It is without doubt that the level of corruption in our country is inching towards new heights of insanity. We are soon becoming synonymous with some African countries having the most corrupt and untrustworthy individuals. Do we have any idea how that will impact Tanzania in the long run?
I am sure some of us have a few countries at the tip of our tongues that are tantamount with corruption - there is no need to mention them. Tanzanians are known as peace loving, honourable, family-oriented people but gradually we are destroying our own name. Tanzania is soon fast becoming a laughing stock behind her neighbouring countries in every aspect: government, education, and peace.
Too harsh a synopsis? Then tell us, how does a government official allegedly demand and receive bribe accepting it in a hotel like a common felon? There is actually a humorous side to this as it almost plays like a movie.
All antics aside, this is a very serious matter, we cannot have our representatives of the nation grossly having no regard for their responsibilities and duties. To receive a bribe in order to approve a financial report is detrimental to the voters.
With the turn of our economy progressing towards capitalism we have begun to yearn and enjoy the freedom of purchasing imported goods and services from overseas. Everything you buy across the seas does need to be inspected for individual consumption or use.
We buy and accept goods and services with the comfort of knowing that they have being inspected. The government is single handedly crumbling the economy, endangering our lives and country in the process. Do we want Tanzania to end up being a dumping ground for inferior products?
The Controller and Auditor General (CAG) Report indicates a mismanagement of resources by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of 120m/- which mind you, could have been used to pay the intern doctors who were on strike. The report also indicates salaries paid to absentees and retirees approximately amounting to 143m/- and goods paid for but not delivered about 31bn/-. Will anyone like to take a wild guess of where our tax payers’ money is pouring into? This arrant mishandling of government funds needs to be addressed with a very heavy hand.
The majority of wananchi are looking for ways to feed not only their families but themselves. Students have no desks, books, food, or places to stay. Hospitals have no medical equipment, medicine and also lack adequate number of nurses and doctors to attend to patients.
Let’s talk about these patients, they are sleeping on the floor - really how can we allow this to continue? It is our problem because the worse this flagrant dishonesty gets, the more it affects all of us as a country.
Public transportation fares are rising and food prices are getting ridiculous. Yet day in day out government officials who already have more than enough are stashing away ridiculous amounts of money in foreign currency abroad?? As you can see, we are heading for a disastrous turn of events in this country if matters are not looked into fully and proper disciplinary actions taken against the offenders.
The government loses approximately 35m/- in uncollected revenue each month in natural resources and this is just with a coal racket in the Shinyanga and Mwanza regions. We are not only losing money but ruining our environment by the illegal felling of trees for charcoal purposes. We might need to remember that as of now Tanzania has the most arable land in Eastern Africa.
The President should be commended for firing and reshuffling the cabinet. He has various bodies that look into alleged reports of corruption - Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and others. It seems another major challenge is to bring to justice the individuals “allegedly” accused of grand corruption. They obviously show no respect for government or the law by their brazen acts and not fulfilling the responsibilities they were sworn into office to perform.
It might just be that as a country we are taking more than a couple of steps backwards. This blatant misuse of government funds affects citizens in ways that shape our lives. There is utterly no need to debate on the national budget if half of it is ending up in pockets that are already deep. It doesn’t help the people and most certainly doesn’t help the development of our country. Accountability is unquestionably for all.