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Education is a powerful ‘toll’ to change the world with Intel and Dell as charitable donations

Who resigned recently in the wake of the tragic accident of the capsizing of a ferry boat a few kilometres from Zanzibar? According to the Eastern African (July 28-August 3, p. 2), “Harrison Mwakyembe the Tanzanian Minister for Transport resigned in the aftermath of the marine ferry disaster off the Zanzibar cost two weeks ago, in which over 100 people died.”

The paper treats us to the photograph of the minister who is said to have resigned. But this must have come as shocking news to readers of the paper who know who resigned. The Sunday Blog (July 29, p. 2) under its ‘weekly review’ column has a story titled: ‘Minister resigns over boat accident.’

Read on; “Zanzibar President, Ali Mohamed Shein accepted the resignation of the minister responsible for marine transportation, Mr Hamad Masoud Hamad, over the ferry boat accident that killed over 90 people and left 66 still missing.” What is rather amazing is that the Eastern African had the information on the minister who resigned. On its page 28, there is a brief article titled: ‘Zanzibar Minister resigns over sunk ferry’:

“Zanzibar’s Minister for Infrastructure and Communication Hamad Masoud Hamad, has tendered his resignation following a ferry accident that left 140 people dead. In a letter to Zanzibar’s President, Mr Hamad tendered his resignation on July 24........ The ferry, MV Skagit, capsized a few kilometres from Zanzibar’s Malindi Port on its way TO Dar es Salaam a fortnight ago; a total of 145 people were rescued from the ship ‘alive’ÉÉ..” The moral here is that you do not always read the truth, and nothing but the truth, from the papers, even on the same story carried on different pages in the same edition of a newspaper.

Please also note that the ferry was travelling FROM and not TO Dar es Salaam. Moreover, one is left wondering whether there was need of saying ‘so many people were rescued ALIVE’. If you are rescued, the implication is that you are alive. Dead bodies are recovered.


Africa has recently lost two of its leaders: Ghana’s President John Atta Mills and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. At the time of writing this, Ghana had a new President. The Custodian (July 26, p. iii) carried the photograph of this new leader. The caption under the photograph reads as follows: “John Mahama (C), the former deputy President of Ghana, attends his ‘swear-in’ ceremony as Ghana’s President after the announcement of ‘the Mills’ death in Accra on WednesdayÉ..”

There are two observations over the above paragraph. One, you do not attend a swear-in ceremony. To ‘swear in’ is a phrasal verb meaning to get somebody to make an official promise to do their duty well. Then we have the noun ‘swearing-in’ which is a ceremony in which someone with a new public job or position officially promises to do their duty well.. So John Mahama attended his ‘swearing-in’ ceremony (not ‘swear in ceremony’). Second, “ÉÉ after the announcement of the Mills’ deathÉ..” implies that President Atta John Mills possibly had a nickname and was known as ‘the Mills’.

If that is not the case, the sentence should have left out the definite article ‘the’ and talk of ‘Mills’ death’ or, “after the announcement of the death of President John Atta Mills.”

***** Let us leave death alone, and talk about education. The Daily Blog (July 28, p. 4) has a long article titled: ‘Camara comes to Tanzania, aims to transform education through technology.’ It starts by quoting former South African President Nelson Mandela who is reported to have said; “Education is the most powerful ‘toll’ which you can use to change the world.” Do we have to point out that the writer, by ‘toll’ meant ‘tool’? We think we shouldn’t.

Camara Education is “a charity registered in Ireland, and supported by the Irish government and by ‘charitable donations.” These ‘includes’ computer companies intel and Dell”. ....... “Born and ‘grew up’ in Tanzania,” Ms ELH is the Charity’s CEO. Do technology giants Intel and Dell see themselves as ‘charitable donations?’ Who donated them to who? For sure, they do make donations to charitable organisations such as Camara Education, but referring to them as ‘charitable donations’ does not make sense.

Actually, it is my conviction that by ‘donations’, the writer has in mind ‘organisations’. Intel and Dell could (in this sense) be called charitable organisations. As for the Camara Education’s CEO, she was ‘born and grown up’ in Tanzania, not, ‘born and grew up in Tanzania’. Alternatively you could say: ‘She was born and bred’ in Tanzania’. We wish the Charity all the best in bettering technology literacy especially for the poor. Keep up the Swaum.


over 8 years ago