you can run, but you can't hide....
Check the headlines
November 30, 2009
November 29, 2009
BLANTYRE, Nov 23, 2009 (MalawiPolitics)-- Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika, whose party enjoys a parliamentray majority, is seeking to beef up his powers before he exits the political stage in 2014.
A bill is in the works to give the President, whose DPP has 114 legislators of the 193 MPs in the House, the power to set a date for the local government elections, which were last held in 2000.
"Local government elections shall take place five years on a date to be determined by the President in consultation with the Electoral Commission provided that local government authorities shall stand dissolved at the end of five years following an election," the proposed bill says.
The proposal wants to remove reference to specific timing as to when local government elections are to be held.
The DPP could easily amend the constitution and secure two-thirds majority (128) with the support of 30 independent MPs to pass the law.
Mutharika has openly said his government does not have the money to pay 700 councillors their allowances. The next elections were set for May 2010, a year after the general elections held in May this year.
Meanwhile, parliament has started debating a police bill which wants to give powers to the law enforcers to undertake searches without a warrant.
Internal security minister Aaron Sangala was qouted by local media as saying senior police officers would be responsible for police searches, accompnaied by other officers to make the process transparent and accountable.
This, Sangala argued, would prevent "abuse of the process."
Opposition MPs are trying to block the bill, saying this was in conflict with Malawi's democratic dispensation.
"Malawi is now in democracy. It would be wrong to subject people to searches of their houses without a warrant," Peter Chalera, a legislator of the opposition Malawi congress Party, was qouted as telling parliament.
Atupele Muluzi, United Democratic Front leader in parliament, accused the government of rushing to pass bills, saying contributions from the opposition should also be considered.
"Let us not pass legislations for the sake of it...the laws we pass here will affect generations so they need serious deliberations," Atupele, son of ex-president Bakili Muluzi (1994-2004), said.
The 7,000 strong police force in Malawi is undergoing reform to give it a human face. During the tyranical rule of former president-for-life Kamuzu Banda, the police abused human rights.
November 28, 2009
A very special thanks to Ari B. and Sis. S. Yasin who did most of the work on translating this song.
"JITOLEE" – Volunteer
Uchumi unashangaza / The economy is amazing/astonishing/ strange.
Wengine wanao wengine hawana / Some have it, some don’t
Wewe tajiri sikiliza mara moja / You rich man listen immediately
Usingekuwepo bila mama yako/ You wouldn’t exist without your mama
Nani aliamua awe mama yako / Who decided she should be your mama?
Hu ndiyo uamuzi wa dunia / Yeah that’s a decision the world made
Kwahiyo lazima uyaheshimu / Because of that you must respect it
Pamoja na akina mama wote / Together with all mothers
Mikono juu / Hands up!
Jitolee na usaidie / volunteer and help somebody
Ombi kwa binadamu / Ask humanity (so that they)
Upendo usipotee / Don't lose love
Heshima kwa baba heshima kwa mama / Respect to father, respect to mother
Heshimu kitu cha bure kila mtu anastaili / Respect is free, every person deserves it
Ila dunia sasa imejaa kitendawili / Yet the world now is filled with riddles/puzzles.
Unyama na ufedhuli sasa umeshika hatamu / Brutality and insolence have now taken over
Viliyo vya kinamama imekuwa kama salaam / The cries of the mothers have become like greetings
Jiulize ungekuwa nani kama asingekuwepo mzazi / Ask yourself who you would have been without someone to a parent (to you)
Ubinadaamu kazi, dunia inapata radhi / being humane/citizenship is demanding, the world is getting cursed.
Kila ninapopita matajiri hawana utu / Everywhere I pass rich people have no humanity
Roho za umasikini zimetawaliwa na kutu / Their impoverished souls are ruled by rust
Wanataka maisha bora wavivu wakuthubutu / They want a better life, lazy to attempt it
Waliyokatatama sasa wanashika mtutu / Those who have given up now reach for the barrel of a gun
Bajana ananiambia twenzetu ado ado / Bajana tells me to go/ move slowly .
Rusha mikono juu kama uko kamalikado / Throw your arms up ???[ANYONE KNOW PORTUGUESE?]
Espen obrigado / Thanks, Espen! (this is Mzungu Kichaa's "government" name)
Kuna watu tofauti katika dunia yetu / There are different people in our world
Mmoja anajaribu kusaidia jamii / One person tries to help the community
Wakati mwengine hajali kitu kuliko dola na senti / while another doesn’t care about anything more than cents and dollars.
Maendeleo hayana muelekeo / Progress doesn’t have direction
Kama tama inadumu kwenye kichwa chako / if greed remains in your head
Hautakuwa na umoja na dunia / then you won’t be in unison (unity) with the world
Binadamu baado wanalia / Human beings are still crying!
Umaskini unawabania / Poverty is limiting them
Kwanini hautaki kuwasaidia? / Why don't you want to help them?
Kwenye kaburi hautatumia / In the grave you wont be spending it.
Sababu ya kuletwa kwenye hii dunia / The reason you been brought into this world
Bado haitafanyikiwa / Still wont be reached.
Wewe ndiyo maskini / You are indeed the poor
Na hakuna mwengine /And there is no other.
"Mwenye pupa hadiriki kula tamu."
A hasty person misses the sweet things (because he cannot wait for the fruit to ripen)
The top picture shows the President of Zanzibar, Amani Abeid Karume
Pictures courtest of Faustina's Baraza. For more information, visit Faustina's Baraza
November 13, 2009
Not to toot my own horn, but I just published a book of poems. A few of the poems were featured earlier on the site. I don't claim to be much of a poet, but I hope you will check me out and buy the book online here. The book is 50 pages for $15, so you will get your money's worth of reading at least.
November 10, 2009
Silences in African History: Between the Syndromes of Discovery and Abolition is a series of related essays on the phenomenon of silence in history. The book is an extended critique of--among others--Ferdinand Braudel, western intellectuals, the World Bank, the IMF, Africanist historians and neo-colonialism. The author Jacques Depelchin is the executive director of the Ota Benga International Alliance for Peace, based in Kinshasa, Congo and Berkeley, CA.
There are a lot of theoretical issues I could explore in relation to the book. I will sum it up by saying it is provocative, dense and deeply committed. Depelchin roundly condemns the moral irrelevance of academia and the limitations, silences and omissions of its theoretical concerns and ontological assumptions. He shows how the "post-colonial" order has largely marginalized African scholars from the mainstream institutions of academic power. As Ibrahim Abdullah writes in the introduction: "is studying Africa the same as writing for Africa?"
Depelchin shows how history needs a new paradigm: just as physics moved beyond a Newtonian model, so history needs a model which will re-theorize the relationship between observer and observed object. Actually this "new" paradigm is far from new, but it was lost or abandoned in the search to make history into an academic science. History is NOT a science. At some point the rules of evidence are not relevant to the choices one makes in a narrative. Moral considerations are. There is no going around this, no finagling it; to avoid it would be cowardly. An ethics of history demands a radical witness to the problems of our day and time. As I have said before on this blog, scholars, especially Western white scholars working on Africa, need to be more concerned to serve as a historical witness against totalizing projects, even if we ourselves are implicated in them! By doing so, we provide the "possibility of the consciousness to resist rather than simply serve the dominant powers of the age."
P.S. Big up to my man Dave B for suggesting this book.
November 9, 2009
November 4, 2009
November 2, 2009
Check out www.Mwambao.com on the web: It definitely has a Kenyan flavor (check the political jokes) and a nice collection of poetry, proverbs and interesting stories by the author.
If you don't know about Them Mushrooms, you better find out. Actually if you ever visited Kenya or Tanzania, or took Kiswahili courses, then you DO know them, you just don't know you do. They wrote the song, "Jambo Bwana", which we sang in Swahili class enough times for me to memorize the lyrics. The song was later covered by Safari Sound Band, whose CD is EVERYWHERE throughout the tourist spots in Dar and Zanzibar especially. Anyway, check this joint: Kazi ni Kazi. Enjoy!