Monday, May 11, 2009

Random Thoughts

1. Before the political crisis in Kenya last year, Kenya did not have Prime Minister position in its constitution. Instead, the Vice President was the leader of the government business in the Parliament. That position, now held by Raila Odinga, came out of political deal in February 2008. In Zimbabwe, soon after independence, Mugabe reinstated the executive Presidency and Zimbabwe did not have a position of Prime Minister in their books. The position of the Prime Minister, now held by Morgan Tsvangirai, came out of a political deal as well. In South Africa, they do not have the Prime Minister position. The Deputy President or a senior Minister handles government business in the Parliament. Even in mature democracies, it is the the US, the VP handles the Senate. In the UK, only the PM suffices. In our system, we have the Prime Minister and the VP, and of course the executive Presidency. There has been a suggestion that, between the VP and the PM, one could easily accomplish all the tasks of the other.

2. This brings me to the second point: does the posture of the government matters in terms of delivery and fostering a better society. I think it does matter to an extent that all else - particularly, the basics - are settled. And the basics here have nothing to do with [economic] policies but the consensus on our heritage and values and a definition of our common thread, as well as the legitimacy of the institutions of the state, and the agreement over the direction of the country. And these cannot be brought about by a legislation or a constitutional conference. This consensus is found and entrenched in the process of nation-building. It seems to me that Mwalimu, and the generations that came before us, did not finish the process of nation-building. Therefore the hard work of nation-building is still ahead of us. If we are experiencing confusion at the moment, in which everything we have known to be quintessentially Tanzanian is being challenged, we must not worry: these are birth pangs, not death throes. A nation of 50 years is still infant. We may still need to break an egg to make an omelet. Still, we may have to continue to talk about dumping and climate change.

3. 78 percent of Tanzanians do not trust each other, according to a survey taken in 2007. Now, what does this mean? For one, we are missing one of the most important fundamentals of a modern society. Trust enables the cost of "social transactions" between individuals and sections of the society to be minimal - for the markets to develop, for entrepreneurship to thrive, and for "a civil society" to [locally] emerge and play a meaningful role. Without this, we can forget about development. And, linking up to my second point, trust arises based on the commonly shared norms and values. You trust one because you can correctly predict that they will never do what society has deemed unacceptable. The law of the land, however good, is not sufficient to build trust and foster a prosperous society. Honesty, reliability, cooperativeness, hard work, frugality, rationality, a sense of duty to others. Let us work on these - through religion and through family. And let us then dream of a better Tanzania.

4. A few years ago, I was stopped by a traffic police. I had all the papers and everything was okay...except for the "triangle" - that little reflective thing you put on the road, a few yards behind your car, when it breaks down. The police asked me to go with him to the station to pay a fine (20,000 shillings) for not having a triangle. I obliged. But, along the way, it was made very clear to me that I could actually escape the 20,000 fine for, say, 2,000 or 5,000 or 10,000, without a receipt. I did not budge, we went to the station and I paid the full 20,000. Then I told the story to around 9 people - family and friends. 7 of them thought I was an idiot. That I wasted time going to the police station and pay 20,000 while I could have settled the matter right there and then for 2,000 or 5,000. And I know that these 7 individuals are among the noisiest in condemning corruption in our country.



1. I really admire current VP bwana SHEIN, yeye hana khiyana asubuhi akifika kazini na akishamaliza briefings huyooo anavuta droo ya meza yake anachukua his favorite KIFAA CHA KUTENDEA kazi aka MKASI anauliza leo wapi? anaambiwa leo wenda kungungua(kukata utepe) soko la machinga, jengo na XYZ, na kadhalika

humsikii kwenye malumbano ya nini wala nini

While on the other hand we have a PM who has a thing about farming and agriculture lakini sijajua atatumia mbinu gani maana zile mvua za LOWASA toka Thailand hazijafika mpaka leo.Pinda has a chance of having a good legacy kama akifanya something radical kuhusu Kilimo...kama ambavyo Lowasa pamoja na matatizo yake aliacha legacy ya SHULE KATIKA KILA KATA...i think that was brilliant idea (even thought it has some flaws)

2.In the past, politics was seen as a way of paying back ones gratitude to society with public service. In the modern era, there is a closed professional clique (composed of PR gurus, spin doctors, career politicians and their assorted hangers on) who see politics not as a form of public duty, but as a lucrative career path. This clique is marked by a number of features, most notably their closed "us and them" nature towards outsiders, but also their shameless greed, be it plundering the public purse out of which they are paid, or attempting to use their position to extract business favours and payments for themselves.Furthermore,this lot has been particularly reckless in its pursuit of money and status. This includes hollowing out the civil service, attacking the independence of the judiciary and attempting to recruit the media to their party political cause.Climate change...this reminds me of MAKWAIYA wa Kuhenga's JE TUTAFIKA? sasa tutafikaje wakati hatujaondoka?

3.More importantly, would you trust a politician? I dont trust them

4. JM you broke the Golden rule ya kuendesha gari..always have with you KANDAMBILI'S membership card with you at all times..because having YANGA SPORTS CLUB MEMBERSHIP CARD ..hivyo badala ya kutoa driving license yako ungempa kadi ya Yanga kimakosa then ungeachiwa free maana polisi/traffic na Yanga sawa na SAMAKI na MAJI and you cant separate the two...infact you should know all things related to Kandambili from those days za akina MANARA'S to all things to do with KAMATI YA UFUNDI such as mzeee ugundo kuvunja nazi msimbazi uchi wa mnyama and so would be amazed on how much you can get away with !!

salama said...


Tukipata watu kumi tu kama wewe...

But, on a serious note. We've come a long way and we still have a long way to go. If almost 80% of us don't trust each other, what does that say? and that's just in the country, what bout those who're outside the country? we shouldn't even go there, the number is obviously zero. I once told a friend of mine that, relationships among some Tanzanians outside the country and its consequences, can make a good (Drama) movie. This says a lot.

We're being swept by the epidemic of finger-pointing. It's a waste of time and we're missing the opportunity to work on what's right in order to put things in perspective. EVERYTHING can't be wrong and something gotta give.

love the random thoughts. We've been blaming our govornment for too long (we're still doing it)
I should confess that I'm one of them...but, we need to keep in mind that everything made by human beings is imperfect and may be it's time to look on ourselves and work on change from within.

"...And let us then dream of a better Tanzania"

We all know that the gov. alone is not the answer to the magnitute of challenges we face. Yes, it has a lot in its plate but, we the people, need to do our part too. We have potential to meet the challenges we face if we each do our part. We definately can't accomplish all the goals at once but, while we can't necessarily change things, we can at least do our part, see change happens, shape our history and enrich both our lives and the lives of our fellow Tanzanians inside and outside our beautiful country.

Anonymous said...

The position of PM in the Kenyan government was not created out of need, it was merely out of policical expediency.In a way it was like "Raila is very powerful and has a huge following, so cut him a piece off of the national leadership cake, not necessarily because there is a vacancy, just to share the opulence and conain him".Very Machiavellian carrot and stick approach.