THE IRONY OF TIMES
<<Basically Jamal died a poor man…just like Nyerere. To many bureaucrats and politicians Jamal was a MUHINDI first etc etc. There was no gratefulness…There were only about 400 of us including JKN, Mkapa and Warioba who were there to pay tribute to a nationalist and to his life’s work! JKN would not forget about Barai and many other Asians.>>
Adolf, very sad! Jamal had his contributions. Poor fellow even earned the wrath of his own people for his nationalist leaning. He did help out Mwalimu and so did others like Count Kassam (father of Alnoor) and Moh’d Ratansi. Also the Thakkars (previously along Zanaki St., opposite Purnima Restaurant) who probably are linked with Barai.
Even other politicians had their benefactors in people like Akber Rajpar and Mustafa Jaffer. Some exploited the situation and gained riches. Mustafa Songambele who became the Area Commissioner of Dsm was once the driver of ‘Walji & Alibhai’. Nassor Moyo (father of the once Minister Hassan Nassor Moyo) and Mtoro Rehani (Mayor of Zanzibar) operated printing machines at ‘Samachar Printing Press’ in Zanzibar. When the editor of ‘Samachar’, the late Roshan Master, was jailed during the tumultuous days of the Revolution Mtoro Rehani lent a helping hand. The irony of time had turned the scene.
President Karume was said to provide a helping hand to many of his old acquaintances. One of them being my Zanzibar neighbour Abdulrasul Ladak’s (Abhu Ladak) son Kasu (Kasu Nahoza) who was President Karume’s best pal in the struggling days of their youth.
From personal experience I want to relate this particular incident that would etch on my mind for ever. It was the year 1973 and at that time I was working with NBC’s Jamhuri St. Branch (now Mnazimoja Branch) and heading Savings Dept. It was the month of Ramadhan and around Eid time. There was a big rush at the bank and customers stood in a queue waiting to see me. The savings regulation of not permitting to draw amount exceeding certain figure unless authorized by officer in charge had prompted the queue. As Eid was approaching the requirement was quite high. The customers would come, sit before me and present their case. If satisfied with their explanation then I’d authorize payment.
It was a very busy day and I did not even raise my head to see who I was talking to. One by one the customers came. Then all of a sudden I found on my table a ‘savings withdrawal voucher’ with a very familiar name and the bearer murmuring something. The name had a startling effect on me. Immediately I got up from my chair, momentarily did not know what to speak and then mustered up all the courage to greet him with courtesy. I even apologized to him if he’d to wait in the queue. Instantly I authorized his voucher and personally went to the cashier to collect cash for him lest he’d to wait any further. All along he was so humble with his benign smile and kept saying “Na shukuru”. It made me feel very sad. The customer was none other than Zanzibar’s former Prime Minister (of the pre Revolution Government) Mohamed Shamte. We never know what destiny holds for us.
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