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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Country heading towards turmoil .

                                              Mr Makwaia wa Kuhenga.

The heading under perspective today is likely to raise eyebrows:  How does the future of this country look like at the end of the tenure of office of President Kikwete who is in his second and last term? Is it going to be a smooth and peaceful transition or a prelude to turmoil?

A glance at the chronology of events in the recent past portrays quite an ugly and violent movie hitherto un-seen in this country and untypical to the culture of a people at peace with themselves.
Right now before me is a copy of The Citizen’s sister paper, Mwananchi, whose front page photo is sufficiently alarming, with the caption reading: Villagers armed with spears, bows and arrows pictured in front of a police station at Magumu, Mara, northern Tanzania, reportedly staging an “invasion” to retrieve from the police station a couple of murder suspects “so that they could kill them.”

That was sometimes in the last week of May. The media reported yet another incident around a goldmine at Tarime. There was reportedly a tussle between the police and one of the opposition political parties, actually a scuffle over custody of dead bodies.

Prime time TV news watchers were actually shocked to see coffins that had been dumped on the a roadside and others dumped outside some village huts.

These are just a couple of incidents that come to mind in the immediate past. Sometimes in the first quarter of this year, there were death reports of three persons in Arusha following a mass rally staged by an opposition party.

On face value, one may dismiss these incidents as isolated cases and quite normal in any country when translated in the language of “law and order”. But is this the Tanzania we have known over the years? How and why is a culture of violence and impunity gaining ground in this country?
At the political level, another movie has been unfolding.
The trailer is quite amusing. The talk in town is that of “snakes being ordered to shed off their skin” (kujivua gamba).

According to the national chairman of the ruling party, within the rank and file of the membership of the ruling party, there are a handful of individuals who have put the ruling party into disrepute for their unethical conduct. He had hence ordered them to “shed their skins” that is, remove themselves from the party.

“If you have caught someone red-handed committing adultery, how do you serve notice to that person to stop it?” one amused member of the ruling party told me the other day, bursting in a mischievous chuckle. He suggested that his party, CCM, should simply fire the culprits from the party altogether, if only to save itself from disintegrating.

And this move to bank on the moral conscience of its alleged eyesores, that is if they have any conscience at all, if not money and power for its own sake, has far more ramifications to the peace and stability of the country given the fragility of a Third World country like this one with equally infant institutions of governance.

And because the alleged eyesore culprits are not fools – this breathing space they have been offered is being used well. They know the mood of the Tanzanian public. It is whimsical; driven by events that catch the headlines.Suddenly there was news of the actual members of an opposition party called CCJ – quite some political heavyweights. 

Is it not possible that the revelation of these “big names” as purported founding members of CCJ is the work of the alleged eye soaring lootocracy club of the ruling party to deviate public attention and that of the big guns of the ruling party from the real issue at hand?

If this is the case, aren’t these people capable of something more sinister against the peace and stability of the country, looked from a wider picture? Since we are left with only three years to the General Election, what is happening within the ruling party and the country in general?

As we have noted, seen in this perspective, a culture of impunity and violence is in this country is at an alarming level. This, coupled with lack of firm leadership within the ruling party itself, makes the immediate Tanzania’s future perilous.

As someone told me the other day, a country such as the US can afford an inept leader, but  Africa cannot. The reason is simple, he argued. America and Europe takes pride in tested institutions of governance. Africa, certainly Tanzania, is yet to evolve those institutions for sustainable governance.

It is for President Kikwete, conscious of this factor, to rise to the challenge of ensuring that ours does not end up like neighbouring Kenya where half a million people were turned into refugees in their own country in pre and post-2007 election violence. His biggest responsibility is to ensure a peaceful transition of his presidency to the next one.

He should impose ethical order within his own party as a first step. Secondly, he should, assisted by people surrounding him, embark on a political management of the country to dissuade a culture of impunity and violence which is alien to the people of this country from gaining root.

Credit to the citizens.


Goodman Manyanya Phiri said...

Edna, it's very hard for me so far-off to comment on coal-face matters of Tanzanian politics; but I can comment on the piece as a work of art.

It's beautifully-written; graced with a lot of dedication and lucubration in its sculpting process, while on its own exuding a Tanzanian patriotism characterized by political disinterestedness, the very quality that is ideally needed from analyists of the most imprecise of sciences: POLITICS.


emu-three said...

Ok mimi sitaongea lugha ya watu nasema kwa lugha wazo limenijia baada ya kusoma hiyo habari hapo juu kuwa 'hivi ni nani wa kumkamata paka mkia? Hivi ni nani aliyemsafi katika `system' yetu hii ili amshike mwenzake? kazi ipo unaposema akamatwe fisadi, sijui nani..hebu kwanza tujiulize nini maana ya fisadi? ukichunguza maana yake kiundani utaishia kuwakamata karibu wote!
Tatizo kubwa lipo kwa sisi wananchi , kuwa hatutaki kuchaguza viongozi watarajiwa kwa marafeu na mapana, twachagua kwasababu ya kauli zao jukwaani tu...ndio matokeo yake haya...tumlalamikie nani? LAKUVUNDA HALINA UBANI