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In Africa, we honour the dead, period

MSEMA kweli ni mpenzi wa Mungu, I always say this, and this is because I want to be very close to God, that is why I will always say the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

We all know that right now the country is in great mourning after the passing of our beloved president, Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli on Wednesday, ilikua ni huzuni sana.

I can rightly say that the country is overwhelmed with sadness because within a short time that President Magufuli was on the helm of this great country, things started rolling, and he embarked on a campaign of changing the fortunes of the country, kusema kweli alijitahidi sana baba wa watu.

The Wahenga have a saying, mnyonge mnyongeni lakini haki yake mpeni, and the late President Magufuli, human as he was, did very many great things which will be remembered for generations to come. In this world we are living in, nobody is perfect, huo ndio ukweli, because we are all humans, and that is why they say ‘to err is to human’, hamna mtu chini ya jua ambae ni mkamilifu.

For Christians, in 1 John Chapter one verse eight, it says that if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, kwamba tukisema hatuna dhambi, tunajidanganya wenyewe.

Last week I went to the airport to pick a friend of mine, and we passed through Tazara, and he was in awe of the Mfugale Flyover, and he saw the ongoing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway at Buguruni, and finally when he saw the Kijazi Interchange in Ubungo, he was really surprised, kusema ukweli.

“Kama ulaya vile” he said when we were going up the interchange. I told him with pride that this was the work of our president, who has managed to accomplish very many projects in a very short time, and assured him that there are other major projects which are still going on, alishangaa sana kwa kweli.

The country received the news of the passing of this great leader with utter shock and disbelief, na kusema tu ukweli, I am writing this but I still find it hard to believe that we will not hear the powerful voice of Dr Magufuli again, ni ngumu kuamini. In this life, it is very difficult to please everybody, utajaribu sana lakini utashindwa, because human beings will always look for a fault in anything that you do, maisha ndivyo yalivyo.

Even when our fallen president was busy doing things which were in the interest of his people, critics could still be heard from all corners, kelele na malalamiko kibao. What saddens me most is that when majority of Tanzanians are still engulfed in sorrow over the passing of their leader, still there are some people who are using harsh words to describe the late president, yaani watu kabisa wanamsema vibaya.

They say that it is not good to speak ill of the dead, because our cultural attitudes to death and mourning offer no space for criticizing someone who has died. Death doesn’t end our relationship with the dead person, whether there is a celebrity who has held special significance for us, or a close friend or member of our family, bado tutakumbuka maisha yake kwa muda mrefu.

It was next to impossible for the late president to make everyone happy, huo ndio ukweli na utabaki kuwa ukweli, that is why as we wait to lay him to rest, most of us will continue to celebrate his life.

Kinachonikera zaidi, this I have to say, is the way some nosy people from one neighbouring country tried to belittle our fallen president, nikajiuliza hivi hawa wanawashwa na nini? In our African culture, we are told to live well with all our neighbours, that is why we had close knit family ties, because we learned how to co-exist with each other, kuishi kwa Amani tu.

When the Wahenga this time around came with the saying ‘Kitanda usichokilalia hujui kunguni wake’, they had all the reasons for saying that. Hivi wewe ya watu yanakuhusu nini kama sio umbea tu? These are the people who riled the wahenga who in turn asked them a simple question, ‘Pilipili usiyo ila yakuwashia nini?”

Let us be serious on some issues, the work done by our late president far outweighs his few weaknesses, huo ndio ukweli, and if you are not a hypocrite you will agree with me, mzee alifanya vingi sana vizuri. Talking about him in a negative way, even when he was still alive, is not right, sio sahihi kabisa, because you can never involve everyone in your weaknesses, wewe kama una matatizo yako ni wewe.

Really and truly we should never speak ill of anybody. If what we are saying is a lie, then that is the sin of calumny, and if what we are saying is true, but the other person has no right to hear it, then that is the sin of detraction - a very serious sin. In the Bible there is a story where the Jews brought a woman to Jesus and demanded for justice, but Jesus told them, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her’.

This is because He knew, kwamba hamna mtu ambae amekamilika hapa duniani. Wengine hao hao wanaongea but if you follow their lives closely, you will discover they have so many shortcomings, but they find it easy to point at the mistakes of others…Nyie mnafikiri kuwa raisi ni kazi ya kitoto?

Some find it difficult to take care of their own families, famila ya watu wachache inakushinda, and here you are talking ill of someone who was taking good care of over 50 million people…mjiangalie na mjitathmini.

‘Good bye Madiba, I will miss you ...


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