Political activity is increasing in East Africa with Kenya approaching the Constitution referendum that will take place in August, and Tanzania holding general elections – not to speak of the also forthcoming elections in Burundi and Rwanda next month, and the horrible Kampala bombing, all of which deserve separate posts. But, for the time being, here are some initiatives and reflections about the Kenyan and Tanzanian events.
First, the people from Kuweni Serious have launched the “Soma Hiyo Something!” campaign that uses comics to encourage people to read Proposed Constituion. So far they have four issues out, touching on topics like Freedom of Expresion, Consumer Rights, Forest Cover and my favourite one, Emergency Medical Care (click on the image below)
Meanwhile from neighbouring Tanzania, Elsie Eyakuze, on “The Mikocheni Report” writes with her usual humour and insightfulness about the forthcoming elections:
The election season has finally kicked off. Jay Kay has selected his running mate, Mohamed Gharib Bilal, an (old) soft-spoken scientist-turned politician and one-time Chief Minister of Zanzibar. Meanwhile, the other (old) soft-spoken scientist turned politician, Dr. Shein, is CCM’s candidate for the Zanzibar Presidency, running against CUF’s (old) candidate Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad. It’s a gerontocratic Vice-Presidential-Chief-Ministerial Merry-Go-Round. No sign of Chadema presidential aspirations. The others? UDP, DP, TLP, NCCR-Mageuzi? Meh. Let’s not even raise the specter of CCJ. This is going to be an one-horse race.
Of course, the real game is in the parliamentary and council elections. Jay Kay’s address to the outgoing parliamentarians was… well, interesting. My Lady of the Crooked Smiles thinks he’s shown signs of personal growth over the past five years. Teachers, eh. To me, it sounded like a bit of a cop-oyt. It’s going to be very interesting to watch a couple of promising young(er) politicians handle their first time running, as well as keep an eye out for major upsets as greyheads get pushed out- hopefully- by some serious competition 🙂 Will the coming Bunge contain more thinkers and doers and fewer sluggish, corrupt, entitled, ancient, ineffective, apathetic money-sinks? Hope so.