THE dust is settling on the abrupt resignation of the Speaker of Parliament on January 7th. Currently, speculation is rife as to who will step into his shoes.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary activities are under suspension, as is reported in the Daily Blog of 8 January, in a front page news item titled: “Bunge Clerk suspends House activities”.
The story writer informs us on what transpired: “Mr Job Ndugai made the decision to step down yesterday in an abrupt move which leaves ‘political temperatures’ over who will be his ‘immediate’ successor”. The phrase “political temperatures” needed further qualification. The writer was possibly thinking in Swahili where the word “joto” means high temperature.
In English however, the temperature could be cold, warm or hot. The Speaker’s resignation left behind, “high political temperatures”. Besides, there is no need to use the adjective “immediate”, when “successor” suffices to convey the intended meaning. We offer a re-write: “Mr Job Ndugai made the decision to step down yesterday in an abrupt move which leaves ‘high political temperatures’ over who will be his successor”.
The writer seems to be fond of using the adjective “immediate”, since half-way through the story he narrates the following, attributed to the former Speaker: “His resignation drew mixed reactions, with some saying they saw it coming and that the ‘immediate outgoing Speaker’ made the right decision to step down”. The words: “immediate” and “outgoing” could safely be left out.
The sentence would then read as follows: “His resignation drew mixed reactions, with some saying they saw it coming and that the Speaker made the right decision to step down”. Does the former Speaker look forward to a successor?
It looks like not, if the reporter’s story, quoting him, is accepted: “I have submitted ‘the’ copy of my ‘resignation’ to the Clerk of the National Assembly for further processes as per the constitution and other laws to get ‘the’ new Speaker of the House who will be my ‘predecessor’”.
A “predecessor” is somebody or something that comes BEFORE. We need a person of repute to take over from the former Speaker. He or she will therefore be coming AFTER him, as a “successor” and not as a “predecessor”.
The modified sentence reads as follows: “I have submitted ‘a’ copy of my ‘resignation letter’ to the Clerk of the National Assembly for further processes as per the Constitution and other laws, to get ‘a’ new Speaker of the House who will be my ‘successor’”.
The writer makes further reference to the former Speaker’s action: “His exit ‘to’ the top seat of the House, now creates a ‘new’ room to have a new Speaker in the country’s history”. Surely, the Speaker did not exit “TO” the top seat of the House. He did exit “FROM” that seat.
Besides, the adjective “new” is unnecessary. Here is a re-write: “His exit ‘from’ the top seat of the House, now creates room to have a new Speaker in the country’s history”.
The Good Citizen (8 January, p.2) reports on views of pundits on whether Tanzania can get a person who would restore a strong and independent Parliament capable of making the government accountable. One former Speaker, and now late, is cited as wanting to do so in the past: “But he was excluded from ‘vying’ the second term on grounds that the ruling CCM was embracing gender equality”. No, you do not “vie” something. You vie FOR something.
Therefore, that one-term Speaker: “was excluded from vying for the second term on the grounds that the ruling CCM was embracing gender equality”. Needless to say, the Speaker who followed was female.
All eyes and ears are trained on Dodoma now, waiting to learn who the new Speaker will be.