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Showing posts from 2015

The Voter

Dawn Freezing cold A yawn and off the bed First in line Its 4 a.m Tuesday He had waited for this moment Mirthfully He chatted with his friends - rubbing his hands A bit of warmth needed Rukia was up as well - she sold hot tangawizi and coffee As they waited for the centre to be opened - at 8:00 a.m The coffee made him awake till then Throngs of people began to gather at the registration centre But he was first in line Ecstasy - As he got in and filled the forms Biometric Voter Registered - Lolz A voter ID was in his hand Change was in his hand October 2015   Tanzania 

The Future of Democracy and Freedom in Tanzania is at Stake

Controversial pieces of legislations have been passed in Tanzania that will undermine press freedoms and democracy. Chadema's Chairman Freeman Mbowe comments on these legislations that put the country at stake ahead of the general elections in October.  
By Freeman Aikaeli Mbowe
The ruling party, the Chama Cha Mapindizi (CCM), has enacted a cluster of laws to clamp down on freedom of the media that will put a country once admired for its transparency and openness - and a significant development partner of the West - into the same league as other dictatorships on the continent.
The Media Services Bill will bar all but officially licensed journalists and media houses from operating, create a "media council" to control publications down to small newsletters and blogger sites, and impose stiff penalties such as the banning of newspapers.
The Cybercrimes Act will outlaw online publication of what the government deems "misleading, deceptive or false" information, and gra…

Katiba? Not a vocabulary for the Aspirants so far!

I have listened and followed all speeches by 'watia nia' of CCM. I followed the grand farce of Edward Lowassa on 30 May in Arusha. I followed Mwigulu Nchemba's address the following day. Online comments said he did well. Stephen Wassira also announced that he will seek his party's nomination. His address was in Mwanza and he prioritised infrastructure. This Twitter parody account sums up Makongoro Nyerere's presidential ambitions. Amb. Ali Karume from Zanzibar has also declared his interest for the top seat. Many more will announce. I am told there are over 30 aspirants for CCM's presidential nomination. That is good for democracy! 
One conspicuous thing missing is the talk of the fate of the constitution process.

These snapshots show the aspirants key priority areas if they are nominated by their party CCM.

My 2 Hours in Police Detention

A stoic feeling. The day was coming to an end. Aware that the market closes at 6:00 p.m I rushed through the chest routines at the gym. Just in time before it closed - went through the list and began shopping. I always haggle but with a smile to the sellers. Being Monday the traffic was crazy - but I was patient. As I approached the Nakumatt junction I decided to overlap, we call it 'kutanua' in our neck of the woods. Two irate policemen stopped me with the other rushing to my car window. He gave me the "whats wrong with you" look. A seemingly young officer came to the window and started pulling the car keys from the ignition. I fumed! I rolled the car window in defiance. A police lady with two-stars on her uniform approached and told the officer "Mpeleke huyu Central". I was running late - I was going to buy medicine for my mum. The officer with gusto jumped into the car and said I should drive to Central Police Station. Adamantly I drove into Nakumatt to…

Press Freedoms and the Need to Repeal Draconian Media Legislation in Tanzania

Kujenga Amani, recently published my article on the need to repeal retrogressive media legislations. This article was written in February 2010 before just before the Tanzanian government through parliament started debating on other controversial legislations such as the cybercrimes bill and the statistics bill. We understand the president has assented to the cybercrimes bill. On January 21, 2015, the Tanzanian government banned The East African after accusing the regional paper of...continue reading 

Significance of John Kerry East Africa Visit

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited three countries in East Africa. The visit to Kenya and Djibouti was open in his itinerary but his visit to Somalia was surprising to say the least and according to FP's David Francis "too dangerous". It has been said that his visit to Kenya was to make preparations for President Obama's visit in July. For Kenya, a country that has suffered the brunt of terrorism in the past few years, Kerry's visit and that of President Obama, is a welcome sign of American support to Kenya's fight against Al Shabaab. Kerry's visit further highlight the strides Kenya has made in reshaping her foreign policy which, after the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto was stained. Kenya's foreign affairs docket headed by Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has been transformed remarkably. The country has been able to balance its international obligations well by luring new friends and even rediscovering old foe…

Kerry meets Zarif at his New York Residence

Secretary of State John Kerry met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif at the Iranian ambassadors residence in New York. This is the first meeting of the two after the P5+1 signed a deal that will see Iran reduce nuclear enrichment that will in effect ease sanctions. This is also a diplomatic victory that will redefine Iran and US foreign policies.
See more analysis on Al-Monitor

TIME 100: A Reflection

I read through The Time 100: The World's Most Influential People before Sunday Mass yesterday. Inspiring? YES, Informative Graphics? YES, Choice of people? Mh..that is for another day. All in all I enjoyed reading this April 27 - May 4 2015 double issue of TIME. The cover had Kanye West, the maverick American artist - who according to the writer Elon Musk, says would be the first person to tell you he belongs on the list. Kanye West is known far and wide. In our part of the world, he is famed more on his relationship with Kim Kardashian - who is also in the list - than his music. Or am I wrong? My wife doesn't read TIME Magazine, but she took notice of it when she saw Kanye on the cover. Was this TIME's intention? The graphic representation of the Homelands - where the 100 were born is covered in the first pages. It is not surprising to observe the left side of the page which has the Americas is filled with more people - almost three quarters. 
I am not surprised that the …

Mzee Moyo's Expulsion: Why CCM has miscalculated this!

Mzee Hassan Nassor Moyo is a revered Zanzibari statesman. This veteran politician embodies Zanzibar's history - a history of struggle and revolution. He was an instrumental figure during the days of the 1964 revolution and was a key man in the merger between the Afro Shirazi Party (ASP) and Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) to form present day Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM). Mzee Moyo, as he is fondly known also embodies the reconciliation efforts in Zanzibar that led to the formation of the Government of National Unity in 2010. 
I met him last year at his colleague's house in Zanzibar. He was full of apologies because he came in late. It was past the Ramadhan month, but he told my colleague and I that he was still fasting to make up for the time he had lost. He said he just came from Muscat were he was on holiday. We greeted him with the customary Salaam Aleikum greeting. As he sat down on the comfortable leather coach, he wanted to know my name. I duly introduced myself t…

Picture of the Week: Obama and Castro in Historic Handshake

Moving Out

His father looked and waved goodbye  As his son reversed his car He watched almost teary His mom couldn't control herself She remained inside and cried The son was now grown Moving out
The son too was moved Melancholic  He had to be strong  It was hard for the boy who loves his parents "I was taken by emotions" said his mum As the son opened the gate  A new home You're now all grown Responsibilities Await Moving Out 

The Gift of Marriage

14 February 2015 The day was here The day I had dreamed all of my life The alarm went on - the ringtone - Today is my Wedding Day Masha got into my room - She hugged me - All the best bro I almost cried - But we danced - Today is my Wedding Day I undraped my suit, white tuxedo, black trousers The nobility of purple - purple bow tie - prose and elegant
She stepped into the aisle Side by side with her brother and mom She was so beautiful Her vail couldn't hide her beauty Could I resist the cry? No I couldn't.. So beautiful, she walked towards the altar The 'proud of you son' look from my dad and mum "Yes she's the one" So beautiful
As we danced to - "Beautiful in white" A thousand Years I give you all of me The gift of marriage

Yes we need Collective Learning in Schools

I sat and listened to the presenters during the farewell function of Rakesh Rajani. The topic for that afternoon was "How can we help children in school learn real skills?" The founder of Twaweza Rakesh, has always wanted improvement in education and the education system in Tanzania. He has championed this ideal and he is a living testimony of a campaigner for education. Befittingly, Rakesh wanted to sign off with debates. In this particular debate on 8 January 2015, the panel which had distinguished educationists and policy practitioners highlighted a number of very interesting points. 
Although I did not have the opportunity to relay my appreciation and reaction, I choose to pen them down here. Madam Marjorie Mbilinyi, an educationist and former Executive Director of Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TDNP) highlighted a very important point. She believes the best way to make children in school learn real skills is through collective learning. A tragedy of our time, is t…

#WeddingDiaries: Time with Frinds

Its 9:45 a.m Tuesday 6 January, 2015. My good friend Elvis calls me and says we should meet later that evening. Coincidentally, I had also planned another meeting with Nancy, a good friend of mine the same evening. I call Nancy and tell her that Elvis, whom she knows has planned a meeting with me. She tells me he had also asked her to join us in the meeting and his sister Ikunda will also be joining us as well. I continue with my work but fixated on the bridesmaids material which I need to buy later in the afternoon. 
My mum and sister Teddy will be joining me in the afternoon to go shop for the material. I have lunch and go to the CBD Arusha to meet them at around 3:00 p.m. We go to these Indian shops, which have very good lace material, which my fiancee has insisted we use despite it being very expensive. Its fine, she says it is her wedding and it should be the best day of her life. Well and good, we identify the purple lace material. Glory, Teddy's close friend had since join…

Happy New Year 2015 - #Prayerfor2015

Happy New Year to you all. I want to thank the Almighty Lord for granting me life and blessings. 2014 was my best year yet. As my spiritual mentor Joel Osteen likes to say "This year is going to be your best year so far." I believed 2014 was going to be my best year. Trials and tribulations had rocked me in 2013, but I never lost hope. I prayed and God granted me success. I stood by him when all seemed to go wrong. In so doing, I strengthened my faith and trusted in him more. I was reminded of Job's relent and faith when he was confronted by Satan's deceit. He was restored and gianed favor from the Lord. A new beginning came in 2014. When all seemed lost, an olive branch was extended to me. I rose in happiness, thanking God for the new beginning. The Lord has been be good to me and I praise his name. More and more I grew spiritually, my faith was strengthened, and I sought to know hime more. He gave me an amazing job, I engaged my girlfriend Joan, and we are getting…