Friday, May 30, 2008

Jack, That's Not Way To Run The Country

This is a personal plea to Jakaya Kikwete(Jack), the Honorable president of Tanzania. As a fan of the president, I certainly wonder what happened to the “new vigour, new zeal and new speed mantra” that were promised by him.

At one point Jack you have to say enough is enough, and hopefully before it is too late. There is a need to look like you are in firm control of your own government, and that despite all pretty smile, you know what you are doing.

Close to three years now since your government assumed power with overwhelming majority all promised were made are near empty. Given that extraordinary power and support you have among regular people, it should have been a sign of renewed confidence to do real reforms. No doubt that you are trapped within your own party system, but as a chairman you know tough decisions are inevitable. Yours is a broken party, the existence of two camps within it, is stalling your government reforms that are necessary. CCM as is currently being referred to as “Chama Cha Mafisadi” 0n the street around the country has to change quickly or perish; the writing is on the wall, Jack.

The recent handling of series scandals emanating from you predecessor Ben”Msafi” Mkapa, have put the country in the precautious position. There is a stigma of EPA, Richmond/Tanesco, BAE Radar deal, ANBEM, Tanpower, Kiwira and others. The country has been put at a stand still, immobile, thus awaiting the decisions and resolve of these extraordinary events. It’s as is if there hanging cloud that has to be unveiled before the journey can continue. Those decisions if and when and how they come, will have a huge impact on our country’s political, economic, cultural and social future. On one side the resolution of these scandals, can tip the country completely off-balance, on the other side it can bring the country together. Mind you that this is historical and unprecedented occurrence in our short lived democracy. It is on your hands Jack, you wanted the job you got it, be careful what you ask for.

At the moment, the perception by many is that the government is trying to spin, stall, use delay tactics, and other merry-go round tricks, to get these scandals to die down quietly. This only serves to enforce the notion that there is corrupt element in the current new government. Not to mention, that lack of the new speed, new zeal and new vigour to bring swift and just resolution is plain obvious. That same modus operandi can be seen on the ‘Muafaka’ issue between the CCM and CUF. Thus your administration is now being defined precisely by stalemates and indecisiveness. This comes across as inept and amateurish; indeed it shows a lack control and leadership in your part.

Consider what has happened is no surprise. All has transpired were initiated by the opposition members in parliaments. The new administration played along unwillingly, as the media, and opposition would not let those issues disappear. As your administration has been forced to react, and not being proactive to bring these issues to the forefront, a further sign that something is amiss. In this particular issue the translation is, yours is a hostage administration; that has no mandate other than reacting to that of opposition.

The worse is, after near end the first term of your administration, with all corruption charges leveled, no one has been indicted, prosecuted, jailed or assets repossessed. It shows a lack of seriousness. In comparison to our neighbors, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, that have shown a more vigorous pursuits to eradicate corruption, your efforts leaves something to be desired.

A gaffe of electing ministers who were tainted with corruption from the previous government also did not help your image. Really, isn’t there some kind of National Security Detail to vet all the nominees or appointees to the important government posts before being sworn in? Indeed, can the same be asked about investigation of corruption and unethical behavior by our leaders? That is, with such vital decisions being made at the highest level of our government, without President being properly informed begs for serious remedy.

So enough is enough Mr. President, the country has to move on. People need to focus on rebuilding the torn fibers of this nation, and so let the healing begin. That cannot be done without swift and just resolution of these scandals. Indeed, if we are truly a country governed by rule of law, no one should be exceptional. That includes your predecessor Ben Mkapa. All those involved in these scandals should be brought before justice. Notwithstanding, is not all your fault Jack, as our judiciary system is a joke. In absence of enacted laws to promptly resolve some of the corruption violations, a president decree should be issued. It should state clearly that assets obtained illegally should be confiscated, among many other things. In the end the President can issue a pardon, to his predecessor and others should they be found guilty. But the bottom line is this, justice should be carried out, the message should be loud and clear, so the stigma can be lifted.

This is going to require courage Mr. President, and clear departure from some of member of your party CCM seniors. People are on your side, your detractors know this, but also realize that push come to shove, people will stay with you, whenever the inevitable happens. CCM must also know that people don’t trust the party any longer, but they trust you, and that is extraordinary gift. So you need courage to do the reforms within the party, get the ‘mafisadi’ camp out, and consolidate your party within principal and tenets of the founding father.

This is your show Jack, the time is ticking; do not let some perverted sense of loyalty destroy your legacy.