It is unlikely that a total of 309 ‘herds of cattle’ were impounded; rather, the figure was 309 ‘head of cattle’

Year 2022 is still hanging on; but by a bare thread. We need to learn how to write 2023, beginning tomorrow.

Among those who are looking forward to the New Year, are the former civil servants whose services were terminated because of problems with their education qualifications; those who carried the so-called vyeti fake.

The President has ordered that they be paid their contribution to social security funds and this is likely to be implemented in the coming year.

Progress on this front is going on at a snail-slow speed, something which has brought the intervention of the Minister responsible for Public Service Management; whose colour photograph appears on page 2 of the Custodian of 24 December. The accompanying caption makes for interesting reading. Here it is:

“Minister of State in the President’s Office, Public Service and Good Governance, urges the implementation of ‘the’ President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s directive about social security funds of employees who were ‘promoted’ in the public service by forging certificates”.

The whole caption needs re-writing, for two reasons: one, to remove the definite article “the” before “President”; and two, to make the information clearer. The issue at stake was not the promotion of these former civil servants. Here is my version:

“Minister of State in the President’s Office, Public Service and Good Governance, urges the implementation of President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s directive about social security funds of former civil servants who had been employed in the public service, but whose education certificates were later on found to be fake”.

Hopefully, the President’s directive will be implemented soonest.

Turning to page 3 of the Custodian, one finds, towards the bottom of the page, a news item whose title is in thick black and reading: “Formulate Guidelines to help authorities in mitigating climate change effects, govt urged”.

One interested party is quoted as: “urging stakeholders to collaborate with the government to formulate climate change guidelines and frameworks that will ‘guide’ us to combat the effects of ‘climate change’ and other activities relating to ‘climate changes”’.

In the above quotation, the phrase “climate change” is used three times. Can’t that be avoided? Likewise the notion of formulating “Guidelines to guide” does not make smooth reading. Here is a proposed re-write:

One interested party is quoted as: “urging stakeholders to collaborate with the government to formulate guidelines and frameworks that will help us to combat the outcomes of climate change and related effects”.

Another quotation from the same news item points to the problem of unnecessarily repeating the same word or phrase in the same sentence. Here it is:

“Also CSOs and NGOs should be ‘also’ working with the private sector in dealing with ‘the’ climate change issues so that they can be ‘also’ aware about ‘the’ ‘climate change’ and its effects and later on take action on it”.

It will be noted that the word “also” is used thrice and the phrase “climate change” is used twice in this short sentence. That could be remedied as we propose below:

“CSOs and NGOs should also be working with the private sector in dealing with climate change issues so that they too are aware of the phenomenon and its effects and can, later on, take action on it”.

Finally we take the Abood Bus to Bukoba and on our way, in Muleba, we find this news item titled: “RAS: confiscate herds invading forest reserve” (Daily Blog 24 December, p. 4).

The opening paragraph reads: “The Kagera RAS has directed the Tanzania Forest Services Agency to confiscate a total of 309 ‘herds of cattle’ for invading the Luiga Forest Reserve in Muleba District”.

309 herds? Highly unlikely. Remember a herd could have hundreds, sometimes thousands of animals. What was confiscated was 309 individual animals. This is expressed as: “309 head of cattle”!

Wishing all of you a Prosperous New Year!

lusuggakironde@gmail.com

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