Friday, September 28, 2007

RTF: End Times for CCM?

Man, life really is unpredictable. You wake up in the morning expect one thing only to end up bumping into another. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to muse on this Friday. Nevertheless, I just couldn’t resist this strong temptation to shred the Tanzanian former PM, Mr. Warioba into pieces.

I am not a Dracula. Nonetheless, I have a very good reason for wanting Warioba’s blood. I want to shred this guy into pieces following his recent comments regarding corruption accusations leveled against CCM top dogs. Just the original story here, here or here.

Honestly, I have had so much respect for this guy. In my opinion, this man has held himself to relatively higher standards than the majority of politicians in Tanzania. He has made sense in most occasions. But I wonder, was all that a fake façade? Is the guy just getting to old to think straight?

One of Mr. Warioba’s arguments that got me going was this notion that the president’s evils shouldn’t be brought to light (particularly corruption), since that would diminish the trust in the president. And in Warioba’s opinion, diminished trust in the president would lead to a plethora of problems.

Mr. Warioba has the right to express his opinions just I have the opportunity to express mine. Nonetheless, I strongly believe that Mr. Warioba’s position is just perpetuating a political culture that has brought Tanzania where it is. It is a mindset that tends to afford the president’s seat a godly status. What that has done is to create an artificial notion that a president is actually above the law and that the president should be worshipped.

That is a very wrong outlook. That is a bunch of crap.

You know what? I am glad that Mr. Warioba in the same sitting Mr. Warioba called for a cultural change. Let me just quote his own words:

The country can only manage to flush out corruption if there is cultural and behavioral change among the public in general”.

Unfortunately, Mr. Warioba missed the fact that cultural change must, and always start at the top. It appears Mr. Warioba is clueless of the significant influence that the president has over so many aspects of Tanzanian’s lives. Whoever becomes the president must understand that being Tanzania’s president is not equivalent to personal success (ulaji), but a privilege and a challenge. The responsibilities bestowed upon the office of the president must be understood and respected first and foremost by whomever assumes the office.

In my opinion, the presidency position in Tanzania has not been respected for roughly the past twenty years. And that is not by wananchi, but those Tanzanians entrusted with the office. Much has been documented to support that, and Mr. Warioba knows that a president who didn’t have enough respect for the office shelved his own commission’s report and recommendations on corruption.

If anything, adoration of any president comes out of his or her own respect for the trust and honor that wananchi gives them. It appears, however, that Mr. Warioba is forcing wananchi to respect the president, despite president’s own lack of respect for the office. It is amazing that Mr. Warioba is playing naïve to the fact that some of the very folks accused of corruption are government officials appointed and protected by the same president. Apparently, Mr. Warioba wants folks to embrace a president who has clearly failed to fulfill his call of duty.

The saddest part is that Mr. Warioba is apparently not clearly reading the signs of the times. I am not convinced that someone like Dr. Slaa is that stupid to bring his political career to a halt by leveling false accusations against key government officials. Well, it could be that in desperation Chadema is attempting to gain some political equity, but it might as well be that CCM is coming to the end of the road.

One thing is obvious though; the political landscape is changing in Tanzania and the same old rhetoric is becoming irrelevant. I believe that Tanzanians are getting tired (didn't someone come up with a saying about fooling people for only sometime?) Some conspiracy theorists are contending that Warioba has just been used to put out the fire burning the CCM camp up. Well, think he just sank the CCM ship down, if he was indeed sent the steer CCM out of the mess.

Man, think I am kidding about Tanzanians being tired? Just read some comments posted on Mjengwa’s blog.

Photo Credit: Mwananchi Newspaper


wayne said...

Have you ever watched a dog chase its tail? It is an endless quest that leads to nothing but frustration for the dog and entertainment for the human who watches. Mzee Warioba's comments and insight is just more rhetoric. With this man's reputation in both the national and international circles of justice and politics, he certainly has enough clout to offer REAL suggestions, rather than the same old tired rhetoric. His line of thinking (setting aside the "protectionism" of the president - past and present?) is OK, as far as it goes, BUT he offers, at least in the published article, little of any substance. He is just as guilty of doing nothing more than giving words as are the very ones he is criticizing. WBM promised action on the corruption front over 10 years ago - but by many measures, grand corruption is at least as bad as it has ever been and by most accounting is actually worse. There appears to be no REAL resolve on anybodies part to deal with it. A few arrests of traffic police, a few District and Regional arrests really do nothing to go to the root of the problem. Until wananchi choose leaders on the basis of character rather than political association, nothing much will change. JK could go a long way in engaging the battle of corruption by removing the "anti-corruption police" from the Presidents office and granting them real authority & real autonomy. If JK is unwilling to do this, then perhaps Wabunge should. To do nothing moves Tanzania down the same road that Kenya & Uganda have built - corruption so deeply entrenched, that nothing will remove it. Tanzania is dangerously close to that already. And the scary part is this - wananchi seem to have gotten use to it and accept it hivyo ndivyo ilivyo. Amkeni, amkeni!!


U couldnt have said it better, Metty!

But I am not sure that we need to start it from the top, while the people on the top like the ones who reminds us like Nyerere's old story of sleeping with the goats so that others could know he remembers hardship , are on the top.

I think Mheshimiwa Warioba is in the same group. He is using the eyes which need new spectacles.

Aman said...

It is getting close man! That I can feel; we tired man! Man! It is getting close! There will be no immunity, no protectionism, no any kind of "ISM" Because we are tired!

Jaduong Metty said...

It won't take long for Tanzania to head town a road that the country has not taken before. All the signs are there.

It is just very hard to predict how the country's experience will be once folks realize they have been taken for a ride. I am positive the 2010 elections will bring an alterantive route, but I am sure before then, we will keep seeing mounting pressure on the president and CCM.

In summary though, I think folks currently in power are just a joke. Talking about Wabunge? I think the majority of CCM MPs are the worst. They have no clue of powers invested in them - or they are just puppets of the ruling party in hope of landing a "big post" someday.

Change must happen at both levels -at the top and the lower ranks, nonetheless, I am convinced that Tanzania is what it is because we have never had any president,since Nyerere left, who is morally strong. As such, we have been going downhill like we are insane.

Just look around you - any country's experience is always shaped by the person in the president's seat.

It would be asking too much to ask a mkulima in Tanzania to change. That is because with lack of education (which is deliberately set up that way by those in power)does not really give a mkulima much room to go for the alternative.

Those at the bottom of the ladder will only climb up if you have serious resolve from the guy at the top. And we both know it - the guys that we've had at the top have never been interested in the guys at the bottom.

wayne said...

I know this may be a bit off topic - but perhaps not so much, in light of the discussion of graft and corruption. This Day is reporting that a copy of the Buzwagi contract has found its way onto Internet
This is what the information age can do for wananchi - knowledge is power and with that can come positive change if handled in the right way.