Over 50 years on - how patriotic and disciplined are we?

14Mar 2017
The Guardian
Over 50 years on - how patriotic and disciplined are we?

THE majority of our country men and women are still in the shackles of economic exploitation, disease and poverty.

The obligation that freedom bestows on Tanzanians is enormous. Freedom should not be a license for indiscipline-- and democracy requires self-imposed patriotism and discipline. Democracy also entails a society free from diseases, poverty and deprivation, illiteracy, bribery and corruption.

Thus after fighting against imperialism, Tanzania needs to fight against diseases, poverty and deprivation, illiteracy, bribery and corruption, unpatriotic acts and indiscipline.

A patriotic and disciplined society is orderly, progressive and safe to live in. Obedience to rules and regulations is a binding moral duty on the citizens. C. S. Lewis has said that men naturally develop affection for the village or the countryside where they live.

It seems, however, not to be the case for Tanzania. Clive Staples Lewis was a British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist.

Every Tanzanian had cause to complain, when he or she tours the Dar es Salaam Region, that our municipalities are nursing polythene bags, in response to the nuisance of filth resulting from the bad disposal of waste, particularly polythene materials.

The following questions may be relevant in an attempt to examine ourselves as citizens in order to determine the various roles each and everyone plays as a disciplined and responsible citizen in nation-building.

How do citizens of this country treat the environment generally? The hawker, the Bajaj driver/mate and passenger who drink water and throw the sachet or polythene materials into the streets?

As a civil servant or an employee of a private sector, what time do you go to work and what time do you leave?

As a police officer, how much bribe have you taken to allow a driver without the road worthy certificate to ply the roads with his rickety bus and kill passengers and other road users?
Doctors and nurses, what are your commitments to your patients, how many patients have you treated with love and how many of them died because of your negligence? The pharmacist working at the government hospital or at any health facility, are you honest?

The accountant, how many figures have you forged in order to dupe your country that has spent so much on you? How many journalists reject bribes from corrupt officials to kill stories? How many of our traders willingly pay tax after charging tax on every item that sell?
Essentially, therefore, we all have a role to play to move Tanzania forward.

The bane of our development is bribery and corruption, the cyclical effect of which is tremendous on development because for every corrupt activity, people are deprived of a road, a hospital or a school. Foodstuffs carted from a farm through a good road to the market benefits the politician, the doctor, and the teacher, among others.

It is, therefore, in the interest of everybody to do the right thing and abhor wrong at all times. Government also has an important role to play in the transformation agenda of the country, but the citizens must be patriotic and disciplined.

Rather than glorifying their stolen wealth, the citizens must question the wealth of public officials who do not earn more than 1,000,000/- as monthly salaries.

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