Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tanzania: Island of peace or in pieces?

President of Tanzania Legal Society (TLS), MP

President of Tanzania Legal Society (TLS), MP for Singida East and Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) chief legal counsel Tundu Lissu 

By Nkwazi Mhango

Two salient incidents ensued in the country last week. The first is the cowardly attempt on the life of the president of Tanzania Legal Society (TLS), MP for Singida East and Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) chief legal counsel Tundu Lissu in Dodoma recently. It left Tanzania paralysed.

Unknown people pumped over 20 ammos into Lissu who miraculously survived; and is still receiving medical treatments in Nairobi, Kenya.

This bratty, brutal, horrific and terrific act is a gory scar on Tanzania. Up until now, nobody knows the motive[s] and motif[s] behind such barbaric and horrific attack. It is too early to point fingers. The Inspect General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro and Chadema Chairperson, Freeman Mbowe, said that Sub-Machine Gun (SMG) was used on the broad daylight.

Before being shot, Lissu had previously complained to the authorities about being trailed by unknown people in car whose colour and number he reported to the authorities that took no action. Why? According to Mtama MP, Nape Nnauye, this car has been trailing other MPs.

Attending a prayer for Lissu at Kanisa la Ufufuo na Uzima, the MP for Ubungo, Saed Kubenea linked the incident with Lissu’s vocalness. I don’t want to believe that the Island of Peace has reached where countries disintegrated because of the bedlam resulting from the elimination of opponents. Differently from that, Tanzanians understand, this country belongs to all equally as ndugus. Nobody is better than others.

Quite so, nobody’s views or ideology are better than others. Nobody has the right to take away anybody’s right to expression, belief and life simply because of having opposing views. Our democracy has always acted as a magic bullet if not magic wand that helped us to avert such nonsense and bestiality.

Whoever wants to kill Lissu and suchlike simply for whatever reasons, he wants to dent our democracy. Human are capable of detaining, torturing bodies but nobody can their mouths or ideas. Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara or Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela died. However, their ideas are still alive. Lissu too, can be killed. Yet again, nobody can dispose or kill his ideal ideas. By the way, is there any human being that’ll live forever?”

The second incident was the handing over of two reports to president John Magufuli on diamond and tanzanite that unearthed mega corruption in the mineral sector as a typical replica of what’s been going on for over a half decade almost in every venture the government has ever entered.

To show his talons, Magufuli sanctioned the resignations of his two ministers, George Simbachawene (Minister of State in the President’s Office: Regional Administration and Local Government), Edwin Ngonyani, (Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and communication).

Implicated government officials were left to the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to deal with them. As for implicated politicians such as MPs, it seems the government doesn’t know what to do. Again, there is an answer to this; though from unexpected quarters. Handing over the reports, the speaker of national parliament Job Ndugai proposed that all parties whose members are implicated should be notified so that they replace them.

He cited CUF’s example of nullifying the membership of some MPs whom it thereafter expelled and replaced. Implicated in the two reports were MPs Andrew Chenge and William Ngeleja (CCM). The duo has been mentioned previously in other reports but nothing was done to see to it that the face music.

Chenge especially has been living in the ocean of scandals. In 2008, he was implicated by UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for having received $1 million as kickbacks in radar procurement. When he was asked about having such a humungous amount of money, Chenge replied that, to him, such was but peanuts. Therefrom, he was nicknamed mzee wa Vijisenti or Mr Peanuts.

Now that Chenge’s and Ngeleja’s dirty laundries are in the agora, will CCM follow suit and heed Ndugai’s call? However, President Magufuli pre-empted what can happen to the culprits saying that, the CCM has its way of dealing with them among which is being reprimanded. Many wondered why Magufuli who is CCM’s chairman fell short of saying that the culprits can be expelled from the party based on what he calls party’s code of conducts.

In sum, thanks to what transpired, is Tanzania going to the dogs? Is the island of peace in pieces?

Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian writer who is based in Canada