You made me lose at least four arguments. Just last Sunday I declared with grand pomposity that there is no way the government was going to shut the planned September 1st demonstrations. That the force of discontent would burst through all restrictions as Tanzanians' quest for freedoms and rights breached the damn walls of stupid middle-aged patriarchal crap. I even went so far as to denigrate those who said it would not happen as being stuck in their gilded cages of privilege, unable to smell or taste the sheer fury of the people in the air.
Full. Blown. Wrong.
I know the story is not over but there is a reason I didn't comment on it earlier and there is a reason I will probably not write about TZ politics again for a while. In the meantime, here's a nibble:
"How did it come to this? The mechanisms of Tanzanian peace and stability are intricate, and retaining the balance through our various stages of growth is always challenging. I like to say that we cycle through phases characterized by the incumbents we choose. Mwinyi was seen as having been a touch too laissez-faire so his successor Mkapa provided just the right touch of pedantry and discipline to appeal. After a decade of his dyspeptic guidance, we ran happily into the warm and charming embrace of Kikwete. We were in need of fun and relaxation and hope and modernity, what can I say. And after too large a serving of his brand of leadership, well. It was time for discipline again.
So we swing between the poles. Sometimes we are more open, sometimes we are more conservative. Sometimes we are channeling a very masculine energy, sometimes it is a very feminine energy. Always, it is Tanzania first: that's the “tax” we pay to be so lucky as to be her citizens. Our incumbents usually come to understand, accept and sometimes even be defeated by the fact that our complex society believes in the social contract between the state and the people. Live, but let live."
And for duck's sake, Tanzania: solar eclipses have nothing to do with Magufuli. It is a natural phenomenon, not a sign.