Forgery: Is Tanzania Going the Sassou-Ngweso Way ?

Published on 27th October 2009

The Mandela Foundation was galled by a very saddening episode where Congolese dictator Denis Sassou-Ngweso used the name of anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela to illegally paint a rosy picture for himself. Sassou-Ngwesso proved to be a plagiarizer-in-chief  in his book ‘Straight Talking for Africa’ whose forward was invented by his colleagues and praises Mr Sassou-Nguesso as "one of our great African leaders.” How can you compare a wino and patriot? How can you compare a sinner and a saint?


"Mandela's name doesn't belong to the foundation but to the African continent. We don't need their authorization to publish what Mandela said after the Congolese gave their blood for the liberation of southern African countries," Sassou-Nguesso’s Whiz kids argued. Alain Akouala, former communications minister in Congo, accused Mr Mandela's aides of treating the anti-apartheid icon's name "like a brand".


Let’s go to Tanzania’s shame of forgery. African rulers are obsessed with the idea of being regarded as elites, regardless of whether they are semi-illiterates or illiterates altogether. We have Dr. Alhaj Yahya Jammeh, Dr. Jakaya Kikwete and others who have never seen any PhD Panel.


Recently in Tanzania, six ministers, some DCs, RCs and four Members of Parliament (among 19 under scrutiny) forged their certificates. Ministers are Mary Nagu (Commerce and industry), Emanuel Nchimbi (Defence and National service), Makongoro Mahanga (Labour Youth development), David Mathayo David (Agriculture food and Co-ops) and Diodurus Kamala (Regional Cooperation).


This is a big number by all standards and it puts Tanzania on the top of the list of known forgers. What confuses is the fact that even when this crime was reported, the authorities did not take any action. One MP, Samuel Chitalilo was water-tightly implicated. But again the authorities did not take any action!


Despite the fact that Tanzania is seen as a shining example of peace and tranquility on the outside, inside, it is like a grave. The current regime also allegedly robbed the Central Bank to fund the campaigns that propelled President Kikwete to power. Kikwete has been doing whatever it takes to push this under the carpet to no avail thanks to opposition staying put. National resources are plundered in broad light whilst the government watches. Its economy is cascading, thanks to surging corruption. Currently, Tanzania is facing grave power crises due to corruption in procurement and contracting. Uganda, with a quarter of resources compared to Tanzania, is supplying electricity to Tanzania. Food shortage and hunger are looming.


The Tanzania Commission of Universities (TCU) funded the sifting of these allegations from June 25, 2008 to October 9, 2009. The countries in which TCU trailed the records of these big con men and women in power involved India, UK and USA where the said bigwigs alleged they did their courses. The results were stunningly surreal. Almost all those alleged fakers are holding full ministry positions and they did not substantiate to the contrary. When they were contacted by the media, they gave hogwash instead of denying or admitting.


Given that all those alleged are MPs, TCU submitted its report to the speaker of the parliament to act. But those familiar Tanzania’s ‘who do you know?’ policy doubt if the speaker can do anything. Tanzanian police force, Prevention and combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and all responsible organs kept mum even when this damning report was made public! The president who is the chairman of the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has also maintained silence.


Interestingly when most of them were contacted by the media to comment on the allegations, they gave similar responses. They alleged they had not heard of a person or a commission alleging they are fakers! 


One may ask: Is Tanzania’s cabinet of fakers a replica of what’s going in upper echelons of power in Africa? Isn’t this a new type of corruption and conspiracy to steal from public coffers? Imagine. How much money have these fakers already been paid?  Think of the misery they have already caused the people by serving under the capacities they are not qualified for? It is time for universities in Africa to sift their rulers.





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