Sokoine: The Old Leadership in Tanzania

Dar Es Salaam 2011
Dar Es Salaam Street (2011)

Today, I am taking time to reflect on what is happening to the new order of leadership in Tanzania. I remember when I was little. I mean, when I was very little. Back in the day. The days in the early 1980s.

In those days. A young energetic prime minister tragically died on a terrible car accident close to Morogoro. He died on the-then-newly opened paved/tarmac road from Dar Es Salaam to Dodoma.

I was just a child, thus, my recollection of the events surrounding the accident may not be entirely correct.

However, I have a vivid memory of it all.


Picha kwa Hisani ya Bongo Pixs

Mr. Sokoine passed away from injury sustained after the car he was traveling-in collided with Dumisan Dube’s at Dumila, Morogoro. Dumisan was a young South African freedom fighter living in Tanzania at the time. In the 70s and the early 80s, many South African freedom fighters lived in camps in Tanzania  where they learned general life and military skills aimed at  equipping  them with necessary life and military skills to fight apartheid once they returned back to their home country.

I have no idea what the court rulings for case were. I do not know whether Dube was found guilty or not.

I sometimes ask myself whom was at fault?

or whom was found guilty for causing the accident?

The accident that caused the eventual death of the Prime Minister.

I have no answers to my own questions.

The whole investigation and court ruling was kept secret.

What I know is this–there is still a huge cloud of suspicion onto the manner in which the accident happened.

The accident happened at the heat of the war against economic saboteurs.

Vita dhidi ya walanguzi.

Was the war against economic saboteur the reason for his death?

or was it just a coincident?

I don’t know.

The one thing I vividly remember to date is this:

When Sokoine died.

The whole country was in tears.

Real tears.

Not crocodile tears we often see now-days.

Everyone was mourning the death of a great promising young leader.

At the time.

It was information overload in a sense. Talking about information overload back then–it was kind of weird.

There was  only  one radio station on the dial.

Radio Tanzania Dar Es Salaam (RTD) and  in some occasions the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

You had no choice but listen to the never-ending four weeks of the Nation in Mourning.

I mean this in a good way.

I could still remember man’s burial ceremony on the radio.

It was like the biggest super-ball game.

The event is imprinted forever on my mind.

The song “kila mtu atauchukua mzigo wake mwenyewe” was in our 277 Panasonic radio (Radio Mkulima).

The only radio we had in the house.

The burial ceremony was broadcasted live on the radio.

It felt like I was in Monduli that day.

Watching his casket lowered to the ground.

It was surreal.

I was  young.

A child.

Like many young minds. I was wondering what happened to dead people.

Do they go to hell (motoni)?

or do they go to heaven (peponi)?

The dichotomy that religion teaches us.

Are there no middle grounds for the dead?


Half hell.

Half heaven.

The gray area so to speak.

What is it with young people’s mind and death?

Death is sometimes scary to the young mind.

The thought of laying in the grave and being eaten by termites.

I had those thoughts.

The undeveloped thought.

Lack of maturity.

And death is sometimes fascinating to the young mind.

The “goods” of not knowing “too much” of and about what is happening around you.

Of not entirely comprehending the laws of nature.

The laws that suggests the natural cycling of matter in the universe.

That matter is neither created nor destroyed.

That matter has to return back to the ground.

To release the essential elements of life.

Through decomposition.

With maggots




So now I wonder.

I wonder what would happen if a leader on the same stature as Edward Moringe Sokoine was ever died on an accident today.

Would the Tanzanians of today.

Full of udaku.

Would they cry?



Or will they just be consumed with indifference?

I know the current leaders are smart people.

At least that is what they believe.

The Tanzania contemporary leaders.

They have great solutions for everything.

I wonder.

And ask myself.

Would those in power today parade people on the street to show emotion that isn’t there?

How would they do it?

Think of how they buy votes.

Perhaps, they could buy people to cry.

on the street.

For the dead.

Like they do in Ghana.

The crier for hire.

Or will they do what happened in Ethiopia a few years ago when the not so beloved Prime Minister passed away.


I feel ashamed.

of myself.

of the people who are being corned.

With the crookedness of the human nature.


All for me attitude.

The capitalists attitude.


Wanting more for self.

Nothing else matters.

What happened to human descence

Is it all gone?

I wonder.


I feel like the connection between leaders and their subjects has disappeared.

That connection has completely evaporated.

Disappeared and never to be seen again.

Is it because most of the new leaders have lost touch?

Touch with the people they pretend to lead.


In the old day.

In the Ntemi days.

Was being with the people.

Listening to the people.

Working on the people’s ideas.

Finding solutions.





Imposition of external solution.

Solution with no real meaning to the intended communities.

Not organic solution.





The contemporary leaders.

Chose to serve themselves.

Rather than the people who entrusted them with the office in the first place.


Just me wondering.






My mind sometimes goes in circles.





I do not wish for any of you leaders in Tanzania to die.

Of course not.

I am just interested in seeing what will the reaction be?


One of them.


Don’t you?

Happy 58 Birthday Tanganyika!!!!

Mimi Sio Mpiga Kura

2 thoughts on “Sokoine: The Old Leadership in Tanzania

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