Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Smarter Than A Standard Five Kid?

This past Thanksgiving, my wife and I hosted a dinner. As Thanksgiving is a time for family, I was blessed enough to have my own brother – who lives a half a mile from me – and a cousin who drove all the way from Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to family, we had a Tanzanian couple – who are family friends - join us.

We kept pace with the American tradition, which required a turkey feast. Nonetheless, I pretty much enjoyed the Tanzanian menu – the vitumbua and such. Home is home bwana.

I don’t know about you, but from some strange reasons when men gather, either sports or politics will crop up as a topic for discussion. I can only come up with this theory – politics and sports are inherently in a man’s nature. Politics attract men’s attention because it involves leadership, influence and power. On the other hand, sports involve competition – which in so many levels connected to victory or conquering. All those things fit well in the men’s natural “calling”.

Don’t ask me why the ladies stayed around the dinning/kitchen area for their conversation. I couldn’t tell you. Nevertheless, it did happen.

So we talked about politics, mostly Tanzania’s politics and current affairs. We obviously talked about lack of quality leadership in Tanzania. One of us raised an argument that the problem with Tanzania’s leaders is that they are shortsighted and ignorant. That point faced an opposition from onother member of the “council”, who contended that those dudes are actually smart, because everything corrupt they do is deliberate and calculated.

It just so happen that I revisited that conversation today and I just wanted to muse publicly. Is it true that Tanzania’s leaders are not that ignorant, but have elected to deliberately loot the country?

My position is this: despite the fact that some of the Tanzania’s big shots are actually PhD holders, they are nothing more that ignorant. Just consider this: if you are ignorant, how could you tell if not for someone else shading some light on that ignorance? Besides, ain’t all ignorant people just intelligent and wise in their own eyes?

Trust me, even Mugabe thinks he is a genius and the rest of you are just a bunch of imbeciles.

Think with me on this – which an intelligent and a wise person would steal the money intended for road construction to buy an expensive Mercedes Benz, only to drive the luxury car on a dusty and potholed road? What about fixing the road first and stealing later (hey, any government is presumably a going concern, so there will always be a tomorrow)? I am not condoning thievery, but I think the later would be a smarter choice.

Furthermore, driving an expensive (or any car for that matter) on a potholed road leads to one thing – frequent breakdown of the ride, which leads to expensive repairs. Guess where corrupt leaders get the funds for maintaining their expensive toys? They dip their hands again in the same depleting public coffers. And the cycle never ends.

To me that is a cycle of dumbness.

I know this musing was inspired but a dinner conversation, but the deeper you look at most African leaders’ thinking; one can easily conclude that they ain’t smarter than Standard Five kids. Trust me.
Photo Credit: Michuzi

1 comment:

kfc said...

it is a combination of impunity and dumbness. Re the latter, lowassa would still be in the PM's office if he'd been smart and didn't think he was untouchable. He thought the latter, so went for the Richmond deal for generators that don't work and shed loads of money. If he'd done the sensible, and gone for Pratt and Whitney, driven a good deal and insisted on a kickback, he'd still be in office and still be raking it in on the deals. But he was dumb, greedy and arrogant. Same for Mramba, Yona and Mgonja on the Alex Stewart deal