Friday, 16 November 2012

A MINISTER WITH ALOT TO SAY AND SCARS TO SHOW......

Introducing Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, Tanzania's Minister for Transport last weekend at the Central Hall, Westminster, London chair for Britain- Tanzania Society, William Fulton's tone and words showed immense appreciation and respect.

A people's leader...Minister Dr. Mwakyembe besieged by folks of all shades, gender and colour.

 At the end of his talk which covered two main topics: the re-writing of the Tanzanian constitution and state of travel industry,  MP and Minister Dr. Mwakyembe was thanked by Camden Town councillor Valerie Leach...
Councillor Councillor Leach thanks the Minister for his integrity a rare quality among current African leaders...pic by Rashid Dilunga.

Ms Leach who spent years working in Africa and Tanzania- in particular- addressed the minister in Kiswahili "Mheshimiwa" saying he reminded us all of the times of Mwalimu Nyerere...when "accountability and anti- corruption" were part of the political menu.
Julian Marcus (left) and Ron Fennel of the BTS...

Dr. Mwakyembe started out as a lawyer, BTs Chair Mr Fulton said then became Kyela MP in 2005. Thereafter he led the investigation into the Richmonds corruption scandal (2008) which saw resignation of top government guys including Prime Minister, Edward Ngoyai Lowassa...
Soon after Dr. Mwakyembe narrowly escaped a car accident  then the mysterious skin disease in 2011. Speculation to both cases has become the subject of intense media analysis....
The guest speaks; flanked by BTs chair, William Fulton (left). Pic by Rashid Dilunga...


Dr. Mwakyembe's informative talk was approximately an hour.
Talk of a new constitution is crucial as we move into the 21st century. There have been significant changes in 1962 (after Uhuru), 1965 (after Union with Zanzibar), 1977 (CCM birth from TANU), 1983 and introduction of multi-parties in 1992.
Dr. Hamza with Felicia (in red) and Elly Njau swimming in teas, chats and biscuits.

"The whole nation is gripped with election fever, " he said fervently.
A man filled with enthusiasm and quick wit, he is not scared to be both engaging and forcefully committed  i.e. refurbishing the laborious  ministry of transport after being appointed four months ago. We are all aware of the saga of dangerous accidents , the Minister reminded those who have been in the country. Changes need to be done.
 Intensity was the wave of the day...here Yusufu Kashangwa of the Tanzania Trade Centre takes part...

Dar es Salaam  has been cited as the most inefficient ports in the world. Soon after his appointment he fired the whole Dar port team. With its strategic position, the Minister went on, Dar es Salaam should benefit the entire nation. We are surrounded by landlocked nations (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi etc), therefore " If my Ministry sleeps, the entire nations sleeps."He is a busy man, he said.
Andrew Coulson (not to be confused with the famous News of The World journalist), organiser of the meeting with another BTS member exchange words and tea...

 Cries for travel improvement are everywhere. One of which is the congestion of Dar city itself. The introduction of railways network lately, is a recent example of Dr. Mwakyembe's efforts. But the money had to be taken from other projects. It is not easy.
The providers of tea , coffee and biscuits, Anna and pal, stand patiently  in the background...

Thereafter followed a session of questions and answers.
Sister Lucia asking questions  about Zanzibar boat accidents...

 Sister Lucia who has lived and worked in Tanzania, wondered about Zanzibar and recent boat disastes. Aseri Katanga questioned the Dar es Salaam port. The Minister said his aim is to make traveling better and any inefficiency and corruption to be thwarted.
Aseri Katanga of Computers for Africa with Billy Mwangamilo and George Kantande...

Hope is this Minister's principle vibe.
David Luhanga and Rajab Juma...also on the aforementioned tea and discussion.

Tea and biscuits followed the speech; but the visitor did not rest.
 I doubt  he had time to drink his tea, which was held in his emaciated hands visibly affected from the mysterious disease of last year.

 The Minister listens keenly to the many crowding and still keen to "dig deeper" after his speech...

 Thronging and surrounding him , everyone wanted to share an opinion, ask a question, take a picture, be around the man who has survived two alleged assassination attempts. Who does not like a hero? I looked at his strangely disfigured fingernails , blacker than night, scars and carried on taking pictures...

His Excellency Tanzanian High Commissioner to London, Hon Peter Kallaghe with the visitor.
 Pic by Rashid Dilunga
Rashid Dilunga who took some of these pictures ... loves  his senses and lenses.

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