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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Some MPs are a negation of cultural values, positive aspects of schooling

7th August 2011

Human beings are believed to be the creation of God in his own image. The variations existing between one individual and another do not change that fact because it is the product of our own creation.

Our own creation in earnest supplements the work of God. In the power of God, human beings grow while with our own effort human beings develop.

Human beings growth involves physical changes signified by increase in size, height, weight, bone size and dentition. The growth rate decreases with age as it is seen faster at early stage and stagnate at old age stage of human beings life.

Human beings growth refers to increase in the complexity of function and skill progression. It involves the acquisition of the capacity and skill to adapt to the environment. Development comes in stages which deals with a specific aspect of life which should be fully accomplished, lest it affects an individual some time in the course of life.

Human beings development is mostly taken care by the process called socialisation. Socialisation is the process whereby a new member of an organisation is given necessary skills and prepares him or her to occupy and perform a certain role as a member of the organisation.

Socialisation is also responsible for moderation of impulses to the standard that is acceptable by the larger community. Moreever skills and knowledge that the socialisation agents pass and impart to new individuals is controlled by the larger society norms, rules and values.

The work of socialisation is carried by agents of socialisation namely; the family, media outlet, school, peer group, religions, workplaces, government and total institution just to mention a few. These agents accomplish what God has created and are responsible for whatever we see in various individual in the personal and official capacities.

Borrowing the sentiments of South African reggae star, the late Lucky Dube : “Whenever we see a black man, or white man or coloured, we see the image of God”. This can be extended to imply that whenever we see an individual, we see the image of his or her family, media outlet, school, peer group, religions, workplaces, government and total institution that has socialised him or her. Subjecting the above to the conduct of our member, of will help us to know what went wrong where and who is responsible.

Our Members of Parliament and other politicians have all gone to school at various levels from primary school and beyond the university. In school they may have acquired skills and knowledge necessary and specific for various sectors in our society. We expect them to apply these skills and knowledge to enlighten us. We all know human beings actions are motivated by several factors - external and internal which however are moderated by socialisation. Yet from what we see, there is little application and manifestation of the massive skills you have. Why?

Any society needs, wants and demands comes from its natural resources and there is no known society on earth which has resources that can meet all its needs, wants and demands. Unfortunately this is what you make us - we laymen -believe that others elsewhere have managed to do so.

We pick from you that the government is made of irresponsible and heartless men and women of the land who have no mercy on us. These are said even with people who previously had positions in the government! You made us believe that our society is more led by politics instead of the rule of law.

You want us to believe that the President and other officials in the government can conduct official business by riding in the ‘dala dala’ buses like the commoners in the name of cutting down government costs! Still more you want us to believe elsewhere political and non political members of the government are at the same footing as the commoner! Is this real? We are sure that in all the years you spent in schools, you may have privileged and chanced to know what the government is and how the government system works. But the way you are conducting yourself does not show that you know it.

From your years of schooling you may have known and seen government changes but it remains the government as by nature is. Zambians have changed the government with new president, a man of the people president from the trade union and from a new party, Malawi have done so, so is Kenya yet none of them has managed to solve commoners issues.

People’s power has changed government starting from the Philippines, now Tunisia and Egypt- but commoners’, problems such as lack of employment and socio- economical hardship still persists. Still yet you want us to believe we can solve our problems by changing the government, without showing us where it has worked.

It is unfair to crucify only the political part of the government leaving the civil service which is responsible for day to day provision of goods and services to the public. It is on the record that at one point in time a minister could not remove the civil servant under him who was manning a very important directorate in the ministry.

They had to rub shoulders in the ministry corridors for some time. At the end it is the minister who had to be transferred leaving behind the triumphant civil servant. This shows that political leaders have no power before the civil service. It is the civil service which is stealing the show, but because we are wary of them we will never solve our problems.

Any society development is measured from how it has managed to work on its own resources to create goods and services for own consumption and exchange. With our own initiative we have termed the land as peasants and rendered our farms useless for lack of soil nutrient.

Crops are failing because of unreliable rain. We know that. In other places farming is frustrated by erratic supplies of input which we can attribute to the learned sons and daughters of the land who can not do their work responsibly. Instead of shouting to the government to teach us skills of replenishing soil nutrients, all we hear from you is shout for civic education as if it is some sort of magic which we all need for our daily life! Magic that can cure soil infertility. Magic that can bring rain.

We are sure you know the world prices of our agricultural produce - something you call the world market. From your school you gained knowledge, you know our government has neither a hand nor an influence in the fixing of the prices in the world market. In fact all the pricing is done by the forces of the market-demand and supplies. Then where and how on earth do you crucify it whenever the prices changes?

No society can live without having to face some problems, crisises or challenges. In all the years spent in school, you may have learned how to behave during problems, crises, and challenges. For example when the world comes to know for sure that President Bill Clinton indeed had an extra marital relationship, the response from his wife was unconditional support and not application for divorce.

We are facing a power crisis. We are not the first around. Brazil had it and South Africa faced it in 2007-2008 but the way they reacted is miles away from what we seem to react. From electronic sources we can learn how South Africans reacted:

"Eskom and various parliamentarians attribute these rolling-blackouts to insufficient generation capacity. According to their claims, the solution is the construction of additional power stations and generators. These, they say, will take time to construct and commission..... Part of the problem is related to the supply of coal to the coal-fired power plants. Several other causes have been postulated, including skills shortages and increasing demand for electricity around the country.’

On how they attempted to solve it, another electronic source provides that:“. In conclusion the real solutions that would start is however; More transparency; Better management; Maintenance of power stations; Assuring that there is enough supply of coal at power stations; Less focus on BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) and affirmative action; Retaining skilled employees; More attention to training for technological & scenario planning.’

To drive the point home let us turn to the Brazil page by quoting Economist source that provide that: ‘The government introduced rationing …, after a prolonged drought had almost drained the hydro-electric schemes that provide more than 90 percent of the country's power. The public responded admirably to the order to cut consumption by 20 percent …. As well as imposing rationing, the government unveiled a plan last year to encourage the building of private power plants… the government's plan to match power supplies with ever-growing demand has been based on liberalisation.’

Lucina Trilho a store clerk from Brazil said “We have been raised to think that ours is a land of abundance and riches, where nothing is ever lacking, so yes, that may have led us to be wasteful. And yes, we may need to be re-educated. But it is going to be difficult, even frightening, to have to make all these adjustments.''

Alex Bellos wrote in The Guardian of Monday 18 June 2001 and said ‘The crisis has increased Brazil's political instability…But it has also produced a spirit of solidarity. "I've banned the boys in my house from having hot showers, and television can only be watched during certain hours," said Ivonete Sousa, the mother of five. The congress (in our case the Parliament) has tried to set an example by turning off outside lights, moving walkways in corridors and air conditioning in committee rooms.”

The two extensively cited examples of the power crisis may be used as a reference. No where in the sources was a suggestion for the minister to resign as a solution to the power crisis.

All we see is the acknowledgement of problems, pointing to its causes and application of massive skills and knowledge gained from years of schooling towards solving the problems. You have made us to believe that our president is insane to attribute the power crisis to erratic rainfall.

Subjecting that to our situation, power crisis is our own creation. We asked and planned to use more electricity than what is generated, while nothing was invested towards more power generation.

The solution to power crisis will come from more investment. The government can not do it alone without compromising with other sectors. Lasting solution is embedded in the involvement of the private sector of which we seem to be wary of and poised to frustrate.

Do not hit around the bush is a common phrase that you may have heard of during all the years of schooling. This country had about 440 public entities which were manned by the daughters and sons of this country. You do not even recall or point to them- the verdict –you are hitting around the bush. Air Tanzania Corporation was started with a fleet of about 10 brand new planes, they are all gone all what you say is blaming the partner who in fact came at the point of no return- the verdict- your hitting around the bush.

With Tanzania in charge, the train passenger was ending at the Dodoma Station instead of Dar es Salaam before the coming of Rites. At least after Rites passenger trains could reach Dar as Salaam.

It is not Rites and TRL who closed the Dar es Salaam to Tanga and Moshi lines but our own daughters and sons. But every body is shifting blame to Rites. Let you lead us to the true causes of various problems we are facing and point to us to viable solutions instead of witch hunting.

Schools are not only responsible for provision and imparting of skills and knowledge but also other attributes. Whereas skills and knowledge are embedded official curriculum, social curriculum imparts social behaviour appropriate for non familiar group. It enables individuals to interact with people he or she has never met in the situation he or she has never been before.

One learns how to communicate, how to negotiate and behave. From what we see happening in the Parliament this seems to be seriously missing.

Scientifically two people can not talk at time- you seem to be totally violating this. Democratically and in the spirit of human rights every individual has the right of expression and own opinion. You are also in total violation of this too.

One need not to consult a diviner to conclude that an individual is not properly socialised when he or she can not communicate, negotiate and behave as expected by the society. Schools have latent or hidden curriculum which provides rules of behaviour needed to function in a formal organisation.

Hidden curriculum stresses attributes such as; formalisation and standardisation, importance of following orders and instructions, obedience to authority, how to control behaviour, how to fit in the formal groups and lastly how to work as a team.

Our parliament is one of the fundamental formal groups which have rules and standards which you have to adhere to. Good enough the rules and standards are your own creation. You have the right to change them.

The fact that you grossly violate them leaves much to be desired. You have created your own authority - the speaker and the assistants that you have to obey. We have witnessed highest degree of disobedience of the authority. Is it because the authority is led by a woman? Let you be reminded, authority exists in the position and not in an individual.

Your conduct in and out of the parliament manifests high degree of Id. The Id is a concept in human development which provides that human behaviour is driven by unconscious and demand for immediate satisfaction. Human action is also driven by irrational and emotional want. Human action also is motivated by demand for attention, touch and food.

It is driven by I want and I want it now no matter what. According to sociologist Sigmund Freud, Id is the first stage of human development covering time from birth up to at least 4 to 5 years. You are definitely not children, and then want makes you behave like children? You are a reflection of our society, but we are not what you are. You are a reflection of our families, but we did not raise you like that. You are a reflection of our school system, definitely that is not the way we taught you in schools.

You are a reflection of our political system, but that is not how we politically socialised you. Please come back and subscribe to facts instead of fictions. God bless Tanzania.

The author is sociologist, a businessman and media commentator based in Mwanza.

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