Monday, October 27, 2008

Gotta Love Them Tarimeans

Among folks who should talk about the recent Chadema victory over CCM in Tarime, I believe I should be among them. Heck, I hail from that area.

If you have to know my political affiliation, I don’t belong to any party in Tanzania. I just love good leaders who could move the country somewhere positive. That’s why I think Mr. Kikwete and the CCM party is a joke. Not only that, I believe the opposition also is full of career politicians who just very good at rhetoric. Mr. Lyatonga Mrema anyone?

Regardless of my neutral political affiliation, I just abhor CCM. That is because these folks have been in power for ions, but there is nothing to show up for it. I know Mr. Makamba and Chiligati, as the spin doctors would tell you otherwise, CCM simply stinks.

Honestly, I also had hope when Kikwete came along. Boy, did he impress me the first few days of his presidency! I’m ashamed to admit it, but just as my hope ascended I got discouraged as the days passed on. October 31 is just this week and I’m looking forward to hearing what the president will do with EPA thieves.

Trust me, nothing will happen.

It is for my “hate” for CCM that I was happy for Chadema snatching up the parliamentary seat. But leaving my “joy” aside, I would just like to drum it up for my fellow Tarimeans. Theirs is a story of courage.

It is undeniable truth that tribalism, though not problematic in Tanzania, is part of the Tanzanian life. As such, it is not uncommon to see folks electing a leader (regardless of the merit of doing so) solely to “represent” their tribe. Given that the Father of the Nation is laid to rest just a couple of miles from Tarime, shouldn’t we have expected the folks in Tarime to embrace the party and ideologies that their “homeboy” Nyerere brought to life?

How could you explain the fact that despite Tarime’s lack of concentration of educated folks (who lives and votes there), those people still had the guts to do what sophisticated and educated folks in Dar-es-Salaam and other urban areas failed to do?

I believe the only explanation is uncommon courage. “Defecting” from the normal social and political expectation requires courage. And I believe that Tarimeans have the courage that ordinary Tanzanians lack.

I know, I know, Tarimeans at times go overboard with their “courage”. Man, have you been to Tarime? My people down there are angry and mad all the time. I mean, sometimes it seems like fist fights or machete fights is a normal way of settling philosophical differences. The constantly reported clan clashes in Tarime are partly due to fight over cows (one clan stealing from the other), but also the fights are an attempt to show a clan’s courage. You don’t mess with a “mura”. Period.

If you think I am kidding, just go ask Mr. Makamba who dubbed Chadema a party of hooligans. Say whaaaaat? I know if that was is Dodoma, my Gogo friends would have just moved on. Not in Tarime. I am sure if it wasn’t for security protection, those boys would have sliced Mr. Makamba’s throat, literary. [I’m not advocating slaying folks, I’m just telling you what happens in Tarime]

I know that some people in Tanzania regards the Chadema’s victory in Tarime as a sure sign that CCM is going down in 2010. Hardly. I hate to rain on someone’s parade. CCM ain’t going anywhere. That is because this is not the first time folks in Tarime have elected someone from the opposition party – remember Mabere Marando for NCCR, anyone? Secondly, the courage you find in Tarime is not found anywhere else in the country. Do you honestly think folks in Rukwa will let go of their beloved son – Mizengo Pinda – despite his lack of strong leadership qualities?

Surely, nothing stays the same forever. It is more than likely that CCM will lose some feathers in 2010, but as of October 2008, I am just glad that my fellow Tarimeans have demonstrated the kind of courage that the rest of Tanzania lacks.

Honestly, those people in Tarime are not rich. Those people are just ordinary folks who go through the same struggles like anyone in Kibiti or Korogwe. The only thing that has separated them from your ordinary Kalumanzira is courage. And you can just go ahead and read my lips on this: Nothing will ever change in Tanzania unless folks learn a thing or two from Tarime.
Photo Credit: Michuzi Blog

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