Friday, December 07, 2007

RTF: “I Pity The Fool”

Man, it is cold around me. If this is Columbus, Ohio and it is this cold, I wonder what is going on with my friends Jeff and Patrick in Canada. I wonder how colder it is for anybody situated in the northern most part of this globe. Honestly, this is the time I miss Bongoland the most. It is nice when it is snowing, but I am not fond of the extreme coldness and the ugliness that follows.

But guess what? It is appears like it getting colder for our beloved president, Mr. JMK. According to recent polls conducted by the Research and Education for Democracy in Tanzania (REDET) and reported by This Day, Mr. JMK’s popularity has dipped to 44.4 per cent.

The poll’s outcome is not surprising to me. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that the country has no clear vision and direction. Just read Mr. Lusekelo’s musing to get the gist of it.

The poll definitely revealed some interesting information. For instance, 40.7 % of respondents “approved” the performance of CCM, while just 19% picked the opposition parties. That is a bit strange. Wouldn’t you expect 59.3% of respondents to pick opposition parties then? That indicates that folks are neither satisfied with CCM nor opposition parties. In a nutshell, Tanzanians think their political leaders are full of crap!

Let’s be honest, would you elect Mr. Mrema to be the Tanzanian president? Would you elect John Cheyo either? And that’s where the problem is. Opposition political leaders, generally speaking, have failed to bring anything new, fresh and inspiring. The opposition camp is just terribly wobbling. The camp has failed to gain credibility. I guess that's where wananchi feel they should stick with CCM, at least this is a familiar devil.

Despite other interpretations you assign to the poll results, one thing that strikes me the most is this: According to REDET co-chairperson Dr. Laurean Ndumbaro, the researchers found a direct co-relation between those who approve or disapprove of the president’s handling of national affairs and their education level. That is, most educated Tanzanians do not approve of Mr. JMK’s performance, while most of less educated Tanzanians think the president is doing a good job.

So why is this disparity? It boils down to the empowerment and freedom that education brings. And there is nothing as bad as being mentally enslaved.

The educated minds in Tanzania are capable of filtering political rhetoric and buzzwords that don’t mean much. But that is true everywhere. You cannot just walk up to an informed person, who is able to critically think, and just starting shooting your blah…blah. Statistics don’t lie, the poll results have clearly indicated that fact. Nevertheless, for CCM, this is also a scary reality: with an increasing number of graduates in Tanzania, true educated Tanzanians will make CCM extinct. Read my lips…err…my pen. I said true because there are educated folks in Tanzania who are nothing more than a joke.

I seriously think the Tanzanian politicians have been, for ions, feeding wananchi plenty of junk. Unfortunately, the uneducated mass has been consuming this junk left and right. I know this is a critical question – which an uneducated mind would probably fail to answer – but what is it about Mr. JMK’s performance that makes one happy and satisfied?

If you have to know, I stand with the 18.6% of Tanzanians who disapprove of the president’s performance. I would be insane to approve of a president who goes on public, claiming that he was scared of receiving his HIV test results. If we all have to read between the lines, the conclusion we deduce is this: the president gets around, unsafely. And for me, a high moral standard is a requirement for my kind of president.

This poll also tells the story as to why CCM has brought constant beat down on the opposition parties during elections. CCM feasts on the ignorance of the poor people, though the opposition parties have also brought this outcome on themselves by being pathetic. It is not surprisingly then, that there is no true desire from the CCM machinery to improve education in Tanzania. The machinery knows too well that eating off a blind man’s plate requires the victim’s condition to stay constant. Ukila na kipofu....so goes a Swahili saying.

In the very end, the vicious circle continues. Ignorant Tanzanians continually elect politicians who are not really for the people’s welfare.

This gets me sad. In some ways, just like Mr. T likes to put it down, “I pity the fool”. I wish there was some magic I could do to make things better for my people. Nonetheless, there is little I can do to save the uneducated 80% of Tanzanians who are willing to bite any bone politicians throw their way.

How blessed I am to be slightly educated!

Enjoy your weekend.

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Photo Credit: KP via Mjengwa

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

How sad, Tanzania needs a shift that will cause everybody to move whether they like it or not. It is like the way some States in the US have this Day light savings thing. When that time comes you have to change your clock either an hour ahead or an hr behind depending on the time of the year. If you do not do that you will be an hr behind or ahead and you will have no choice but to catch up with the rest of the world. The opposition is really sickening!!! They oppose CCM with all their hearts but they do not provide an alternative means for people to follow. It really makes me sad at times when I read news form Tz...

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anonymous 5:45PM
I feel your pain with regards to the opposition camp. On the other hand though, opposition parties are a subset of the same social pool - Tanzanians. That means for anything meaningful to come out of that pool, a serious mental attitude is required.

The biggest question is this: how can one inject that new thinking in society? How can you break the vicious circle that we have right now?

I really don't have the answer to that.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody have an answer to that? Who will bring the physical change in TZ? I am really asking this question seriouly now!!!! What is it that can be done? Something needs to be done...

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anonymous 10:00AM
I understand your frustrations. Any reasonable human being would feel the same. I agree with that something must be changed in Tanzania, but just as you alluded to, where do you start?

I can only throw in one suggestion, and that is to use the election ballot wisely. And that is up to wananchi...

Maricha said...

I have an answer to your questions! First - We have to teach our kids to respect the authority right off the butt.

Second, Teach them how to work as a team. Third, we need to set up meaningful and achievable goals.

Fourth, Respect the law of the land and last Muogope Mungu.

I suggest we start teaching kids because they can molded the right way when their brain is not yet corrupted.

Anonymous said...

Metty,

The opinion palls in Tanzania for realty don’t tell anything substantial. I am not very sure of the coverage and hopefully, the polls were conducted in the urban areas only, where there is a bit of an element of critical thinking. Otherwise, the performance of the president would have been rated at more than even 80% had the polls been conducted countrywide.

What is happening hitherto is the political ignorance prevailing amongst the vast population of Tanzanians. Those very few who have an access to sources of information have their daily bread already and are busy with their undertakings trying to grab whatever comes in the sight. They are those who travel now and then abroad, being paid huge sums of per diems from the taxpayers’ money and they are fully comfortable. Those who don’t have the access, have no any choice, other than expecting the miracles to come, after all, most of them have relinquished and have nothing to loose.

As a matter of fact, the oppositions have nothing much to offer up to this time, because people look at them as the “photocopies” of the ruling party. Since the multiparty system was abandoned during the TANU era and reintroduced in the early 90’s (without the consent of the population), the existing single party, which is currently the ruling party, has managed to monopolise all the realms of politics in Tanzania. Its roots have gone so deep down. It is much more difficult to penetrate the defensive wall established by CCM. It is even harder to come up with the idea of constitutional amendments so as to suit the current political situation. Most of the scholars have also realised that if you want to climb up the ladder you have to join them, using CCM, and that’s why it is very common nowadays for researchers and professors to leave their fields of competence and join politics!

I think we have to reach a point whereby, every citizen should change this “strange” mindset of hypocrisy and return to realty in looking soberly how we can help the country develop without looking into our own benefits, but benefits of the generations to come! It is a really painful journey we have traveled so far and for the past 46 years after independence, we haven’t moved even an inch!

Onyango Jashirati

Anonymous said...

Metty

Where is my comment?

Onyango Jashirati

Jaduong Metty said...

@Jashirati,
If you read the REDET report well, the research covered rural areas too. Surprisingly,even folks from Kikwete's own mkoa, that is Pwani, expressed disapproval of his performance.

But even if the research was solely conducted in townships, the results tell a story betwee the educated and the less educated. That disparity in assessing Kikwete's performance was my main focus.

Did you read my comment about "true" educated people? I strongly believe that any educated person who joins CCM for power is pathetic. Unfortunately, we have plenty of those.

As for the opposition, what can I say? You have sum it all. The opposition could have been relevant, if they had something new to bring. Unfortunately, we have people like Mrema who has jumped from one party to the next...that shows he has no unique agenda other than recognition and power.