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A member of parliament and a minister on a “coalition” course over grass-thatched’ houses

Do you recall the name of this unseated MP? In an article titled: “From Arusha: Dancing with the winds of change” (Daily Blog, April 7, p. 7), a journalist gives us a clue: “...the High Court in Arusha unseated (their) flamboyant MP, ‘Mr Godless’ over a number of election malpractices ...” which included the use of gender and religion to influence the voters. Did the presiding judge who made the ruling know this? That Mr Godbless Lema was actually Godless?

The ruling party CCM expressed satisfaction that Mr Godless had been unseated but was nonchalant at the party’s defeat in Arumeru East: “We have a ‘long’ history of more than 35 years as Chama Cha Mapinduzi ‘there nothing’ to worry about,” said Mr Wilson Mukama ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi ‘Secreatry’ General (Weekly Expression, 12-18 April, p. 7).

My re-write would be as follows: “We have a history of more than 35 years as Chama Cha Mapinduzi so, there is nothing (instead of ‘there nothing’) to worry about” said Mr WM the CCM Secretary (not ‘Secreatry’) General. Note that in the interest of brevity, we have dropped the adjective “long,” hoping that the reader will realise that 35 years is a long time.

***** On Saturday 7th April, the whole country was thrown into mourning following the sudden death of a famous young film actor. There is not one single media outlet which did not devote considerable space and airtime on this sad episode. On the day that the actor was buried and dar es Salaam was reported to be virtually at a stand still, the nation buried a professor of geology of the University of Dar es Salaam.

In general, however, little or nothing was written about this professor whose death was equally unexpected. An apt comment to suit this occasion was found in the weekly Expression’s “Barometer” Column (12-18 April, p. 7) giving the thumbs up to Tanzanians, “for ‘goving’ a ‘hero burial’ to Stephen Kanumba the most popular actor ever in this country.” Clearly the writer was thanking Tanzanians “for giving (not ‘goving’) the late Kanumba, a hero’s burial (not ‘a hero burial’).

May his soul rest in peace.” ***** Let us make a quick hop to Kenya. Among the problems that the country has faced since the violence after the general election of 2007, is that of IDPs, Internally Displaced Persons; people who lost land and property
and had to flee their homes. It would appear that the Kenyan President will leave office, leaving these hapless people still living in camps.

The Sunday Nationalist has a whole two pages devoted to this issue (25 March, p. 10-11) in three articles titled: “Fresh Crisis as State moves to resolve the headache of IDFPs,” “Line between politics and concern blurred as leaders take centre stage,” and “Issues that Derail Resettlement.” In one story, the government is told to: “stop tampering with the camps as this is tantamount to hurting them twice as it appears it has failed to fulfil of resettling all the IDPs in the country.”

Is it the camps that are being hurt twice or is it the inmates, the people? Naturally, the IDPs are angry and some commentators have warned the government: “The hate feeling ...... is slowly spreading and is now like a time bomb which can ‘erupt’ any time.” Bombs do not erupt, do they? They explode. The IDPs are a time bomb which can explode any time.

In some cases, the Kenyan Government has been accused of discriminatory behaviour: “.... it was not fair to construct iron sheet-roofed houses for one community, yet their neighbours who were also badly affected by the postelection violence were still living in ‘grass-thatched’ houses.” Now, grass and thatch mean more or less the same thing. Remember we are talking about roofs here. It could either be “grass-roofed” houses or simply, “thatched houses.”

In one case, an MP decided to transport IDPs to where he thought they should be resettled, the Promised Land. The MP’s approach, we are told, “put him on a ‘coalition course’ with the Special Programmes Minister Esther Murungi, who accuses him of interfering with the affairs of her ministry.” The Kenyan government is existing in the form of a Grand Coalition, but the writer, in the case of the MP and the Minister, wanted to talk of a “collision course” and not a “coalition course”.

***** We end up by joining the children who were treated to a delicious lunch on Easter day by none other that the Prime Minister’s wife (Daily Blog 9 April, p. 9, picture): “Prime Minister’s wife, Tunu Pinda (right) mingles with children for lunch at her Oysterbay home in Dar es Salaam yesterday. Mrs Pinda and ‘HIS’ husband Mizengo Pinda invited neighbours’ children for Easter Lunch yesterday. (Photo by PMO).” Surely it is HER, not HIS, husband, surely!


ANYTHING done with a sense of discipline and ...


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