Recently, I decided to stop this blog in June or July of this year. That would have been about one year of blogging. There were three main reasons for this. Firstly, it takes time. Believe me, summarising IMF reports or discussing the gini co-efficient in your second language is not easy. Secondly, I was beginning to bore myself. Blogging anonymously means you have to leave a lot of yourself outside of the blog. So what is presented is not as complex or as interesting or as real as it could be. Another week goes by and there’s kifimbocheza, tapping away at the keyboard and giving out about something. Yawn. Part of me is kifimbocheza, but only a small part. Also, I expect to be busy with something else in the second half of the year.

As it is, I have decided to stop it now. The furore over the entirely innocent post made by Pernille, and the ensuing hate campaign, has contributed to this. I got involved in it to a certain extent and I have no regrets about that.

Given that the hate campaign against Pernille emerged from nothing, I no longer felt comfortable. I felt uneasy for a number of reasons. It was clear to me that part of the reason that she took so much heat was that she is white and, to an extent, because she is a woman. Having read the posts on Michuzi, some of the comments (most of them appeared to support her, we should not forget) and the bile on the facebook group, I’m pretty sure of this. More unnerving was the silence from other Tanzanian bloggers. I feel like I’m in a particularly unpleasant bar, where it could all go off at any minute. So I’ve decided to get my coat. I feel a lot more comfortable in the real Tanzania than the virtual one.

Before anybody gets upset about that last paragraph, it is not a commentary on Tanzanians in general. It is a commentary on the type of dynamic that can emerge from some elements of a young blogging/online community that is drawn from a wafer-thin stratum of Tanzanians, both here and overseas. It was started by some guy called Suby, using Issa Michuzi as his channel. Then a kid in Chicago puts together a hateful facebook group that is publicised by, that man again, Issa Michuzi.

It is also a commentary on the general lack of thought given to ethics in this realm, the Swahili language blogosphere. Another example is the way that the jambo blog network would just steal people’s content for their own (advertising driven) site. I appear to be the only one to have complained on a blog. But I know I’m not the only one who was unhappy about it. All you had to do was ask, lads. Is that so difficult? To paraphrase the late Professor Chachage, we appear to have a soko holela rather than a soko huru in our small Swahili speaking bit of the blogosphere.

I share one characteristic with Pernille. I’m a white foreigner. But what does that mean? We come from two very different countries, with very different cultures. I should know – I was once mbeba box in Copenhagen, working nights and sleeping six to a room. I know that some, though not all, readers of this blog thought I was Tanzanian, but I’m not.

I’ve enjoyed blogging. Maybe after some time I will emerge with something different. And I have a few ideas.

Meanwhile, if you want to think a little more about identity and the internet, click here.

And I had some good posts in my head – fired up and ready to go! But this dog is going for a walk. So, if you want to know how to track the movements of the presidential jet, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.


Kaka Michu, nisiseme kuwa mimi ni mshabiki wa blogu yako. Lakini ukweli, nimeitembelea mara nyingi. Labda unajua kuwa nimeandika makala kuhusu blogu yako mara moja au mbili. Kama umesahau, bonyeza hapa.

Mimi hutembelea kwako kwa sababu naona unavutia watu wengi sana duniani. Na kweli, nakupongeza kwa kazi yako nzuri ya kuunganisha waswahili duniani. Hamna mwingine ubloguni kwetu kama wewe. Hongera.

Lakini kila mtu ana mapungufu yake. Hata mimi, na wewe pia, anko. Jana, nilisoma makala moja kwako ambayo imenisikitisha sana. Ilihusiana na mwanablogu moja hapa Tanzania anayeitwa Pernille. Wengine wabonyeze hapa wakitaka kuisoma (hata wewe kama umesahau). Kwenye makala hiyo, mtu fulani, kwa jina la ‘Suby’ amelalamika kuhusa makala ya Pernille. Pernille alikuwa akielezea mambo ya foleni za magari hapa Dar es Salaam. Alimtaja trafik wa kike kuwa na “legs like small tree trunks”.

Sawa. Lakini, jana pia, umetangaza makala nyingine. Kama umesahau (najua upo bize sana), bonyeza hapa. Ulitangaza barua au tangazo kutoka kwa mtu asiyejulikana ambaye alitaka kutangaza kundi ya facebook ya kugomea blogu ya Pernille. Kwenye picha iliandikwa “Apologise or Leave!!”. Ametukaribisha sote tuungane naye.

Lakini, Michuzi, hujatuambia kwanini tuungane naye. Hujatuambia kwanini a-“apologise or leave!!”. Wewe umekaa kimya. Hakuna ya kuangalia ila tabasamu lako kwenye picha yako nzuri kwenye tovuti. Kwa ukimya wako, umeunga mkono asili mia kwa mia na muundaji wa kundi. Wewe uliweka bango lao kwenye blogu yako. Wewe umemwambia Pernille “Apologise or Leave!!”

Nadhani wewe uombe msamaha kwa Pernille. Pia napendekeza uondoe makala ya pili, ulivyoondoa makala kuhusu Global Scouting Bureau mwaka uliopita.

Rais Kikwete alitoa hotuba mbili mwezi uliopita. Kwanza, aliongea na Wazee wa Dar es Salaam, Diamond Jubilee Hall. Mwisho wa mwezi, tulisikia hotuba yake ya kufunga mwezi.

Alivyosema Rais kwenye hotuba yake kwa wananchi kwa mwezi wa pili, ulikuwa “mwezi wa matukio makubwa ya kukumbukwa kwa miaka mingi ijayo”. Bado haipatikani kwenye tovuti ya serikali, lakini ipo kwa Michuzi. Bonyeza hapa. Kwa hotuba kwa Wazee, bonyeza hapa.

Kuhusu Richmond, Mh. Rais hajakosea – tuliona matukio makubwa. Lakini baada ya kusikiliza na kusoma hotuba zake, nadhani angefurahi tuyasahau. Soma yafuatayo:

Nchi yetu ilipata mtikisiko mkubwa na wananchi wengi walikuwa katika hali ya mkanganyiko, wakati mwingine walikuwa wakijiuliza maswali mengi yaliyokosa majibu kuhusu hatma ya taifa letu.

Siyo siri, tumejiuliza maswali mengi. Lakini kutoka kwa Rais mwenyewe, hamna majibu. Alitusimulia kuhusu vikao vya Kamati ya Uongozi ya Chama na Kamati ya Wabunge wote wa CCM baada ya ripoti ya Mwakyembe kuwasilishwa. Najiuliza, je, walijadiliana nini? Taarifa za vikao zilipendekeza nini? Au, kusema wazi, nani alimlinda nani katika majadiliano hayo?

Wengi wamejiuliza maswali, hasa kuhusu Lowassa, harakati zake na mahusiano yake na Rais. Rais mwenyewe amlisemaje?

Napenda kuitumia nafasi hii kumshukuru sana Mhe. Edward Lowassa kwa moyo wake wa uzalendo na kwa utumishi wake kwa taifa letu. Ameitumikia nchi kwa jitihada kubwa katika nyadhifa mbalimbali mpaka kufikia kuwa Waziri Mkuu. Katika miaka hii miwili amefanya kazi kubwa ya kusukuma mbele gurudumu la maendeleo la taifa letu. Ameacha alama za kudumu za kipindi chake cha miaka miwili. Yaliyotokea ni ajali katika maisha ya siasa, lakini naamini historia itamhukumu kwa haki stahiki

Zaidi ya hapo, ametuambia kuwa:

Nchi yetu tayari imerudia hali yake ya kawaida na kila mmoja wetu anaendelea na shughuli zake.

Yaani, sina maneno ya kuelezea mshtuko wangu kwa maneno hayo. Waziri Mkuu, ameomtuhumiwa kwa ufisadi mkubwa kupita kiasi, na pia amekosa heshima kwa wananchi atahukumuliwa na historia! Aidha, sisi tunaendelea na shuguli zetu bila wasiwasi baada ya kutulizwa na Rais. Je, Rais alikuwa anamlenga nani kwa maneno hayo? Wananchi? Wazee? Au wenzake wa Chama?

Kwenye hotuba yake ya kufunga mwezi, hana usemi kuhusu mambo hayo. Rais ameendelea na shughuli zake za kumpokea Bush na kutembelea Kenya. Basi. Wakati huo huo, Waziri Mkuu aliyejiuzulu, amejifagilia kwenye TVT.

Mwisho wa mwezi, tulichanganyikiwa na mambo ya Jambo Forums. Utakumbuka kuwa tovuti hiyo ilifungwa kwa muda, na watu wawili walikamatwa. Kitu kinachosikitisha ni hiki: kwanini imebidi tutegemee shirika kutoka nje (Committee to Protect Journalists) kupata taarifa nzima na wazi ya kashfa hiyo. Soma makala yao hapa. Tumepata kila kitu – majina, sababu za kukamatwa, hadi jina la mwanasheria wao (Tundu Lissu, mwanasheria wa CHADEMA).

Matukio ya Richmond na Jambo Forums yametuonyesha kuwa safari ya kufikia uwazi na ukweli hapa Tanzania bado ni ndefu.

Mambo yanaendelea. Sasa, kwa url ya http://www.jamboforums.com, utafika kwa jambonetwork.com/jamboforums, lakini ‘not found’.

Jambo Blog Network pia imerudi. Na bado wanaendelea kuiba makala za wanablogu na kuzitangaza kwa JBN. Nimeshalalimikia tabia hiyo. Hamna cha kusema tena.

Once again, Michuzi was first with the news. The popular discussion board, jamboforums, has apparently been closed down and two individuals arrested. Read more on KLH News here. According to that report, they have been arrested for libel.

But as ever with jamboforums, separating truth from fiction is not easy. As far as one can tell, KLH News and jamboforums are controlled by the same people, who have just set up a blog on the issue, Wazalendo wa Tanzania. They tell us that those arrested have been accused of hacking government computer systems, insulting government leaders, running porn sites and leaking government secrets. That is a lot to be busy with, especially with the quality of internet connections in Tanzania.

I’ve never been a fan of jamboforums (nor a fan of the related Jambo Blog Network, as I have explained). Anonymous discussion boards have ambiguous agendas. And weighing up anonymous, inflammatory posts is a tiresome pastime, so I hardly ever visit.

A scroll through the comments on Michuzi is not terribly illuminating, but good fun. “Jamboforums is a CHADEMA project!” “It’s all because jamboforums broke the news of attacks on the opposition in Kiteto!”. And my personal favourite: “It’s all Jack Pemba’s fault! He got a court injunction against them in England!”

So, given that two out of three reports come from sites that are likely to be connected to jamboforums, we can but wait for more reliable sources, before we reflect on issues such as the appropriateness of old media legislation for new media, anonymity on the net and freedom of expression.

Leo mchana, sote tulisikiliza redio kusikia Rais kutangaza Baraza mpya. “Nani atabaki?” “Nani atafukuzwa?”. Basi, ilitangazwa. Maswali tena. “Unamwonaje Mkulo?” “Jamani Andrew Chenge alikuwa Mwanasheria Mkuu wakati wa IPTL, si ndiyo?!”

Leo jioni, nilianza kusoma By the Sea, kitabu kimechoandikwa na Abdulrazak Gurnah. Niliguswa na yafuatayo…..

The upper air is always full of agitation because God and his angels live there and debate high policy, and flush out treachery and rebellion. They do not welcome casual listeners or informers or self-servers and have the fate of the universe to darken their brows and whiten their hair. As a precaution, the angels release a corrosive shower every now and then to deter mischievous eavesdroppers with a threat of deforming wounds. The middle air is the arena for contention, where the clerks and the ante-room afreets and the wordy jinns and flabby serpents writhe and flap and fume as they strain for the counsels of their betters. Ack ack, did you hear what he said? What can it mean? In the murk of the lower is where you’ll find the venomless time-servers and the fantasists who’ll believe anything and defer to everything, the gullible and the spiritless throngs that crowd and pollute the narrowing spaces where they congregate, and that’s where you’ll find me.

Je, umeshasoma ripoti ya Mwakyembe? Si unajua jinsi viongozi walivyokula? Dakika arobaini zilizopita, wabunge walikubali uteuzi wa Mizengo Pinda, Mbunge wa Mpanda Mashariki, kama Waziri Mkuu. Walimsifia. Walimpa moyo. Aliwashukuruu. Sitta alifunga kikao kwa mtindo wake. Lakini kumbe, alipewa karatasi kutoka kwa mmoja wao. Mbunge huyo alikuwa na swali….. “je, sherehe ya kumpongeza Waziri Mkuu itafanyika lini?”

Kashfa ya siku hizi ilielekea kuvunja siasa yetu. Mbunge huyo anafikiria nini? Chakula tu!

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