TANU’s birthday celebrations by CCM last year remind me of a passage in the holyscripture, “They have mouths, but do not speak, eyes but do not see. They have ears but do not hear, noses but do not smell…feet, but do not walk…”
The celebrations on July 7, 2011, took place at the Mnazi Moja grounds along Lumumba street in Dar es Salaam, not far from CCM’S two adjacent buildings, a bungalow and a two-storey building.
The bungalow bears vividly green capitals in Kiswahili “HAPA NDIPO MAHALI ILIPOZALIWA TANU 7-7-1954,” meaning “This is where TANU was born 7-7-1954”. The 2-storey building is written also in vividly green, “OFISI NDOGO YA CCM YA MAKAO MAKUU”, meaning sub office of CCM Headquarters.
The two buildings are juxtaposed with a 9-storey building nearly fully constructed, identified as, “Proposed Office Tower”, the client being Mr. Said Mohamed Mahmud, and the investor being Saudi Arabia Investment Ltd.
The three buildings are situated nearby, three streets away from the junction of the Lumumba street/Morogoro Road. Lumumba street stretches from the Morogoro junction to the Lumumba street/Nyerere Road junction.
The CCM political leader celebrants should have walked from the latter junction to the former junction and spoken to the Tanzanian Nation explaining why the street should be called “Lumumba” instead of “Nyerere”, detailing exactly what Lumumba contributed to TANU’S birthday.
All that I remember about Lumumba is that he was a Congolese statesman, Prime Minister (1960-61) of the then Congo. He was leader of the Congolese nationalist movement against the Belgians who was killed under the leadership of Congo’s deceased President Mobutu.
The leaders should have seen the many metal posts all along the centre of Lumumba street (at least 37 such posts on July 24, 2011) and the many Ashok trees, of Indian origin, and detailed for the nation what Tigo and Ashok trees did before TANUS’s first birthday.
What I am sure about is that Tigo was registered long after TANUS’s birthday, namely on November 30, 1993, in the name of Mic Tanzania Ltd. Tigo was then under five directors of separate nationalities, i.e. Belgian, Israeli, British, Tanzanian and Paraguayan.
The Ashok trees, more than 100, some in the centre of Lumumba street and others along it, were also planted long after TANU’s birthday.
During the walk, the leaders should have stopped at the then haggard-looking SUKITA building at the corner of Lumumba/Omari Kondo streets (former Somalia street), the Shule ya Msingi Primary School, Lumumba/Max Mbwana streets (former Aggrey street), the Arnautoglu building at Mnazi Mmoja grounds; the Mnazi Mmoja primary school, along Lumumba Street, the junctions, Lumumba / Mchikichi and Lumumba/Tandamti streets; and the Proposed Office Tower building.
At the SUKITA building, they should have told the Nation that, among other things, that was the building which housed the first ever university in Tanzania, the University of East Africa at Dar es Salaam, Law faculty, which much later moved to the present premises of the University of Dar es Salaam. Besides that, to the wall of the ground floor of SUKITA building, is affixed a large board which is very relevant to TANU.
Translated into English, the board reads, “The deceased John Rupia was one of the founders of the Tanganyika Africans National Union (TANU) upon its birth in 1954. He was Vice-President of TANU, a member of the National Executive Committee, a member of the Central Committee of TANU, a trustee of all TANU’S property.
Some of the contributions he made to TANU during his life include the plot on which this building is erected. He gave it to TANU for no consideration”. Nothing was said to the Nation about this board”.
Regarding the two primary schools, the leaders should have spoken to the Nation about the history of the schools and, at least, given a list of a number of the nationally important Tanzanian’s who passed through those schools.
As for the Arnautoglu hall, the nation would have been very glad to hear some of the important speeches which were delivered there before TANU’S birthday by TANU’s departed spirits including the late President Nyerere.
At the Mchikichi and Tandamti junctions, the leaders should have stopped and smelt the very dirty water that normally collects there and given orders to appropriate authorities to abolish the nuisance.
At the CCM building, the political leadership should have explained to the nation the relationship between CCM, on one side, and Mr. Said Mohamed Mahmud and the investor Saudi Arabia Investment Ltd on the other side.
Peremptory remedial orders should also have been given in respect of the absolute danger created by the whole of Lumumba Street for more than ten years now.
There is no kerb on that four-lane street which prevents movement by motor vehicles, motor cycles, bicycles, push carts, animals, pedestrians, etc- from one pair of lanes to the other.
One finally fondly hopes that the next TANU celebrations will not be a mere repetition and blind imitation of last year’s TANU birthday celebrations. That would be stagnation which would lead to the death of our national history, dynamism, and nationalism.
Revival may very well start by erection of the statue of Nyerere, the cornerstone of the Tanzanian nation, at the CCM buildings, along Lumumba Street .