Tanzania: Political Parties 'Trade' Cautiously On Calls to Form a United Front


YES he made it again! You are right! We are writing about, billionaire Saniniu Laizer, the Mirerani man of the moment.

In June he bagged TZS 7.7 billion after selling two large Tanzanite stones to the government. In early August he bagged another TZS 4.8 billion after he had mined and sold a gemstone weighing more than 6.3 kilogrammes.

The Custodian's headline for the story read as follows: "Tanzanite 'moghul' Laizer outlines secret to success". I could not find the word "moghul" in my dictionary. Instead, there is "mogul", a search on which revealed that it originally meant Mongol, or a person of Mongolian descent.

The word "mogul metamorphosed from "Mughal", which is the Persian or Arabic version of Mongol. A Mughal Empire existed on the Indian subcontinent between 1526 and 1857. A mogul is a person who dominates an enterprise or industry.

In terms of Tanzanite, Mr Laizer can be seen as a mogul, but given the word's "mughal" heritage, it is understandable that the Paper's correspondent in Arusha, adopted "moghul" instead of "mogul". However, history is not being made just in Arusha.

The correspondent, quoted the Minister for Minerals joyously pointing out that; "We have recorded another 'historical' finding at Mahenge, where a large rare Spinel Gemstone weighing a pot-polishing 4 kgs has been mined and it costs 750m/- after tax" This brings us to the usual problem of differentiating "historical" from "historic".

If something unprecedented takes place, it is historic. If something belongs to the past or concerns history or past events, it is historical. Mr Laizer's Tanzanite findings as well as the finding of a large, rare gemstone in Mahenge, is HISTORIC.

The mining of these rare and large gemstones should not make us forget that we are approaching the General Election in October, and politicians are a busy lot at the moment. There have been calls that those in the opposition should form an alliance and field, for example, one Presidential candidate.

The authoritative broadsheet addressed this in a front page item titled: "Chadema cautiously mulls alliance". In the article's opening paragraph, we read the following: "The main opposition party, Chadema, has said it will 'trade' cautiously amid calls by some opposition parties to form an alliance ahead of the 2020 General Election".

Trade cautiously? NO. Sometimes politicians trade insults, although this is not allowed under Tanzanian law. However, if one contemplates acting carefully, the verb is "tread' not "trade". To "tread cautiously" means to be very careful what you do or say, so that you do not make a mistake or cause a problem.

The sentence above should therefore be re-written to read: "The main opposition party, Chadema, has said it will 'tread' cautiously amid calls by some opposition parties to form an alliance ahead of the 2020 General Election".

As an outfall of the preparations for the forthcoming General election, Dar es Salaam has a new Regional Commissioner.

Writing on the achievements of the former Regional Commissioner, a reporter with the Good Citizen had this to say: "Mr Makonda (the former RC) led wars against drug dealers, gays, irresponsible fathers and restoration of more than 50 government houses - just to mention a few memorable successes".

As it stands, the sentence means that Mr Makonda fought the restoration of the more than 50 houses. Is that the meaning that the writer wanted to convey? Surely not.

How about rewriting the sentence into: "Mr Makonda led wars against drug dealers, gays, and irresponsible fathers and reclaimed more than 50 government houses... ... " Finally, I am sure you would like to know: "How to run a successful business".

Then read this short, but informative article in the Good Citizen of August 4 (p. 12), in which "an entrepreneur who employs 'more' than 'over' 70 people" shares insights on how to run a successful business.

There is no need to use both "more" and "over" in the above sentence. The entrepreneur employs more than 70 people, or he employs "over" 70 people. Do enjoy your wakulima (nanenane) day.


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