GREETINGS once again from Kagera. News of the passing on of veteran politician Kingunge Ngombare Mwiru spread like wild fire in this part of the world, with some people applying the Kihaya saying: “Olwija kwita embwa lugibanza aha nyindo”.
A rough translation of this is that what eventually leads to the death of a dog starts by adversely affecting the dog’s nose, thus damaging its ability to smell”. In other words, there are usually signs that death is stalking the dog. We saw Mzee Ngombare Mwiru making radical changes in his political affiliation. His wife dies. He is mauled by his very dogs. All these, according to the wise men in this area, were not good portends for the old man.
May he rest in peace! We now move to Dodoma, where the University of Dodoma (UDOM) celebrated ten years since it was founded in 2007. This is reported in a news item titled: “Pioneer VC Kikula kisses UDOM bye-bye” (Daily Blog February 1, p. 5). The VC is reported to have used the event: “to bid a hearty ‘good-bye’ to the people pending his retirement from public service this February”.
The writer goes on: “During celebrations held at ‘Nyerere Squire Ground’ within Dodoma municipality ‘over weekend’, Prof Kikula who also played chief guest of honour, told his audience that the presence of UDOM in our community has brought big changes to the people”.
We thank the writer for the useful information about former President Kikwete’s idea to establish UDOM after the general election in 2005: “an idea which was not in the CCM Manifesto of 2005-2010”. We are however unhappy with the way the writer named the place where the celebrations took place. Yes “Nyerere Squire Ground” does not sound well.
Instead of “Squire” the writer should have used “Square”. A square is defined, among others, as an open, typically four-sided area, surrounded by buildings in a village, town, or city eg a market square. On the other hand “a squire” is a man of high social standing who owns and lives on an estate in a rural area, especially the chief landowner in such an area. Even after that correction, replacing “squire” with ‘square”, “Nyerere Square Ground” would still need at least two other changes. One, “Ground” should be turned into: “Grounds”. Two, is to do away with “Grounds” after all.
This is because “Square”, as we have seen above, means an area. “Grounds” also means an area. So you can save words by actually dropping this word from the description of the place where UDOM’s ten years anniversary celebrations took place which was “Nyerere Square”. Lest I forget, the event took place “over the week-end”, not “over weekend”.
I believe the nation appreciates the good work done by VC Kikula in establishing and leading UDOM to the high academic standards, the institution has achieved in the past ten years. We wish him well in his future endeavours.
Still in Dodoma, we read this news item titled “Elders ‘save the day’ in chronic land conflicts” (Daily Blog February 1, p. 5), in which the writer tells us of the good work done by a team of elders in dealing with land conflicts: “‘replacing peace’ where once there was ‘unbearable hatred’ between one ward and the other”. Surely this cannot be true. The elders are not replacing peace with anything.
They are bringing about peace, otherwise there is no reason for praising them. Instead, the sentence should read something like this: “replacing ‘unbearable hatred’ between one ward and the other with peace”. According to the writer, conflicts that have been addressed by the elders: “were turning chronic within the district, some having taken more than 30 years without lasting ‘resolution’”.