An Open Letter to Edward Lowassa: Silence can never be misquoted - a true friend To my friend, Mr. Edward Lowassa, Here's a memo to you regarding the recent historic event of our nation. It's meant to reassure you that no matter what happens I'll remain your friend. True friends are those who can hang on even when the situation allows them to quit. I'm among the people who think so highly of you, Mr. Lowassa. I was among those who favoured your ambition for CCM candidacy nomination in '95 preparing to navigate your way to the nation's highest office. I was among those who were reluctant to accept Nyerere's idea to remove your name from the list of the aspirants for allegations of wealth accumulation that didn't match your income as a poor-turned-rich government official. Nyerere said we weren't nominating people based on looks! When you were out of Mkapa's first-term cabinet I felt like you were victimized for no good reason. I was astonished that Mkapa didn't think you could hit the ground-running. In December '05, Kikwete appointed you his PM and the Parliament endorsed you by over 99 per cent. Today, just a couple of years after what seemed like a huge come-back, you are no longer a premier! What's wrong my friend? "Come now, let's reason together": don't you think Nyerere was right that "looks can be deceiving"? I commit to memory the speech you gave in Parliament with high discontent - I'll discuss it later. At this point I could definitely no longer be silent. Remember again: Friends tell each other truths, and the greatest truths are the simplest. So this is a moment of truth for you, my friend. I must first admit that I, just like most Tanzanians, may have regarded you too highly. So much so, that I feel like I have been offending you for expecting too much from you, and for that I say I'm sorry. I've discovered that what I really had in mind was an image of my own "Lowassa" and wanted you to be him. I admit that was wrong! My "Lowassa" was a very hard working, honest guy, a down-to-earth, Sokoine-like guy who would serve this nation with a perfect combination of high integrity, patriotism, and loyalty. I had a "Lowassa" who would use his charisma for the good of his party and our nation. Ooh poor me, I had a "Lowassa" who would sacrifice a lot for this rich-turned-poor nation whose citizens have wrongly placed their trust on an imaginary "Lowassa". I've no clue where the hell I got this "Lowassa" from, but he made me become so demanding on the real Lowassa. Thursday, Feb 7th 2008 will remain a pivotal moment of our nation's political history. On this day I got my head out of the ditch I had kept for years and for once I actually used my brain to think straight after many years of living in a state of denial. I then shifted from an imaginary "Lowassa" to a real Lowassa. Mr. Lowassa (real), there's no vocabulary that can capture the magnitude of the shock of realization of how far apart the two Lowassas could actually be. They're opposite in character and in conduct. On the day in question I saw a manipulative and insensitive Lowassa. This was manifest even in the speech you gave, my friend. Tell me if I'm wrong, but on this day I saw a cold-blooded opportunist, a person who cares nothing but his quest for personal glory. I listened to a very unprofessional individual that day. I saw a man who all he knows is himself and his immediate family. A man who doesn't care for any other Tanzanian child although he's, for a long time, pretended to! But one can only fool some people for sometime. Unfortunately, there're hypocrites everywhere, my friend; and there were many behind you in parliament that day too. Some of them applauded you and called you wise, hero! They lied to you, my friend. Heroes don't do such things. Heroes don't give such speeches, full of me, mine, and I. Heroes have the ability to look beyond themselves. And wise people don't complain in their resignation speeches while trying to demonstrate their readiness to take accountability. Wise people don't down play others for them to rise. Wise people don't lie. Wise people don't try to manipulate the Parliament to despise such an excellent report so the Parliament can sympathize with them. These people lied to you big time and laughed at you on your back - they really aren't very good. I, at least, tell you my honest truth though painful. Mr. Lowassa, you surprised me beyond imagination when you kept complaining of the commission's unwillingness to summon you while forgetting the mess you have caused to our nation. Remember, this wasn't a court of law. The commission's task was to find out what really happened with Richmond! If they got sufficient information without you, there was no need of you. At least that's my opinion. Otherwise it was just a fair game. I don't mean two wrongs make it right, but my friend, what goes around comes around! The billions of tax-payers' money that you and your company threw away are much more than you not being interrogated - after all that's as tragic as it gets. So where do you even get the guts to complain? Why didn't you talk of work ethics before talking of "natural justice"? I know you'll definitely miss this because of your apparent handicap of seeing none else, but yourself. Mr. Lowassa, you know that I'm better qualified and was capable of becoming the PM after the president has lost confidence in you and your friendship almost gone ablaze. How did you think I, your friend, would restore such a torn-apart economy because of such irresponsible and unprofessional misconduct? More astonishing was your complete inability to recognize such an excellent task accomplished by Dr Mwakyembe's commission. You instead became sarcastic on only the fashion with which the report was submitted. How blind could one be to not see the critical content of such a well-documented 165-page report and just end up with ridicule? Lowassa what happened to you/me? Lastly, and I promise to leave you alone once and for all, Mr. Lowassa. There's something almost incomprehensible to me, my friend. And I would highly appreciate if you could kindly afford me an explanation. Here is the thing: Were your post-resignation remarks necessary? Wouldn't it be necessary and more understandable for you to maintain a low profile at this point in time, at least for a while? You know as well as I do that "silence can always be misunderstood, but it can never be misquoted". One of the things that may be misquoted is your statement that the PM-elect is just like you!! I've no clue what in the world were you referring to here, my friend? Make no mistakes Mr. Lowassa, these other people (even those who applauded you) are trying to make a big deal out of this. To them you're a criminal. Whatever you say can and will be used against you. Why then not zip-up your mouth for a while, my friend. I'm saying this because you and the others who pretended to resign that day looked like big jokes. Your demeanor was just not right. You were all very unapologetic. Of course to you, it was politics as usual; but you know what that means; it indicates that you are so well capable of massive scandals that you were actually surprised how an adult person in her right state of mind could make such a big deal out of almost nothing. You said you were humiliated and disgraced! Who did it more than yourself? One of your friends said he deserves a compliment! For what? The other said he is ready to help Dr. Mwakyembe to put together a better report. Give me a break! However, I remain yours True friend!