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TID Samia does not proclaim her tigritude but she pounces, By Jenerali Ulimwengu

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Here goes another nostalgic musing of days gone by, when intense intellectual exchanges would take place long-distance across the African continent without losing their immediacy and urgency.

At times these were traded in soft and gentle blows like rose petals lovingly blown this and that way, mostly in good part.

Once, for instance, Wole Soyinka declared that “a tiger does not proclaim his tigritude; he pounces (on his prey)”. Wole was then referring to the philosophy of Negritude, which had come into vogue through contributions by such luminaries as Leopold Sedar Senghor, Aime Cesare, and Okot p’ Bitek.

The implied criticism was of people proclaiming themselves as heirs to a certain consciousness of being Negroes, or more politely, African, instead of just going about doing their thing that would set them apart and distinguish them as heirs of “Africanity” with those vaunted qualities of empathy, hospitality and humaneness.

Pouncing big time.

It is about Wole that I am moved this week in this space. Also, it is about a local tiger — rather a tigress — that is not too eager to proclaim her tigritude, but is doing the pouncing big time.

In Tanzania, President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been doing a demolition job on Magufuli’s legacy without proclaiming that she is doing anything other than trying to run the country the way civilised countries are run. And she is winning plaudits for her efforts as more and more people are increasingly exposed to the evils of the Magufuli years.

Most dramatically, recently she opened up spaces for political parties to carry out their political activities openly, something that Magufuli had ostensibly banned without any legal basis.

Ganning political activities

I say, ostensibly because legally no one can ban political activities in this country whose constitution — obsolete as it is in other aspects — allows so categorically.

But that has been our plight — that despite the constitutional and legal provisions in place, a maverick politician managed to rule over this country much as a military dictator does, like, say, what Iddi Amin Dada did in Uganda in the 1970s.

The ban on political activity has been lifted by Samia and, in this sense, there is a return to normalcy. Even the police are apparently learning something new: That there can be opposition rallies without teargas!

 And now the bombshell. Recently, Samia shared with us another insight into the nefarious activities of the Magufuli years. The departed president had mobilised a whole battery of unscrupulous lawyers and police officers to impose an extortionary regime on judicial proceedings, in clear violation of what they were taught in police college or law school.

Spurious charges

Between these branches of “law enforcement,” innocent people would be arrested on spurious charges — a darling was “money laundering” — which were deliberately made “un-bailable” just to make sure once one was arrested one had no way of avoiding incarceration.

From there, Magufuli’s legal goons devised something they called — rather disingenuously — plea bargaining, which was really a shakedown programme to extort money from people who were forced to buy their freedom, much like the mafia bosses force the families of their victims to save their loved ones’ lives by coughing up the dough.

People paid, sometimes by selling family silver, just to be free, and maybe find a way of starting life over again.

Lining their pockets

Some of us suspected these crooked individuals engaged in these arrangements were lining their pockets, because we did not see any public good they aimed to advance. Now we know we were right, it was all a scam, if Samia is to be believed, and I see no reason not to believe her.

Simply, the money, and this was in billions upon billions of shillings, cannot be traced in any state coffers where such payments, if legit, should have been deposited. It was spirited away into bank accounts, we are now told by the president, in China!

Now the president has set up a commission to look into this great scam of the Magufuli years and to identify the culprits and set the records straight, with a view, I hope, to punish those involved and make whole those robbed of their money through the spurious “plea bargaining” thievery.

The man put in charge of this enquiry is a respected former Chief Justice and experienced investigator of murky affairs internationally. It is my hope and belief that he will shed as much light as possible on this, but already from where I sit, it has a horrible stink.

Pouncing

The tigress in Dodoma has not been proclaiming her tigritude, but she has surely been pouncing. Some of us would probably have climbed to the rooftops to proclaim, declaim and pontificate. But now we are called upon to encourage her to pounce some more and expose the rot at the core, and continue the demagufulification of Tanzania.

I hate praising politicians, for you never know what they do next but for now at least, going back to Wole, I declare Samia TID — Tigress in Dodoma.

Ulimwengu is now on YouTube via jeneralionline tv. E-mail: jenerali@gmail.com

Strictly Personal

Intuition can reduce corruption, By Felix Kunda

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The country, Zambia at the moment has very few opinion leaders who can be inspirational to the young generation. All the famous and important personalities who held important offices are either facing corruption charges, convicted, or under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Going by the media reports, and the court cases that are going on, there is rampant corruption in Zambia at every level in government, the private sector, and perhaps even in Non-Governmental Organisations. The country is in an intensive care, sick with corruption, and there is a need for a vaccine to end this pandemic.

To confirm the prevailing problem, the Drug Enforcement Commission announced that it seized 41 bank accounts from various commercial banks worth 174 million Kwacha and 19 million United States Dollars. These are huge sums of money, that were meant to uplift the living standard of the 80 percent of poor people in Zambia.

As if this is not nauseating enough, Anti-Corruption Commission Head of Corporate Communications Timothy Moono informed the nation that by the end of November 2022, the commission had a total of 1,264 cases under investigation, and out of these 284 cases were concluded.

And 1973 to 1978 Bahati Constituency Member of parliament under the United Independence Party (UNIP) former Member of Parliament Honourable Valentine Kayope said top civil servants and political leaders who are involved in corruption luck vision of why they are occupying such important positions in government.

Honourable Kayope who also served the same constituency from 1996 to 2001 under the Movement for multi-party democracy (MMD) said leadership is a gift from God, and immediately leaders convince themselves that they are in those position as their own efforts derails them on their responsibilities of serving the people.

Mr. Kayope who also served as Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister under Dr. Frederick Chiluba’s government said those in top positions are there to serve the poor people and not to serve themselves. He said the people that those leaders are serving constantly observe their leaders and immediately they notice selfishness among the leaders, they are the ones that blow the whistles.

He said, leadership is about transparent and accountability, immediately that is lost, people will start speculating and these are the people that will report to institution because it is their resources being abused. “Amenso yamukundilwa yengi,” he said. The resources are for the Zambians and not the leadership or top civil servants.

Needless to say that the consequences of those involved in these corrupt practices are depressing and stressing, and human beings can avoid corruption by using intuition. Intuition are extra-ordinary powers of the mind that is readily available and helps in making difficult decisions.

According to Laura Day in her book Practical Intuition, “intuition is a capacity you are born with as a human being, like the capacity for language or thinking or appreciating music. Intuition is not a power one acquires. It is an integral part of every human mental, emotional, and psychical process.

You use your intuition in practical reasoned decisions you make every day, from choices such as which bus to use, as to what to eat for supper, when to visit the village, or who to marry. Most people use intuition unconsciously every day, while some have learned to use it with precision and accuracy.

It is therefore true and accurate that all the Zambian individual who are currently appearing in court for corruption, were warned by their intuition not to participate in corrupt practices. Intuition is always there with us as human beings, which others call a small voice within ourselves. However humans tend to ignore the early warnings through intuition, simply because of selfishness.

For all those in leadership and the top civil servants, Intuition is not limited by space and time, and one can always rely on an intuition in making a difficulty decision. Intuition can protect you from a bribe or participating in corrupt practices.

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Strictly Personal

World Down Syndrome Day: As the search for inclusion continues by Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi

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Every year, as World Down Syndrome Day is commemorated, I find myself deep in introspection, reflecting on those who, by a unique design of nature, is born to a world where their difference has too often been made a barrier to inclusion and acceptance. Hundreds of thousands of children with Down Syndrome are stigmatized, and denied access to education, healthcare, and full social integration. I reflect on opportunities lost to their exclusion, a blight on our collective humanity.

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), commemorated on March 21, is a global awareness day that the United Nations has officially observed since 2012. It was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.

I am glad that the theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘We Decide’, which focuses on the right of people with Down Syndrome to participate. I strongly believe this is apt. It reinforces the call for all of society to include and fully involve those living with Down Syndrome.

I have often wondered how much more progress we would have had the world over if people who are differently abled were not left out of the course of building society, but integrated to express their natural gifts.

All across the globe, there is an abundance of documented stories of exclusion, abuse, and displacement. In parts of Africa, people living with Down Syndrome are considered taboo over superstitious beliefs that they are not normal. This shatters the soul. Oh, how the hold of ignorance has deprived our people of the capacity to appreciate and welcome nature’s unique design!

Given the level of ignorance and misinformation around Down Syndrome, it is important that a concerted effort must be made to embark on widespread enlightenment campaigns, orientation, and education in multiple domains.

Schools, medical institutions, religious institutions, cultural institutions, and political institutions must all be included. We must work hard to open the eyes of people to the true facts about Down Syndrome, leading them to a new level of enlightenment and acceptance.

To truly build a society that is inclusive of everyone, especially those who are different and special, we must empower all the people with knowledge and insights into the unique attributes of these oft-marginalized set of people. They must be educated to accept and welcome them into the heart of society, becoming their brothers and sisters indeed.

But more importantly, mankind must quickly appreciate that the best approach to deal with the vulnerable is to sufficiently learn or perfect how to connect with them. This is the way of humanity. This is the way of progress.

For governments across the world, clear policies and laws must be passed to integrate, support and empower people with Down Syndrome. Their fate must not be left to the voluntary goodwill of the people. Their rights must be codified and enforced. They must not be subject to discrimination, stigmatization, and exclusion. Their lives are valuable. Their lives are priceless.

This fight is for all of us. We must treat it as a sacred responsibility. Every person living with Down Syndrome must cease to have a target on their back, and instead become a normal part of the global family. We must decide this today!

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