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Why are we behaving as if this country does not belong to us?

7th October 2012
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A cabinet minister from Iringa Region is reported to be under close scrutiny by security and human rights institutions for abuse of office.

According to whispers, Tanzanian security institutions are simply sick and tired with the minister’s antics which stretch many years back.

For instance, one of his victims, a man, has had his farm confiscated and his paddy harvested by some unknown persons!

The poor man, a resident of Iringa Region was subjected to such ill-treatment simply because he differed with the minister on a number of issues that include ‘dirty politics’ which have, however, nothing to do with the ruling party.

Repeated failed attempts at resolving his piling problems with his adversary – from security organs in Iringa – have finally brought him to Dar. And according to our sources in Iringa, the security organs in the region have routinely ‘failed’ to assist the man, mainly for fear of this all-powerful minister.

In Dar es Salaam meanwhile, the grapevine can report that our desperate man “has received very encouraging response.” And, if the ‘pledges’ he is getting from the security organs in Dar es Salaam are worth their weight in gold, the no stone will remain where the Creators first put them – they’ll all get a rousing call to get to the roots of this hapless man’s woes.

And, when –and, once again, if -- the security organs in Dar make good their pledge, the man blinded by his ministerial brief could soon wake and stare at the end of his political career right in the face. After all, we are told built it through a combination of cronyism and outright academic fraud.

This is the second time the man is known to have been “manhandled” by the minister, who is reported to be notorious in victimizing people who, in his eyes, are either against him or support those who might challenge him in, and possibly wrestle him out of, the parliamentary seat which he calls his property. The first man to be manhandled by the minister ended up losing his lucrative farm, under dubious circumstances, to the prisons department in the region.

In order to ensure that the man does not get any redress, the minister is reported to have used the immigration department in the region to declare the man a non-Tanzanian citizen!

In the end, the man who doesn’t have a single cell of foreign blood in his body, was declared a Somali!

To date, the immigration headquarters in Dar es Salaam has failed to respond to queries from security organs over the status of the man, the whispers report.

Exit Iringa kitchen politics, enter the race to Ikulu come 2015, which has been triggered off by ongoing elections for the national executive committee (NEC) members of the ruling party.

According to rumour mongers who pass themselves for political analysts, the opposition is very happy with what is going on in the ruling party, and in particular, the simmering war between two former prime ministers, Edward Ngoyayi Lowassa and Frederick Tluway Sumaye.

They say whatever happens between the two men, the ruling party could end up the ultimate victim; it will suffer because, quote, the two men will make easy the opposition’s run to the top.

As for Mr Sumaye’s defeat at the hands of a politician of his own making -- created from nothing -- whispers say he should have seen it coming!

They say Mr Sumaye should have realised years back that his past plethora of pronouncements that included, among others, calls to his party to respond to the opposition’s arguments instead of heckling at them weren’t well taken by his own party.

Therefore, the whispers say, when he went to the United States of America for further studies (in order to buttress his academic papers in readiness for the presidency) before he later travelled to his friends in Germany, his opponents were plotting for his way down – in his own turf!

They have reminded the technocrat-turned-politician that, if he wanted to get to the top, he needed to be a politician first. And they describe a ‘politician’ as a man or woman able to mix with the milieu, at the grass-root level, where the ‘stew of dirty politics’ is prepared before being finally served to the unsuspecting patrons.

Mr Sumaye has complained about people shelling out anything on the upwards of the sky, down to Sh100,000 in bribes. Talking of the writing on the wall, Sumaye now argues that it’s “extremely difficult for one to win an election in the ruling party without the use of money.”

That’s exactly where the nation he had jointly led with his boss, Mr Benjamin Mkapa, over seven years ago has been reduced to, as the rumour mongers would love to remind Mr Sumaye.

They further remind him that had the third phase government, to which he belonged as one of its principal leaders, had effectively dealt with corruption, Tanzania would not have reached where it is today -- the second most corrupt East and Central African nation after Uganda.

Indeed, didn’t the third phase administration commissioned former prime minister and attorney general, Joseph Sinde Warioba, with the task of finding out the depth of corruption in the United Republic of Tanzania?

And, didn’t good old ‘Joe’ Warioba and his illustrious commission submit the landmark report, touted the best treatise on corruption ever produced by an African nation?

If that administration did commission Warioba, why, the whispers ask, didn’t the same fail to implement whatever recommendations contained in the report?

Whispers now wonder aloud: If nothing was done about that report by the third phase administration whose government was headed, for ten solid years by Mr Sumaye as Prime Minister, then the man (read former prime minister) has no business complaining over what he is now seeing around!

Rumour mongers also have something to say about Mr Lowassa; their take was on his comments, made during the week, about his political strength lying in what he describes as ‘his Monduli people.’

The rumours say the problem was not Mr Lowassa, Mr Sumaye or any leader for that matter; rather, it was with the people who kept on electing people who had failed them -- repeatedly.

They argue that the day Tanzanians would say ‘no’ to self-centred leaders, those whose conduct tends to give you the impression that this country does not belong to you (but to them), that would mark the “beginning-of-the-end” of Tanzania’s socio-economic problems.

Pause for reflection: “If we continue to behave as if this country does not belong to us, then we should stop bearing children so that when we all finally die, then the last person can switch off the lights.” Unquote, Jenerali Ulimwengu.

SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY
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