Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Visitors to Butiama: First Lady, Mama Salma Kikwete

The First Lady, Mama Salma Kikwete was in Butiama this morning where she addressed residents of Butiama and donated hospital equipment to the Butiama Health Centre.
Photo: First Lady, Mama Salma Kikwete (right), addressing residents of Butiama this morning. Others in the photo (L-R): Kukirango councillor Fidelis Kisuka, Musoma Urban MP Nimrod Mkono, Musoma District Commissioner Godfrey Ngatuni, and Mara Regional Commissioner Col (Rtd.) Enos Mfuru.
Mama Kikwete, who is also the chairperson of Wanawake na Maendeleo Foundation (WAMA), reiterated some of WAMA's objectives including the promotion of improved health care for women and children. She cautioned schoolgirls against succumbing to the temptations that men dangle in front of their eyes and encouraged them instead to concentrate on their studies so they may also become contributors to the country's development.

In her current visit to Mara Region the president's wife has visited the districts of Tarime, Serengeti, Bunda, and Musoma. The meeting was also attended by MP for Musoma Rural, Hon. Nimrod Mkono, and his Musoma Urban counterpart, Hon. Vedasto Mathayo Manyinyi.

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Sunday, 28 March 2010

Visitors to Butiama: University students from Kenya

Recently, at Butiama, I had the privilege of receiving students from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), based in Nairobi, Kenya.
CUEA is reported to have an enrolment of over 5,000 students in six faculties: Theology; Arts & Social Sciences; Commerce; Science; Education; Law; and the Center for Social Justice and Ethics.

The visitors included citizens of Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania. On the extreme right is Sr. Lucy Kimaro, their lecturer, a Tanzanian.

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Thursday, 25 March 2010

It looks like abstract art

The image of Tanzania's founding president that is depicted on the one thousand shilling banknote reminds me of a statue made by a Greek artist after Mwalimu Nyerere died in October 1999.

The artist attempted to reproduce Mwalimu's image from a few photographs he had seen. The small bust he eventually made did not accurately reflect a likeness of Mwalimu, although there were some resemblances. However, most people who knew Mwalimu would have no difficulty in identifying the bust as representing a near resemblance of Mwalimu Nyerere.

The same can be said of the image on the banknote; it was a poor attempt to depict the actual face of the former president. It would appear as if it is the work of an abstract artist, more interested in artistic expression than showing what the person looked in real life. Some of us who knew the person say that the face on the note could pass as one of Mwalimu's cousins.

A Tanzanian who I believe has also been attempting to recreate a likeness of Mwalimu in statues is an artist based in Maswa, in Tanzania's Shinyanga region. He made a statue of Mwalimu Nyerere that, until a few years ago stood at a roundabout in Mwanza. That was before residents of Mwanza began complaining that the statue looked nothing close to what Mwalimu was. One morning, many years ago, residents woke up to find the statue gone, apparently removed by the City authorities.

Recently, the same artist made another statue of similar dubious quality that was erected at Butiama during last year's Nyerere Day commemorations in October.

Images: Mwalimu Nyerere's statue at Butiama

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Kilimanjaro, anyone?

This year, as for the past two years, I continue with my efforts to raise funds for charity through climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain and the world's tallest free-standing mountain.

Images from the 2008 and 2009 climbs:
At the summit; you cannot stand higher on the African continent
 A partial view of Furtwangler Glacier, seen from Crater Camp
 Boulders along the route to Barranco Camp
 Mawenzi, Kilimanjaro's other peak, bears itself during last year's descent
Unique vegetation on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Kibo, just before sunset

Following the considerable publicity received during last year's climb I expect a larger number of climbers to join me this year. Because it is an election year, I will avoid scheduling the 8-day climb during the official election campaign period which runs from August to October. I therefore expect the climb to take place during the first week of November.

Some of the people who have told me they intend to climb Kilimanjaro this year to raise funds for charity (or just for the adventure) include:
  • Amrani Batenga, former Chairperson of Mwanza region's branch of Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), also a Mwanza-based businessman
  • Cutlatt Mazengo, who works at the National Insurance Corporation
  • Fred "Fredwaa" Fidelis, the radio presenter at Radio Free Africa in Mwanza
  • Gerald Hando, the radio presenter at Clouds FM who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with me last year and is Fredwaa's cousin
  • Imruh Bakari, a lecturer in Media, Film and Communication at King Alfred's College, Winchester, England
  • Jaffar Amin, the son of Idi Amin who visited me at Butiama in 2008 and was to join me last year, but could not
  • Khoti Kamanga, my lookalike and Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Dar es Salaam
  • Makongoro, my brother and the ruling party's Chairperson for Mara Region, who has climbed Kilimanjaro in the past as part of his cadet training at the Monduli Military Academy
  • Matare, my cousin and businessman, who was to join me last year but could not
  • Mustapha, my friend from Nakuru, Kenya, who has continued sending messages of encouragement and has even called me during my past climbs
  • Nuru Inyangete, my cousin and renowned architect, who climbed Kilimanjaro while studying at Weruweru Secondary School many years ago and has recently decided she will climb the mountain again, probably prompted by the recent succesful climb of Kilimanjaro by her daughter
  • Phillip Kissanga from Austria who visited Tanzania last year and has climbed the Austrian Alps
  • Salum Mwaimu, journalist and television presenter at Dar es Salaam's Channel 10/DTV
  • And others who have yet to confirm
If you want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity or just for fun, please get in touch with me through the email address on my profile.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Tanzania broadband project

The National ICT Broadband Project is slowly inching its way across Tanzania. Motorists who travel on the Mwanza - Musoma road may have noticed recently that a trench lies parallel to the road; it is the trench where an optic fiber cable is being layed-out to link Musoma to Mwanza under the Broadband Project.

Photo: A fresh mound of soil covering the trench with the optic fiber cable, near the village of Sabasaba on the Mwanza - Musoma road, some 20 kilometres from Musoma

In a speech delivered to a meeting of the International Telecommunications meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, last October Tanzania Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said:
...Tanzania has embarked on the construction of the Terrestrial National Optic Fiber Cable (OFC), part of which will become operational towards the end of this year, 2009. The First and Second Phases of the Project will cover 7,000 kilometres, and already there exists 3,674 kilometres of the National Optic Fiber Cable in the country. Therefore, the National ICT Backbone Project when completed will cover a distance of 10,674 kilometres. As we are meeting today, the construction work is ongoing in [the] central part of our country and moving towards the borders of the western neigbhouring countries of Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda. This project will ensure  all administrative regional and district centres within Tanzania are connected to this backbone. Definitely, once said and done, such a National Digital Nervous System will make communication among people faster and easier. Also, a lot of information, news. and knowledge will be available across the country aiming at connecting the minds of the people.
That's the good news. The bad news is that, although the optic fiber cable will pass as close as 9 kilometres from where I am typing this post, it will be sometime before the benefits of broadband reach Butiama. I suspect I will still have to make the 80-kilometres round trip to Musoma whenever I need faster internet speeds.

I recently attempted to upload a short video clip using the slow connection I have and the estimated time of uploading was 2 days. I gave up. With that time I could have traveled to whever that clip was in the world and returned with it to Butiama before the uploading was completed.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Visitors to Butiama: Leaders of the new political party, CCJ

Leaders of Chama cha Jamii (CCJ), the political party that received preliminary registration recently from the Registrar of Political Parties, John Tendwa, visited Butiama this morning.
Photo: CCJ's Secretary-General Renatus Muabhi, left, and the party's Chairperson, Richard Kiyabo, place a wreath at the tomb of former Tanzanian president Mwalimu Nyerere at the enclave of Mwitongo, in the village of Butiama.

The leaders were at Butiama to visit Mwalimu Nyerere's grave and to pay a courtesy call on Mwalimu Nyerere's family. CCJ's constitution states it will implement some of the policies that were followed by Mwalimu Nyerere. CCJ describes itself as party that will follow Social Welfarism ideologies.

Photo: L-R, Mwalimu Nyerere's younger brother, Joseph Muhunda; Mwalimu Nyerere's nephew, Chief Japhet Wanzagi; CCJ Chaiperson Richard Kiyabo; CCJ's Secretary-General, Renatus Muabhi; and Butiama's representative of opposition party CHADEMA, Charles John

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Le's despatches

Le Huyn, who accompanied me on my first Mt. Kilimanjaro climb in 2008, is an individual who likes to travel. He also shares experiences of his travels with friends he has met along the way. He sent this despatch after his recent visit to the Peruvian Andes.

He sent these fascinating photos of Manchu Pichu, the ruins of the ancient Incan city located on the Peruvian Andes mountains. Manchu Pichu was built about 1500 AD.
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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Letter from Butiama: The peace march

This is one of numerous articles I wrote for the Sunday News (Tanzania) column "Letter from Butiama" between 2005 and 2011. Publication date: 3rd July 2005.

Last Wednesday* and Thursday the villagers of Butiama were co-hosts, together with the Mara regional authorities, to a group of young men and women who spent the previous one-and-a-half months walking in a peace march from Dar es Salaam to Butiama.

The march was organized by an NGO called Parents Association for the Advancement of Students. From an initial group that had set-off from Dar es Salaam in May, 133 made it to Butiama covering more than 1,300 kilometres on foot.

After arrival on 29th June they delivered a speech in front of invited guests and handed a national flag carried along from Dar es Salaam to the guest of honour and acting Mara Regional Commissioner, Mr. Ernest Kahindi, who is also District Commissioner for Musoma Rural district.

Mr. Kahindi handed the flag back to the next person behind him, Tarime's District Commissioner Paschal Mabiti and Mr. Mabiti did the same and handed the flag to me as I stood behind him. Standing with the national flag made me feel part of an imporant event in history. If only they knew they would have probably requested that someone else should hold the flag.

I began this year with a resolution: I had to exercise so that I could maintain what I still possess of my physical and mental capacities. The least demanding exercise, I learnt, and one which one takes part in with almost no investment was walking. It was ideal for those who had not taken part in physical exercises for a long time and the pace and distance could be increased after the body became accustomed to the physical exertion.

For about two weeks in January, I began with a short walk of a little more than two-and-a-half kilometres which I managed to complete in about thirty minutes. I realized it was too little exercise and I doubled the distance which I measured to be 5.8 kilometres. I also began to look forward to logging some 2,000 kilometres by the end of the year. By the end of January I began to skip my daily walks.

At the end of January I began recording the distances I was walking each day. For the month of February I walked for two days and those two days closed the chapter on my new year's resolutions. That is why I believe if those marchers knew I had managed to walk only 11.6 kilometres for the entire month of February they would most likely have  chosen someone else to hold the national flag.

One of the organizers later told me he had unsuccessfully tried to contact me to join the march in Dar es Salaam. It is just as well he failed; from my experience with the failed new year resolution, I would probably still be somewhere near Morogoro with more than a thousand kilometres to cover.

The idea of nurturing the peaceful co-existence that prevails in Tanzania is not new. Political and religious leaders have constantly preached the importance of nurturing and protecting our relative peace and stability, especially during elections when matters sometimes reach boiling point. The concept of walking for a cause is not new either. What is unprecedented for Tanzania is the vast distance that the marchers covered.

Tanzanians possess what many elsewhere in the world do not have. The peace marchers not only reminded us that it is not enough that we live in relative peace, but that we must also take deliberate measures to ensure that the peace and stability endures. It is also crucial that we all defend that status quo to the best of each one's ability from those who may wish to destroy this harmony.

Some of the invited guests who included former Prime Minister Judge Joseph Warioba, Minister for Defense and National Service Prof. Philemon Sarungi, Member of Parliament for Musoma Rural, Hon. Nimrod Mkono, and Member of Parliament for Musoma Urban, Hon. Ibrahim Marwa, raised other important points. There are prerequisites to peace and stability: justice for all, the rule of law, zero tolerance of corruption, and a hunger-free population.

Butiama went down in history as a place where important marches begin and end. In 1967 Mwalimu Julius Nyerere led a group of Tanzanians in a walk from Butiama to Mwanza in support of the Arusha Declaration which outlined Tanzania's socialist development path. When Judge Warioba winded up his address to the marchers he told them that Mwalimu Nyerere, wherever he is, would be proud of their accomplishment. I only hope that Mwalimu doesn't find out about my failed new year's resolution.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Famous names in radio broadcasting

Recently on board MV Victoria...
I met Fred Fidelis...

known to listeners as "Fredwaa", the famous radio presenter at Mwanza's Radio Free Africa. We traveled on the ship, commissioned in 1957, on the overnight voyage from Bukoba to Mwanza.

Also on board was Peter Omari...

Programs Manager at Mwanza's Kiss FM. Fredwaa is also the Programs Manager at Radio Free Africa. Fredwaa also regularly anchors a special end-of-the year program on BBC's Swahili Service reviewing the year's music hits.

For the past five years, he has won the best announcer award for the Lake Zone at the Kilimanjaro Tanzania Music Awards.

He told me he keenly monitored my Kilimanjaro Climb last year and is interested to join me during this year's climb. He also informed me he is a cousin to Gerald Hando who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with me last year. Gerald has confirmed he will join me on this year's climb for the second consecutive year. I am looking forward to seeing the two cousins going head-to-head, representing two of Tanzania's leading FM stations

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Visitors to Butiama: Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhani

Tanzania's Chief Justice, the Hon. Augustino Ramadhani, second from left, listens to guide Jacob Thomas (third from left) of the Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere Museum at Butiama during a visit last year.

On the left of the photo is Tanzania Court of Appeals Judge, Hon. Josephat Makanja

In a recent Tanzania Court of Appeals ruling, the Chief Justice stated that the mere fact that the government was appealing against a case that ruled that the barring of private candidates in Tanzania's electoral system is unconstitutional should not bar private candidates from contesting in Tanzania's elections. The government's appeal is against a case that was filed by Chairman of the Democratic Party, Rev. Christopher Mtikila.

Someone told me: "The Chief Justice is not a politician. Otherwise he would have held public meetings to encourage individuals who are interested in politics to declare themselves private candidates in the next elections."

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Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Notburga Maskini's curriculum vitae

I have managed to obtain Notburga Maskini's CV. She recently announced her candidature for the parliamentary seat for Rombo constituency (Kilimanjaro region) in October's elections. Rombo's MP is Basil Mramba, former Finance Minister in President Jakaya Kikwete's government.

Notburga climbed Mt. Kilimanjro with me in 2009.

The CV speaks for itself:

  • Master of Business Administration (Public Service), International University of Birmingham (2001)
  • B.A. Honours in Public Administration, University of Dar es Salaam, 1987
  • Diploma in Strategies for the Extension of Social Security, ILO Training Centre, Turin, Italy, November 2003
  • Secretarial Certificate from Shinyanga Commercial Institute, 1977 - 1978
  • National Form IV Certificate, Kinondoni Secondary School

Leadership Training:
Attended seminars and meetings on the management of social security institutions, AIDS in the workplace, leadership for women, investments, challenges facing local governments; women empowerment for sustainable development; sourcing of funds for small-scale businesses and others.

Current work:
Principal Administrative Officer at the Office of the Prime Minister and Local Governments, Dodoma, since Nov 2009

Employment in the government and various institutions:
  • Administrative Manager, Local Administrations Pensions Fund (LAPF) headquarters, Nov 2008
  • Zonal Manager, LAPF, Southern Highlands, Iringa, Feb 2006 - Nov 2008
  • Acting Director, Human Resource and Administration, LAPF, May 2002 - Feb 2006
  • Human Resource Manager, LAPF, Feb 2002
  • Town Director, Sumbawanga Town Council, 1999 - 2002
  • District Executive Director, Mpwapwa District Council, 1977 - 1999
  • Acting Department Head, Department of Administration and Finance, Local Governments Service Commission, 1991 - 1993
  • Administrative Officer Grade I, Local Governments Commission, 1989 - 1997
  • Administrative Officer Grade II, District Commissioner's Office, Temeke RDA, Dar es Salaam, 1987 - 1988

Professional Training:
  • Certificate in Human Resource Management, Institute of Public Service, University of Connecticut, USA, June - Aug 1996
  • Women into Senior Management, Development and Project Planning Center, University of Bradford, England, Jan - Apr 1993
  • Certificate in Personnel Management of Training Institutions, Elis Centre, Rome, Italy, Sep - Dec 1991

Job Attachments in International Institutions:
  • Craigavon Borough Council, Northern Ireland, Apr - June 1993; Leadership and Good Governance in Local Governments
  • Observer in the local elections of Craigavon Municipality under the proportional representation system, May 1993

Study Tours:
  • Insititute of Work Training for Youth Development, Copenhagen, Denmark, Feb 2008
  • The management of social security institutions (SSNIT), Accra, Ghana
  • "Social Exclusion and Poverty"; Economic Development and Social Inclusion (EIPA-ECR), European Institute of Public Administration, Barcelona, Spain, June 2001 to study the European experience in accommodating the disadvantaged groups, school dropouts, immigrants from Eastern Europe, North Africa and other parts of the World, and to study the history and stage-by-stage development of Barcelona into a modern city
  • British Cabinet Office; to study the British Government's experience in civil service reforms and public service, March 2001
  • World Bank; Studying and analyzing World Bank projects for Third World countries and their policies, Washington DC, August 1996
  • Study the work rules and regulations of the United Nations and workers' rights, Aug 1996
  • American Civil Service Commission; learn about the structure of leadership in the US government; civil rights related to employment, promotions, and nominations to senior government positions, remuneration, and disciplinary procedures, Aug 1996
  • Earling Borough Council, London. Study the activities of the municipality and various opportunities given to citizens and immigrants, Feb 1993
  • The Royal Institute of Public Administration. Learn of the civil reforms made by the UK government initiated with Margareth Thatcher's administration
  • The British Equal Opportunities Commission. Study how the British government was structured in protecting the rights of its citizens.

Awards and Scholarships:
  • The British Chevening Scholarhship Award 2000
  • USAID Scholarship award 1996
  • USAID scholarship 1997
  • British Overseas Development Agency (ODA) 1996
  • British Overseas Development Agency (ODA) 1993

Other responsibilities in society:

  •  Vice Secretary, WAWATA, Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam, 1995 - 1997
  • Vice Chairperson, WAWATA, Yombo Parish, Archdiocese of DAr es Salaam, 1994 - 1997
  • Treasurer, Community of the Virgin Mary of Lourdes, Yombo Vituka, 1994 - 1997
  • Chairperson, Committee of Justice and Peace, Catholic Dicocese of Dodoma, 2002 - 2006
  • Chairperson of Christian Professionals of Tanzania, 2003 - 2006
  • Secretary, Vituka Women Association, 1993 - 1997 (Savings and environmental organisation)

Leadership in Chama cha Mapinduzi:
  • I made a bid to represent the workers as their member of parliament in 2000; "the votes were insufficient"
  • Member of the District Executive Committee, Iringa Urban district, 2007 - 2009
  • Member of the Political Committee, Iringa Urban District, 2007 - 2009
  • Member; General Meeting of the region of the UWT, Gangilonga Ward, 2008 - 2009

Leadership positions in the trade union movement:
  • Vice president of the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA), Aug 2006 - to date
  • Member; Executive Committee, Local Governments Workers' Union, June 2005 - to date

Positions in various boards:
  • Board member, Iringa Girls' Secondary School, 2006 - 2009
  • Board member, Kampuni ya Maji Safi na Maji Taka, Sumbawanga, 1999 - 2002
  • Board Chairperson, Chisalu Focal Development Centre, Mpwapwa, 1997 - 1998
  • Board member, Government Employment Committee, Local Governments Service Commission, 1990 - 1997

Training visits in various countries:
Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark.

North America:
Connecticut, New York, Washington DC, Maryland, New Jersey, and Miami.

Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Ghana.

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Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The Kilimanjaro Club

I am beginning to post information on people I know who have scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro, including those who join me every year on the annual Mwalimu Nyerere charity Climb.

The first entrant is Markus Geiger (top, right), a Swiss national who works at Musoma. He climbed Kilimanjaro last year with his son who visited from Switzerland and is seen on the photo above, left.

Markus told me they were the last to leave Barafu Camp on the final trek to Uhuru peak but were the first to reach the summit having left other climbers behind.

Despite that evidently rapid ascent, Markus still had the energy to blow his Swiss horn after they reached the top.