The coverage given to Sheikh Yahya Hussein’s predictions [including the likely death of any who stand against JK – a small detail that I didn’t mention yesterday] tells us something of the place of the spiritual, the religious and the other worldly in Tanzanian public life. Like myself, some commentators take the Sheikh’s visions as a prompt to discuss more worldly dynamics: though not all. Yesterday’s Majira newspaper splashed the reactions on page one.
Political Scientist, Professor Mwesiga Baregu, said that as a scientist he can’t discuss the prediction of the death of his opponents. But when discussing the victory of CUF and the position of Prime Minister being taken by the opposition, the Professor said this is very possible as the opposition………. is now accepted and people are ready to choose it, as they are tired of the ruling party…. [note: Majira doesn’t tell us that the Professor is on the Central Committee of the opposition CHADEMA party]
The Chairman of CCM for Dar es Salaam Region, Mr. John Guninita, said that the country isn’t led by fortune telling but by the constitution, so a coalition government is not possible just because Sheikh Yahya predicts it…
So far, so rational.
On his part, the CCM General Secretary, Mr. Yusuf Makamba, said that as he himself is not a fortune teller, he can’t discuss the predictions of Sheikh Yahya….
John Shibuda, MP for Maswa [note: and vying for to the the CCM presidential nominee for 2010], who this newspaper pointed out yesterday is the subject of this prediction, yesterday called our newsroom. He insisted that God’s leadership of Tanzanians doesn’t depend on the forces of darkness. “So I want to say that a cat and a mouse can’t share one room. In the same way, in my soul I have the strength of our Lord God and not the power of darkness or the ancestors to kill those who seek positions of leadership…. I call on Tanzanians not to fear Sheikh Yahya’s predictions because … I further note that he was sent to India for medical treatment by President Jakaya Kikwete. He should not worry – I will also send him to India, even America. He shouldn’t worry about having someone to look after his medical affairs.”