Hii imendikwa na mmoja wa academician toka Chuo Kikuu cha Dar es Salaam "To express my dilemma on Mugabe I will use a hypothetical scenario. Let us assume (as economists are known for) that President Kikwete decided to be tough and play hard ball on corruption and on matters of national economy and national pride. He starts by securing all sources of energy, and by borrowing a leaf from Putin, he locks in the Chief Executive Officer of IPTL for tax fraud, and demand that owners of IPTL sell the company to the government at a token price after obtaining evidence that the IPTL-TANESCO deal was influenced by corruption. Further, after obtaining convincing evidences that most of mining companies have been cheating on tax through over-invoicing capital imports and under-invoicing exports, Kikwete orders an arrest of all chief executive officers of the concerned mining companies, and place them in remand at Ukonga pending final investigation and prosecution. Most of the arrested officers are Canadians and Australians. Meanwhile, two marine officers from the UK are arrested for killing a prostitute at Silversand Beach Hotel, and the President insists that the Marines must be treated like any other suspect in the murder case, and thus must stay at Ukonga Prison pending investigation and prosecution. Tanzanian High Commissioner in London has been recalled home for talk after the government discovered that Her Majestys government knew all along that the Radar sold to Tanzania by the company owned by Her Majestys government was exorbitantly over-priced, and thus cheating poor Tanzania of her very scarce foreign currency. Meanwhile, an officer representative of the company that sold TPDF faulty helicopters that lead to death of members of TPDF has been arrested for fraud, and has been placed in Ukonga pending further investigation. The US government has strongly protested against this arrest, but President Kikwete refused to play ball, insisting that men in uniform have died and the law of the land must take its course regardless of the nationality of the suspect. Ok, enough of the fantasy. Our government would not do such things, even though European and American governments would not hesitate to take such actions themselves. A member of TPDF cannot kill a prostitute in London and get away with it. No way. And so on. But the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania cannot do what a self respecting government must do for the simple reason that the international community would not accept this. Hugo Chaves managed because he sits on a huge reserve of oil. Castro managed to do it because he does not allow free and fair election. Should our government try to play hardball, all foreign aid would be squeezed, all credit lines cut and the country would be demonized by the CNN, the BBC and, well, by the Security Council of the UN. All of a sudden the international community would remember that Karume did not win a fair election in Zanzibar. And that in 1995 election officers forgot to turn up at the polling stations in Dar es Salaam. They forgot to turn up in Zanzibar town in 2000 general election too. The international community would want Mahita to appear in the Hague for the death of 23 people in Pemba. The EPA and RICHMOD sagas would be played time and again on the CNN and the BBC and the SKY and the El Jazeera and the SABC for the world to see how comical our leaders can get when trying not to prosecute looters of public funds, a comedy that would make Mobutu Sese Seso green with envy. You should not even be surprised that the international community would condemn Tanzania for interfering in the internal affairs of the Comoro, never mind that the government of Comoro invited Tanzania to interfere and the AU sanction the expedition. After all, when Mugabe sent troops to protect Kabilas administration against the invasion of Uganda and Rwanda, it was Mugabe who was condemned by the international community, not the invaders! Mind you, Mugabe was acting under the SADC, and he was not even alone, Angola and Namibia were in Kinshasa too. So, should our President play hardball, the international community would see to it that our economy takes a huge nose dive, a free fall, with hyperinflation becoming the order of the day. The pay of professors would mean nothing, as you would then need a wheel-burrow full of money to simply buy a kilogram of sugar. Professor Lipumba and Mr. Mbowe would be invited to the Buckingham Palace and the White House and consultants would be offered to advice CHADEMA and CUF on how to unite so that they can unseat Kikwete. NGOs would be given plenty of money to undermine the government, just to teach us and everybody else a lesson that you never mess up with the big brothers. Come 2010 the international community would demand free and fair election in Tanzania. Most of us would be voting with our stomachs, too tired of hyperinflation to remember that we had pressed Kikwete to act against the mining companies and against corruption. We would be scrambling to help the West make a regime change democratically. The election would be declared free and fair only if Lipumba wins. Again, enough of the fantasy. As I said, this would never happen here. But it seems to me that it is happening in Zimbabwe. This is not to say that Mugabe is not stealing an election. Obasanjo too stole an election for Yradua (do you remember how Obasanjo and his VP used to fight like mad cats? Oh, how would the international community have loved it had it been Mugabe and his VP were giving such a comedy). Kibaki, just next door, stole one too, and the international community told the victim of stolen election to negotiate with the one who stole it, and divide the loot. We know what Museveni is doing in Uganda, and that he survives on western handout in spite of all! The only reason that the international community is focusing on Mugabe is because he messed up with the big brothers. And he stole an election, of course. Why is it that Musharraff forced his way into Pakistanis statehouse and he is still respected in the West? Do you remember how he interfered with the judicial system? My dilemma is, how can one condemn Mugabe without at the sametime greasing the Western machinations? And, are the people of Zimbabwe not free to even vote with their stomach? When we were fighting for Uhuru, Nyerere insisted that we want freedom, even of making our own mistakes. If Zimbabweans make a mistake of voting against Mugabe, forgetting that the economy would not have been in such a mess had it not been for the western embargo and sabotage who are we to tell Zimbabweans that vumilieni tuu, mbegu lazima ife kwanza kabla mti wa uhuru haujaota? Yet, I cannot bring myself to condemn Mugabe, even though I believe he stole this election. I made a mistake of celebrating Chilubas victory back then, thinking it heralded a new democratic dispensation in Africa. Later, I discovered that Chiluba was actually bankrolled by the Boers who wanted to undermine ANC in Lusaka. So, it is a dilemna. When I hear African leaders making statements about Mugabe, I do not know which part of the statememt was dictated from the Down Street No 10 and which part reflects our desire for a free and fair election. A desire for free and fair election can only be noble. But there is no nobility in becoming a pawn in other nations' games. I respect those who genuinely grieves the people of Zimbabwe and call for free and fair election. As for me, I am fed up with the Western machinations on the question of Mugabe, and I choose not to condemn him for stealing this election, and I am not proud of my stand either".