Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

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.

You may also like:
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2010/10/james-has-voted-today-at-butiama-in.html
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2010/07/lessons-from-zimbabwe.html

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.

You might also like:
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2010/07/lessons-from-zimbabwe.html

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.

Posts related to this one:
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2010/11/chademas-vincent-nyerere-wins-musoma.html
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2010/09/tanzania-elections-2010-opposition.html
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2012/04/godbless-lemas-loss-of-his.html

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Hawaiian good luck sign

About ten years ago I was driving in Dar es Salaam with one of my nieces seated in the passenger seat next to me when a daladala commuter bus driver overtook us and immediately swerved in front of us and parked on the roadside to pick passengers.

Only my reflex action prevented an otherwise serious accident that, although would not have been life-threatening, could have caused some injury and extensive damage to both vehicles.

I was incensed but even as I drew next to his car and asked my niece to pull down her window so that I could speak to the rogue driver I was conscious of my niece's presence and managed to suppress any urge to say something which would embarrass me for the remainder of my life. Before I spoke, she said, "Uncle, please don't pick a fight."

He spoke first when he noticed I had stopped at his side. Aware that he had driven recklessly, he meekly said to me, "I am extremely sorry mzee" [which translates into "old man", but is also an honorific title for a man]. I was so enraged that I cannot remember whether I pointed out to him that he did not deserve to be driving on the road. I recall that I did not say any unpleasant word.

What I managed to suppress eventually came out by way of a sign that is known in some places as the Hawaiian good luck sign. In an incident in the late sixties in which an American naval vessel was captured by the North Koreans while negotiations were being carried out for the release of the Americans, the Koreans assembled the prisoners for a photograph that was released to the international press. In the photograph the captors were seen holding up their arms with raised fists turned inwards except for their middle fingers sticking into the air. When asked by the Koreans what the sign meant, the Americans said that it was the Hawaiian good luck sign. When the Koreans eventually found out that the sign was one of the most internationally recognized symbols of insult, an extra dose of beatings was ordered on the Americans.

With exceptional politeness I told the rogue driver, "that's okay" and the next moment my left arm shot upwards with what has also been called the one finger salute. I could very well have gotten in legal trouble for flashing an indecent sign against the driver even though I was provoked, but I believe there is an excuse I could have used in my defense. I had clearly resolved not to make a fool of myself in front of my niece, but I would like to believe I was provoked into a state of emotion that overtook my senses and control of my movements. In law it is called automatism.

There is a tragic example in Tanzania of a former Tanzanian politician who experienced a similar incident in which the driver of the daladala was shot and killed and the politician eventually charged for the driver's murder. The politician died before the case was concluded. I do not and will not condone the killing of the driver, but I certainly have experienced how such an incident could occur.

As I drove off after the incident I recall how embarrassed I became for my inability to suppress my emotions in the presence of my niece.

You may also like:
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2011/09/letter-from-butiama-uhuru-blockade.html

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.