Friday, July 07, 2006

Speaker's Drama: It Is Beyond Perversion

Picture this: Mheshimiwa Nyamranga is given the floor by the House Speaker to air his views on development programs in Butiama. He urges the government to increase the budgetary appropriations for infrastructure improvement. He utters, in Swahili: "Jamani, naiomba serikali ikazane kuongeza juhudi za kuimarisha barabara kwenye Kanda ya Ziwa, hasa Wilaya ya Butiama".

In the old good days, Mr Nyamranga's speech would have been just perfect. But it isn't now. Because the Speaker's mind races. He is not listening to what the mbunge is saying. He is focusing on just one word - kazana. His mind races to a sexual activity. The Speaker is not paying attention to the context in which Mr. Nyamranga used the word. He is so focused on the sexual connotation of the word only. Finally, the Speaker wakes up from his "bad dream". He makes the decision that this word has to go out of the Bunge...just like that. Next word in agenda is "tia", may be for the next Bunge session.

The bottom line is, this is perversion. Period. That is sickness. How could you let the inappropriate or "streets" use of the word influence the esteemed Bunge? Not in America!...oh excuse me, we are talking about Bongo here, so that is possible.

See, had it been in the United States of America, I can guarantee you that Mr. Sitta could have been referred to a shrink, suitably Dr. Phil. But the problem really, in my mind, goes beyond perversion that Mr. Sitta has publicly displayed. It is a critical thinking problem that afflicts most of our public leaders.

The problem is, Mr. Sitta did not take his time to critically analyze his decision. He just acted on an "automatic drive" mentality that most of the Bongolanders have. Most leaders hardly take time to think, or consult. They go with their gut feelings, and hope that everybody else will understand them. The worst part for our leaders, is the fact they know that there are absolutely no penalties for their mental errors. Remember Mr. Msekwa's "wivu wa kike" comments? Now add that to what the current Speaker has unnecessarily done. You can only conclude that we have a serious leadership skills deficiency in Tanzania.

In an ideal situation, the Speaker should have consulted the Baraza la Kiswahili la Taifa (BAKITA) to seek their expertise. See, Mr. Sitta is mandated to oversee the Bunge activities, which he should do, but he is not a Swahili expert. The BAKITA guys, however, are mandated to "regulate" the Swahili language. They eat, shower, and sleep with this language 24/7. But because critical thinking is not part of the equation, Mr. Sitta went beyond his "jurisdiction". He thought he could just simply ban a perfect Swahili word for no apparent justifiable reasons.

See, the problem is that most of our leaders are highly educated, but they have an "inadequate" type of education. Most of them are very technical, but their education lacks critical thinking elements. Unfortunately, most people who went to school in Tanzania are suffering from the same fate.

I specialized in commercial subjects at the age of 17 (17? what?). Both of my O and A level classes did not include critical thinking elements. I guess we didn't have time to think, just cram that stuff and pass the examinations. The teachers were not taught critical thinking skills either, for they were victims of the same educational system. I wonder if UDSM, CBE, IFM, or Mzumbe teach critical thinking skills through liberal arts kind of education. All I know is that there are tons of "educated" folks in Tanzania who can't critically think. The only thing they can boast of is a very good Kiswanglish. But not critical thinking. They hardly take a critical look at their decision-making processes. The decisions are made on an "auto drive" type of way.

So if you want to slam Mr. Speaker for his perversion, that is fine. Nonetheless, the problem is larger than that. We are facing an epidemic of leaders who can't critically think. I believe a critical thinker should be able to weigh the appropriateness of their decisions and the consequences of those decisions. It is clear that Mr. Speaker didn't do that. So here I go, nikijaribu kukazana hapa kazini kulijenga taifa...ooops.

3 comments:

Geeque said...

Hey Metty,
You are doing an awesome job, very articulate analysis of what is happening in Tanzania. I have linked your site as well at BONGO RADIO.Holla !!!

msangimdogo said...

Haya nayo ni matokeo ya KUKAZANA kuwa na mitizamo finyu katika zama hizi tofauti na ilivyokuwa huko nyuma.... oh!! Huko nyuma!!!!

Jaduong Metty said...

Msangi Mdogo,

Hujakosea ndugu yangu..kwa mtaji huu, maumivu mengi tu bado yapo mbele yetu. Nadhani maendeleo ya nchi yanaanza na fikra. Kwa mtazamo wetu, tumekuwa na fikra dhaifu mno and that is reflected in our progress.

Metty.