Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mramba's Saga: Exactly What's Wrong With CCM

Y'all heard the news, Mr. Mramba, in his minister's budget, dished out a whole lot of dough (TShs 17b/- ) to construct roads in his own constiuency [Read the story here]. The problem though, is that he apportioned just a kiduchu amount to other important areas. I term his move a Msuya tactic. The timing for Mr. Mramba, however, wasn't perfect due the fact that he did it when the majority are "awake".

In my own view, the saga highlights two bigger problems that Mr. Mramba happened to be a "beneficiary" of: 1) A system that is broken 2) Lack of an articulated economic vision.

1) A broken system - The political and leadership system in Tanzania is broken. That is soooo evident. Obviously, Mr. Mramba being quite aware of that, utilized an opportunity to abuse the system where "checks and balances" is a foreign notion (please refer to my post on July 1, 2006 regarding the effectiveness of the parliament). Guess what? After Mr. Mramba being criticized and forced to furnish justification for his budgetary priorities, the CCM machinery went to work. The they formed a CCM committee to ensure that the budget will pass, despite Mr. Mramba's gross mistakes [Read here] .

I am seriously convinced that under CCM, Tanzania will never see any meaningful economic progress. That is due to the fact that Mr. Mramba's story isn't anything new. This has been a long established tradition, where mess-ups are not penalized. CCM has embraced a system where INTEGRITY is not a quality to consider in electing or selecting our leaders. I can guarantee you that Mr. JK will continue to embrace Mr. Mramba. And that is mainly because holding each accountable has never been something that CCM has guts to do. It is that cowardice that will cost us as a country. Even worse is the inability of the people to stand up and declare that enough is enough. And truly, CCM's mess-ups are just enough.

2) Lack of a clear economic vision - Tanzanians are just fumbling their way through, economically that is. Nonetheless the boys in the government will tell you otherwise. They would sweet talk you into believing that Vision 2025 is attainable. However, actions speaks louder than words. Seriously, why would Mr. Mramba apportion TShs. 17b/- to his constituency to the disgust of other representatives? Isn't that a sure sign that we don't have an articulated economic vision?

This is why you should hear me out. A well planned economic vision would clearly outline what needs to be achieved and when to achieve one's vision. Along those lines, key economic strategies are articulated. A well charted economic map would tell which areas are given priorities, both in terms of revenue generation and appropriations. Infrastructure being a key component of economic growth, the articulated economic vision should tell the government's focus. 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.

But who I am kidding, Tanzanian leaders would never do that. They would never chart out an economic vision, because that is too cumbersome for them. That is too complicated and westernized. They are used to their old ways. Their unscientific ways. Their zimamoto ways. Bora liende. They would rather see Uganda come and pass us by. They would rather see Botswana achieve economic milestones, but not Bongoland. Jamani, nchi kama imerogwa vile?

In one of my previous posts (on June 15: Why I Hate June Budgeting), I pointed out some of the problems that our annual budgets present. One of them is that wabunge have no clue what the spending priorities are.

See, what buffles me is the fact we have educated people in Tanzania. Most of our wabunge are highly educated and very intelligent. Nonetheless, these people seems to be so overwhelmed with a small country like Tanzania. Some of these issues are not rocket science, rather just an application of common sense. Lini tunafika hapo? May be when CCM is out...may be when we have leaders who seriously know that it would take for Tanzania to make meaningful enocomic strides.

Au naongopa jamani?


ndambos said...

Hey Metty i do agree with you Tanzania need big change in political system in order for a country to achieve its economical goals.

Jaduong Metty said...


I couldn't agree more with you. You are absolutely right..

ned said...

You have touched on a few important points, and I would agree with you on the fact that we are in deep trouble. In my opinion, the way they handles the Mramba's saga is totally wrong! Once again "u-mwenzetu" took precedence over sound judgement! It will be very hard to develop with this attitude IF not totally impossible.
Perhaps where I would differ a little from you is my belief that - our entire society needs an overhaul. YOu see those leaders are a product of our society. Their attitudes and behavior reflects what is characteristic of our society. I do not believe for a minute the assertion that wa vyama vya upinzani wanaweza kuyanya kazi nzuri zaidi ya tunayoishuhudia. What we need is an intentional overhaul of our perceptions and attitudes as a society.
Whe will this happen? I do not know... but I sincerely believe the way out would take the intiative of a few of us who have seen and experienced a different way of looking at life.
Mramba and the likes will continue to win elections... and probably continue to be ministers - for the rest of their lives... That is until someone goes and gives the wananchi an alternative! right now they are - and thus we are stuck with what we have!
We are all responsible for our country!