PRESIDENT JAKAYA MRISHO KIKWETE OFFICIALLY LAUNCH ARUSHA CITY BY OPENING THE CURTAIN REVELING THE EMBLEM OF THE CITY IN ARUSHA DECLARATION MONUMENT IN THE CITY PICHA BY JAMII BLOG
FROM the international perspective, Arusha has always been a city. In fact most even regard it as the capital of Tanzania but it wasn’t until last Thursday when the most popular Northern town was officially granted with the highest urban status.
The declaration was made by President Kikwete on the 1st of November 2012, though on the papers Arusha became a city on the 15th of August 2012, yet theoretically this top metropolitan rank should have been attained way back in July 1st 2005.
The first ever, Arusha City Emblem was unveiled at the ‘Mwenge’ (Freedom Torch) monument at the centre of the Kaloleni roundabout junction, along old Makongoro road, adjacent to the Arusha Declaration Museum where the Nationalization policy was hatched back in 1967.
The emblem, which if the truth is to be said was a rushed painted affair featuring a tall concrete tower with a clock on its pinnacle. The figure exists as the ‘Clock Tower,’ landmark which has been standing at the similar named ‘Clock-Tower’ roundabout junction next to the Central Post office.
The clock tower may be the oldest landmark in Arusha history but according to observers, has since lost its relevance for various reasons; first being the fact that the analog clock on it is no longer the original; the current one was installed by a soft drink company and bears the red ‘Coca-Cola’ logo. Secondly, already Moshi, the capital of Kilimanjaro also has a similar ‘Clock Tower’ also featuring the same ‘Coca-Cola’ trademark on its plate and should Moshi also become a ‘City,’ (efforts have started), the town may also be compelled to use a similar emblem.
So experts here suggested the city emblem to instead feature the ‘Mwenge’ (torch) which for years was being used as the official landmark for Arusha (with Mount Meru in the background). Besides, the Municipal council was supposed to let local people come up with the idea through calling for competition and choosing the best emblem from the entries sent in by local residents.
Instead however the Municipal Council officials scribbled the artwork themselves (the budget for that is likely to shake the nation should it be released onto the public). As the result we now have a historical derision in which a hand-sketched ‘clock tower’ monument emblem has been installed at the physical Mwenge monument bringing the two landmarks on direct conflict thanks to the city fathers’ short sightedness.