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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Inside the no man`s land that Tanzania has become!

25th March 2012
Former Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro

Former Swedish diplomat, Mr Jan Eliasson (72) was a few weeks ago appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon as UN Deputy Secretary General.

The Swede replaces Tanzania's former Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, the first woman in history to serve in the post.

The appointment of Mr Eliasson now brings to an end rumours and counter-rumours that had surrounded Dr Migiro's continued stay in New York.

According to whispers which were buttressed by the Inner City Press in New York, Dr Migiro is reported to have furiously tried to lobby for a second term but failed.

Whispers have it that Dr Migiro's appointment for the post was Ban-Kin Moon's way of thanking Tanzanians for successfully campaigning for his election for the UN Secretary General's post.

One of Tanzania's diplomats who had served as campaign managers for the former South Korean foreign minister was former Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr Augustine Mahiga.

Whispers have it that after his sterling campaigning role that took him to each and every capital city in the continent, Dr Mahiga was rewarded with a post as UN Secretary General's Special Representative in the Somali Conflict.

Meanwhile the Swede's appointment has raised a lot of dust in New York over the South Korean's commitment to his UN reforms.

A section of observers consider Ban Ki-moon's appointment of a 72-year-old for such a high profile post as lacking seriousness in his avowed UN reforms. However, whispers have it that the secretary general appointed the veteran Swedish diplomat to the post on account of his past track record at the United Nations. Mr Eliasson who was a consultant of many UN agencies is associated with many UN successes in the past 30 years.

Therefore the South Korean decision to ignore Dr Migiro's suggested lobbying and appointing the Swedish peer speaks volumes of the sort of diplomatic style he wishes over the next four years at the UN.

According to whispers which have been making rounds in Dar es Salaam for the last three years, Dr Migiro is counted among those in President Jakaya Kikwete's projects for the 2015 presidential election.

However, given the manner in which Ms Anne Makinda was gate-crashed into the Speaker's post, hence replacing the most popular Speaker in the past few decades, Mr Samuel Sitta, it is difficult to ignore the veracity of such whispers!

President Kikwete has, at different times, been quoted by the media as saying he wanted his replacement in 2015 to be younger than him at the time he took the top office.

How such pronouncements are related to his main duty of taking Tanzania out of its present economic problems, that is anybody's conjencture.

However, such pronouncements have made the man from Msoga the first president in history to go public on the age range of a person he would like to succeed him. No wonder his former personal assistant at the State House, Mr January Makamba and his friend from Chadema opposition party, Zitto Kabwe, now want the Constitution to be silent on appropriate age when it comes to conditions for the Union presidency.

But one thing is certain; the fight for the 2015 Union presidency is going to be extremely tough, what with the likes of Edward Lowassa and company joining the fray!

If you asked me for an opinion, I don't like the whole idea of a lot of energy being spent on the fight for the 2015 presidential candidate nomination run. I would rather such energy was spent in solving the country's challenging development problems.

It is very unfortunate to witness a section of Tanzanians being madly obsessed with the presidency.

What is even more unfortunate is that ministers who have failed to deliver in their own ministries are now busy collecting money, covertly or overtly, in preparation for 'funding' their 2015 nomination run. Whispers have it that for one to get to the Union presidency, you need not less than 15bn/-!

The worthy question is where does one get such a huge amount of money.

The question of every Tom, Dick and Harry running for the Union presidency reminds some of us of what Uganda's President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said at the State House in Dar es Salaam during a press conference he addressed immediately he had come to power in Uganda.

Referring to former Ugandan Presidents Dr Milton Obote and General Tito Okello, President Museveni said the two men should not have been allowed at the helm of Uganda's leadership as they were only fit to take care of chickens within their own households.

And this is what Tanzanians will sooner than later get into if they don't stop now this madness for the 2015 presidential race!

And on a more serious note, whispers have it that a section of members of the country's armed forces in the southern part of the country have for a long time been involved in logging of trees, transporting them to Mozambique where they are stamped, as if they had been logged in that country and later exported as imports from Mozambique!

The same thing is said to be done by their Mozambican counterparts.

What is logged in Mozambique is transported to Tanzania for stamping before it is re-transported to Mozambique for exports as Tanzanian products!

Whispers have it that these goings-on are well known to Tanzania's authorities, and especially so, institutions that are entrusted with the protection of the country's flora and fauna!

However, nothing is more disheartening than what has been going on in the Loliondo part that has more or less been ceded to an alleged son of the King who rules the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It would be recalled that this was the only area endowed with abundant water resources which the Maasai used for their livestock.

But since the area was ceded by the second phase government of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi to his Gulf friends, the Maasai have no other place, within the vicinity, where they can get water for their livestock! And whoever gets into the area with a mobile phone, his/her phone will immediately register etisalat which is a satellite that serves the UAE mobile phone companies!

What does the foregoing mean? Could it mean that the area is no longer part of Tanzania?

But the million dollar question is who is benefiting from this Loliondo project?

I only wish the Founding Father of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was around!

Remember what he once said at the Diamond Jubilee Hall after his retirement when he spoke to Dar es Salaam elders on the dangers of corruption?

He told Tanzanian leaders that if they were not careful, they could sooner than later end up selling their own mothers!

For the doubting Thomases, let them go and refer to the records! But the question is: have we allowed ourselves to stoop so low in the name of creating conditions conducive to investment?

And by the way, what about the country's eyes that take the form of Tanzania Intelligence and Security Services (TISS)?

Are they also not aware of all these, much as they say that they are only allowed to advise and not to force the powers that be to act?

In fact, rumours have it that the media exposure of the scandal involving transportation of live animals from the country's national parks in September 2010 was just the tip of the iceberg!

The point is that such things have been going on in the country for a very long time!

Is it therefore surprising that the Norwegians have decided to withdraw their funding in the country's two projects, intended to help build people's capacity as protectors of the environment and development?

How can they continue to put their taxpayers' hard earned financial resources in a country where both the government and its citizens are least interested in protecting their own flora and fauna?

The Loliondo area under the UAE is rumoured to have a big airfield which can handle C 130 Hercules transport planes.

The question is what products do these Arabs export to their country from Loliondo to require such gigantic infrastructure?

The foregoing development, apart from whispers, is about the existence of airfields in other mining areas in the country where the so called investors have been ferreting out of the country all types of minerals as if such resources have no owners!

May the Almighty God bless our nation.

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