At 59 years of independence, Tz is maturing in economy, institutions

09Dec 2020
The Guardian
At 59 years of independence, Tz is maturing in economy, institutions

UNLIKE the way a human being grows up, reaching 59   years isn’t a sign of having aged somewhat but really a mark of approaching maturity. This is being seen in a number of areas, as it was in the course of the 58th year of independence that Tanzania was announced to be a lower middle income-

-economy, a fairly respectful status in the community of nations, and we have steadily received visitors from abroad looking at investment opportunities. And it is not the only are where the country is visibly coming of age.

There is also visible growth of institutions and a sense of cohesion, overcoming divisions of party loyalties, often the cover of weaknesses in national consciousness and seeking refuge for negative sentiments on society and institutions. The reason these divisions are being overcome is a proactive state which has conducted massive campaigns against rot and indulgence in the ranks of government and the public sector at large, working with private interests and own aggrandizement against the interests of the state. This error curbed, the public understood when other avenues of wrongdoing or contempt were shut.

It is the popularity of the fifth phase government in meeting expectations of the public in an all-round manner, despite a few gaps here and there, that has enabled a smooth transition from a visibly tense election moment to recomposing the government. While opposition parties were crying on top of their voices that what was going on wasn’t acceptable, they saw for themselves that the public was not at all disturbed by their massive of representative seats both in the Mainland and in Zanzibar. Their sense of disenchantment was just a part of disenchantment of a broad section of society that was enjoying earlier.

In its wider environment, the 59 years of independence are characterized by greater respect for the country in its dealings with foreign countries, what we could just dream at the time of independence or conduct ourselves resolutely at a great cost. Foreign Minister Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi was explaining recently how first phase President Julius Nyerere refused aid from Germany (at that time West Germany) and later Britain in relation to ties with East Germany in the wake of the Union in April 1964. Then there was UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) by Rhodesian settlers and the UK did nothing about it.

The fifth phase was the turning point in elevating the sense of nation above subservience to colonial and post-colonial interests, as earlier it was a matter of an African government directly obeying dictates of former colonial powers. After countries solidified somewhat, foreign interests took up purchasing loyalty of leaders, and that is what President John Magufuli sorted out, without having need to nationalize foreign economic entities as in the first phase. This move altered plenty of old parliamentary and party habits, etc.

As the country marks Independence Day while still unveiling the incoming government in Zanzibar and incoming Union cabinet, a sense of realism is being felt across the board. Old style opposition is more or less out of the legislature, while the fusion of the old Civic United Front group in Zanzibar and the fledgling ACT-Wazalendo on the Mainland, has helped to leverage positive influence on the Isles opposition. Unlike 2010, this is a governmental role based on accepting reality, not a new peace accord.