Friday, January 15, 2010

JK Is Cool With Opposition, So What?

I have no idea what is going on with me, but I think have lost my writing mojo or it is just I am bored with the same old crap. It is kind of hard to talk about the same thing over and over again, you know? For instance, did you hear about Minister Ngeleja’s crazy stuff?

Now, stuff like that makes realize how crazy the Tanzanian society, generally speaking, is. Some of that craziness makes you realize that it would take more than my blog to change the course.

So what really got me out of a self-imposed hiatus? It is this piece of opinion posted by my fellow Bongolander, Professor Mbele (Hi Professor!). Read on…

Now, what’s the general idea that Professor is professing? It is that Jakaya Kikwete should be elected for another 5-year term simply because he is mature politically as evidenced by him being “buddy-buddy” with opposition parties.

I hope the professor is just kidding. Otherwise, that is the craziest endorsement I have ever come across.

To see my point, let ask ourselves this fundamental question: why was Kikwete elected in the first place? Wasn't it because he convinced Tanzanians that he was capable of delivering on his promises? I think we can go back to the 2005 CCM’s election manifesto to see exactly what JK promised to do. For instance, remember the promise to bring Tanzania into the hari mpya, kasi mpya world? Well, you be the judge.

I have to agree with Professor Mbele that this was all his opinion. Nonetheless, I would just like to add that opinions don’t come out of blues. They are typically rooted in our belief and value system, past experiences, personalities, and other factors. As such, what I am reading from Professor Mbele is that he is putting more value on JK’s social tendencies than delivered tangible and measureable results for the benefits of Tanzanians.

And that is crazy if you ask me.

Personally, I don’t care if JK is able to kiss and hold hands with Professor Lipumba or Zitto Kabwe than his predecessors. What I care about is that my mom in Shirati has running water, Tanzanians can go for 365 days without power interruption, and folks like Ngeleja get booted out of power, just to name a few things that I believe most Tanzanians care about.

If making out with the opposition is truly an important factor for reelecting JK – how come then, under JK’s watch, the Muafaka thing between CUF and CCM is going around in circles? Isn’t telling so much about JK’s true resolve to hug and embrace the opposition?

The existence of the multiparty system in Tanzania, regardless of how well or bad it has functioned, is not a question of some favor from CCM. It is a Constitutional right. It is a legal matter. As such, respecting those that hold a different political view shouldn’t be an exception, but a norm. If respecting the Constitution is the main reason Kikwete should be re-elected, then we have more than 1 million Tanzanians who are qualified for the office of presidency, me included.

Furthermore, calling for Kikwete’s re-election on the basis of “political maturity” is just plain lowering the expectation of Tanzanians. And that is insulting. And that is also disappointing, especially when such a call is coming from someone like Professor Mbele who has lived and worked in the United States, where expectations typically go higher.

Seriously, what about endorsing JK for improving educational system, economic progress, reduction of graft, for instance?

Well, we know he didn’t do well on those areas, don’t we?
Photo credit: Mjengwa