Hon. Ababu Namwamba's Speech In Tanzania

TO DARE IS TO DO! REFLECTIONS OF A VALIANT SOUL…

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(Speech of Hon Ababu Namwamba, EGH, MP at the National Democratic Convention hosted by ACT Wazalendo Party at the National Theatre in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on 8 October, 2016. This speech was delivered in Kiswahili, transcribed and edited).

Before I say a single word, a warning first! My dear brother, the venerable Leader of ACT Wazalendo Party, Hon Zitto Kabwe, granted me licence to speak in both English and Swahili. Am daring to pick Swahili. But I caution you to prepare for some hiccup here and there! You know, Kiswahili was born in Zanzibar. Matured in Tanzania mainland. Grew old in Kenya. Got sick in Uganda. Died in Congo. And was buried in Rwanda! Ours therefore tends to be rather elderly, tiring, stuttering Swahili. So please excuse me in advance! (wild cheers from audience..)

I love mystic Dar-es-Salaam. I love this special land Tanzania. I love the unique ACT Wazalendo Party! (cheers..music). And this is no new love affair. No. Like a jolly good old wine, this beautiful love affair has grown, matured and been rocking for twenty years now. I first came to Dar in 1997 as a very young impressionable law student. As then Chairman of the Kenya Law Students Society (KLSS) and the Eastern Africa Law Students Association (EALSA), I attended an exchange programme at the University of Dar-es-Salaam’s famous Law School. And it was love at first sight. With the city and the people. The love still rocks. I come quite often. Sometimes officially, other times on vacation. And whether it is Dar, Arusha, Moshi, Mwanza, Bagamoyo or Kigoma, your country rocks! (wild cheers)..

But this particular visit today is special. It is historic. Am here for solidarity. Famed African literary giant, Chinua Achebe says a man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to redeem them from starving. They allhave food in their own houses. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground, it is notbecause of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it isgood for kinsmen to do so. Am here because it’s good for brothers in East Africa to walk together. We are rekindling a spirit that was so alive at the birth of our respective nations, when the founding fathers struggled and dreamt together in solidarity. Nyerere. Obote. Kenyatta. Somehow that spirit has waned over the years. We must not let it die. We must give it a fresh lease of life. Is it not said in African lore, as was often quoted by Kwame Nkrumah, that if you want to go fast, you walk alone. But if you want to go far, you walk with others? Am here to walk very far with you. Together. (loud clapping)

Am here on the personal invitation of my brother Hon Zitto Kabwe, your Party Leader. Zitto and I come a long way. When I served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Kenya’s Parliament, he was the Chair of PAC Tanzania. I was Secretary General of the Eastern Africa Association of Public Accounts Committees (EAAPAC), and he the Treasurer. Together we helped bring the whole of Africa to Arusha in 2013 to found the African Organisation of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC). My brother Zitto supported me firmly in my efforts that saw the AFROPAC Secretariat come to Nairobi. This is a track record that clearly demonstrates our firm, unequivocal, unflinching commitment to accountability in our countries, our region, our continent. (loud cheering…music).

We have both always been viewed as firebrands, even rebels. Tanzanians call Zitto the Ababu of Tanzania. Kenyans call Ababu the Zitto of Kenya. (laughter). We have been leading lights in our parties. Zitto, a forceful voice of reason in CHADEMA. Myself, a revolutionary Secretary General of ODM. Both of us have been victims of vicious fights by agents of status quo. We were both removed as Chairs of our respective PACs almost at the same time, at the instigation of our parties. All as part of a well choreographed game plan to discredit us and bring us down. Countless hurdles have been placed in both our paths. They have tried to brand and profile us in the worst possible manner. Yes, have both been fought ruthlessly. (pause…chilled silence)..

But you can never destroy the innocent, the righteous. For good shall always triumph over evil. (wild cheering).
Because we are brave libertarians full of valour, we decide to leave that toxic environment behind us, and chose to walk where there is no path, to leave our own trail. As Mexicans say, those who thought they were burrying us forgot we were seeds. We have germinated. And can only grow into massive shades for nurturing true democracy and real hope. That is our shared heritage, manifest in our respective vision for Labour Party and ACT Wazalendo Party. (wild applause). Thank you. Thank you…

And we are forging ahead. Confident. Undeterred. Because we know cowards never write history. Not even footnotes. History is forged on the edge of the sword of valour and boldness! (wild applause).

Those negative about the path we have taken, I say sorry! Just get over your sour grapes and move on. Us, we have moved on. From the sunset of false hope to a bright sunrise of real transformation. Those whinning about us moving into new vehicles, I tell you the political arena is a free marketplace. What matters is what you are selling. The presence of Coca-Cola and Pepsi has not stopped AZAM from introducing new soft drink brands into the Tanzanian market. Labour and ACT are offering a freshened version of the social democracy ideology. A version with substance. The substance of real reforms and better service delivery to all our people. At Labour our vision is encapsulated in our slogan “Haki na Usawa”. Justice and Equity for all. Especially for every single worker that keeps the wheels of our economy moving. (cheers…)

I congratulate ACT Wazalendo for bravely contesting the 2015 general election, only a year from your founding. You sponsored a very impressive number of aspirants across the length and breadth of this massive country, only second to the ruling party CCM. You boldly put forward a female presidential candidate. Let us give it up to the gallant Mama Anna Mghwira, also the ACT National Chairperson, who fought with valour and pride against Maghufuli and Lowassa. (applause). ACT also invested in a very impressive constellation of young candidates for various positions. The Party Secretary for International Relations, John Patrick was on 23 years old last year when he contested the Nzega Rural Parliamentary seat in Tabora. The Hon Mayor for Kigoma Municipality, Hussein Ruhava, who has spoken to us here so eloquently, is another living example of the ACT policy of investing in youth. Your Party Leader, incidentally another son of Kigoma, is himself quite youthful. We are agemates. And believe you me we are no dinosaurs! (laughter!). By the way, seems like lots of good things come from Kigoma. That is also home to Diamond and AliKiba, yeah? Tell the two dudes my wife Priscah and I love their music. We will be visiting Kigoma again soon. (wild applause)…

The great French Emperor and military genius, Napoleon Bonapart, taught that victory is won not in miles but in inches. You capture one inch, cling onto it and before you know it, you are staring at acres upon acres of captured territory. ACT Wazalendo has captured your first inches. Labour is doing the same across the boarder in Kenya. I say let us keep capturing more inches every single day! (applause). And you say here “kutangulia si kufika”. Those ahead are only ahead because they started earlier. Let us see who romps home happy! (wild applause).

Am here today to plant a seed. A seed of enduring partnership between Labour Party, which am privileged to lead, and ACT Wazalendo. A partnership for shifting the paradigm of leadership in our countries, our region and our continent. A partnership for absolute accountability with no tolerance for corruption and wastage of public resources, inspired by the zeal we demonstrated at the helm of PAC, EAAPAC and AFROPAC. A partnership for seamless delivery of basic services to our people. Water. Healthcare. Education. Roads. Markets. Jobs. A partnership to open doors of opportunity for all, without regard to tribe, religion or political affiliation. A partnership to challenge the conspiracy of silence that has seen Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam and Kampala remain mute and motionless in the face of unspeakable human rights violations in Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and now Ethiopia. A partnership that can find amicable lasting solutions to challenges such as the simmering political imbroglio in Zanzibar. A partnership that shall not remain silent in the face of evil. Because silence in the face of evil is as evil. (applause). In the words of Abraham Lincoln, to remain silent when you must speak makes you the greatest coward ever. And as Martin Luther King Jnr. teaches, ultimately, we shall remember not the noises of our enemies but the silence of our friends. (wild cheering).

Among the issues I urge ACT Wazalendo to make your core agenda is attaining a new constitutional order for Tanzania. Do not be left out of that debate. It is a national discourse that belongs to all citizens. No single party or segment of the populace has a right to hoard it. (applause). Am an Attorney, trained in Nairobi and Washington, DC and specialised in International and Constitutional Law. I had the privilege of co-chairing the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution Review that midwifed Kenya’s new Constitution in 2010. I gained some valuable experience there. Indeed if you asked me my greatest accomplishment over the last ten years as a Legislator, I would say without hesitation that the Constitution is it. In 2011, I led Kenya’s Parliamentary Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, which I was charing then, to the Tanzanian Parliament to advise on your own Constitution review process. In 2013 CHADEMA brought me to Moshi to advice them on the same matter. Today I offer my expertise free of charge (pro bono) to ACT Wazalendo so that you can spearhead conclusion of this longdrawn national task. (wild cheers!)..My initial counsel is, push it relentlessly, but make sure you get it right. In Kenya we missed the opportunity to polish up the final draft before the Referendum, which led to the push for further review barely five years after enactment. (applause).

Let me conclude with some reflections on our youth. ACT Wazalendo has already set the pace for inclusion and empowerment of Youth. We are doing the same at Labour. And both our parties are keeping it real. Not the usual rhetoric and hollow promises we hear elsewhere. I say grab this opportunity. Run. And keep running. As challenged by King, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, call. But for goodness sake, get there! (loud cheers).

And don’t let anyone put you down. That you are not old enough. Big enough. We believe if you are good enough you are old enough. We say what matters in a dogfight is never the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog in the fight! (deafening applause)

Look around you and emulate role models that have achieved incredible feats at a very young age. I have liberally quoted Martin Luther King Jnr. today. He has always been a towering role model for me, albeit posthumously. Because his life lessons are timeless. By the time he was felled by an assassin’s bullet that fateful April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenessee, he was only 39. But he had already changed America and the world forever as the lead champion of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. He was just 35. When I arrived in Washington, DC as a student, the first public place I visited was the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, site of King’s awe inspiring Great March on Washington. It’s from the hallowed steps of the Lincoln Memorial on that historic August 28, 1963 that King delivered his rivetin. I Have a Dream” speech that has reverberated through the sands of time to date. The speech that would catalyse enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 164 by the 88th US Congress. “…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!…”, is among the most quoted lines from this intoxicating speech ranked the top American speech of the 20th century in a 1999 poll of scholars of public address. They killed him because they feared his transformation agenda. But they only destroyed the body, for the dream, the vision, the spirit lives on, stirring more dreams and inspiring transformation across the globe. Every time I look at Barack Hussein Obama, black boy of Kenyan descent with a Muslim name who rose to become the 44th President of the United States of America, I see part of the fulfilment of the King dream. (wild cheering)
I have a dream? Do you? (loud YEEES). And please don’t tell me some lame excuse like age or background of poverty, or resistance! Like they did to King, agents of status quo will always try to kill your dream. When they cannot handle you, when they cannot challenge your vision, they seek to destroy you. But fear not. King used his short time on earth to change the world profoundly. Forever. You can do your bit too. Why Not! (cheering and shouts of WHY NOT!). Remember this Eleanor Roosevelt wisdom: that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Look at Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, another dream figure. Born on 18 July, 1918 in Mvezo, Cape Province into the Thembu royal family and trained as an Attorney at the Universities of Fort Hare and Witwatersrand, he started out quite early, propagating Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent philosophy to attempt to bring change to South Africa. By the time he changed course in 1961 and formed “Umhontho we Sizwe” as a military wing of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1961, he was only 42. At the time of his famous Rivonia sentencing to life in prison in 1962 he was 44. He left behind a very young Winnie Madikizela Mandela and little children to spend 27 of his best years behind bars, 18 of them on the hellish Robben island. In 2012 I visited Robben Island and sat for a while inside Mandela’s prison cell. I left a young man transformed. Challenged. Humbled. Inspired for eternity. Mandela remained ever green to his final resting place, having lived to walk out of prison, forgive his tormenters and midwife the birth of the Rainbow Nation, becoming independent South Africa’s first black President in 1994, at the ripe age of 76. He rested for eternity on 5 December, 2013 at 95. What a colossus of a man! Listen to his words as he bravely faced his sentence at the dreadful Rivonia Trial:
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realised. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
(Long pause. Silence. Lengthy applause).

The 3rd President of the Republic of Kenya, Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki became minister for finance in 1969 aged 38. But the story of the founding father of Tanzania, the incomparable Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere is even more profoundly inspiring. (loud cheering). Born on April 13, 1922 in Butiama village of Mara Region, Tanzania and indeed East Africa’s favorite son was only 32 when he boldly founded the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) in 1954. TANU would later, on 5 February 1977, merge with the Zanzibari Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) to form Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). When Tanzania gained internal self-rule in 1960, Mwalimu Nyerere became Prime Minister at 38. Two years later, this irrepressible ideologue, a towering symbol of humility, the consumate teacher trained at Makerere in Uganda and Edinburgh, Scotland became Tanzania’s founding President at age 40. The age of brother Zitto Kabwe and myself today! (lengthy, loud cheers).

No man is self made. We are all made by someone. Sir Isaac Newton acknowledges this when he says “am so tall because I stood on the shoulders of giants”. Find a giant in your life and clamber onto their towering shoulders. All my life I have tried to model my life humbly in the footsteps of these great examples. Am a simple country boy, but a true citizen of East Africa and a real child of the world. Born in Uganda. Raised in Kenya. In love with Tanzania. Trained in America. Apprenticed in The Netherlands! I have been a student leader and Secretary General of a top football club (AFC Leorpads) while a university student. I started my own legal practice, founded the highly successful public interest organisation, The Chambers of Justice and formed the charity Ababu Namwamba Foundation, all in my early twenties. As I crossed into my thirties, I was elected to Parliament, appointed a Cabinet Minister, served as Secretary General of ODM Party, and led key Parliamentary Committees, including Justice & Legal Affairs, Constitution Review Committee and PAC. As I cross into my forties, I have made the bold step of becoming Party Leader of Labour, a national party with a cutting edge ideology and a big dream. I have been privileged to win some important awards and honours. In 2003, I awarded in Amsterdam the Global Award for Social Justice by Jubilee Netherlands, in recognition of my human rights and public interest litigation work. In 2009 the World Economic Forum inducted me onto the roll of Young Global Leaders. In 2012 President Mwai Kibaki honoured me with the Order of Elder of the Golden Heart (EGH). In 2015 I scooped the OLX Legislator of the Year Award. And still I dream. And learn. And work hard. Among the many lessons I have picked up along the way, and from all these role models, is that you can never go wrong with humility, honesty, hard work and belief. And you must stand for something. For indeed if you stand for nothing you fall for anything! (loud cheering)

Once again, I congratulate ACT Wazalendo for your bold flight into the future. Am impressed by the party’s voluntarism spirit that has seen you delegates and supporters travel from across the country to come here at your own expense, without expecting or receiving any money from your party. I have noted with admiration that you proudly purchase and wear the merchandise of your party. Am moved greatly by your patience, sitting through all sessions today and yet keeping your enthusiasm at the top level.

I encourage you to go forth and fight gallantly in promoting and growing your party, ACT Wazalendo. You are the leaders of this party in your respective zones. Fight like lions. Always remembering that an army of lions led to war by a dog will die like dogs. But an army of dogs led to war by a lion will fight like lions. Lead and fight for ACT like the lions you are.

A strong ACT Wazalendo is a strong Labour Party. A strong Tanzania is a strong Kenya. This is the way to grow the East African, the Pan-African spirit. We got the will. The reasons. The capacity. Let’s go! (Azma tunayo! Uwezo tunao. Sababu tunazo. Twende kazi sasa!).

God bless Tanzania. God bless ACT Wazalendo. God bless Kenya. God bless Labour Party!
(Standing ovation…loud, long cheering).

I love you great people. We meet again in Kigoma, to the intoxicating beats of AliKiba and Diamond!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you..TO DARE IS TO DO! REFLECTIONS OF A VALIANT SOUL…
(Speech of Hon Ababu Namwamba, EGH, MP at the National Democratic Convention hosted by ACT Wazalendo Party at the National Theatre in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on 8 October, 2016. This speech was delivered in Kiswahili, transcribed and edited).

Before I say a single word, a warning first! My dear brother, the venerable Leader of ACT Wazalendo Party, Hon Zitto Kabwe, granted me licence to speak in both English and Swahili. Am daring to pick Swahili. But I caution you to prepare for some hiccup here and there! You know, Kiswahili was born in Zanzibar. Matured in Tanzania mainland. Grew old in Kenya. Got sick in Uganda. Died in Congo. And was buried in Rwanda! Ours therefore tends to be rather elderly, tiring, stuttering Swahili. So please excuse me in advance! (wild cheers from audience..)

I love mystic Dar-es-Salaam. I love this special land Tanzania. I love the unique ACT Wazalendo Party! (cheers..music). And this is no new love affair. No. Like a jolly good old wine, this beautiful love affair has grown, matured and been rocking for twenty years now. I first came to Dar in 1997 as a very young impressionable law student. As then Chairman of the Kenya Law Students Society (KLSS) and the Eastern Africa Law Students Association (EALSA), I attended an exchange programme at the University of Dar-es-Salaam’s famous Law School. And it was love at first sight. With the city and the people. The love still rocks. I come quite often. Sometimes officially, other times on vacation. And whether it is Dar, Arusha, Moshi, Mwanza, Bagamoyo or Kigoma, your country rocks! (wild cheers)..

But this particular visit today is special. It is historic. Am here for solidarity. Famed African literary giant, Chinua Achebe says a man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to redeem them from starving. They allhave food in their own houses. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground, it is notbecause of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it isgood for kinsmen to do so. Am here because it’s good for brothers in East Africa to walk together. We are rekindling a spirit that was so alive at the birth of our respective nations, when the founding fathers struggled and dreamt together in solidarity. Nyerere. Obote. Kenyatta. Somehow that spirit has waned over the years. We must not let it die. We must give it a fresh lease of life. Is it not said in African lore, as was often quoted by Kwame Nkrumah, that if you want to go fast, you walk alone. But if you want to go far, you walk with others? Am here to walk very far with you. Together. (loud clapping)

Am here on the personal invitation of my brother Hon Zitto Kabwe, your Party Leader. Zitto and I come a long way. When I served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Kenya’s Parliament, he was the Chair of PAC Tanzania. I was Secretary General of the Eastern Africa Association of Public Accounts Committees (EAAPAC), and he the Treasurer. Together we helped bring the whole of Africa to Arusha in 2013 to found the African Organisation of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC). My brother Zitto supported me firmly in my efforts that saw the AFROPAC Secretariat come to Nairobi. This is a track record that clearly demonstrates our firm, unequivocal, unflinching commitment to accountability in our countries, our region, our continent. (loud cheering…music).

We have both always been viewed as firebrands, even rebels. Tanzanians call Zitto the Ababu of Tanzania. Kenyans call Ababu the Zitto of Kenya. (laughter). We have been leading lights in our parties. Zitto, a forceful voice of reason in CHADEMA. Myself, a revolutionary Secretary General of ODM. Both of us have been victims of vicious fights by agents of status quo. We were both removed as Chairs of our respective PACs almost at the same time, at the instigation of our parties. All as part of a well choreographed game plan to discredit us and bring us down. Countless hurdles have been placed in both our paths. They have tried to brand and profile us in the worst possible manner. Yes, have both been fought ruthlessly. (pause…chilled silence)..

But you can never destroy the innocent, the righteous. For good shall always triumph over evil. (wild cheering).
Because we are brave libertarians full of valour, we decide to leave that toxic environment behind us, and chose to walk where there is no path, to leave our own trail. As Mexicans say, those who thought they were burrying us forgot we were seeds. We have germinated. And can only grow into massive shades for nurturing true democracy and real hope. That is our shared heritage, manifest in our respective vision for Labour Party and ACT Wazalendo Party. (wild applause). Thank you. Thank you…

And we are forging ahead. Confident. Undeterred. Because we know cowards never write history. Not even footnotes. History is forged on the edge of the sword of valour and boldness! (wild applause).

Those negative about the path we have taken, I say sorry! Just get over your sour grapes and move on. Us, we have moved on. From the sunset of false hope to a bright sunrise of real transformation. Those whinning about us moving into new vehicles, I tell you the political arena is a free marketplace. What matters is what you are selling. The presence of Coca-Cola and Pepsi has not stopped AZAM from introducing new soft drink brands into the Tanzanian market. Labour and ACT are offering a freshened version of the social democracy ideology. A version with substance. The substance of real reforms and better service delivery to all our people. At Labour our vision is encapsulated in our slogan “Haki na Usawa”. Justice and Equity for all. Especially for every single worker that keeps the wheels of our economy moving. (cheers…)

I congratulate ACT Wazalendo for bravely contesting the 2015 general election, only a year from your founding. You sponsored a very impressive number of aspirants across the length and breadth of this massive country, only second to the ruling party CCM. You boldly put forward a female presidential candidate. Let us give it up to the gallant Mama Anna Mghwira, also the ACT National Chairperson, who fought with valour and pride against Maghufuli and Lowassa. (applause). ACT also invested in a very impressive constellation of young candidates for various positions. The Party Secretary for International Relations, John Patrick was on 23 years old last year when he contested the Nzega Rural Parliamentary seat in Tabora. The Hon Mayor for Kigoma Municipality, Hussein Ruhava, who has spoken to us here so eloquently, is another living example of the ACT policy of investing in youth. Your Party Leader, incidentally another son of Kigoma, is himself quite youthful. We are agemates. And believe you me we are no dinosaurs! (laughter!). By the way, seems like lots of good things come from Kigoma. That is also home to Diamond and AliKiba, yeah? Tell the two dudes my wife Priscah and I love their music. We will be visiting Kigoma again soon. (wild applause)…

The great French Emperor and military genius, Napoleon Bonapart, taught that victory is won not in miles but in inches. You capture one inch, cling onto it and before you know it, you are staring at acres upon acres of captured territory. ACT Wazalendo has captured your first inches. Labour is doing the same across the boarder in Kenya. I say let us keep capturing more inches every single day! (applause). And you say here “kutangulia si kufika”. Those ahead are only ahead because they started earlier. Let us see who romps home happy! (wild applause).

Am here today to plant a seed. A seed of enduring partnership between Labour Party, which am privileged to lead, and ACT Wazalendo. A partnership for shifting the paradigm of leadership in our countries, our region and our continent. A partnership for absolute accountability with no tolerance for corruption and wastage of public resources, inspired by the zeal we demonstrated at the helm of PAC, EAAPAC and AFROPAC. A partnership for seamless delivery of basic services to our people. Water. Healthcare. Education. Roads. Markets. Jobs. A partnership to open doors of opportunity for all, without regard to tribe, religion or political affiliation. A partnership to challenge the conspiracy of silence that has seen Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam and Kampala remain mute and motionless in the face of unspeakable human rights violations in Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and now Ethiopia. A partnership that can find amicable lasting solutions to challenges such as the simmering political imbroglio in Zanzibar. A partnership that shall not remain silent in the face of evil. Because silence in the face of evil is as evil. (applause). In the words of Abraham Lincoln, to remain silent when you must speak makes you the greatest coward ever. And as Martin Luther King Jnr. teaches, ultimately, we shall remember not the noises of our enemies but the silence of our friends. (wild cheering).

Among the issues I urge ACT Wazalendo to make your core agenda is attaining a new constitutional order for Tanzania. Do not be left out of that debate. It is a national discourse that belongs to all citizens. No single party or segment of the populace has a right to hoard it. (applause). Am an Attorney, trained in Nairobi and Washington, DC and specialised in International and Constitutional Law. I had the privilege of co-chairing the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution Review that midwifed Kenya’s new Constitution in 2010. I gained some valuable experience there. Indeed if you asked me my greatest accomplishment over the last ten years as a Legislator, I would say without hesitation that the Constitution is it. In 2011, I led Kenya’s Parliamentary Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, which I was charing then, to the Tanzanian Parliament to advise on your own Constitution review process. In 2013 CHADEMA brought me to Moshi to advice them on the same matter. Today I offer my expertise free of charge (pro bono) to ACT Wazalendo so that you can spearhead conclusion of this longdrawn national task. (wild cheers!)..My initial counsel is, push it relentlessly, but make sure you get it right. In Kenya we missed the opportunity to polish up the final draft before the Referendum, which led to the push for further review barely five years after enactment. (applause).

Let me conclude with some reflections on our youth. ACT Wazalendo has already set the pace for inclusion and empowerment of Youth. We are doing the same at Labour. And both our parties are keeping it real. Not the usual rhetoric and hollow promises we hear elsewhere. I say grab this opportunity. Run. And keep running. As challenged by King, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, call. But for goodness sake, get there! (loud cheers).

And don’t let anyone put you down. That you are not old enough. Big enough. We believe if you are good enough you are old enough. We say what matters in a dogfight is never the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog in the fight! (deafening applause)

Look around you and emulate role models that have achieved incredible feats at a very young age. I have liberally quoted Martin Luther King Jnr. today. He has always been a towering role model for me, albeit posthumously. Because his life lessons are timeless. By the time he was felled by an assassin’s bullet that fateful April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenessee, he was only 39. But he had already changed America and the world forever as the lead champion of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. He was just 35. When I arrived in Washington, DC as a student, the first public place I visited was the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, site of King’s awe inspiring Great March on Washington. It’s from the hallowed steps of the Lincoln Memorial on that historic August 28, 1963 that King delivered his rivetin. I Have a Dream” speech that has reverberated through the sands of time to date. The speech that would catalyse enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 164 by the 88th US Congress. “…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!…”, is among the most quoted lines from this intoxicating speech ranked the top American speech of the 20th century in a 1999 poll of scholars of public address. They killed him because they feared his transformation agenda. But they only destroyed the body, for the dream, the vision, the spirit lives on, stirring more dreams and inspiring transformation across the globe. Every time I look at Barack Hussein Obama, black boy of Kenyan descent with a Muslim name who rose to become the 44th President of the United States of America, I see part of the fulfilment of the King dream. (wild cheering)
I have a dream? Do you? (loud YEEES). And please don’t tell me some lame excuse like age or background of poverty, or resistance! Like they did to King, agents of status quo will always try to kill your dream. When they cannot handle you, when they cannot challenge your vision, they seek to destroy you. But fear not. King used his short time on earth to change the world profoundly. Forever. You can do your bit too. Why Not! (cheering and shouts of WHY NOT!). Remember this Eleanor Roosevelt wisdom: that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Look at Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, another dream figure. Born on 18 July, 1918 in Mvezo, Cape Province into the Thembu royal family and trained as an Attorney at the Universities of Fort Hare and Witwatersrand, he started out quite early, propagating Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent philosophy to attempt to bring change to South Africa. By the time he changed course in 1961 and formed “Umhontho we Sizwe” as a military wing of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1961, he was only 42. At the time of his famous Rivonia sentencing to life in prison in 1962 he was 44. He left behind a very young Winnie Madikizela Mandela and little children to spend 27 of his best years behind bars, 18 of them on the hellish Robben island. In 2012 I visited Robben Island and sat for a while inside Mandela’s prison cell. I left a young man transformed. Challenged. Humbled. Inspired for eternity. Mandela remained ever green to his final resting place, having lived to walk out of prison, forgive his tormenters and midwife the birth of the Rainbow Nation, becoming independent South Africa’s first black President in 1994, at the ripe age of 76. He rested for eternity on 5 December, 2013 at 95. What a colossus of a man! Listen to his words as he bravely faced his sentence at the dreadful Rivonia Trial:
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realised. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
(Long pause. Silence. Lengthy applause).

The 3rd President of the Republic of Kenya, Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki became minister for finance in 1969 aged 38. But the story of the founding father of Tanzania, the incomparable Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere is even more profoundly inspiring. (loud cheering). Born on April 13, 1922 in Butiama village of Mara Region, Tanzania and indeed East Africa’s favorite son was only 32 when he boldly founded the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) in 1954. TANU would later, on 5 February 1977, merge with the Zanzibari Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) to form Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). When Tanzania gained internal self-rule in 1960, Mwalimu Nyerere became Prime Minister at 38. Two years later, this irrepressible ideologue, a towering symbol of humility, the consumate teacher trained at Makerere in Uganda and Edinburgh, Scotland became Tanzania’s founding President at age 40. The age of brother Zitto Kabwe and myself today! (lengthy, loud cheers).

No man is self made. We are all made by someone. Sir Isaac Newton acknowledges this when he says “am so tall because I stood on the shoulders of giants”. Find a giant in your life and clamber onto their towering shoulders. All my life I have tried to model my life humbly in the footsteps of these great examples. Am a simple country boy, but a true citizen of East Africa and a real child of the world. Born in Uganda. Raised in Kenya. In love with Tanzania. Trained in America. Apprenticed in The Netherlands! I have been a student leader and Secretary General of a top football club (AFC Leorpads) while a university student. I started my own legal practice, founded the highly successful public interest organisation, The Chambers of Justice and formed the charity Ababu Namwamba Foundation, all in my early twenties. As I crossed into my thirties, I was elected to Parliament, appointed a Cabinet Minister, served as Secretary General of ODM Party, and led key Parliamentary Committees, including Justice & Legal Affairs, Constitution Review Committee and PAC. As I cross into my forties, I have made the bold step of becoming Party Leader of Labour, a national party with a cutting edge ideology and a big dream. I have been privileged to win some important awards and honours. In 2003, I awarded in Amsterdam the Global Award for Social Justice by Jubilee Netherlands, in recognition of my human rights and public interest litigation work. In 2009 the World Economic Forum inducted me onto the roll of Young Global Leaders. In 2012 President Mwai Kibaki honoured me with the Order of Elder of the Golden Heart (EGH). In 2015 I scooped the OLX Legislator of the Year Award. And still I dream. And learn. And work hard. Among the many lessons I have picked up along the way, and from all these role models, is that you can never go wrong with humility, honesty, hard work and belief. And you must stand for something. For indeed if you stand for nothing you fall for anything! (loud cheering)

Once again, I congratulate ACT Wazalendo for your bold flight into the future. Am impressed by the party’s voluntarism spirit that has seen you delegates and supporters travel from across the country to come here at your own expense, without expecting or receiving any money from your party. I have noted with admiration that you proudly purchase and wear the merchandise of your party. Am moved greatly by your patience, sitting through all sessions today and yet keeping your enthusiasm at the top level.

I encourage you to go forth and fight gallantly in promoting and growing your party, ACT Wazalendo. You are the leaders of this party in your respective zones. Fight like lions. Always remembering that an army of lions led to war by a dog will die like dogs. But an army of dogs led to war by a lion will fight like lions. Lead and fight for ACT like the lions you are.

A strong ACT Wazalendo is a strong Labour Party. A strong Tanzania is a strong Kenya. This is the way to grow the East African, the Pan-African spirit. We got the will. The reasons. The capacity. Let’s go! (Azma tunayo! Uwezo tunao. Sababu tunazo. Twende kazi sasa!).

God bless Tanzania. God bless ACT Wazalendo. God bless Kenya. God bless Labour Party!
(Standing ovation…loud, long cheering).

I love you great people. We meet again in Kigoma, to the intoxicating beats of AliKiba and Diamond!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you..img-20161010-wa0022img-20161010-wa0024img-20161010-wa0021img-20161010-wa0020img-20161010-wa0023

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