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Showing posts from 2014

#WeddingDiaries : Wedding Off

Scheduled to meet Gupta, my suit designer at Sarit Centre, Nairobi. Heated argument with my fiancée. She walks away from me but later says am the one who has walked away from her. Writing thus blog entry from Text Book Center. Feel so low. A Christmas band plays carols outside.  Nairobi people shopping and eating out. The festive season is alive in Nairobi. Thinking of getting Martin Meredith's book 'The Fortunes of Africa '. Feeling sad. I pray for strength. God hear me. I love you. I sent this message to Joan :     Am sorry I've not been the perfect person you envisioned. Forgive me for everything I've ever done to you. Find it in your heart to forgive me. My dear, am on my way to Arusha. Kindly send my stuff by shuttle tomorrow morning. It has been very difficult for me but my dear know that I will always love you. Her responses:Ni sawa my dear. God bless you abundantly.. Na ufanyiwe unavyo nifanyia... If u want to call off the wedding... Call my uncles n everyo…

Kikwete must sack corrupt ministers to prove his credibility

JAKAYA KIKWETE’S tenure as president comes to an end next year. President Kikwete has many international admirers and has received adulation from the major Western democracies. As president, Kikwete twice hosted two US presidents – George W. Bush in 2008 and Barack Obama in July 2013. With many branding him the “darling of the West,” Kikwete in March 2013 received the Chinese president Xi Jinping, demonstrating to the world Tanzania’s non-alignment foreign policy.  Although many interpreted the US and Chinese presidents’ visits as competition for Tanzania’s natural resources, it was a diplomatic victory for Tanzania. Kikwete scooped the Most Impactful Leader in Africa Prize in April 2013 and in July 2014 the Icon of Democracy Award. With the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Good Governance in Africa failing to get a winner this year, many have predicted that President Kikwete will win it when he retires. Despite the international accolades, President Kikwete has faced myriad challenges at home. Ma…

#Tanzania: A Sleeping Lion Awakes

The November issue of Guardian Report looks at Tanzania rising fortunes. As a stable country politically, Tanzania is seen by many as the next frontier in the East African region. Endowed with an array of mineral resources, excellent weather, magnificent tourist destinations among many other things, Tanzania's political stability has seen a huge attraction to foreign investors and direct investments in areas of mineral exploration, banking and finance, tourism and in many other commercial deals. The Guardian in an exclusive report looks at Tanzania-UK relations, tourism and speaks to key stakeholders to Tanzania's increasing fortunes. There is a Q&A with Tanzania's Finance Minister Saada Mkuya where she highlights among other things the government's efforts to increase capital access to SMEs, Tanzania's GDP growth and bridging the gap in people's access to credit and integration to the banking industry.
Further analysis is done in Tanzania's tourism se…

#Poem: What Truth?

What truth? The idea of justice. Truly utopian Masses concerned, quizzing and reflecting Colloquialism Engaging, calling, texting, many vibrant.. Soliloquy In the end they will prevail You're left groaning - they laugh All the way into the bank and the ballot Triumphantly they dance, ironically you join in And life goes on The truth  

Lessons for Tanzanians? The Day Burkinabe People Recovered Their Voice

Here is an interesting article I came across this morning. As a keen follower of African politics, I was pleased to see the dethroning of an autocrat in Burkina Faso. The people of Burkina Faso without Western persuasion said enough is enough. The longtime dictator Blaise Compaore was forced out. Compaore had overthrown Thomas Sankara in a military coup in October 15, 1987. Compaore was trying to change the constitution and extending his reign. The article by Amy Niang examines how the people of Burkina Faso recovered their voices.

Peace and Tranquility as Zanzibar marks four years of the GNU

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the historic Maridhiano agreement signed by President Karume and the opposition leader Maalim Seif Shariff Hamad in Zanzibar which later formed the government of national unity after the general elections in 2010. This extraordinary act between the two leaders heralded a new beginning in Zanzibar. I assess the the GNU vis-a-vis democracy in an article submitted to the Kujenga Amani forum. Regardless, the GNU has brought remarkable trnsformation in the sociopolitical setting in Zanzibar. Zanzibar remains at peace and the two primordial nemesis in CCM and CUF now somehow coexist. For more details on the GNU in Zanzibar see link below.

#Poem: #ThanksGiving

I stop and wonder, Think and ponder, The great blessings and splendor, Life in abundance, smiling no wonder I raise my eyes and thank him above for grace and grandeur The good health, radiance, my troubles I surrender My cries and tribulations, He is my fender A thanksgiving prayer to my God my redeemer

#NyerereDay: A Time for Reflection

Happy Nyerere Day to all Tanzanians and to everyone who espouses the ideals of a great man. Nyerere is the embodiment of our nation. Though he had his weaknesses as a person, Nyerere stood for equality, progress and self-reliance. He believed in a unique form of African socialism which he termed as 'Ujamaa'. I grew up idolizing the man. His picture still hangs in my bedroom wall. I read his books, listened to his speeches and promised myself to be as selfless like him. Mwalimu Nyerere was a man of vision. He envisioned a Tanzania that is self-reliant and free from external aid. He succeeded in uniting Tanzanians. We are one people with one language thanks to Mwalimu Nyerere. 
Today, Tanzania risks being divided by partisan politics. The current constitutional conundrum risks dividing Tanzanians. Nyerere would have loved to see a consensual approach to the constitution process. The process has been hijacked by politicians who only look for their personal interests. The process…

#Katiba Watch: Chenge stealing the show!

The Chairman of the drafting Committee, former Attorney General Andrew Chenge has been stealing the Katiba show. On 24 September, he unveiled a constitution draft that is now termed as the Dodoma Draft or what many are now referring to as the CCM draft. Mr. Chenge was at one time accused of massive corruption. He made further headlines when he retorted by saying the money he was accused of stealing was mere 'vijisenti'. He was later re-branded as 'Mzee wa Vijisenti'. He later resigned from his post as Infrastructure Minister and kept a low profile.
When the Constituent Assembly was set up in February this year, Chenge's name was mentioned for the position of the Chairman of the CA. The position however went to Mr. Samuel Sitta, who according to political commentators was a deliberate ploy to position himself for the post of the presidency come next year. Mr. Chenge, however, took up the post as Chairman of the Drafting Committee in the CA. Mr. Chenge, who many cla…

#ICC: The demise of State-Referral? (Part II)

Last week we examined in an introduction, the continued withering of the state-referral technique of triggering the ICC jurisdiction, This week we continue by exploring further why states are now not ready to refer themselves to the Court. William Schabas, the criminal law guru, in an edited volume (The International Criminal Court and National Jurisdictions) views the state-referral technique as a 'trap for the court'. He writes: "If a State refers a situation against itself, that is, against its rebels, in the context of a conflict, it is doing so with a result in mind." He argues that for a state like Uganda, the result involved withdrawing the threat of prosecution in exchange of something. As pointed out in the previous posting, state-referrals have been used by governments to deal with dissidents and in the cases of Uganda and CAR, rebels that fought the government. It has also been argued that this mode of referral was also used by governments to pass responsi…

#UraisTanzania2015: A New Brand in Tanzanian Politics

When the results of the Nyalali Commission were released before the return to mulipartism in Tanzania in 1992, a whooping 80% of Tanzanians were against multiparty democracy. Despite these findings, the Commission recommended the introduction of multiparty democracy. The Commission, in its own admission observed that the 80% had known no other system than the single party dictatorship of CCM and that was what informed their response. Tanzania went on to adopt the Political Parties Act and Tanzania became a 'multiparty democracy'. Despite the registration of a number of parties, the ruling party CCM maintained and continues to somehow maintain its hegemonic status. This change was at the time alien to many Tanzanians and indeed many African states. The democratization brigade came alongside the fall of Berlin wall and according to Francis Fukuyama's postulation "the end of history" and the triumph of liberal democracy. The change heralded a new beginning to polit…

#ICC: The demise of State-Referral?

The International Criminal Court is a Court of last resort. The Court is a permanent institution with powers to exercise its jurisdiction over persons who bear the greatest responsibility for crimes of international concern. Conscious of the history of criminal acts against people, the world envisaged to repress such crimes through the creation of a permanent criminal tribunal. The atrocities committed are now monitored by the ICC by bringing the perpetrators who bear the most responsibility to justice. Even with the legal backing, the ICC has faced challenges on the question of cases it brings to book and the situations it omits. Equally, the ICC has had its detractors as well as proponents. 
The Court's jurisdiction can be triggered by three ways. The first is the state-referral or the self-referral, the second is through the UN Security Council referral and the last is through the prosecutors own volition also referred to as proprio motu. Of particular interest, we shall look …

Lest we Forget Libya!

Every week we look at an article that is making inroads in the field of international relations. In the recent weeks, the world has been grappling with the war in Gaza, the Ebola outbreak in the Western African states of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. The embers of the conflict in Ukraine seem to be cooling off while infighting in Iraq has seen America sending rescue missions. Closer home in Tanzania, there seems to be no answer to the constitution deadlock. I hear the ruling party is flexing its political muscles while the UKAWA group remains intransigent
On Libya. While the global media casts its cameras in Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq and West Africa, the infighting in Libya seems to be forgotten. I asked my Canadian-Libyan friend Amjad how Libya was fairing after the fall of Gaddafi, and his answer was "The militants have taken over". Foreign Policy Magazine in the Passport series looks at the situation in Libya. Titled "Don't look Now, but Libya is Fallin…

#US Foreign Policy: Similarities in President Obama and Bill Clinton Approaches

Every week we look at an article that is making waves in the world of international relations. This week we look at the US foreign policy. The latest issue of Foreign Policy Magazine looks at the decline of America's world influence. In what they term as 'declinism', the issue, drawing largely from Samuel Huntington's postulation of American tendency to fear decline, looks at how America's global influence in dwindling. Paul Kennedy's book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers which has given a historical account of the rise and fall of great civilizations has been used as reference to this seemingly American decline. Has America hit the Peak as FP discusses?
Reading Stephen Walt's opinion in the FP Magazine, he tries to explore the FP prospects of Madam Hillary Clinton if she wins the Democratic nomination and win the presidential elections in 2016. Walt asserts that "With her knock against Obama, Hillary Clinton was criticizing [during her interview …

CCM reading from KANU script, we all know what happened!

Having grown up and gone to school in Kenya at the height of their 'second liberation' one thing was clear: people power reigns. When the agitation for reforms started in the late 1980s, KANU government in a chutzpah fashion cracked its whip by harassing and jailing dissidents. Coinciding with the fall of the Berlin Wall that marked the triumph of liberal democracy, the reform agenda gathered momentum in not only Kenya but the world over. An intransigent President Moi and his government agreed to repel section 2A of the constitution and Kenya became a multiparty democracy in 1991. Despite the opposition loosing the 1992 and 1997 elections, they continued pressing the Moi regime calling for reforms. The opposition saw constitutional reforms as the only way out. When calls for minimum reforms were thwarted by the Moi regime in 1996, prior to the elections the following year, the writing was on the wall for Kenya. Moi went on to easily beat his opponents in the elections in 1997…

Democracy versus Stability: Political Reconciliation and the Government of National Unity in Zanzibar

A Government of National Unity was set up in Zanzibar after protracted peace efforts between two historical rival parties CCM and CUF in 2010. The GNU was pre-election pact sealed after the Maridhiano Talks between the Zanzibar president Amani Karume and CUF leader Maalim Seif Shariff Hamad in November 2009.  This move heralded a new beginning in Zanzibar. Despite this fact, I assess in the article the prospects of democracy vis-à-vis stability in the isles. Please find the full article from the digital forum Kujenga Amani, a forum of the African Peacebuilding Network (APN) of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) here:

Katiba Watch: An Intransigent UKAWA; JK in the US

The Constituent Assembly resumes tomorrow after a three months hiatus. Intrigues during the first CA sessions saw a section of members under the Umoja wa Katiba ya Wananchi (UKAWA) umbrella, decide to walk out of the sessions in April. The UKAWA group which is made up of the opposition parties, CHADEMA, NCCR, CUF and other like-minded members have claimed that CCM has hijacked the process and are pushing for a party agenda. Mediation efforts aimed at convincing UKAWA to return to the sessions have failed. Both sides have taken strong unwavering stances. UKAWA have vowed not to return unless the CCM members agree to only discuss the contents of the proposed constitution draft. 
The President has been accused of jeopardizing the process when he deliberately decided to take party sides during the inauguration of the CA. He has now traveled out of the country. Analysts have argued that the president, as the symbol of national unity, could have placed national interests ahead of party int…

#Iran Nuclear Talks: Who's the real loser?

Every week I post an interesting article on issues foreign policy and international affairs. Today, we look at an article by Camelia Entekhabifard who analyses the ongoing Iran nuclear talks with the P5+1 posted on Al Jazeera website opinion space. 
She posits that as much as China and Russia side with Iran, the end of sanctions in Iran will not go down well in Beijing and Moscow respectively. She is of the idea that Russia, China and black marketeers all have something in common - that is, they have nothing to lose if the talks fails. Iran would likely grow more reliant on Russia as a regional security buffer and Russia would lose an oil and gas competitor and might even secure a better deal with Iran if the talks fall apart.
Another interesting point made here is on the stability of the region. The Middle East region faces numerous security challenges. Israel, an arch enemy of Iran is now fighting Palestine's Hamas. In what started as kidnapping of Israelis, the retaliatory att…

Mtanzania wrong to insinuate that Kenya could be behind the Arusha Attacks

Arusha town has been hit by spasmodic bomb attacks in the recent past. There have been attacks during opposition political rallies as well as a bomb thrown into a Catholic Church in Olasiti during its inauguration last year. This year a bomb was thrown into a local pub injuring a number of people. Just last week a bomb was thrown inside the house of a Muslim cleric as he broke fast. Tanzania has enjoyed peace and stability for the better part of her history. The recent wave of attacks are reminiscent to the Al Shabaab and Boko Haram terror attacks in Kenya and Nigeria respectively. The Al Shabaab and Boko Haram menace are largely Islamic extremism. Kenya and Nigeria have had a torrid time and this has seen their international standing fade quite considerably. 
Two days ago, Arusha was hit by another bomb attack, this time in an Indian restaurant called Vama. Eight people have been seriously wounded with one victim's leg amputated. Speculation on the causes and who could responsib…

#WorldPolitics: Why is the World Cup more exciting than World Politics?

I will be posting links to interesting articles touching on International Politics and Foreign Policy in my blog from today. 
Here is an interesting analysis by Hamid Dabashi, one of my favorite authors and commentator of world affairs. He ponders why the World Cup is more interesting than World Politics. Even though he hasnt mentioned the fact that he has been over the moon for Iran national team qualification to the World Cup and the somewhat inspiring performance, I believe this article has been highly motivated with #TeamMelli. I was also supporting Iran by the way.  
Here is the article courtesy of Aljazeera:  Why is the World Cup more exciting than world politics?

The Two Karumes; A Bicycle and and a Range Rover

A picture of a gray-haired Mwalimu Julius Nyerere hangs on bedroom wall. Besides it is a small picture of Thomas Sankara in a military combat and red beret and on my study table lies a picture of Martin Luther King as he addressed civil rights supporters at Lincoln Memorial in Washington in 1963. I admire these three men. They remind me who and what I want to be. They are all great men in the eyes of the world. Despite their glittering roles in modern history, their simplicity and modesty inspire me the most. 
This week am in Zanzibar for work. I have had an opportunity to visit the Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) headquarters which was the venue Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume, the first president of Zanzibar was assassinated in 1972. Outside the party headquarters is his statue with a revolutionary message:
 Zanzibar Serikali yetu ni ya Usawa Hakuna Bwana Juu ya Binadamu Mwenziwe Kila Mwenye Haki Apewe Tumepindua Kuondoa Mabaya Lengo Letu Kuleta Usawa na Maendeleo Ubinafsi ni Adui wa Maendeleo

Is the Date of General Election Silent in Tanzania's Draft Constitution?

Elections are the recipe for true democracy. They embody pluralism, equality, and representation in a given polity. In any given democracy, elections are held once in every agreed time frame as established by the country's constitution. They could be once in every four, five or seven years. With an established national electoral body, elections are done, depending on the government structure, from the ward representatives all the way to the president. 
The US, which is the semblance of true democracy outlines the date of elections as the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Kenya's new constitution outlines the date of election for the six elected officials as the second Tuesday in August in every fifth year. Article 101 (1) of the Constitution of Kenya outlines that, the general elections of members of parliament shall be held on the second Tuesday in August in every fifth year while Article 136 (2)(a) states that the election of the President shall be held on the sam…

The Movie Blended: Why it was done in South Africa and not Tanzania

Last June, Tanzania was voted the best Safari Country in Africa by Some of the reasons given among many were; superb wildlife, the great annual wildebeest migration across the Serengeti and Masai Mara, the exquisite authentic African wilderness, availability of wide ranging budget safari options, beautiful sandy beaches of Zanzibar and political stability of the country. Tanzania is well blessed with good tourist attraction and hospitable people. We have prided ourselves as such. In the East African region, Tanzania competes with her neighbor Kenya in the tourism sector. Both countries rely significantly on tourism as a source of foreign revenue. In addition to Kenya's somewhat better physical transport infrastructure, the country has advertised itself better internationally as a centre of tourism in the region. Kenya has branded itself better than Tanzania. Just two weeks ago, a picture ran in various social media sites of the new Kenya Airways (KQ) dreamliner…

Tanzania’s Foreign Policy: Need for Assertive Regional Approach

President Obama has been advancing American foreign policy this week.  First at the lawns of Rose Garden where he provided America’s withdrawal timetable from Afghanistan and at West Point where he spoke to the newest graduates of US Army. The catch-phrase of his speech was “America Must Always Lead”. President Obama affirmed that United States is a global leader and a nation that “must always lead on the world stage.” Some critics have labeled his speech as vacuous while others described it empty. America has always projected its foreign policy on a world stage. Its key foreign policy pillars include democracy, human rights, good governance, and world security. 

I followed Tanzania’s Foreign Minister Bernard Membe’s budget speech where he gave his ministry’s budget estimates, revenue and expenditure for the year 2013-2014. I picked up a number of foreign policy articulations from his speech. Tanzania has always played a significant role in world affairs. Historically, Tanzania has bee…

That Moment

That Moment
That defining moment That moment you felt it was so close That moment you knew finally, I got it That moment you think you gave your all That moment, an inner conviction that yes, this is it That moment you told everyone; your friends, your family That moment A disappointing response; A disappointing email, a disappointing text A hollow feeling; a feeling of ineptness; sorrow; anguish A dejected face; a feeling of regret; a feeling of why me? A maudlin feeling; tearful and angst That moment You cry and wish it hadn’t happen You look on the screen again and again You call and tell your loved ones You want to pray but you feel unheard You don’t want to eat; you can’t step out of the house That moment New beginnings; a breakthrough; a smile A song of praise; a dance of victory You shout in glory; abundance of joy A spring in your step A thanksgiving prayer That moment

Rational Actor Model in Tanzania-Rwanda Diplomatic Spat

Foreign policy analysis is the resultant of human decision making with direct or indirect consequences on foreign entities. Foreign policy has been defined as those strategic goals formulated by a state in relation to another state. On a larger spectrum, foreign policy could also include strategic goals formulated by a state in relation to international organizations and or multinational corporations. Foreign policy involves goals, objectives, projections and outcomes which are premised on national interests which in typical International Relations discipline falls under the Realism school of thought (realpolitik). 
Tanzania and Rwanda have been embroiled in a diplomatic spat albeit an ambivalent one. For years, the two East African states have coexisted peacefully. They have enjoyed sound diplomatic relations which has seen Tanzania hosting the peace talks of 1993 between the then Hutu government and the then rebel Tutsi outfit of  RPA. After the unfortunate Rwandan Genocide of 1994…

The Nuisance of the iPad at the Funeral

The hearse carrying the coffin, a sleek black Mercedes Benz broke down at the hill few meters from the home of the deceased. The hilly terrain coupled with the April long rains made the ascendance hard. We drove our car right behind another salon car that carried the widow and her two daughters and in front of them was the hearse. I rolled down the window on the left side to see what had happened to the hearse which had now pulled over. A splash of water, almost similar to that of a fountain sprinkled with force. I asked my dad who was driving our car what could be wrong. "The horse-pipe burst, there is no way it can move from there!" he told me with a dejected look. My mum, who sat quietly said almost cynically "He (the dead person) has refused to get home". According to some African traditional customs, the dead refuse to reach home and it has been explained with cases of break downs of cars, too much rain which impede vehicles from getting to the funeral on tim…

Thirty Years later, Sokoine Remains a Tanzanian Statesman

Nations world over are built on the ideals of their founding fathers. Some like in America, the sheer will and dedication of the founders molded a nation while wisdom, courage and selflessness built empires, strong democracies and civilizations. Historic moments such as revolutions, civil wars, crises, constitution making, war for independence, and many others define polities. Great men also define nations. When I was growing up, tales of Tanzanian great men where told to me either by my parents or at school. Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere was a man whose stories were told to me as a child. I grew up listening to his speeches in the national radio, seeing his face on the currency, his grayed hair portrait hung on government offices and private businesses. During one Christmas holiday in our rural home, as I looked into my dad's high school and college books, I found Nyerere's book "Miaka Kumi Baada ya Azimio la Arusha". I read it despite not knowing exactly Ujamaa…

Ujana, Usasa, Udijitali; Namkumbuka Monika wa Mwisho wa Kosa!

Jana, Jumapili, jua angavu na hali ya hewa tulivu. Nipo katika shughuli zangu za kawaida za Jumapili. Natizama mechi ya Ligi Kuu ya Uingereza, Everton wanacheza na Arsenal huku nikifuatilia kwa utaratibu mechi za Ligi Kuu Tanzania Bara kwenye simu yangu ya kiganjani kupitia mitandao ya kijamii. Yanga inacheza na JKT Ruvu huku timu ya vijana ya Tanzania - Ngorongoro Heroes wanakipiga na Kenya. Mara napata simu. Ni mzee wangu anauliza niko wapi. "Nipo hapa Sakina natizama mechi baba," namjibu huku Everton wanapiga goli la tatu. Dah! Vipi tena Arsenal? Mporomoko huu sio mchezo. Rafiki yangu pembeni ananiambia nisishangae ni kwmba wanarudi ile nafasi yao wanayoipenda - nambari nne! Shabash! 
Baba anataka twende naye kumwona ndugu yetu mgonjwa. Nasita kidogo kwani Liverpool ndio wanaingia uwanjani Upton Park kucheza na Westham. Kaida yangu nikutizama mechi zote. "Sawa baba, we nikute hapa twende kumwona mgonjwa" namjibu kwa shingo upande. Baada ya dakika 15 hivi bado m…