Relatives, one people, but made ‘strangers’ to please who?


RECENTLY when the Fifth Phase Government President John Pombe Magufuli (JPM) toured Kagera Region while enroute to Uganda to launch Hoima –Tanga Oil Pipeline in the country’s side, his host President Yoweri Museveni directed his government (read Immigration) to allow Tanzanians living along the border at Mutukula to enter into the country freely without going through rigorous and bureaucratic paperwork because, the people are “one” with their counterparts in his country for the occasion.

The President made the observation after realising that the citizens/ Tanzanians need Ugandans just like the Ugandans need Tanzanians to live, trade and peacefully co-exist because the people, from the time immemorial have been one and will keep on living as one, despite the Colonialists who came and drew boundaries separating them, without considering that they were interfering with their indigenous lives, traditions, lifestyles and culture as relatives.

It should be flashed back that the “Scramble for Africa” was the occupation, division, and colonisation of the continent by European powers between 1881 and 1914 without consulting the Africans, something that ought to be analysed afresh now and let Africans live, trade and decide their own fate after their own independence.

Historically, it has been the Partition of Africa and by some, the Conquest of Africa whereby in 1870, only 10 per cent of Africa was under the European control and by 1914 it had increased to almost 90 per cent, with only Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia), the Dervish state (present-day Somalia) and Liberia left untouched.

The point is along the border posts drawn by the Colonialists in the continent, for instance in Tanzania, there lived and will live citizens with the same language, culture, foodstuffs and lifestyles as relatives who require constant relations and support from one another to co-exist peacefully, but they are made to see another brother/sister from another mother as a total stranger just because the Colonialists decided to separate them.

There are millions of questions which ought to be answered after independence of countries in the continent if they are to be genuinely sovereign states and run their own affairs just like before the Colonialists came.

These people had their own agenda and wanted to satisfy their own egos, and their reasons for dividing, and interfering with the lives of the people they found living innocently, should now be looked again, when reviewing the current immigration laws and see into it that a Haya from Tanzania should not carry ‘papers’ to go and visit a brother placed in Uganda while seeking assistance to take a sister to hospital. It will not make EAC thrive, but instead still keep on dancing the tunes of the Colonialists 50 years after independence.

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