Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Weekly Sneak: In the Game of Urais, You Pick A Side or You get Herded

This week a 'fan' was kind enough to email and compliment me about the quality of my written English because- as he explained- I sure do write good for a Tanzanian. And then he appended his support for my 'campaign' to help the opposition win 2015 because that's what's going to save our English-mangling Tanzanians from ourselves.
Sigh. I know. He meant well. The road to hell... That said, it did tickle me darkly. Very darkly.

What I have to thank him for is the kick up the backside that motivated me to broach a subject dear to every Tanzaphile's heart: who is going to succeed Kikwete? Oh yeah, it's time to kick that door wide open:
"In the past, it is said that the Party used to have a healthy internal mechanism for the selection of candidates during elections. Perhaps. From the outside, it looks as though the Chairman always had far too much power to determine who his successor would be. In addition there was a shadow code of power-brokering that involved unwritten rules about who was viable, negotiating the management of religious and tribal and other considerations. Our Presidents have always been minority men, a subtle triumph of CCM statecraft that bears keeping in mind. But times have changed and our current political landscape is a little complicated."
Yeah. It's time. Let's play.


  1. Yeah, talk about damning with faint praise!

    Reminds me of this quote : "Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all." - Samuel Johnson

    As far as the election, still seems a bit early, but I suppose it's never to early to start prognosticating. I think the real contenders will start emerging a year from now.

  2. Elsie, how did you know? President watching (in the tradition of whale watching) is my current obsession (besides the usual ones like is my English too good for me to be Tanzanian and am I too priveledged to be part of the wananchi). I love this game! I have been thinking of writing about this and when the issue of the etiquette of actually naming names came up, I naturally felt that the solution lies in creating a fictional country.

    It is never too early to 'watch' for possible future presidents; I am already looking as far ahead as 2050 when according to the current constitution my son will be old enough to be president. Silly perhaps but when I meet little kids in various displays of childlike innocence, I often wonder if one of the ones I have come across will lead this country and what baggage he or she is currently accumulating and how it will affect our economy.

    I think president watching could possibly be made into a very successful and popular board game (move over monopoly and snakes and ladders).

  3. Nice, president watching is the order of the day. Meanwhile, I have no idea how you are chaperoning the opposition into 2015 - wild, wild statement if you ask me. All in all some food for thought none the less.

  4. @Fausta: Mmmmh, I love the way you roll. 2050, eh? Come to think of it, if every parent right now was raising their child with an eye to them becoming a viable presidential candidate, what would they do the same and what would they do different? Tee hee, ati whale watching. But I get what you mean- bloated leviathans, singing in a key that regular humans can barely decipher... ;)I eagerly await your board game.

    @Gaure: you know! anyways, it would be unpatriotic of me not to poke this topic with a stick. time's a pressing...

  5. I read this bleary-eyed this morning and FM's whale analogy went completely over my head. Well done EE for picking up on it. (Must be your advanced English!) 'Bloated leviathans, communicating in a key that humans can barely decipher' - wonderful! Whales: Varieties include the sperm whale, and the killer whale… You don't see them often, but when they come around every once in a while it's only in search of one thing. And when they are in the vicinity you can't miss them because of their gigantic size. They open their mouths and consume all they can…


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