“One thing I like about our present government,” a friend of mine told me this week, “is its ingenuity in diverting public attention from touchy national issues.”
My friend made the comment when discussing the government’s recent exercise in which it demolished a number of mansions that had been illegally built on forbidden Dar es Salaam’s beaches.
According to my friend, much as the exercise was a move in the right direction its timing appeared aimed at drawing public attention away from Dr Stephen Ulimboka’s detailed report on what transpired after he was abducted at a city pub and savagely tortured a few weeks ago.
Dr Ulimboka, who is now recovering from the ordeal he went through at the hands of some unknown crooks in a South African hospital, has lately gone to town, making full use of latest information technology, through Twitter, to lay bare the hellish experience he went through before he was left for dead by his abductors.
Other rumours that made the rounds in Dar es Salaam this week had it that Dr Ulimboka’s survival lay ion his name which, in Kinyakyusa, means God cure me.
And for Dar es Salaamites who are familiar with the Magomeni Mapipa suburb, they may have noticed construction of a high-rise building in the area. Now the rumours have it that the building belongs to one of Dar es Salaam region’s senior police officers.
According to the whispers, the building is allegedly being built by a drug cartel on behalf of the senior Dar es Salaam policeman.
However, the proverbial million-dollar question is: What has the senior policeman done to win the alleged drug cartel’s favour to put up such structure for him?
Further whispers have it that the senior policeman normally surveys his building from a distance, probably for fear that he would be linked to construction of the building.
They say that he normally goes near the building site and pretends to be making calls on his mobile phone while surreptitiously taking glances at the progress of the building’s construction.
Meanwhile, whispers abound that Dar es Salaam may soon become awash with key-holders after a public institution imported the products instead of crucial spare parts for its very sensitive machineries!
The scandal, which is still brewing, links the public institution with its entire leadership, including its board of directors. There is already pressure in government circles for the institution’s entire leadership, including the entire board, not only to be sacked but to be taken to court.
Rumours have it that money for the key-holders has apparently been fully paid by the institution. Questions are now being raised over whether or not the institution had undertaken the mandatory inspection before importation of the spare parts.
Rumours have it that instead of importing the important spare parts for machineries, the institution’s management imported key-holders and pocketed billions of shillings in foreign currency.
According to the sources, this is not the first time that this has happened. Two years ago equipment imported for a government-owned hotel training institute turned out to be something else when it arrived in the country.
The equipment had been ordered for the hotel, whose construction was funded by the French government
The scandal was however never saw the light of day because it conveniently swept under the carpet.
You may probably still remember the Mang’ula Machine Tools company, which was part of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway package, which was built by the Chinese government in order to help in the facilitation of Tazara’s operations.
Rumours have it that the company was sold to one of the ruling party’s members of Parliament who hails from Morogoro region, who is said to have sold some of the machinery parts as scrap metal!
It is important to bear in mind that Mang’ula Machine Tools could forge any kind of spare part and it was presented to the Tanzania and Zambia governments precisely for that purpose – to ease production of spare parts for Tazara.
What is more, machine tools the world over have in the past been known to help nations launch themselves into light and heavy industries.
Apart from Tanzania and Zambia, the other country which was provided with machine tools by the Chinese government almost at the same time was the Democratic Republic of Korea.
And as we all know, this is the country which is presently reported to own the all-important know-how for the production of nuclear weapons, a development that has for years given some nations in the West sleepless nights.
One of Tanzania’s leading non-governmental organizations that deals specifically with women issues has finally succumbed to the West’s pressure to support gay rights. Following the NGO’s surrender, rumours have it that it has been inundated with billions of funds for its projects.
It will be recalled that a few months ago Tanzania’s minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Membe was quoted by the local media as saying that no amount of foreign funds would convince the government to support gays
Whispers have it that it is for the same reason that the country’s development partners have been withdrawing or scaling down their financial assistance for institutions such as TACAIDS and others.
The aim, according to the whispers, is to come up later with a new policy that would require Tanzanian institutions, government or privately-owned, which seek funding from the West to toe the gay rights line if they want to be supported.
It now remains to be seen how other NGOs, most of which are presently in a financial crunch, are going to react.