Thursday, June 22, 2006

When the government has no clue...

The following excerpt is from the speech given by the Minister for Planning, Economy and Empowerment, Hon. Dr. Juma Ngasongwa, during his address to the National Assemby recently:

" Mr. Speaker, In order to realise the objectives of the National Development Vision 2025, we have to sustain the achievements attained during the Third Phase Government focusing on eradicating the obstacles faced by our people. During the Fourth Phase Government we shall have to be more careful in determining our priorities for attaining economic growth and reduction of poverty. Since our resources are limited we have to prioritise resource allocation in order to hasten our development. This will mean delaying some of our activities and providing others with funds that only meet the operational costs. The challenge facing us is to agree on those areas that should be given more priority in the allocation of resources. In order to be more successful in the implementation of our policies, plans and strategies, there is a need to improve methods for implementation, supervision, monitoring and evaluation of government policies, strategies, programmes and projects."

Well, I don't want to be so hard on the government, but the highlighted line kind of sent some chills down my spine. The question that the line raises are:

1) Don't we have a National Development Vision 2025?

2) Doesn't the vision spell out what the priorities are?

3) Who has to "agree" with the spending priorities, wananchi, MPs, ministers, or the president? I mean, what then is the meaning of having leadership in place?

4) If we still have to "agree" on the spending priorities, when will that happen?

My opinion is that the biggest problem we are facing in Tanzania is the quality of leadership. It is amazing that the minister of planning, presented a plan that has "holes" in it. I thought that the minister would have spelled out those "spending priorities" since those are under his jurisdiction.

I don't think it requires a rocket science to determine one's spending priorities, if the economic goals are clear and the strategies are well spelled out.

Kama hata Waziri hana uhakika wa maeneo ya matumizi yanayopewa kipaumbele, nani atajua? Unless I took the speech out of context, this shows how far Bongoland has to still go in achieving its economic goals

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