Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

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.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Africa gets bad press, even in fiction

This is not a book review, just some observations I am making on a novel I read a few months ago.

First, I rarely read fiction because I feel I cannot keep up with the volume of non-fiction I have to read already. Besides, there is enough of make-believe even in writings classified as non-fiction.

I was recently given a novel written by Uwem Akpan, Say you're one of them. It contains five short stories told from an African child's perspective. Throughout the book I noticed a representation of some of the same cliche's that have pervaded non-fiction writing on Africa from a western perspective: AIDS, prostitution, child trafficking, religious and ethnic strife.

It is little use denying that these cliche's represent some of the challenges encountered in many parts of the African continent. But (this could also be another cliche'), the truth remains that not much coverage is given to the African success stories. Consequently, the reader in the West interested in a more balanced view has to go out of his/her way to dig behind the mainstream depiction of fictionalized and factual Africa.

A section from Reporting Elections in Southern Africa: A Media Handbook reads:
Western media attention is like that, usually limited to "parachute journalism" covering a major famine or conflict - a quick in-and-out during crisis situations.
The same approach to choice of subject appears to influence the writing in Akpan's novel. No doubt, Akpan is writing for a western audience and what I yearn for - a positive image of African society - does not sell.

I look forward to reading another book given to me recently by Prof. Sospeter Muhongo: Science, Technology, and Innovation for Socio-economic Development: Success Stories from Africa. It seems like Prof. Muhongo had read my mind.

Given that I talk of being given two books in this post, you may wonder if I ever buy books; I do.

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Monday, 6 September 2010

Update: school built by President Yoweri Museveni in Tanzania

My guide to Muhutwe, a village in Kagera region, has informed me that when President Museveni returned to the village of Muhutwe to visit the house where he lived during his years of exile in Tanzania, his former landlord, Masudi Zakaria, had already died and  President Museveni offered to build a house for the widow.

However, some in-family wrangling ensued after the offer was made by President Museveni and later it is suspected that the widow was murdered at the instigation of her relatives. It was after her death that the president decided instead to build the two secondary schools.

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Saturday, 4 September 2010

The Nigerian High Commissioner to Tanzania visits Mama Maria Nyerere at Butiama

The Nigerian High Commissioner to Tanzania, H.E. Dr. Ishaya S. Majanbu and Mrs. Naomi Majanbu, paid a visit to Butiama this morning.
Outside the mausoleum of the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, front row, L-R: H.E. Dr. Ishaya S. Majanbu, Mama Maria Nyerere, and Mrs. Naomi Majanbu. 
They were hosted by Mama Maria Nyerere, widow of the founding president of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere.

Mama Maria Nyerere, left, accepts a gift from Mrs. Naomi Majanbu, right.
They also visited the Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere Museum.

Mama Maria Nyerere, left, poses with her gift from Mrs. Naomi Majanbu, centre, as Ambassador H.E. Dr. Ishaya Majanbu observes.
Before their departure, Mrs Naomi Majanbu presented a gift of an African batik cloth to Mama Maria who insisted on opening the cloth and wrapping it on her shoulder.

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Friday, 3 September 2010

School built by President Yoweri Museveni in Tanzania

The village of Muhutwe in Kagera region has a special relationship with Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni. During his years in exile from Uganda he spent some time at Muhutwe, in the western Tanzania region of Kagera.
The house where President Museveni lived in the village of Muhutwe.
He reportedly lived in the house, pictured above, where he rented a small room. My guide during the trip to Muhutwe told me the room was packed with books. The landlord did not know who Museveni was until Museveni returned to the village of Muhutwe as president of Uganda and visited his former residence.
Nyarigamba Secondary School.

President Museveni not only decided to build a house for his former landlord, but even decided that two secondary schools should be built in Muleba district: one at Muhutwe, and another one at Kamachumu.
Nyarigamba Secondary School.
Nyarigamba Secondary School.
Nyarigamba Secondary School.
The decision was not received with approval by some Ugandans who complained that President Museveni should have spent that money in Uganda.

According the the Ugandan High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ibrahim Mukiibi, the schools were built as a gesture of friendship from Ugandans to Tanzania for the good job that the Tanzanian army had done in the war that toppled the former ruler, Idi Amin in 1979.

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