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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tanzania should be “Sent Packing”

It is disheartening that Tanzania does not share in the other EAC countries’ desire to fast-track East Africa’s regional integration. This has come out very clearly in their unwillingness to act on decisions that have already been agreed on.

This dilly-dallying and “wariness” exhibited by Tanzania leaves more questions than answers. Will the East Africa Federation ever see the light of day with Tanzania in the picture? Is there the political will, on the Tanzania side, to see this dream (dream really! Whose dream?) come to fruition?

I read a certain article by Tom Mshindi sometime this week that says something to the effect that Tanzania’s self-interest must not derail integration.

I reproduce some sections of the said article to help us reflect even better on this issue.

1. “IT IS A GOOD THING THAT in Zanzibar last week, Tanzania finally came clean on its opposition to the desire to fast-track East Africa’s regional integration. Its position liberates the other four states from the burden of collegiality and allows them to pursue faster integration without the distraction of a partner that is clearly unwilling to commit to either a plan of action or key principles.”

2. “…Tanzania has decided to backtrack on decisions agreed by the Council of Ministers and now wants to renegotiate them.”

3. “This is what the Zanzibar meeting was intended to do, only for the Tanzania delegation to demur and submit instead that the pace should be slower.”

4. “On the contrary, there are numerous tales of frustration and distress that Kenyan companies in particular have to put up with when seeking work permits for staff who work in Tanzania.”

This brings to mind the issue of the Nation Media Company employees who were denied work permits but instead were ordered out of Tanzania some three years ago. They were declared prohibited immigrants. Prohibited immigrants?! Surely!

I honestly think that we should forget about Tanzania and go on with the fast tracking of the East Africa Federation without them. I believe this will be for the good of our people. The remaining four East African countries – Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi – will make East Africa an economic power house.

I like people of action (and vision) like Presidents Kagame (Rwanda) and Museveni (Uganda). Even before Rwanda was officially allowed into the East Africa Community, President Kagame made a very profound statement that astounded many. He said that professionals from Eastern African countries would not require work permits to take jobs in Rwanda.

As a bottom-line:

Genuine willingness to submit to the protocol is of the essence. Tanzania should not be arm twisted into committing to anything it is not ready to stand for.

* Tanzania’s self-interest must not derail integration

* Tanzania “importing” Albino body parts? – This is insane!

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Taabu said...

Nice post. Tz may be seen to be dethering but in retrospection you will see ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY syndrome. They are still smarting from the EAC fallout. You remember the man-eat-man/nothing banter? We may be progressive and HARD WORKING but Tanzanians fear that some people when offered an handshake goes past the elbow and eventually owns the arm.

This is not a far fetched fear among the Tz. If anything the present credic crunch is disabusing us of the the hitherto heralded global economy. Our greed and deception makes Tz a relactant partner. We abuse them as being lazy, well they are comfortable in their skin, ama?

Anonymous said...


Have you ever thought of how egomastic you are. You are a very proud person- whether you know that or not.
You always talk of ego because you suffer from a very acute ego state.
Do something pratical, look yourself in the mirror and repeat after this. I AM NO BETTER THAN ANY OTHER PERSON. Repeat this evryday until you get that conviction inside of you. YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN ANY OTHER PERSON.

Dr Murinho
Consultant Psycologist

Anonymous said...

Taabu @ 5:34 AM,

Do you see anything positive in the world around you? You, like the Tanzanian leadership, believe that being insecure is being comfortable in ones skin. That is why you are obssessed with living in tribal cocoons of ancestral lands. Before you urge us to go live in caves like our forebearers get a mirror. The head you see infront of the mirror houses a pathetic view of life! Venture out of your pathetic insecurities and live a productive life.

papa plus said...

We must remember that TZ is a partner of SADC. The EAC will be in competition with SADC to some extent. Am sure that TZ is looking to make the best out of this situation and they are caught in a tough spot.

Anonymous said...

Look who is TRAPPED in their TRIBAL mindset? Taabu's comments were strictly on the Tz/EAC saga and the infidels choose to read in between the lines where no word exists and in the process exposing their individual insecurities. Please use the mirrors yourself before you pass it on.

e-change said...

FaithHealer Murinho&anons@9:09-10:28 stick to the post and free the cerebral cranium to do its job unhindered
"Tanzania should be sent packing" what say YOU?

Chris said...

You have to live in Tanzania for a while to understand how deeply in trouble our dear brothers are.

They don't like Kenyans (call it envy or whatever you fancy) but they clamour to take their children to Kenyan schools and every parent wants their children taught by Kenyan teachers in Tanzania. And yet they will not give those Kenyan teachers work permits. It is easier for a South African white to get a work permit in Tanzania than it is for a black Kenyan to get one. Founding father, Mwalimu Nyerere must be turning in his grave if somebody ever told him Kaburus are given preference in his Tanzania to Kenyan Africans.

Still Tanzanians are frightened of importing some nasty Kenyan "things" into their country through the proposed East African community free movement of labour and capital initiatives. Of course some of those fears are NOT unfounded. (Can you imagine Kenyan land-grabbers invading that beautiful still-virgin country and rolling their eyes when they see all those empty plots all over the place?)

But it must be said that our Tanzanian brothers have been very unreasonable. They originally opposed Rwanda and Burundi joining the community for fear that what Richard is suggesting here would happen and they would be left out of the coming gravy train. In other words they are behaving like a bride who has refused to marry this man and yet she does not want him to get married to another.

Our dear brothers will read this post and my comment and say to each other in disgust; "Hawa wa-Kenya!!#!?!" as they usually do, but it is time for them to release this man (EAC) to marry another and live happily ever after without "her."

Of course Tanzania can join the EAC later, all the more reason why they should NOT slow down things for others.


Taabu said...

Mwalimu Nyerere may be turning but at the same time contemplating WHAT IF. You know who EXPORTED bank robbery to Tz? No prices for guessing.

The Tanzanians have boxed themselves to a corner-they would want to learn Kenya's MAGIC TOUCH of capitalism but gravely fears the flea that comes with the animal. Money or the box????

Chris said...

I wouldn't agree more Taabu.

Especially the way you have put it here;

The Tanzanians have boxed themselves to a corner-they would want to learn Kenya's MAGIC TOUCH of capitalism but gravely fears the flea that comes with the animal. Money or the box????

papa plus said...

Kenyan's magic touch of capitalism?

Please guys, hebu stop patting yourselves on the back do fast. Kenyans are fortunate that they followed some form of capitalism while TZ followed some marxist socialism. However, Kenya benefitted greatly from the fact that the colonialists used Nairobi as their base. Therefore infrastructure of Kenya was much better than UG and TZ. After the 1st EA community collapsed, Kenya took the railways, airways and seaport for herself. That was a big advantage.

What is sad is that while Kenya was at par with such tiger economies like Singapore, 4o some odd years we are way behind in terms of development.

b-carotene said...

Dr. Murinho: There such a thing as delayed adolescence? Could that be one of things Taabu's suffering from?

Ritch: As always a great post, and I do agree TZ should be given as much time as they need to think it through, meanhwile those interested in integration should go ahead. After all, Kenya is a member of COMESA and IGADD, functions of which may overlap somewhat but generally distinct from the proposed EAF. We are neither dazed nor starry-eyed.

Tanzania's political economy is very much like any african country's today, riddled with corruption, with favoritism for 'foreign' investors, including especially in land allocation. The president holds a radical title, despite land ownership and administration having been devolved nicely to lower governance levels. And land grabbing, including by foreign actors (not Kenyans),under whatever guise, marches on.

Currently the problem that Tanzania has with Kenya is of a different kind--ENVY. Tanzania's economy is largely mortaged to foreigners--middle easterners, europeans and americans, some south africans, including the 'development industries' of those countries. Kenyan professionals are clearly the preferred choice re managerial manpower. We can debate the reasons.

In the prior, any keen reader of the defunct EAC is under no illusion who broke that up, largely for ideological reasons including a bunch of other shamelessly flimsy excuses, that could have been worked out by reviewing the terms of cooperation. I think Kenya and Uganda should be absolutely WARY (and WEARY) of Tanzania--it is not committed now just as it never was before. So this is a golden opportunity to move on without the major stumbling block that would likely undermine the joint initiative at some point.

Finally can someone kindly ask Taabu to keep his trap shut and cover up his rocky mountain oysters that are flapping about rather wildly, embarassingly, in the frigid wind?

Anonymous said...


it would be fair to list the reasons Tz is tabling for their reluctance to play ball so to speak. I have not seen any of these so far except some interesting perspectives above of why we think they are hedging. Papa + alludes to some of the issues, so before we pass judgement maybe we need some further understanding not based on our assumptions (whether justified or totally out of place)


papa plus said...

Yes, when one assumes one makes an ass of you and me.

In any case, the onus is on Kenya to show leadership. Of course as b-carotene said, corruption is rife in all 3 major players. But one has topose and ask yourself what is the benefit of hitching your wagon to the Kenyan train when we are unstable? Which goes back to the whole election fiasco. It is imperative that somethings not happen. They create a lot of doubt in the eyes of our junior partners.

Just look at the environment. Who is the de facto leader in Kenya? Kibaki or Raila? In UG, they are on the verge of hitting the mother load of about 2 billion burrels of black gold. Am sure many of you have seen TZ tourism ads on CNN alongside Sandle resort ads and other exotic places. So you know in the back of their minds these countries feel confident that they can chart their own course. When you have Pres. Bush asking Pres. Kikwete his assestment of the situation in Kenya, then you know we have been overtaken by events.

Being a farmer myself, I can tell you that kenya needs to straighten a lot of shit within the agricultural sector. The farmers need to have control of their produce and be able to earn a living.

Lastly, Kenya professionals have excelled in their fields. this is true for Kenyans working in SA, Namibia, Rwanda, UG, is a known fact that if you want a professional african then you go with a Kenyan!

Hongera wakenya. Now if our serikali could just wake up and smell the coffee

b-carotene said...

as usual, adds nothing to any debate, save for the predictable one liners....POOH!

Vikii said...

Nice post, Ritch.

Tanzania of course has its reasons for being a little cautious committing themselves to anything. One undeniable thing about politics/economics is that the first person (me/us) comes first. If President Kikwete and his adviors have done a viability assesment (of the proposed unification) and have not yet been convinced that the federation outrightly leaves them a better people/economy, then the most sensible thing would be to dilly dally if not to directly frustrate efforts towards that direction.

Unless we have the specifics about what it is they are developing cold feet over, we can only speculate. My guess is that theirs is a reluctant admission of their lack of sufficient ingenuity/creativity to compete on the larger scale. The Rwandese and the Kenyans definitely scare the shit out of them. These two countries have much more skilled manpower than their separate economies can absorb. On the other hand, Tanzania (largely due to sound gorvernance) has a potential that can very easily be usurped by the Kenyan surplus workers (who are obviously more competitive) in the event we liberalise the 'regional economy'.

The idea of them being a little wary of the Kenyan 'cut-throat-ism' that more often than not is unorthodox, while initially expressed above out of the usual defeatist cynicism, is not entirely far-fetched. Our habits to cut back-door deals (both as individuals and at the government level) is legendary. We are a people without values and they are harmless flies. This leaves them at a disadvantage in a global economy that is increasingly becoming corruption-laden.

Papa Plus, I do not think Tanzania's membership of the SADDC is an impediment to belonging to another bloc unless there are restrictive clauses in any of the charters (which I am not aware of). Unless that is the case, then issue of them ascertaining the better deal does not arise as memberships to both are not mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

Very silly--this portrayal of Tanzanians as harmless angels. They are just as corrupt and subject to backroom deals as anyone else. What governance are you talking about--the periodic elections? Abuse of power is rampant as is a corrupt police force. Go live there!

Sayra said...

I agree that we should leave out Tanzania and move on ... we don't have to wait for them.

They have their reasons why they are playing hard to get and we should respect that by letting them be ... and moving on to things that bring progress to the region.

Anonymous said...

Tanzania does not want unity with war criminals like Museveni and kagame who sponsered the congo genocide. Tanzania does not want unity with kenyans who will export their criminal mungiki elements into their country. Tanzania should keep to itself for now.

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