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Making a mountain out of a molehill: The Makamba/Kinana letter that went viral in the media platforms

THAT letter which was addressed to me, in which the duo claimed that “these unfounded allegations pose a danger to the party’s unity, solidarity, and tranquility”, generated the emergence of a lively public debate, with some participants seriously suggesting that.

“These developments bespeak of the simmering disquiet in the ruling party, portraying a level of desperation of a team which may be unsettled, or not fully in command”.

(see THE CITIZEN of 1th July, 2019, at page 4). I have made this matter the subject of today’s article, in order to express my own take on this; which is that the duo’s claim of that these allegations “pose a danger to the party’s unity, solidarity, and tranquility”, is manifestly exaggerated, or far-fetched.

It is rather like ‘making a mountain out of a molehill. With due respect, I disagree with the above stated views. I am of the settled view, that there is NO such danger; as will be elaborated in my analytical comments in the paragraphs below, which are based entirely on Mwalimu Nyerere’s valuable teachings.

Mwalimu Nyerere’s teachings During his life time, Mwalimu Nyerere was a proficient producer of learning materials. For example, in his book titled TUJISAHIHISHE, that was published in May 1962; he focuses on what he describes as “Makosa”, meaning ‘grave mistakes’; Which must be avoided by the leaders.

It was intended to be a helpful ‘guide on proper leadership conduct’ to the new party and Government leaders, of the newly independent nation of Tanganyika. But they are still as valid today as they were then.

He listed many such mistakes, but for the purposes of this discussion, we have selected only the following few, which are the most relevant, and applicable, to the instant case.

(i) “Kosa moja kubwa, ni kugawa watu katika makundi, yaani kundi linaloitwa ‘letu’, na kundi linaloitwa ‘lao’.

He further elaborates that this ‘divisive strategy ‘ produces antagonistic groups within the party, that tend to undermine each other, and thereby create serious cracks in the party’s solidarity and cohesion.

As our readers will remember, this is the basic complaint which has been raised by the duo of the retired CCM Secretaries General against one Cyprian Musiba, namely that his “unfounded allegations pose a danger to the party’s unity, solidarity, and tranquility”.

(ii) “Kosa lingine, ni kuyafanya mawazo yao (viongozi), na matakwa ya nafsi zao, kuwa eti ni mawazo na matakwa ya raia wote”.

(iii) (paraphrased from the original, longer version): “Kosa lingine, ni kwamba mambo yakienda mrama, badala ya kutafuta ukweli halisi wa chanzo cha tatizo hilo, tunatafuta watu wa kulaumu.

Lakini yafaa zaidi kufikia lawama kama hizo baada ya kufanya uchunguzi wa kutafuta ukweli. Majibu yasiyotokana na ukweli wa chanzo cha tatizo, unaweza kutufanya tutumie dawa isiyokuwa sahihi katika kuondoa tatizo hilo” As can be seen, these statements (which I call teachings), are wholly applicable to the issues which have been raised by the two retired senior CCM officials; ndugu mzee, Yusuf Makamba, and ndugu mzee, Abdulrahman Kinana; as will presently be shown.

My own analysis of the impact of the Makamba/ Kinana complaints There are two principal issues that I am addressing here.

The first is the contention by the duo, that Cyprian Musiba’s “ unfounded allegations (against them), pose a danger to the party’s unity, solidarity, and tranquility”; and the other is the duo’s appeal to the BARAZA la Viongozi Wakuu Wastaafu wa CCM, to intervene in their favour, “as best we can”.

With regard to the first issue, I respectfully dispute the duo’s submission quoted above.

This disagreement is premised on two considerations: (a) That this apparent conflict is only a minor “ war between brothers” (in the sense that both parties owe their allegiance to CCM). It cannot possibly lead to such disastrous results as are envisaged in the duo’s contention.

As the well-known Kiswahili adage goes, “Ndugu wawili wakipigana, shika jembe ukalime”. CCM definitely has the capability to resolve this minor conflict.

(b) That, even if the duo’s contention that Musiba’s allegations result in “posing a danger to the party’s unity and solidarity” turns out to be true, it cannot cause much serious damage to the party, as it will be given a quick ‘nib in the bud’, to prevent any serious harm being caused to the party.

The long history of our party shows that we have been faced with this problem (of emerging antagonistic groups within our party), more than once before; But the good news is that we have always been able to overcome such problems successfully, and peacefully.

This demonstrates clearly that CCM’s has the capacity to ‘drop its oxygen masks’ whenever there is a shortage of oxygen supply, and that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” .

This reminds me of the very serious troubles that faced CCM during the Fourth phase Government of President Kikwete, which was haunted by a series of damaging scandals that eventually ignited massive ‘people’s collective anger’ against the party ; and led to a serious reduction of CCM’s victory in the next following Presidential elections which were held in 2010 down to 61.17 percent, from an unprecedented high of 80,25 percent obtained in 2005.

It all started with the “Richmond scandal” which, literally, “ split the CCM members of Parliament right down the middle”, into the “Mafisadi” group on one side, and the “ anti-Mafisadi” group on the other; a situation which eventually led to the forced resignation of Prime Minister, Edward Lowassa in February 2008.

This ‘Richmond scandal’ was followed, in quick succession, by other, and even more damaging scandals consisting of accusations directed at some leading CCM personalities, relating to money which, allegedly, had been stolen from the External Payment Account (EPA), of the Bank of Tanzania.

Such serious accusations, plus the apparent lack of willingness on the part of the Government to take action against the named persons; naturally generated widespread dissatisfaction and anger among many Tanzanians, and hugely contributed to the loss of confidence in the ruling party, which was accused of “deliberately protecting their mafisadi cadres within its ranks”!

An objective comparison of those events with what is contained in the Makamba / Kinana letter, will reveal that the duo’s perceived ‘ danger of damaging the party’s unity, solidarity and tranquility” is, in reality, actually nonexistent, and misconceived; apart from being grossly exaggerated.

The need to establish the truth of the matter In his TUJISAHIHISHE treatise, Mwalimu Nyerere says thus: “yafaa zaidi tufikie maamuzi yetu baada ya kufanya uchunguzi wa kutafuta ukweli.

Ili kutufanya tusitumie dawa ambayo siyo sahihi kwa kuondoa tatizo lililopo” This statement also applies to the Makamba / Kinana issue.

Such serious allegations as were made by Cyprian Musiba, would certainly constituted a serious act of provocation to any innocent person.

This is what underscores the need for making a thorough investigation, so as to determine the truth of this matter; and in particular, to determine the (hidden), motives of the players concerned on both sides of this conflict; in order to establish whether there is any attempt “to protect some personal interests, by presenting them as those of the all the people”!

For example, the duo has blamed CCM “for keeping quiet and taking no action” regarding this matter.

However, in fact, the victims themselves had, initially, also kept quiet about it. It has been said that “ there are two sides to every coin”.

It is thus quite possible, that the CCM authorities thought that if these allegations were mere fabrications, the victims concerned would have taken appropriate steps to challenge them publicly; which, unfortunately, did not happen.

Thus, because of the wellknown theory that “silence means consent”; it would surely be unreasonable to blame CCM authorities for ‘keeping quiet’, since the complainants themselves had similarly kept quiet about it.

But in any case, it seems most unlikely that the alleged ‘failure by CCM to take action” alone can, in reality, create the requisite amount of ‘ intensive public anger’ against the ruling party, to the extent of causing a split into warring groups within CCM.

Our resilient party will no doubt be able to devise effective internal strategies to deal with this problem , as it has successfully done in the past.

Furthermore, Mwalimu Nyerere also said thus in his treatise: “Kosa lingine ni (kwa viongozi) kuyafanya mawazo yao, na matakwa ya nafsi zao, kuwa eti ni mawazo ya raia wote” Thus, in view of these disturbing revelations; the party may need to investigate Cyprian Musiba’s motives, as well as the complainants’ motives, in order to determine the truth regarding the possibility of any one side, or perhaps both sides, attempting to protect their own personal interests, by (falsely) presenting them as ‘the interests of the party’.

My response to the Makamba / Kinana petition With regard to the second issue (of the duo’s appeal to our BARAZA to give a ‘sympathetic’ hearing to their urgent appeal to intervene, ‘as best we can)’; I promptly delivered my written responses to the duo.

And because their letter to me was made available to the media, I considered it appropriate that I should do likewise, and availed my replies to the same media outlets.

Essentially, what I did in my replies was simply to draw their attention to those provisions of the party Constitution which effectively constrain our BARAZA from acting on their request, and in the manner that they themselves suggested, namely that “Wazee watumie busara zao kulishughulikia jambo hili”.

“Busara” is, of course, God’s precious gift to human beings, which is commonly believed to accumulate in line with a person’s age.

It is for that reason that all the Wazee persons are culturally and traditionally given high respect, and generally honoured, for their ‘accumulated wisdom’.

However, ‘Baraza la Viongozi Wakuu wastaafu wa CCM’, is a constitutional organ, formally established by the CCM Constitution, and given specific jurisdiction.

In that connection, I drew their attention to the fact that this BARAZA has no jurisdiction whatsoever, neither ‘original jurisdiction’ to hear such complaints, which is the sole responsibility of the other organs of the party; nor ‘appellate jurisdiction’ to determine an appeal against the party, which they accuse of having “failed to take action”.

Thus, attempting to undertake a duty that the party Constitution has not expressly allocated to it, would clearly constitute a blatant breach of that Constitution, an unlawful act which the former highly respected, top national Government leaders, cannot possibly entertain. Consequently, dangled “busara za wazee” can neither lawfully be relied on, nor accepted, as a reasonable defense for such breach.

Hence, as the Biblical parable says: “the soul may be willing, but the body is weak”. Since every person is constitutionally entitled to his opinion, other people will, understandably, have a totally different view.

No problem with that. It also reminds me of god old Shakespeare’s saying in Hamlet, III. 1: “Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shall not escape calumny”.

piomsekwa@gmail.com / 0754767576.

A FORMER sports editor with the ‘Daily News’ ...

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Author: Pius Msekwa

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