) cadres twice now, but the High Court has been dismissing them. The court noted that the charges in both cases were immaterial.
The High Court Dar es Salaam chapter was the first to dismiss terrorism charges against Chadema director of security Wilfred Lwakatare and Joseph Ludovick, also the party’s cadre. The duo were arraigned after a You Tube video showed Lwakatare plotting to harm a journalist. Lwakatare and Ludovick are now facing trivial charges of plotting to harm the journalist following the court acquitting them of the terrorism counts.
The High Court Tabora chapter last week dismissed other terrorism charges against several members of the main opposition party. The charges were filed in relation to an incident relating to the 2010 Igunga by-election. A CCM member was reportedly splashed with acidic substance on the face, causing him grievous body harm. A judge, who presided over the case, dismissed the charges once again. He cautioned offices of the Attorney General (AG) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) over the growing trend of plotting terrorism charges against politicians.
Terrorism is not a light matter, stressed the judge, urging the State to file such charges while knowing exactly what it is doing. Indeed, terrorism is at the centre stage of the global fight against crime.
It is very serious such that in some places when something is being related to terrorism, its repercussions are dear. As the judge rightly warned, it seems the authorities are abusing the terrorism law. Worse still, it seems that the law is being employed politically. All the two terrorism cases were filed against Chadema leaders at the time when some Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) leaders have been busy using political stages to make people believe that Chadema was a terrorist party.
 This puts to question the ability of experts in the DPP ‘s Office to interpret the law and frame charges against people, notably politicians, in relation to the evidence they receive from the detectives investigating the allegations. The decision by DPP to pronounce null and void terrorism charges against opposition politicians at a time when some of the ruling party cadres have been preaching about terrorism of that particular opposition party, leaves a lot to be desired.
The DPP’s Office might have filed the charges basing on the evidence at hand, but it will require a great deal of convincing that the charges were not related to the accusations by the ruling party cadres. If the DPP’s office has been playing to the whims of the ruling party, it should know that it risks being equated with the above village man who used to cheat his colleagues about leopard attacks. It will not take long before people start to ignore any DPP charges on terrorism against anyone.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Long time

It has been long time since I did anything in this space. that was due to unavoidable circumstances. But now I have sorted a number of things and I planning to return in full force and keep you informed. I hope that you will forgive me for what happened and join me as we loom forward.
Karibuni sana

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hotuba ya Rais Kikwete ya Mwaka Mpya



Ndugu Wananchi;
Kama ilivyo ada naomba nianze kwa kumshukuru Mwenyezi Mungu kwa kutujaalia uhai na kutuwezesha kufika siku ya leo ya kuuaga mwaka 2009 na kuukaribisha mwaka 2010. Wapo wenzetu wengi tulioanza nao mwaka lakini hawakujaaliwa kuwa nasi siku hii ya leo kwa kuwa wametutangulia mbele ya haki. Tunamuomba Mwenyezi Mungu awape mapumziko mema. Kwa wenzetu wanaougua tuwaombee awape nafuu ya haraka ili waendelee kutoa mchango wao katika maendeleo yao, jamii zao na taifa zima kwa jumla. Aidha, tuendelee kuomba rehema za Mola wetu atujaalie afya njema na umri mrefu ili tuweze kuushuhudia mwaka wote wa 2010 na miaka mingine mingi ijayo.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kawawa afariki

Mzee rashid Kawawa amefariki leo majira ya saa 3.20 katika Hospital ya Taifa ya Muhimbili kutokana na matatizo ya figo na moyo. Alifikishwa hospitali hapo jana kutoka hospital ya usalama wa taifa uiliyopo Kijitonyama ambako asubuhi alikuwa amekwenda kufanyiwa check up ya malaria kabla hajasafiri. Ilikuwa ni kawaida yake kucheck afya kabla ya kusafiri.
Alipopimwa alionekana hana malaria na akaruhusiwa kurudi nyumbani. Lakini wakati wakiwa njuia, hali yake ilibadilika ghafla na akaishiwa nguvu. wakaamua kurudisha tena hospitali ambako vipimo vilionyesha kuwa kiwango cha sukari kilikuwa chini sana, karibu na sifuri.
Akakimbizwa Muhimbili ambako vipimo zaidi vilionyesha kuwa figo zake zote mbili zilikuwa zinmeacha kufanya kazi.
Aliongezewa kiwango cha sukari na hali yake ikatengemaa. Lakini asubuhi ya leo, kama saa 12 hivi, moyo nao ukaacha kufanya kazi. Madaktari walifanya jitihada za kuuamsha lakini ulikuwa ukiamka na kufanya kazi kwa muda na kisha kuacha tena kufanya kazi hadi saa 3.20 alipofariki.
Taratibu za mazishi zinafanywa kwa pamoja baina ya serikali na familia. rais Kikwete ametangaz wiki moja ya maombolezo ya kitaifa

Afya ya Mzee Kawawa

Afya ya waziri Mkuu wa zamani na mwanasiasa mkongwe nchini, Mzee Rashid Mfaume Kawawa, bado si ya kuridhisha na amelazwa katika chumba cha wagonjwa mahututi (ICU) katika Hospitali ya Taifa ya Muhimbili.
Jana jioni ziliibuka habari za kutatanisha kutokana na uvumi kuwa Mzee Kawawa alikuwa amefariki dunia. Ukweli ni kuwa bado yuko mzima ingawa hali yake kiafya si njema sana.
Tuendelee kumuombea Simba wa Vita huyu arejee katika hali yake nzuri kwa sababu bado taifa linamuhitaji sana

We need more than a new law

It's just a matter of hours before clock ticks to 2010. It is a year which Tanzanians are obliged to make crucial decisions that will live with them for the next five years.

It is known that towards the end of 2010, Tanzanians will be required to elect their head of state, parliamentarians and councillors.

To make sure that next year's General Election is free and fair, the National Electoral Commission (NEC), has already started preparations. It plans to introduce several changes to improve the exercise.

For its part, the Government has also planned several changes, one of which is the introduction of the Election Financing Act 2009.

Basically, the law, whose draft bill was published last week in several newspapers for general public to peruse, seek to put in place provisions on how parties and candidates could seek and utilise funds for election campaign.

There is no doubt that laws and regulations are some of instruments which could be used to ensure free and fair elections.

Nevertheless, these are not enough in themselves to guarantee free and fair elections. This is because fairness and freedom of people to elect people of their liking entails many things.

For one, there is a need to ensure that the body charged with the responsibility of overseeing election issues, is respectable.

For years, political parties, especially from the opposition and other stakeholders, have questioned the independence of our election body.

NEC might be independent as its managers claim it to be. But the persistence by some stakeholders in questioning the same, puts NEC credibility at cross roads.

Because the Government has seen it better to have a law which will make the elections more effective, there is also a need to address the sentiments by the opposition parties on the partiality of NEC.

For, if the Government aspires to make the elections more effective, overhauling the laws alone will not make a big difference if the stakeholders do not trust the body which manage the elections.