Friday, 31 January 2014

Kauli ya Jussa Ladhu ya kuvunja Muungano haistahili na inapaswa kukemewa!

Mwakilishi wa Mji Mkongwe (CUF), Ismail Jussa Ladhu ametaka kuvunjwa kwa Muungano. Nimetuma maoni yafuatayo kwenye gazeti la Mwananchi.

Maoni ya mwakilishi wa CUF Jussa yanabidi ya kemewe sio tu na chama chake bali na watu wote wa Tanzania Bara na Visiwani. Maoni ya uchochezi yasiyo na msingi hayapaswi kuvumiliwa. Kiongozi yeyote ambaye anasimama mbele ya watu na kusema muungano haupaswi kuwepo ilhali takwimu za utafiti wa Tume ya Katiba inaonyesha idadi kubwa ya watu wa Tanzania wanataka muungano uwepo anapaswa kutoltiliwa maanani. Chama cha CUF kinapaswa kutoa tamko na kuhusiana na kauli ya Bw. Jussa! Watanzania wameainisha mstakabali wao kupitia rasimu ya awali ya Katiba. Sasa mjadala sio uwepo wa muungano bali mfumo na uthabiti wa muundo wa muungano. Tusikubali watu walio na maslahi binafsi ya uongozi kuturudisha nyuma.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Tahariri ya Tanzania Daima: Kuchapishwa kwa Rasimu ya Katiba Magazetini

Chini ya kichwa cha habari "Tume ya Katiba haikutenda haki" gazeti la Tanzania Daima limetoa tahariri ifuatayo. Inashangaza ni kwa nini Tume imeshindwa kuwezesha magazeti mengine yasiyo ya serikali na lile la Mwananchi kuchapisha rasimu ya pili. Inahojiwa pia ni kama rasimu hii imewafikia watu wenye ulemavu wa kuona?

RASIMU ya Pili ya Katiba ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania imechapishwa jana kwenye baadhi ya magazeti baada ya kuwa imepitia vigezo vya kisheria kama alivyoahidi Rais Jakaya Kikwete wakati wa kuipokea Desemba 30, mwaka jana.

Rais aliwaahidi wananchi kuwa baada ya rasimu hiyo kuchapwa kwenye gazeti la serikali kama sheria inavyoelekeza, itasambazwa kwenye vyombo vya habari ili wapate kuisoma na kuijadili kabla ya Bunge la Maalumu la Katiba kuanza mwezi ujao.

Hata hivyo tunapenda kueleza masikitiko yetu kwamba tumeshutushwa na ubaguzi wa wazi wa Tume ya Mabadiliko ya Katiba kwa vyombo binafsi vya habari. Tunasema ni ubaguzi wa wazi na wenye nia mbaya ya kuwanyima wananchi haki yao ya kikatiba ya kuisoma rasimu na kuijadili kutokana na kusambazwa katika vyombo vichache. Rasimu hii imesambazwa kupitia magazeti matatu tu ya Habari Leo na Zanzibar Leo ambayo ni ya serikali na Mwananchi, ambalo ni la binafsi wakati yako magazeti zaidi ya 10 yanayotolewa kila siku na mengine kadhaa ya wiki ambayo kila moja lina wasomaji wake.

Kwetu huu ni ubaguzi wa makusudi wa tume ambayo kimsingi tunaamini imepewa fedha za kutosha kufanya shughuli zake ili wananchi wapate taarifa za kile kinachoendelea kuhusu mchakato mzima wa katiba yao.
Kama tume iliweza kuvitumia vyombo vyote vya habari kutoa taarifa zake na matangazo ya kuwahamasisha wananchi wapeleke maoni yao, inakuwaje leo iwanyime haki hiyo ya kupata rasimu kupitia magazeti hayo?
Hivi kwa mwananchi asiyesoma magazeti ya Habari Leo, Zanzibar Leo au Mwananchi ina maana hana haki ya kupata rasimu ili aweze kuisoma na kuijadili kwa ajili ya kuainisha kasoro kabla ya wajumbe wa Bunge Maalumu la Katiba kuketi na kupitia rasimu hiyo?

Yawezekana Tume ya Mabadiliko ya Katiba chini ya Jaji Joseph Warioba ilighafirika katika jambo hili, hivyo basi tuna imani kuwa wanaweza kulisahihisha kwa kusambaza rasimu hiyo kupitia magazeti yote ili kuwapa wananchi haki kama alivyoahidi Rais Kikwete. Tunachelea kuamini kama kigezo cha tume kutochapisha rasimu hiyo katika magazeti yote ni uhaba wa fedha, kwani tunatambua kwamba Bunge liliidhinisha mabilioni ya kutosha kwa chombo hicho ili kukiwezesha kufanya kazi zake kwa ufasaha. 

Kodi zinazotumika kutengeneza katiba zimetokana na wananchi wote, hivyo hakuna sababu yoyote ya kuwabagua katika kuwafikishia taarifa kuhusu maoni na mapendekezo yao waliyoyatoa kwa tume. Rasimu inapaswa kufikishwa kila mahala, mijini na vijijini, yako maeneo magazeti hayafiki, hivyo ni vema zikasambazwa nakala za kutosha ili wananchi waisome na kujadiliana badala ya kutaka kuwazima kwa kuwapangia vyombo vya habari vya kupata taarifa.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Reaction to Lipumba's Criticism of Tanzania's Finance Minister

This is a reaction to the story on The Citizen concerning Prof. Lipumba's criticism of the appointment of Saada Mkuya as Minister for Finance.

I think Prof Ibrahim Lipumba is right to question the qualifications and experience of the Minister for Finance based on his credentials as a respected economist. Criticisms leveled on JK's appointments have come from across sectors and Lipumba's entrance further shows the flaws in the cabinet appointments. I am dismayed by the women activists who rush and claim that the positive criticism by Lipumba is premised on gender, what a shame! Lipumba is positively contributing to the national debate and am certain gender was not in his agenda. Let us not divert attention and focus on substantive issues. With Tanzania facing new debt crisis and numerous economic difficulties, there is no room for experimentation. I am glad that with a new constitution, Ministers will be vetted by parliament before assuming office. We shall get there!

Postcolonialism and the Egyptian Dilemma

Hamid Dabashi is one of my favorite authors. His writing prowess is exemplary. I love the way he brings out the rich history of Iranian poetry and literary discourses. The Iranian born guru in Iranian Studies and Comparative literature has written and published an array of academic works in subjects ranging from Iranian Studies, medieval and modern Islam, comparative literature, world cinema, and the philosophy of art (trans-aesthetics). His latest book "The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialim" which I read last year provides insights to the Arab Awakening which began in early 2011. The Arab Spring, as it has come to be known started from street protests in Tunisia due to the rising living costs. A young vegetable trader then set himself on fire in act of protest leading to the steamrolling of the protests to many Arab and North African states. The protests saw the ousting of long standing regimes such as that of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and Zine El Bedine Ben Ali who was first to run to exile in Saudi Arabia. Hamid Dabashi uses the postcolonial narrative to explain the events of the Arab Spring which three years down the line continue to shape global politics. Renowned Postcolonial theorist Achille Mbembe postulates that what characterizes postcolonial thinking is entanglement and concatenation, unveiled chiefly through its critique of identity and subjectivity which Dabashi also stresses in his book. Dabashi shows how the Arab Spring has altered the geopolitics of the region so radically that we must begin re-imagining the moral map of “the Middle East” afresh.

The Egyptian Revolution of January 25, 2011 saw the end to a thirty year old dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubark, the rapid transition of the country to democracy which has by now been overshadowed by the fall of Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood President elected in a popular vote in June 2012. Continued street protests in Cairo and many other cities across Egypt saw Morsi ousted by the army. This begs the question of what the future holds for Egypt. Egyptian voters overwhelming approved the new constitution in a referendum early January, 2014 with a whooping 98.1%. The new constitution replaces the one imposed by Mohamed Morsi and sees a number of crucial reforms such as presidential term limits, equality between men and women and the ban of ethnic, religious or gender based political parties. 

It is evident that postcolonial discourse is a crucial ingredient to the metamorphism of the Egyptian state and the Arab world as a whole with the revolutions happening there. And as Mbembe observes; postcolonial thinking stresses humanity-in-the-making, the humanity that will emerge once the colonial figures of the inhuman and of racial difference have been swept away. What is happening in Egypt epitomizes Mbembe's thinking. Egypt serves as a mirror to what other African countries will face before they evolve and consolidate democracy. 

For more hindsight to the Arab Spring and Postcolonialism discourse read The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism by Hamid Dabashi.