We are tired of conflicts between elected and appointed leaders

21Feb 2016
Guardian On Sunday
We are tired of conflicts between elected and appointed leaders

It is now becoming normal behavior or trend in our country to read in newspapers, social media or hear from electronic media that a certain Member of Parliament and the District Commissioner of a particular area of jurisdiction have quarreled.

Conflicts that have been featuring more prominently in most places in recent years pit elected leaders from opposition parties and appointed leaders who are usually identified with the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

In attempt to substantiate this situation let us revisit some examples. Former Simanjiro MP on CCM ticket Christopher ole Sendeka quarreled with former Manyara Regional Commissioner Henry Shekifu.

We don’t need to go further to trace the source of their conflict, but it suffices to say it did not augur well for the region and the nation at large, as it disrupts the spirit of leadership.

Former Arusha Regional Commmissioner Magesa Mulongo had an unending conflict with Arusha Urban MP Gobless Lema (CHADEMA), and lately we have seen an acrimonious dispute between Ubungo MP Saed Kubenea battling Kinondoni District Commissioner Paul Makonda.

The latter is a recent quarrel so we all remember they were trying to solve a conflict between workers and management at an Ubungo Garments Factory, which lies in each other’s territory.

There is also a current dispute between Iringa Urban MP, Rev. Peter Msigwa (CHADEMA) and Iringa Urban DC Richard Kasesera. The Ubungo conflict caught the public eye quite noticeably because both politicians are well known to the public, whereas in other instances it is the MP who stands out as the public figure, not the district or regional commissioner.

There was another long and bitter quarrel in Bukoba municipality, pitting then former MP and cabinet minister Khamis Kagasheki and ruling party bigwigs, including the municipality mayor. Often such quarrels led to transferring people from one station to another as the president can’t transfer the area’s legislator, so he moves the protagonist whom he has appointed.

Still the key issue needs to be set out, that public leaders of the level of DC, RC and MP are supposed to be working together to uplift a district or a region, or portion of a district as in the case of Ubungo, within Kinondoni district.

The district is conveniently being divided to create a new Ubungo district, and some pundits will say this quarrel hastened elevating Ubungo to a district, if one can’t remove Makonda, as Kubenea is unmovable.

While it is apparent that the larger format of the conflicts is an opposition MP vs a ruling party public administrator, often it brings to battle a CCM MP and an RC or a DC, which becomes a penetrating issue in ruling party loyalties, and often lead to opposition planting itself more intensely.

It is hard to actually put a collar on the more offending party, if it is opposition trouble shooters like Kubenea seeking to pick up territory – trying to solve labour disputes because the DC is unreliable as a ruling party cadre, etc.

Yet in certain areas it is opposition trouble shooters who have come to the rescue of beleaguered government authorities, often in relation to ‘maushuru’ where people are fleeced by municipal authorities, etc.

It was in Mbeya at some point that the RC and the RPC had no idea what to do next as the streets were full of people, a sort of general strike and mass demonstration.

Finally they asked the Mbeya Urban MP Joseph Mbilinyi (Sugu) to help out, and people listened to him. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, if we look more closely when these quarrels arise. The fewer there are quarrels, the better – sharing up the poles won’t enable development projects to move forward!

In the final analysis MPs, DCs and RCs need to understand that they all work towards common goal- bringing development to the public. Therefore conflicts make no sense.

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