Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Cost of Ignorance.. (2)

Life happens. Sometimes in a funny way. I am a man of faith, so the whole "coincidence" thing doesn't work for me. Call me fanatic, but I believe that God ordains our steps. I did not intend to write a sequel to my original post, but I had to. Circumstances forced me. I had to respond given what I perceive as a baseless personal attack that was hurled towards me. I will try to put the excerpts from the "attacker's" comments for more clarity.

"It seems like you are obsessed with finding someone to blame for everything na cha ajabu you are not doing enough to research, argue and produce alternative strategies. I smell "information starvation" hapa cause most of your hojas are vociferous than being problem-solving and result-oriented(refer to mramba and matibabu ya kikwete).

Some of the issues do not require rocket science abilities. As such, I don't have to do any research. I only have to apply my God given common sense. I paid my dues at Shycom Institute, Berea College and Miami University. Do I need to spend more time in the library to interpret what it means for an African president to get his medical check-up overseas while pregnant women can't safely deliver in his own country's hospitals? I will be insulting my previous professors, if you get the point. I don't have to quote books to sound intelligent. I can think on my own.

Had you been paying attention to my arguments, you would have clearly seen that I not only criticize, but also provide an alternative. Let me give you an example, from my previous post regarding the president's treatment overseas. This is what I wrote, and I will quote "If the case is not having sophisticated medical equipment, isn't it the president's responsibility to ensure that the country is on top of the chart as far as medical equipment is concerned? " If you don't see the alternative strategy there, then ...oh well. Or I can help you express that in a simple language: Instead of the president going to get his eyes checked in Germany, import eye testing equipment and install them at Muhimbili. Was that too difficult?

Oh let me give you another one about Mr. Mramba. This is what I wrote, and I quote again: " There should be an infrastructure development master plan or an infrastructure framework known to all, including wabunge. The plan should tell you which roads are given priority, their completion schedule and their economic justification. Short of that we are just kidding ourselves. Short of that we give people like Mr. Mramba a chance to do whatever they want to do". I am assuming my attacker missed that one, so I am going to explain that in a very simple language: Let us draw an infrastructure master plan and stick to it!

See, my conviction is that my friend is the one who need to do a little bit research. Do a little bit of thinking. It is a shame to call someone out in the open, while you don't have any strong, logical arguments. I would have decided to get down personal, but I have outgrown those childish tendencies.

I will continue to reflect. I will continue to write. I will continue to challenge the status quo. I will continue to be honest with you and I. I will continue to share whatever God enables me to see through an uncommon wisdom. I will continue to share my deepest thoughts. It might sound like I am against the system, from which a couple of folks are gearing themselves to gain from, but we have to speak up when needed. Criticizing the system does not equate to having a political ambition. I have my career and I don't intend to become a career politician any time soon. I get paid adequately, so I don't intend to go and "steal" from the unsuspecting poor folks in Bongoland. So if you feel threathened by me, just relax, learn and grow.

2 comments:

Sibala's Corner said...

I have read a few of your posts and have to say you are doing a wonderful job. You know we have been facing the same problem for decades now – poor allocation of our resources. If somebody doesn’t see that problem then we can’t help. But we have to call a spade a spade – it is misallocation of taxpayer’s money. I can bet my bottom dollar unless we change our attitudes and perceptions, we still have a long way to go before poverty can be eradicated in Tanzania. How can we overcome the poverty trap in our country? Only if the government makes investments that are needed to end poverty! Yes I know they say we got the MKUKUTA thing – but are they really serious with it? Is it our government’s priority to allocate funds in sectors that can help us get out of our misery? I have my doubts. Seen any real efforts to improve agriculture (irrigation schemes, machinery for farmers etc). Nada – we don’t have even a fertilizer plant of our own! No teachers for our schools, worsening social services etc etc - the list is endless. But we let them get away with it and allow them to live in a world of their own.
You already read what minister Mramba did. Honestly, do you spend billions of taxpayers money to buy “Shangingis” (Tshs 6.4 billions) every time a new cabinet is appointed – in a country where most of its population can not afford even the basic health services? In a country where per capita health expenditure is less than 5 USD per year? where running water is a luxury? In a country where pensioners have to make do with Tsh 20,000 per month?
Or build a multi-billion shilling Bunge house instead of improving our road networks? After all to whom do they want to show off - don't they finance 40% of the annual budget money – year in year out- with foreign aid?

You know most of our folks see Mr JK as a sacred cow. You remember the decision to put govt ministers in posh hotels? The president did not see any wrongdoing and even defended the decision to build those multi-million shilling mansions (80 mn Tsh each!). You know how the situation looks like in rural Bongoland? – abject poverty.

I know there are people who think you/we are just wasting our time. But I have got to tell you if we can find a way to make our ideas reach a bigger audience it will help. Believe me or not, the way people can benchmark government’s policies, strategies and decisions plays a crucial role here. If we can achieve to impart critical thinking to our fellow compatriots, it will help to improve the way things are done back home.

I think enough talking has been done and we have got to do something to change the situation. That’s why I subscribe to the idea the other fellow Tanzanian Blogger – Ned by the name - has just launched to establish an informal Think Tank (http://tanzania-development-connection.blogspot.com). You can go check it and we can see how to get the ball rolling – if you subscribe to the idea of course.

Jaduong Metty said...

Sibala,

I couldn't have agreed more with you. I believe sharing information is the best way we can give the Tanzanian folks a "benchmark" against which they can evaluate the government's performance. As for joining the Ned's "force" it would ridiculous to be against it, count me in.