An upcoming public and policy engagement non-profit consultancy focusing on Social, Political and Ecological Justice issues in Afrika. We work and stand in solidarity with communities in mineral rich areas in Afrika and other global south environments.
Today in Tanzania, and in other parts of the World where Judeo-Christian beliefs are practiced, everyone feels a sense of pain and Joy.
Pain for a good man to be persecuted for no sin of his own. Joy, because the selfish human nature always rejoices when someone can pay their debts. In this case a debt above any means of paying back. The only payment, for this kind of a sin, is to die and be consumed in the abyss – hades as the Bible says.
Looked at closely, the death of Jesus on the Cross was necessary. Necessary as a theopolitical statement against a ‘coin and writman’ system that promoted status quo, oppressed commoners and laypeople.
A system that upheld sociopolitical discrimination of the highest order and promoted socioreligious, even colour and race based prejudice. A system.
In Tanzania, today, this can also be termed to be true of the current system. While we all think that the President, John Pombe Magufuli ‘could’ be the problem of the current unrest and state of fear/austerity in the United Republic of Tanzania, we should look farther than President Magufuli’s sins of ommision and commission.
What our President is being accused of, rightly or wrongly, is only a visible tip of a system entrenched in oppressive structures. A system promoted by butt-licking leaders. Leaders who have neither moral muscles nor political will to stand against a systemic hegemony.
In a real sense, the citizenry have also been beaten to docility. The latter, are willingly or unwillingly supporting the same system that oppresses them.
Thinking about hegemony, a second time, we have moved from the real sense of the word to partisan/political group dominance to singular hegemonic system.
Just as Herod became a god to himself and the rest of his wantonly baffled pack, the led in his his time, just as in Tanzania today, accepted to go with the flow for the sake of saving their skin. Herod looked for who to blame for the woes in his leadership.
Standing on the picket with the rest, the opposition parties in Tanzania have also opted to fight against individuals and not the system. Thus the power and flavour of opposing voices is akin to that of the man at the mantle – the ‘Bulldozer’.
Rather than focusing on strengthening the erroneous sociopolitical and economic beliefs created within the two or so years of his tenure, he tries to cut off dissenting voices.
Even voices from the youth. This is happening at a scale where, even bullets shot in the air, deliberately become rogue, ending on an innocent student sitting and minding own business on a dala dala. We have become a nation that retards it’s own posterity.
What have we remained with then? A state apparatus which is spending too much time witchhunting and going after citizens who highlight how bad a state, the nation is in. A nation of fear and tongue-tied citizens.
Even three year olds cannot repeat street-buzz words such as “vyuma vimekaza”. If you are a parent, you run to cover the child’s mouth lest the walls and the birds of the air carry such utterance to the State House.
All this because we are not working towards eliminating inherited oppressive colonial system. A system where the colonised intellectuals: a group that’s makes up those in leadership and citizens alike are bereft of any sense of patriotism.
On this Good Friday, let’s remember, Jesus and other acclaimed religious leaders fought against oppressive systems.
A reflective Easter Holidays to all!