In Summary
  • He is so persuasive that when he speaks one listens irrespective of whether one agrees or not with his position. His interaction via social media is spot on. Crypt, to the point and always thought provoking.

January Makamba is an astute leader. One of the very best our shores provides and I have seen enough masqueraders around to know what I am saying . Where others prefer to scream and froth, he prefers to speak quietly with a sharp focus on the issues at hand.

He is so persuasive that when he speaks one listens irrespective of whether one agrees or not with his position. His interaction via social media is spot on. Crypt, to the point and always thought provoking.

Hence his remarks and a tweet emerging thereof, attracted our attention and is the subject of our taking a time-travel into the future, the year 2065 to be precise.

It is June 2065 and the United Republic of Tanzania is about to hold its General Election. Our former (Minister and President or insert position as you deem appropriate) the now retired Mzee January Makamba is in his nineties and reminiscing somewhere in his ancestral village in Mahezangulu (which we can’t trace on google maps but is in picturesque Tanga).

January’s remarks last week went like this, “kuna wanasiasa na kuna viongozi. Si kila mwanasiasa ni kiongozi, na si kila kiongozi ni mwanasiasa. Wanasiasa wasio viongozi wanasukumwa na uchaguzi ujao. Viongozi wanasukumwa na ustawi wa vizazi vijavyo.” Simply put, January stated that statesmen look to the welfare of 50 years to come while political leaders look to the 2020 General Election.

The now retired January Makamba would be looking over lush gardens of trees interspersed with well-developed lawns and overhead would be a huge overhead railway line linking Mahezangulu to Gulu in Uganda by high speed trains.

The Tanzania of 2065 will probably have double our population today. Our best bet is in management of the environment. Every move we make as we try to become a nation with well-developed and self-reliant industries must think what impact these giant leaps will have on a sustainable environment.

Africa, not just our beloved Tanzania, is teeming with politicians who wear false statesmen’s garb. Look around you, they are all over the place.

A visit to Makamba’s tweet feed gives one an inside look of his beliefs into the long term future. Case in point a photo in which he is with ex Zanzibar President Abeid Amani Karume and text says, “Son, politics is a contact spot. Everyday someone will step on your toe. Do not panic just smile. Don’t seek revenge but don’t forget the names of those seeking to bring you down.”

Indeed, looking at how January has done his politics and the development versus sustainable development axis reveals his insights into the Tanzania of 50 years from today. If a politician’s aim is to win the next General Election, they will cite the sprouting of high-rise buildings built mostly by tax payers money as development.

Yet we are building without the prerequisites of the needs of urban planning and development in a sustainable way.

If we had many statesman, they would see the need to plan in such a manner that Mahezangulu of 2065 would be a tree lined urban centre surrounded by lush gardens and within walking distance to organic farms producing the much loved Tanga mangoes, side by side with six lane roads in and out of the township.

If we were thinking the future, we would be using the National Housing Corporation to build satellite cities not of the Gezaulole type whose reach is way beyond the hope of more than ¾ of our population, but well-costed, well-designed to meet the needs of small and medium families.

If we were thinking 2065 we would take up the message of family planning more seriously than we do now when we are even wont to lie, bare-faced, that the money the Acacias and Tanzanites of this world are paying are huge enough to allow every Tanzanian to own a Hiace. The naiveté of our people seems to reach deep even into supposedly schooled editors.

Rise up statesmen and build a Tanzania, an Africa, from which its sons and daughters won’t need to stow away and die on high seas, to get away from a life of drudgery and no hope.