Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Friday, 31 December 2010

Another donation to Kilimanjaro charity climb received from Notburga Maskini

After donating Shs.100,000/- to the Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls' Seconday School, Notburga Maskini has donated another Shs.100,000/- to Bukoba Disabled Assistance Project (Budap).

She is the first donor to donate to Budap, and the first to donate to both beneficiaries of this year's Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb.

Notburga Maskini
Current donors to Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls' Secondary School (CEWGSS):
1. Tanzania Gatsby Trust - Shs.500,000/-
2. Dina Mrango - Shs.100,000/-
3. Notburga Maskini - Shs.100,000/-

Current donors to Budap:

1. Notburga Maskini - Shs.100,000/-

Total donations to CEWGSS: Shs.700,000/-
Total donations to Budap: Shs.100,000/-

If you wish to donate, please follow the instructions on the following link:

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The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 2 of 12)

This is the second of twelve posts on the December 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.
Tuesday 30 November 2010
As soon I boarded a Nairobi-bound bus at Makutano on my way to Moshi, I was caught in a draft from the open bus windows and as I put on a jacket I realized I have forgotten to pack a heavy coat that is suitable for wearing at lower altitudes during the Kilimanjaro climb. I had a whole year to plan this year’s climb, and I forget crucial wear! I sent a text message home asking someone to find a way to send the raincoat and another jacket I left behind, and I settled into my seat for a comfortable ride to Nairobi and to Moshi. I wished.

It got worse.

After I sent the initial message I realized I have also forgotten a raincoat that is indispensable for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with the rainy season just about to start. I sent a second message.

The Nairobi route to Arusha is uneventful, but lengthy. I would like those who object to a better road through the Serengeti, as a comfortable alternative and shorter route for residents of Tanzania’s Mara region, to try the Nairobi option once in a while and reflect on why Mara residents prefer a better road through the Serengeti.

The route and the outcome: Makutano – Nairobi: approximately 6 hours; transit time at Nairobi: 7 hours; Nairobi – Moshi (9 hours, if the bus does not break down.) Unfortunately, the bus did break down, twice. On reaching the Arusha terminal, there was a delay of more than an hour while the bus underwent some repairs of a burst hydraulic pipe.

We resumed the trip towards Moshi and half an hour before reaching Moshi, the bus broke down again and I reflected on the company’s motto: Connecting East Africa. Not today, I thought. Not today.
The first breakdown at Arusha.
I got off the bus and hopped onto an Arusha – Moshi commuter bus and reached Moshi and checked into a modest clean hotel on the first floor of the building that has mountain climbing gear rental shop.

Next: In Mosh

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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Another donation received from Notburga Maskini

Notburga Maskini, a member of the Kilimanjaro Club, who was on last year's charity climb, has donated Sh.100,000/- to the Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls' Secondary School, one of the beneficiaries of this year's Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb.

Notburga Maskini
Current donors to Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls' Secondary School (CEWGSS):
1. Tanzania Gatsby Trust - Shs.500,000/-
2. Dina Mrango - Shs.100,000/-
3. Notburga Maskini - Shs.100,000/-

Total donations to CEWGSS: Shs.700,000/-.

If you wish to donate, please follow the instructions on the following link:

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Notburga Maskini and Gerald Hando belatedly join the Kilimanjaro Club

The Kilimanjaro Club lists people I know who have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, including those who join me every year on the annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb.
Notburga Maskini and Gerald Hando climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro last year and should have been inducted into the 'Kilimanjaro Club' last year. The Kilimanjaro Club lists people who climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with me every year, and others whose information of their ascent reaches me.

Notburga Maskini, right, during last year's climb. In the middle, Gerald Hando of Clouds FM, and behind Gerald, the author of this post.
Members of the Kilimanjaro Club:
1. Markus Geiger
2. Notburga Maskini
3. Gerald Hando

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 1 of 12)

This is the first of twelve posts on the December 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.

Monday 29 November 2010
Before last year’s climb, I discovered Mwanza’s second-hand goods market at Lango Moja offers a good selection of hiking boots. The boots I bought last year only barely survived the rigors of last year’s climb. This year I had to choose my boots wisely. I believe I did, after I bought a pair of thinly insulated boots called Red Wings. They proved tough, resilient, and ready to take on Kilimanjaro next year.

On my way back from Mwanza, I received a call from Jaffar Amin saying he had been involved in a car accident in Uganda in which his driver had died and he was seriously injured. Over a series of telephone conversation he told me he was being transferred to Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi for further treatment. I was scheduled to climb Kilimanjaro with Jaffar and the news of the accident was unfortunate as I was looking forward to his participation in the charity fund raising drive.

In a subsequent phone call, he asked me to send him some money to help with his treatment, and the alarm bells went off. Jaffar had not told me he was in Uganda. The next day I eventually summoned the will to call a number on which I had previously communicated with him. The real Jaffar answered the phone; he was fine, had not been involved in any accident, and was eagerly looking forward to joining me at Moshi for the 3rd annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb.

The fake Jaffar kept calling, asking me to find a way to transfer the money he had requested. I played on, saying I had asked a friend in Nairobi to deliver the money to him while I attempted to involve police authorities to lay a trap and nab him. He provided a ward number of the hospital, but when I told him my friend was on his way to the hospital with the money, the impostor changed his mind and suggested the money should be sent by Western Union to Entebbe.

After I decided I had wasted enough time I sent him the following text message:

“I give you credit for being a crook who takes precautions. I know you are not Jaffar, and I have only played along because I wanted to nab you, which I could have done if I had more time to waste. I suggest you immediately stop using the number you have because I have friends in both Uganda and Kenya who will surely catch up with you and your continued use of that number will make their work much easier.”

An hour later he sent me the following text message:

“Kindly employ me then.”

Very funny, I thought. I was not only dealing with a conman, but also an aspiring comedian.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Another donation received from Dina Mrango for this year's Kilimanjaro climb

I have received and deposited to the Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls' Secondary School Fundraising account another donation for this year's Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb.

Dina Mrango
Dina Mrango of Toronto, Canada, has donated Shs.100,000/- to the school, one of the beneficiaries of this year's charity climb.

Current donors to Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls' Secondary School (CEWGSS):
1. Tanzania Gatbsy Trust - Shs.500,000/-
2. Dina Mrango - Shs.100,000/-

Total donations to CEWGSS: Shs.600,000/-.

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Monday, 20 December 2010

First donation to this year's Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb

I have just received news of the first donation of Shs.500,000/- (Five hundred thousand) received for Chief Edward Girls' Secondary School under this year's Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb from Tanzania Gatsby Trust.

I thank Tanzania Gatsby Trust (TGT) and especially TGT's Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Olive Luena, for this important donation.

Please keep those donations flowing to one or both of this year's beneficiaries:

Name of Account:
Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls’ Secondary School Fundraising

National Bank of Commerce, Musoma Branch

Account Number:
or to:

Name of Account:

National Bank of Commerce, Bukoba Branch

Account Number:

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb postponed - CORRECTION OF Budap's Account Number

I made a mistake in the account number of BUDAP that I provided in earlier posts on this blog, one of the beneficiary's of the just concluded Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb.

I reach the top of Kilimanjaro for the third time.
The correct details are as follows:

Name of Account:

National Bank of Commerce, Bukoba Branch

Account Number:

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Jaffar Amin and I reach the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in charity climb

An indispensable factor that helps climbers reach the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world's tallest free standing mountain, are the mountain guides.

 Mountain guide Solomon (left) and his counterpart, Ludovick (right) are dwarfed by Jaffar Amin (centre) moments before reaching Mt. Kilimanjaro's summit at 5,896m above sea level. In the background, the Southern Icefield.
Yesterday morning, through the guidance of Solomon (on the left of the photo) and Ludovick (on the right), I and Jaffar Amin reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in this year's Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb.

Having seen a preview of this photograph Solomon commented, "This guy is huge. Look at us. We look like chicks!" [the fowl version].

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Jaffar Amin has arrived in Moshi for The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb

Jaffar Amin arrived in Moshi this afternoon to take part in the annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb which begins on 7 December.

I, on the right, pose with Jaffar on the left at Moshi moments after his arrival in Moshi. Mt. Kilimanjaro is seen in the background.
The climb aims to raise charitable donations from members of the public, including you, for two beneficiaries. They include the Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls' Secondary School whose bank particulars are:

Name of Account:
Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls’ Secondary School Fundraising

National Bank of Commerce, Musoma Branch

Account Number:

The school still needs funds to complete various projects including a library, and recreational grounds.

The second beneficiary is Bukoba Disabled Assistance Project (BUDAP), a Bukoba-based NGO established in 2005 to empower the disabled through training and employment. Details of BUDAP’s activities can be obtained here:

BUDAP's bank details are:

Name of Account:

National Bank of Commerce, Bukoba Branch

Account Number:

Monday, 22 November 2010

Prof. Sospeter Muhongo's updated curriculum vitae

I have received an updated curriculum vitae from Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, whose CV was posted in this blog recently. It just reminds me that I have some pending academic upgrading to complete.
Prof Sospeter Muhongo, a Tanzanian, is an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of London and an Honorary Research Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences. He is a fellow of eight highly learned professional societies. He was the founding Regional Director of the ICSU Regional Office for Africa, Pretoria, South Africa. Prof Muhongo was the Chair (2007-2010) of Science Programme Committee (SPC) of the UN-proclaimed International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE). He is the Vice President of the Commission of the Geological Map of the World (CGMW). Prof Muhongo is the co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of African Earth Sciences (Elsevier) and Associate Editor of Precambrian Research (Elsevier). He is a Full Professor of Geology at the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and an Honorary Professor of Geology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Prof Muhongo has published over 200 well acknowledged research articles, geological and mineral maps. He has delivered more than 250 keynote speeches around the world at international conferences. Prof Muhongo has been on many STI review/evaluation panels for both national and international institutions and organizations. He has undertaken over 100 contracted scientific research projects, and consultancy services in the mineral industry, environmental issues and STI policy matters. Over the past two decades Prof. Muhongo has co-organized over 100 international STI and science policy conferences, including those on “Science with Africa” which are hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and their partners.

Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, right, speaks at the African-European Georesources Observation System (AEGOS) conference in Dar es Salaam in May 2010. To his right is former Tanzanian minister for Energy and Minerals, William Ngeleja.
Prof Muhongo is a Member of the International Experts Group (Global Science Forum) of OECD. He has occupied numerous important national, regional and international professional positions dealing with science, technology, innovation, earth resources, science policy and science diplomacy. Prof Muhongo is intensively mentoring young scientists, engineers and technologists around the world and has developed a special interest in the application of STI for the sustainable growth and socio-economic development of the global society. Prof Muhongo, recipient of numerous scholarly and professional awards, grants and fellowships studied geology at the Universities of Dar es Salaam and Goettingen (Germany). He graduated with Dr.rer.nat. degree from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. s.muhongo@bol.co.tz

Prof Sospeter M Muhongo

Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb postponed

In a press release I gave out a few days ago, I announced that this year's Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb will take place from 23 to 30 November. I have to postpone the climb yet again for two reasons: first, lack of timely sponsor support, and, second, my guest climber, Jaffar Amin, has caught influenza.

The climb dates will now be from 7 to 14 December, 2010.

Climbing Kilimanjaro involves considerable cost and sponsor support is crucial. I have received limited support and had to postpone the commencement dates to allow receipt of some funding from a sponsor on November 25. I communicated the information to Jaffar proposing  postponement and he informed me he had contracted influenza. Influenza is one item that is not recommended for all those who climb Kilimanjaro. I would have had to postpone the climb until he is fully recovered.

The beneficiaries for this year's climb do not and will not suffer from influenza. Please donate. Some information on them is provided below:

The objective this year is to raise charitable donations from you for one of two (or both) beneficiaries. The first is the Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls’ Secondary School, which was also the beneficiary of the first climb in 2008 when more than $US20,000 was raised. Details of the 2008 climb can be found here:

The school still needs funds to complete various projects including a library, and recreational grounds. I am appealing to you to donate directly to the school’s account whose details are:

Name of Account:
Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls’ Secondary School Fundraising

National Bank of Commerce, Musoma Branch

Account Number:

The second beneficiary is Bukoba Disabled Assistance Project (BUDAP), a Bukoba-based NGO established in 2005 to empower the disabled through training and employment. Details of BUDAP’s activities can be obtained here:

I also appeal to you to donate to BUDAP, whose bank details are:

Name of Account:

National Bank of Commerce, Bukoba Branch

Account Number:

Should you have any questions or require clarification, please send me an email at madaraka.nyerere@gmail.com or call me on +255(0)755 570 795.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Tanzanian elections 2010 in pictures

The Tanzanian general elections on 31st October 2010 had no shortage of flags of rival political parties. In this year's campaigns Chama cha Maendeleo na Demokrasia (CHADEMA) posed the greater challenge to the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

The rivalry between the two political parties is reflected in the photograph, below, showing the flags of both parties flying high on a treetop in the town of Bunda in Mara region, CHADEMA's flying slightly higher.
The National Electoral Commission continues to release results of the presidential elections, with CCM's presidential candidate and incumbent, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, holding a clear lead ahead of other candidates.

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Monday, 1 November 2010

CHADEMA's Vincent Nyerere wins the Musoma Urban parliamentary seat

It is official: Vincent Nyerere of the Chama cha Demokrasia (CHADEMA) has won the parliamentary seat for Musoma Urban in a fierce campaign against outgoing MP, Vedasto Mathayo Manyinyi of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.

Vincent Nyerere, the elected MP for Musoma Rural constituency, addresses Musoma residents during the recent election campaigns

Official results are as follows:

Vincent Nyerere (CHADEMA)                            21,335 (59.71%)

Vedasto Mathayo Manyinyi (CCM)                     14,072 (39.38%)

Mustapha Juma Wandwi (Civic United Front)           253 (0.71%)

Chrisant Ndege Nyakitita (Democratic Party)             53 (0.15%)

Tabu Saidi Machibya (NCCR - Mageuzi)                  19 (0.05%)      

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Sunday, 31 October 2010

Tanzanian elections: acts of violence reported in Musoma

Tanzanians are voting today in the fourth multiparty elections since the country reverted to a multiparty system in 1992. Six presidential candidates are challenging incumbent President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete who has stated he is confident that his party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), will convincingly win these elections.

Leading challenger, Dr. Wilbrod Slaa of the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) has also stated he is confident his party will win the elections and has been quoted saying that he has already formed his cabinet.
A voter is marked by indelible ink by elections officer, Flora Kamanzi, after casting his vote this morning at the Butiama Hospital voting centre.

Tanzanians continue to vote. Reports from Musoma, where I am blogging from, say that acts of violence have been reported in some areas of the city but police are reported to have intervened. There are also reports of attempts by supporters of an unnamed political party to bribe police to desert voting stations.

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James has voted today at Butiama in Tanzania's general elections

I visited the Butiama Hospital polling station this morning, a few minutes after the station was opened, and there was already a large group of voters who were casting their votes in Tanzania's fourth general elections since the reintroduction of a multiparty system in 1992.
Here goes....
Today Tanzanians go to the polls to vote for a president, members of parliament, and councilors. The incumbent member of parliament for Musoma Rural, Nimrod Mkono, has already been confirmed MP after he emerged the only candidate in the race, representing the ruling Chama cha Mapunduzi (CCM) party.
I'm done.

One of those who casted their votes this morning included James Mugabu Kisige Karebe, a resident of Buturu village, near the village of Butiama, who works at Butiama as a cook in the residence of former president, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere.

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We have to run while they sit

There is an interesting quote, attributed to Tanzania's founding president, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere in which he says that developing nations have to double their efforts in bringing about economic and social development to their countries, unlike developed nations that have already attained high levels of economic and social progress. He said, "we have to run while they walk."

Fast forward to the Tanzanian polls today, in which Tanzanian voters are casting their votes for president, parliamentarians, and councillors and to the photograph, above, which reminded me of the quote.

As I drove into Musoma yesterday, where outgoing MP of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, Vedasto Mathayo Manyinyi, is fighting to retain his seat and is receiving fierce competition from the candidate for Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) Vincent Nyerere, I noticed a truck had stopped on the road side to pick up supporters of CCM. Ahead, walking, was an enthusiastic group of CHADEMA supporters on their way to the final meeting of  CHADEMA's candidate. The meeting was held at the Mukendo Primary Schools grounds.

The CHADEMA supporters on the road certainly needed to run while their CCM rivals rode on the truck to attend the final campaign meeting of the CCM candidate. It remains to be seen who will be the next MP for the Musoma Urban constituency.

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Monday, 18 October 2010

Talkshow host Mayrose Kavura Majinge visits Butiama

Talk show host Mayrose Kavura Majinge is on a crusade of sorts. She is spearheading a campaign she describes focused on solidarity and unity to bring about development and dignity to Mara Region. I understand the focus has since shifted into a national campaign.

Mayrose addressing an audience of traditional healers at Willow Point Club, Butiama
The purpose of the campaign is to build the capacity of Tanzanians to enable them attain various goals for the purpose of improving their lives. Her mission has been influenced in part by President Jakaya Kikwete's statement, "A better life for every Tanzanian, an affluent Tanzania, is attainable." Is doable, as my friend Le would say.

Mayrose addressing an audience of traditional healers at Willow Point Club, Butiama
In her meetings, Mayrose meets with various groups, including the elderly, women, youth, and in the case of Butiama, she also met with traditional healers. In these meetings she sparks debate on the obstacles hindering progress towards a better life, stressing the importance of education (formal and informal) and the need for self confidence.

Mayrose addressing an audience of traditional healers at Willow Point Club, Butiama
The Mayrose Talk show runs on Star TV every Sunday and Thursday from 1400 to 150hrs.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pan African Movement honours family of Mwalimu Nyerere

I was in Kampala, Uganda, on 7th October 2010 to receive on behelf of the family of the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere a plaque from the Pan African Movement that was presented to me by President Yoweri Museveni.

The plaque reads:
Pan African Movement

Presented to 
the family of the 
Late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere 
in recognition of your 
struggle for 
African Liberation 
7th October 2010 
Kampala - Uganda 
Maj.Gen. (Rtd) 
Kahinda Otafire Chairman

Initially I felt I was receiving undue credit at the Kampala event that perhaps should go to other members of the family until I recalled having participated in a charity event in 1974 that included teaching visitors to the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair a novel method of multiplication that was invented by the late Lt. Ali Rwegoshora.

From that event we (including some of my siblings and cousins, and Rwegoshora) collected donations for Mozambican orphans whose parents had died in the Mozambican liberation struggle. It wasn't a major contribution towards African Liberation but it was something.

Nyerere Day commemorated at Butiama

It was a busy day at Butiama on Thursday, which was also the 11th death anniversay of the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere.

The day began with mass at 10:00AM, led by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Musoma, Michael Msonganzila. After mass, the congregation held a short prayer at the mausoleum of the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere.

The visitors included former Prime Minister, Judge Joseph Sinde Warioba, and the acting Regional Commissioner for Mara and District Commissioner for Musoma, Godfrey Ngatuni and his wife.

Visitors from Uganda, including Ssalongo Katumba (centre), about to lay a wreath on the grave of Mwalimu Nyerere during the commemoration
The wreath-laying ceremony was followed by a luncheon hosted by Mwalimu's widow, Mama Maria Nyerere.

L-R, Makongoro Nyerere, son of Mwalimu Nyerere and chairman of Chama cha Mapinduzi for Mara region, Ssalongo Katumba from Uganda, and Bishop Michael Msonganzila.
L-R, Mrs. Ngatuni, Fr. Bilingi, Mama Maria Nyerere, District Commissioner for Musoma, Godfrey Ngatuni.

Mama Maria Nyerere greets James Kapaya whose birthday was on 14 October. Holding James is his father, Ben Kapaya, who is also the Regional Director of the Mwanza office of the Open University of Tanzania.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Pose with a crocodile? I pass

Le, who joined me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in August 2008 does not shirk adventure. He has climbed parts of the Himalayas, up to Everest Base Camp. He climbed Mt. Kenya, rested for a few days and joined me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. After the Kilimanjaro climb, he took a few days' rest and climbed Mt. Meru. After Meru, he decided to climb Mt. Oldoinyo Lengai, but later postponed that climb and took a week's rest in Zanzibar.

He sent me this photograph, taken after the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, posing dangerously close to a crocodile. I have enough excitement climbing Kilimanjaro.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Excerpts from CCM presidential candidate's Musoma campaign speech

Last Saturday, presidential candidate for the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) made a campaign stop at Musoma and addressed residents of Musoma at the Mukendo Primary School grounds.
CCM presidential candidate and President of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, addressing residents of Musoma last Saturday.
Here are excerpts from his speech:
I have returned to ask you to allow CCM to continue leading this country. There are many reasons; I will mention three. First, there is no political party that is comparable to CCM in structure, network, policies, program, and plans and implementation; not one of them gets close to CCM.
Second, we are leading this country quite well. The country is calm, and the successes are clearly evident. The Tanzania of 1961 is not what it is today; that of 2005 is not what it is today. And in these five years we have accomplished a lot that in the past was seen as impossible. We have succeeded. 
Third, we are trustworthy.
In his speech, he did not neglect women:
If given the opportunity, women are capable. I promised women positions, many women in my cabinet more than in any other period in history, many judges. Everywhere, we promised fifty percent by fifty percent. In the coming parliament women will occupy fifty percent, and men will occupy fifty percent.
He continued:
We promised to improve access to various services: education, health, water, roads, electricity, and telephone networks.
In 2005, Musoma secondary schools had 3,000 youth. Today the secondary schools have 10,777. The honourable member of parliament has outlined challenges in teachers, books, laboratories, and teachers' housing. That is a fact. But the challenges are a a sign of development. Nevertheless, we are prepared to face these challenges and we have attained considerable success.
We decided to expand teachers' training at university level, and teachers training colleges at the diploma level. In 2005 we used to receive from universities not more than 600 teachers. This year we will receive 12,124. This is not a minor achievement. These are things that are done by diligent people like us, and are implemented by a diligent government like the CCM government.
Next year every secondary school will get not less five teachers. The university that we built at Dodoma will have 40,000 graduates each year. Among those 15,000 are students who are learning teaching. Do we still have a problem of teachers?
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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Presidential candidate Peter Kuga Mziray's curriculum vitae

Peter Kuga Mziray, the presidential candidate in this year's general elections, slated for October, under the African Progressive Party of Tanzania (APPT-Maendeleo) party began his political career in 1995 when he unsuccessfully sought the Same East parliamentary seat under the NCCR-Mageuzi party.
Presidential candidate of APPT-Maendeleo, Peter Kuga Mziray
He made a second bid for the same constituency seat after moving to the Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) and lost to incumbent and former Minister of Finance Daniel Yona in the 2000 elections. In 2001 he was among the candidates seeking election in the East African Legislative Assembly, a seat that was won by Mabere Marando who has recently joined Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA).

APPT-Maendeleo was registered as a political party in December 2001 and fielded candidates in the 2005 elections, including the only women presidential candidate in Tanzania's history, Anna Senkoro. She has since moved back to the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM).
In the 2005 elections and in his third attempt to represent voters of the Same East constituency, Mziray lost the election to Mrs. Anna Kilango Malecela, wife of former Prime Minister Samwel Malecela.

The following is his brief curriculum vitae:

Qualifications and Experience:

11 years, planning of agricultural/livestock development programmes/projects. Main area of specialization: identification, preparation, appraisal, management, monitoring and evaluation of livestock programmes and projects
5 years


1992             MSc in Agricultural/Livestock Economics (University of Reading, United Kingdom)

1992 - 1993 Post-graduate Diploma in Agricultural Economics (University of Reading, United Kingdom)

1991             Professional course in Agricultural project planning (Bradford University, United Kingdom)

1983 - 1989 MSc in Animal Husbandry at Lumumba University (Moscow, Russia)

Working Experience:

1995 – 2000 Livestock Economist with the Livestock Directorate

1992 - 1994 Project Preparation and Monitoring Bureau (PPMB), administered by FAO

1989 - 1991 Project Preparation and Monitoring Bureau (PPMB)

Consulting Experience:

1992 National Artificial Insemination Centre (NAIC), Arusha. Funded by World Food Programme.

1996 Charcos and Dam Rehabilitation for Mara, Arusha, Singida, and Shinyanga Project

1997 Rehabilitation and Development Plan for Ruvu Farm

1997 Agricultural Sector Programme Support (ASPS), Livestock Sub-Sector Programme

1998 MEDETO Environmental Project Morogoro: Monitoring and Evaluation Report

1999 The Study of Informal Cross Border Livestock Trade (ICBLT) Between Tanzania and Her Neighbors
1999 Livestock Component of ASPS
2000 Isaack and Sons Dairy Development Project, Tarime District, Mara Region
2000 Improved Beef Cattle and Goat Development Project, Kwala, Bagamoyo District
2000 Dairy Development Project, Chanika, Ilala District

Papers presented: 
"The influence of microelements in milk production for Dairy cows", 1989, MSc dissertation - unpublished.

"Artificial insemination in Tanzania" 1993, Post Graduate Diploma dissertation, Reading University, U. K. - unpublished.

"Privatization of State-owned Enterprises - issues and constraints", 1994, MSc dissertation, Reading University U.K.-unpublished.     

Projects Authored:
1997    Development of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) in Tanzania
1995        Kigoma Smallholder Dairy Extension Project
1995        Rukwa Smallholder Dairy Extension Project
1992        Kibaha Heifer Breeding
1992        Artificial Insemination Rehabilitation Project in Tanzania
1991    Poultry projects submitted to the National Bank of Commerce, and the CRDB Bank Limited
1991        Vikuga Pasture Seed and Hay Production
1990        Makutupora Grapes and Wine Production
1990    Kiluvya Livestock Project

Monday, 27 September 2010

Letter from Butiama: The rainmakers

This is one of numerous articles I wrote for the Sunday News (Tanzania) column "Letter from Butiama" between 2005 and 2011. Publication date: 19th February 2006.

After Mwalimu Julius Nyerere returned to Tanganyika from his studies, probably after graduating from Edinburgh University in July 1952, he paid a visit to Chief Mohamed Makongoro, an old friend of his father, Chief Nyerere Burito.

Mwalimu recounted that, during that visit to the Chief’s residence at the village of Ikizu, close to the village of Butiama, the Chief had also invited a group of tribal elders who, on receiving the good news that his friend’s son had returned to Tanganyika with a university education, spontaneously began a celebratory chant that lasted several minutes.

Before they completed their chant, and out of a clear sunny sky, a thunderstorm emerged and rain poured down for several minutes on the Chief and his guests. There are several people I can think of who could have told me the same story and I would have quietly remarked it was one of the more creative lies of the century. But I believed Mwalimu when he narrated what he witnessed, although he neither said he believed nor doubted that the rain was caused by the elders' chants.

Perhaps it was just an interesting coincidence. The former regional commissioner for Mara region, Ambassador Nimrod Lugoe on a recent visit to Butiama while speaking on the subject of rainfall patterns in Mara region said that, for one particular strip which incorporates Butiama and the nearby village of Buhemba, in any year, if it does not rain by 15th February then any previous rainfall shortages become even more pronounced. He spoke on February 14th 2006. On 15th February, after a long period of unpredictable and erratic rainfall, it rained at Butiama.

Ambassador Lugoe was most probably speaking from experience gained through the studying of rainfall patterns. In the past, that knowledge could transform him into someone with extraordinary abilities.

Chief Nyerere, who at the recommendation of his friend Chief Makongoro was appointed by the German colonialists in 1912 to lead his people, is said to have possessed skills for predicting future events. I don’t know whether the Germans considered those skills in their decision, but it is said that people trusted that he had extraordinary skills.

I am arguing that those elders had some knowledge that others did not possess. The factors of the incident – chanting elders, a sunny sky, and a thunderstorm - taken separately, are not exceptional. It is the sequence of events that culminates in a thunderstorm that is intriguing. If it was pure coincidence then those elders must have been remarkably fortunate to have invoked their rain chant only minutes before a sunny sky was transformed into a violent thunderstorm.

A suggestion of the possibility that these elders possessed some skills is not to profess a belief in extraordinary powers. It can simply mean admitting that the rational explanation to such an extraordinary event can, at times, be deliberately concealed in order to perpetuate the myth that the practitioners possess some extraordinary powers. Those mystical powers become a means of maintaining some authority on the rest of society.

When that mysticism is explained, the practitioner’s authority is usually undermined. I heard recently of a famous witchdoctor who, on the bench leading to his consulting room, planted an informer between each genuine client on the queue. The work of these agents, impersonating as patients, was to extract information on the problems facing the real patients. Having obtained the necessary information, the informer would enter ahead of the next in line and reveal this information to the witchdoctor.

As soon as the patient entered to see the famous witchdoctor he would be greeted with a long statement beginning with something like, “You are married with two wives, and have seven children. You are planning to travel next week with your second wife to visit your in-laws, who will take you to visit a man who claims to have powers to enrich people. And you want me to tell you whether Profesa Jua Kali really can make you rich? Have I covered what you want?”

Some seemingly extraordinary feats can be no more than the most basic tricks. However, there are some incidents that do not quite fit that categorisation. When hardened rationalists encounter occurrences that defy any normal order known to man, they usually clear their throats and make authoritative statements like, “Confidential conclusions are unlikely to be supported by a survey of all the known facts.” Which, in simple English and in reference to our example means, we cannot say for sure that rain can be charmed to fall in the Ikizu language. The previous quote is from the concluding remark on an article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica on parapsychological phenomenon or events that cannot be accounted for by natural law or knowledge.

I recently asked an elder at Butiama about the rainmaking tradition, and he seemed embarrassed to discuss the suggestion that humans can bring about rainfall, and it appears that few of those elders survive today. Today, we know from science that it is possible for humans to create rain. It is called ‘seeding for rain’, accomplished by dropping silver iodide crystals from airplanes. I believe it has to be extremely expensive because I imagine TANESCO, the national electricity supplier, would have already flown those planes all over the area whose rivers drain into Lake Mtera.

It would be interesting to bring together traditional rainmakers and modern rainmakers to observe what experiences they can share.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Green men are not only from Mars

The on-going election campaign meetings of the various political parties bring out the brightest of party colours: on t-shirts, caps, scarves, and on humans.

The green men of Musoma.
Saturday's campaign meeting at Musoma that was addressed by the ruling party's presidential candidate who is also Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete was a sea of yellow, green, and included these three party supporters who painted their bodies green.

The paint and the bare chests gives them a rather menacing look. I suspect without the paint they are normal law-abiding citizens.

President Kikwete held campaign meeting in Musoma yesterday

The presidential candidate in October's general elections for the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), who is also Tanzanian president Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete held his campaign meeting yesterday afternoon in Musoma.
CCM presidential candidate, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete addresses residents of Musoma yesterday
The meeting was preceded by live performances of popular Tanzanian musicians, led by the Tanzania One Theater Group.

The meeting was also addressed by Agricultural Minister and outgoing MP for Bunda, Stephen Wassira; Vedasto Mathayo and the outgoing MP for Musoma Urban; and the party's Regional chairperson, Makongoro Nyerere.

In the next few days, I will post some of the quotations from some of those speeches.

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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Hanna is getting married

My cousin's daughter, Hanna Mgassa, is getting married in Dar es Salaam next week to Walter Mweyo.
Hanna, seated on the left, at Saturday's farewell party held in Musoma.
Last Saturday I attended her farewell party which we normally refer to as a "send-off party" which sounds to me too much like "get rid off party."

The party was well-attended and it was great to see the tremendous joy that permeated the ceremony. There were also some sad moments expressed by her mother, Maria, for having to let her go.

I looked up the English description defining my relation to "my cousin's daughter" and came up with "my first cousin once removed", a mouthful. In the Swahili language she is described by one word only, mpwa, and is in the same category as my nieces, my sisters' daughters.

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Monday, 20 September 2010

Richard Kiyabo: from CCM to CCM

Richard Kiyabo has most likely set the record for the shortest-lived political crusade against Tanzania's ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

In less than a year, after jumping from one political party to another, Kiyabo was recently reported to have joined CCM, from where he probably began his political tour that has included transit stops in three other political parties.
During a visit to Butiama in March 2010, Renatus Muabhi (L), and Richard Kiyabo (R) lay a wreath at the grave of Tanzania's founding president, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
Late last year news surfaced that a new political party was in the offing and it was rumored that prominent politicians from CCM were behind the launch of this new party. Indeed, in mid-January the Registrar of Political parties, John Tendwa, confirmed having received an application for the registration of Chama cha Jamii (CCJ). Kiyabo presented himself as the chairperson, and Renatus Muabhi the party's secretary general.

CCM's leadership pretended not to worry, but the persistent rumors competing for attention suggested that a large section of CCM's parliamentarians would cross over to CCJ once parliament was dissolved for October's general elections and those feared defections were enough to worry any CCM member.

Kiyabo and Muabhi went around promising policies that, added to the expected CCM defections, would most certainly have attracted serious political support in the elections. But as with most good plans, even good policies do not always reach implementation stage. At a certain stage, the Registrar of political parties ruled that CCJ had failed to fulfill the legal requirements necessary for full registration and ruled out CCJ fielding candidates in the October elections. By the end of July, he struck CCJ off the party list.

Kiyabo, who in the meantime reported receiving death threats from unidentified individuals, then anounced he was joining Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), together with a former CCM member of parliament who had joined CCJ, Fred Mpendazoe. Before anyone could analyse the significance of the event, Kiyabo appeared on a news report saying he was the presidential candidate for yet another party, the National Reconstruction Alliance (NRA), in October's elections.
Then the bombshell a few days ago: he showed up at the office of CCM's secretary general Yusuph Makamba and said he has now joined CCM. Someone should question how CCM can trust this man; he should have been placed in quarantine for 5 years. First, he is no doubt someone who jumps up to action before thoroughly analysing possible consequences. None of the parties that he toured have changed their policies, including CCM. One good reason for jumping ship would be major shift in policies.

The more one reads of his justification for his tour of political parties, the more one concludes that he took many Tanzanians for fools, particularly those who believed CCJ was a new political force that threatened to dislodge CCM and could have forced CCM to put its house in order.

Everyone is free to express his political views by joining any political party whose policies seem to accurately reflect those views. So far, Kiyabo has proved he has no views.

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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Weddings are different nowadays

Weddings are rarely what they used to be.

During wedding ceremonies in the past, the bride and groom used to sit obediently and were told by the master of ceremonies when to stand, sit, smile, cut a cake, and take the floor for the opening dance.

Today, the MC has the same power over the newlyweds, but the couple have more room to move around the reception hall. The new addition to the event is the introductions of their families made by each of the couple to the invited guests. In turn, they introduce their parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, as well as close friends in attendance.
At a wedding reception in Mwanza, the bridegroom takes the floor to introduce members of his family
Couples then were a quiet, subdued representation of themselves, whatever the true facts they concealed. Today, couples at a wedding openly express their feelings and they dance at every occasion throughout the reception: from receiving wedding gifts from guests, to moving to the next table to cut the wedding cake.

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Thursday, 16 September 2010

Before and after photos of a section of Butiama

On 3 June, 2008 I pointed my camera north and snapped the photograph, below, of a section of Butiama village.

Last Monday, I pointed my camera in the same direction and took another photograph and compared the two to find out whether there was any significant change.
I noticed some changes: (A) a new road has opened up (B) the owner of this homestead has cleared up some space for further possible land developments (C), (D), (E), and (F) appear to be new buildings that were not in the original photograph. The arrow on the bottom of the right corner points to on-going construction of another house.

From the restricted perspectives of the images, one can make two conclusions: first, this part of Butiama is seeing some development, evidenced by the new road and additional buildings, and 2. some of the residents of this area have accumulated enough savings to enable construction of new dwellings.

I am wondering whether the road project may be linked to the elections in October. The ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi, might claim credit for the fact that there are more houses than from two years ago. If residents can save enough income to build houses then it suggests they are generating a surplus and are living above the poverty threshold.

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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Tanzania elections 2010: Opposition candidate, Dr. Slaa, holds rally in Musoma

Presidential candidate of the Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) was in Musoma yesterday and addressed a rally attended by CHADEMA supporters at the Mukendoe Primary School grounds.
Dr. Slaa addresses Musoma residents yesterday.
In a speech that lasted about two hours, Dr. Slaa urged residents of Musoma to vote for his party, criticising the government for failure in various sectors.

Dr. Slaa addresses residents of Musoma yesterday.
Some quotations from his speech:
If you want to win the war against poverty, you first have to invest in education. You cannot eliminate poverty by fishing without expertise. You cannot eliminate poverty by farming without expertise. That is why we have said in CHADEMA from next year, in order to tackle poverty, we will first deal with improving the education of Tanzanians. We will invest from pre-school; we will move to Standard VII. And you all know that Standard VII is worthless; your children who wrote their exams recently, cannot even write their names. We will move on to Form IV. And you know that even Form IV today has no worth in the eyes of the world. We will move to Form VI. Under this programme, Form VI becomes compulsory education for every Tanzanian child.
And within [this program] we will insert technical education, so that when the child completes Form VI, he should at least be able to form something complete.
That education, from pre-school, to Form VI, will be paid by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania.
There is no place in Tanzania where a litre of fuel sells for Sh.2,500/-. Within the allowances which push a parliamentarian's salary to Sh.7/- million, there is a fuel allowance with one litre paid at Sh.2,500/- since 2008. Speaker Sitta, I told you, reveal the salary of a member of parliament, put out an analysis of those millions - six point nine nine - so that Tanzanians can see it and then they will find out who is a liar....
The president that we need is an honest president; a righteous president, a president who does not grab public resources, a president who follows the footsteps of [founding president] Mwalimu Nyerere....This is a person that no one points a finger at, for his uprightness, and for his righteousness.
When we launched the struggle against EPA [President] Kikwete told us, 'the noise of Dr. Slaa and his colleagues is similar to the noise made by a door; they don't prevent the landlord from falling asleep.'
We are telling [President] Kikwete, 'the noise is increasing, and now you will never sleep again!'
Addressing CHADEMA's parliamentary candidate for Musoma, Vincent Nyerere, he asked:
Honourable MP, how many primary schools do you have in Musoma?
The member of parliament tells me there are thirty primary schools in Musoma. Now, what was tabled in parliament? For those thirty schools, the number of teachers teaching in those schools, Grade IIIA, is 14.
Honourable MP, how many secondary schools do you have?
There are fifteen secondary schools in Musoma. There are 45 teachers with diplomas; four with degrees. Forty five and four is 49. Divide that by 15 schools, how much do you get?
[Someone from the crowd shouts, 'two!']
No, not two, don't be unfair to them, it's more than three.
The meeting was also addressed by CHADEMA's parliamentary candidate for Musoma Urban, Vincent Nyerere and John Shibuda, former CCM member of parliament for Maswa who is now CHADEMA's candidate for the same seat after crossing over to CHADEMA.