Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The PM is Right, But…

Recently, the Prime Minister was doing his regular visitation around the country. One of the destinations was Kigoma, where he caused a typical EL’s havoc. In a nutshell, he refused to accept both the District and Regional Commissioners’ progress reports. Essentially, he regarded those reports as “crap”.

To be honest with you, I kind of liked that. I liked the Prime Minister’s reaction and evaluation. I like that reaction because for quite a long time, we have had folks in leadership position that have never taken their responsibilities seriously. It is a reaction and response that is not only breaking the old mold; it is setting a new precedent. It is setting new higher standards that were never there.

See, this is my belief. I am totally convinced that most folks in Tanzania are or were used to viewing leadership positions as a sign of success. Kuuchinja. I have witnessed poor people bragging that so-and-so from their tribe is a Minister, Regional Commissioner, District Commissioner, or some other big shot in the government. These “fans” never stopped to question the ability of these “tribesmen” to produce. They have never questioned their ability to meet the laid out expectations, but bragged on tribal representation.

Consequently, these appointed or elected officials never had any challenges. They got showered by an overflowing abundance of praises and adoration. Worse enough, their bosses and superiors also suffered from the same disease. So the whole leadership rank got corrupted. The sure sign of that “corriuption” is the fact that some Wabunge truly believed they were above the law. Apart from having big egos, these leaders climbed on an irresponsibility mountain and they believed that nothing would ever bring them down. They stopped performing.

Just hear this. And this is not from me, but from the Prime Minister himself, when he was giving an assessment to the DCs’ reports: “DC huwezi kusoma taarifa eti Kibondo iko wapi, Magharibi inapakana na nani, hayo mambo nayajua tangu shuleni, nataka kujua mkakati unaotekelezeka, hasa katika suala la elimu, afya na kilimo”. Source: Tanzania Daima.

I liked that. Why wouldn't anyone?

But don't go blowing your praise horns yet. We gotta take a deeper look and see these issues in a wider perspective.

While the Prime Minister should be given some props, the government – particularly the President and the PM himself - cannot get off the hook so easily. The poor performance exhibited by some of these DC’s is a reflection of the President and the PM’s own standards. That is due to the fact that the President appointed these folks. So when these DCs perform so poorly, the ball falls right back to the President’s hands. The central question that we must ask is this: why did the President appoint incompetent DCs in the first place?

See, an effective leader is capable of identifying superior personnel to assign in various roles to achieve the desired outcome. As such, the inability of a boss to identify suitable subordinate to execute his or her vision is a clear indication of the leader’s own ineffectiveness. I believe the Prime Minister was right in challenging those stupid reports from the Kigoma DCs and the RC. Nonetheless, while the DCs could be incompetent, we must ask ourselves, how did they become DCs in the first place?

Think for a minute. The answer to that question could be the problem.


mwandani said...


I missed this article in the news. What can I say?

I think it is a good challenge not only to DCs but to everyone out there. I think not one DC had thought about strategies to takcle health and education problems.

Jaduong Metty said...


You are right. I mean filling four to five pages with geographical information as part of a "progress" report is just unacceptable. But I can contend we got here due to the fact that the past presidents or PMs just sat there and listened to this crap. If anything, I can only applaud the current administration for setting themselves apart in terms of identifying what the performance measures are for the DCs and RCs. The most impressive thing is, the PM indicated that he will have a conversation with the president to see which DCs have to go.