Thursday, November 4, 2010



Thursday November 04, 2010
Daily News
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


DID the election go on as planned? Because if it didn’t, then stop reading right here — this column is already outdated, but if it did you can continue reading. I write on Fridays- meaning that this week it was one day before the Election Day.

I am asking because Mzee Yahya Hussein, the selfproclaimed best astrologer East and Central Africa, had predicted that there wouldn’t be an election this year. So, if it went on, I feel sorry for him, because this is bad for his business. But I am sure he will come up with an excuse. He always does.

That is the great thing about election year, everyone is looking for ways to cash in – directly or in directly. Don’t tell me you didn’t, am sure every mwananchi, even the non-mwananchi got something, at least even a khanga!

Even if you didn’t get something personal, am sure your street or village got something, even if it is temporary. All streets roads in my ward got a facelift, just before the campaigns heated up; someone remembered that we needed better roads.

The thing is politicians have bad memory; election is the only thing that seems to remind them of their promises. That is the time when they remember to fulfill promises and add new ones, which they will also forget until the next election.

Election session is when you see the best of politicians, you will know that actually the office of your MP is not in Dodoma or Dar es Salaam but in your district, and the minister can squeeze time in his tight schedule, to visit his constituency several times in a month.

It is the time when there are plenty of politicians to the point that they become redundant. They are everywhere; they have more hours on TV and radio and cover more space on
newspapers, even the udaku papers are suddenly flooded with politicians.

During this time politicians also suddenly become very social. You will realize that they actually have feelings; they sympathize with you in funerals and cerebrate together in your weddings.

They also become very humble, calling every man mzee, and every woman, mama; even if they are not older than them. They will take a minute to greet the mwananchis, holding everyone’s hands while wearing big smile on their face.

This election came with different styles of asking for votes – did I mention they also become very creative? I don’t know who came up with the style to cry when asking for votes I saw one doing it. Kneeling when beggin for votes was their favorite, it was my favorite too but I didn’t expect men to do it too.

Also there were lots of new words which came with this election like vuvuzela which begun in the last parliament session when the MPs christened other people going to talk to their voters of being vuvuzelas aka noise makers. My favourate is kuchakachua, which quickly moved from adulteration of fuel in gas stations to politics, now am told it means remix.

I hope you made the most of the 2010 election season, because by now they have already forgotten all they promised, all the sudden they are too busy to visit the constituency and even if they do, they don’t come to our functions nor do they stop to shake our hands.

Only if every year was election year life could be so much more interesting as politicians could fulfill more promises, we would feel like we are the bosses and they are the employees more often and on top of the icing, everyone would know that Sheikh Yahya can’t tell the future, he is just guessing, just like you and me.