Saturday, 22 December 2012

Chadema Yateka jiji la Arusha, Lema asema Arusha ni kitovu cha mabadiliko Tanzania

Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo kimetoa rai kwamba Arusha ndio chimbuko la mabadiliko Tanzania. Mbunge aliyerudishwa baada ya kuenguliwa Godbless Lema amesema mwamko wa wananchi wa Arusha ni taswira kwamba wakati wa mapinduzi umefika. Mwaka wa 2013 umetajwa na viongozi wa Chadema kama ni mwaka wa kazi na hawatalala. Baada ya Lema kushinda kesi yake, viongozi wa Chadema wakizungumza kwenye hafla ya kumkaribisha Lema kwenye viwanja vya Kilombero, Arusha wamesema kwamba watazunguka nchi nzima kuwahamasisha wananchi kuhusu maovu ya CCM. 

Lema’s victory has championed Chadema’s ‘People Power’ mantra

Nicodemus Minde, Arusha
Jubilant celebrations echoed from Dar es Salaam to Arusha. The ecstatic celebrations were not only felt by the people of Arusha Urban Constituency of who were denied for almost two years their right to have an MP, but to everyone with progressive democratic ideals. Godbless Lema was reinstated as the Arusha Urban legislator by the Court of Appeal after a protracted legal battle stretching to almost two years. Lema had lost his seat after the High Court nullified his victory on grounds that he had engaged in election malpractices leading to his election in 2010. The charges were that he had used abusive language against his opponent Batilda Burhan which was interpreted to contravene the election code of ethics and regulations. The charge was seen by many as a political witch hunt aimed at dethroning Lema who had won on the opposition party Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) beating the ruling party Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM). 

Reading the judgment before the court, the Deputy Registrar for the court of Appeal, Elizabeth Mkwizu said that there was no evidence to show that the people who filed the petition against Lema were Arusha voters and did not possess any voter identity cards. The judgment by the Appeals Court has raised eyebrows on the exact motive behind the case. We should therefore critically examine the lessons from his acquittal and way forward.

The case has given Chadema more political currency

The progenitors or the masterminds behind the case must have miscalculated the outcome of the case. They put themselves in a political quagmire which in whatever way could have led to win-win situation for the opposition party. That is to mean that appellants which in this context are the legal counsel of the MP together with Chadema party and the people of Arusha town would have prevailed whatever the outcome. I argue this from the following theoretical points of departure. First, if in the unlikeliest event that the Appeals Court could have annulled Lema’s seat, then the people of his constituency either through a by election or mass protest could have reinstated him as their leader. Arusha, being a cosmopolitan constituency and with a wave of political awakening could have done what it takes to bring their man back. Secondly, pursuant to the verdict given by the Appeals Court to reinstate Lema is in itself a double victory. The verdict is a testament to the wheels of justice, which were served. The verdict is a hummer blow to the detractors of progress, the doomsayers of justice and the marauders of democracy and people power. It is rewarding that the evil forces have been defeated. Chadema and democracy has triumphed.

The way forward

Chadema party should now embrace itself for more political witch hunts and constant negative propaganda. This notwithstanding, Chadema should use this victory to spearhead change in Tanzania. The party has branded itself as an alternative choice to the people of Tanzania. The party has modeled itself as a crusader for political accountability by shaming corrupt government officials and institutions. The party has rallied people to shun leaders that are involved in grand corruption and economic malpractices. The party and the people with good will of Tanzania should now ready themselves for change that will inspire Tanzania to economic heights and prosperity. We can do it. God bless Tanzania. 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Political and Election Processes are about you!

Nicodemus Minde
Politics is critical ingredient of human society. Politics is the embodiment of human civilization and social progress. A polity can be a small association of human society such as the nuclear family, the extended family, the church, the workers unions and so on. Politics starts from such small associations to larger national politics. Political Science is the discipline that studies the nature of politics, the origins of political and human civilizations, political systems, and constitutional orders and so on. Political processes have been known world over as beacons for democratic transitions, constitutionalism, and the observance of the rule of law. But politics and political processes do more than steering the polity to ideals of good governance and democracy. 

A political process which is a lifelong exercise is a constant reminder to what has been done, what is been done and what should be done to steer economic and political prosperity. Election time is also an important phase in political systems. The election process which in developed democracies is a constitutional right is a time for reflection. A time to take stock of what the state has hitherto done in terms of uplifting the standards of its people. It is a time for the people to seat and reflect on their leaders, a time for the leaders to personally reflect on the successes thus far. 

Elections should not be taken as a time when politicians give promises. Elections should not be about the leaders. Elections are a national phase for reflection. It is a time when a people are reminded of their sovereignty. It is a time when people are filled with hope and expectation that they are integral proponents in the development of their country. And it is through this that they can resolve to determine their future by voting for leaders with their aspirations and not leaders with personal ambitions.   

Monday, 17 December 2012

Iran to send living creature into space

Via Press TV
Head of Iran’s Space Agency (ISA) Hamid Fazeli says the country plans to send a living organism into space on board the Pishgam (Pioneer) satellite carrier in the near future.

“Iran’s Space Agency (ISA) is fully prepared to send the Pishgam satellite carrier bearing a bio-capsule with a living creature,” Fazeli said Sunday.
He expressed hope that the Pishgam satellite carrier, previously known as the Kavoshgar 5 (Explorer 5), would “soon” be successfully launched into space carrying a monkey. Iran sent its first bio-capsule of living creatures into space in February 2010, using the indigenous Kavoshgar 3 carrier.

The country successfully launched its first indigenous data-processing satellite, Omid (Hope), into orbit in 2009. As part of a plan to develop its space program, Iran also successfully launched its second satellite, dubbed Rassad (Observation), into the earth's orbit in June 2011. Rassad's mission was to take images of the Earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to ground stations.

Iran also launched its domestically-built Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry) satellite into orbit in February 2012. The records made by the telecom, measurement and scientific satellite could be used in a wide range of fields. Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the United Nations' Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was set up in 1959.

Friday, 14 December 2012

US School shooting: Gunman shoots innocent kids

NYTimes: Multiple Fatalities Reported in Shooting at Connecticut Elementary School

The metamorphism of Political Parties in Africa: From Freedom Parties to Coalition Building

Political parties are an important vehicle for attaining political power. They are a crucial pillar for engineering democratic ideals and social progress in any polity. Historically, political parties have been associated with community mobilization with the aim of either advancing policy issues or addressing forms of inequality and to seek for inclusivity through popular will and representation. Political parties have echoed the voices of the voiceless, the poor, and the marginalized and more so, political parties have been used as avenues for social and political inclusion of the suppressed. Political science as a field has the discourse of political parties and association as one of its core areas of studies. Political parties have been used to pool together, to drive agendas, to call for respect of human rights, and as a form of a centralized platform to discuss national issues.

If there was anyone who was a student of political parties and wrote extensively about them, it was Lenin. Vladimir Lenin, the one-time ruler of the now defunct USSR dissected the theories and discourse of political parties many from the standpoint of class systems. As the great Kenyan scholar Anyang’ Nyong’o posits in his analysis of political parties: you cannot be a student of political parties without studying Lenin. A critical look at political parties, properly so called is the outcome or the offshoots of the Industrial Revolution. It was as a result of the decline of feudalism and the division of society into social classes under capitalism, that political parties emerged as major proponents in the political spheres. The dynamics of their formation cuts across many political systems from Germany, France, China and to the post-colonial societies.

My focus is the conceptualization of political parties in Africa. The evolution of political parties in Africa was an aggregation of social forces for the struggle for political independence. Though the formation of parties can be traced deeper than the aggregate demands for social inclusiveness, it should be noted that parties in Africa were mainly formed under the auspices for advancing community interest first. this notwithstanding, the parties later gained national outlook driven by the common denominator for political independence. They became avenues for seeking political freedoms. However, after the attainment of political kingdom as Kwame Nkrumah once put it, the freedom parties were used as mechanism for solidification of power. Multi partism was discouraged on grounds that it could polarize the society. 

The fall of the Berlin wall and the end to the Cold War witnessed the triumph of western democracy. A new world order as conceived by George Bush Sr. arose. Not to be left behind, Africa had to adapt to the new order and multi-party democracy sprang up. 

Multi-party democracy in fragile states can prove to be catastrophic. African countries have not yet matured to become democratic nations that respect the dictates and tenets of democracy that include aspects such as good governance, rule of law, human rights protection and promotion, inclusivity. It is still at a very elementary stage. Political parties are a crucial pillar for upholding these tenets. Africa is now witnessing a new conceptualization of political parties. Parties in Africa are now undergoing a political metamorphisis where parties are forming coalitions either before or after election. Post-election coalitions are as a result of competitive elections that hit an impasse and coalitions become necessary. We are now seeing a new dynamic of coalitions. Political parties are forming pre-election pacts so as to consolidate their strengths by pooling together. 

Despite all this, political parties should make sure they are driven by a vision and mission. This has to do with the ideology or what the party stands for in terms of substantial beliefs, methods of propelling the country to economic prosperity, provision of social services and so on. The parties should also adhere to globally accepted norms of representation in terms of gender, youth, agenda and policy formulation.