To: Mrisho Jakaya Kikwete
Written by, Edward chacha [First posted on: 01/28/07]
Kijana, perhaps you are just addicted to fame and popularity, or maybe you just don't know what you are really doing in the State House. But whatever it is, you are leading the nation in wrong direction. And as a former statesman, I feel duty-bound to warn you at this time before you plunge our beloved Tanzania into a bottomless pit.
Please stop squandering public money jetting around the world in search of fame and popularity while millions of children back home who can no longer have milk to drink are starving to death. You need to be sensible and sensitive statesman, bwana mdogo!
Take me for example; during my presidency, my immense popularity at home and abroad was not merely based on the wild promises of a golden future that I couldn't keep, but on a clear-eyed work of correcting and undoing the wrongs and errors of colonial institutions...
And as it was back then, I still believe, and that is what it should be—nobody should be served free lunch! You can't be great without work. For that reason, you need to weigh up your demeanor, rafiki. Tell Tanzanians to get off their butts and work. Not just work, but work hard. Your economic team needs to do the same, too. There is no economic growth in this modern era that is triggered by old primitive ideas...
Mrisho, you are perhaps aware that during my entire 24 years of presidency, I never at once believed in begging—the reason why I tried as hard as I could to break away from Western donors by attempting to achieve self-supporting state through “ujamaa” policy. Of course, it proved disastrous due to lack of individual incentives, but I tried. You should at least try something, too.
Mmh... I don't wanna sound inquisitive here, but with all due respect, what new thing have you tried during your first year/first term in the office? Don't answer that…
I know it is not for me to tell you how you should run the country, but the truth of the matter is: where there is too much expectation and too little hope, despair among people will always seem greater.
You have created false expectation to Tanzanians promising to give them golden future, but I see no any viable plan to accomplishing that. And that, scares me sometimes!
Anyway, your predecessor Ben wrote to me the other day that you have appointed Luteni Yusufu Makamba as a new Chama Cha Mapinduzi's secretary –general. Is that true?
I mean, who's idea was this anyway? Ali's or Jumanne?
Please don't tell me that it was your own idea because you know for sure that the guy is not that smart to lead a mega-party like CCM. I think Salim could have done a better job as a party's general-secretary than Yusufu. If you can, please re-examine your choice.
And concerning mining policies: I'm sorry Jakaya, but I think you and your dumb MPs have no clue of what you are doing. You don't seem to have a clear goals here (at least not yet). I mean, Russia has tried and succeeded to assert more control over its oil and gas resources. Venezuela and Bolivia have moved to curtail oil companies; but in Tanzania, companies which mine gold, diamonds and other germs pay no corporate taxes, they only pay small sum of royalties and low wages to their workers. That makes no sense to me!
Three decades ago, Batswanans were suffering exactly the same kind of problem Tanzanians are suffering now—exploitation from Western investors. But when Botswana government saw its reserves dwindling, it knew it had to do something. It tightened its belt, pulled together, renegotiated the mining contracts—and got through the crisis. I suggest you do the same. Send your economic advisers to Botswana so they can learn more on this matter because the current state of mining industry in Tanzania is too exploitative to be allowed to go on.
Also, you need to understand that the solution to energy crisis in Tanzania lies within Tanzanians. It's your responsibility as a president, to come up with realistic energy plan, and implement it for the benefit of the nation. And I still think Stieglers Gorge is the way to go.
And, oh: on East African Federation—I, myself, more than anyone else, do want to see the Federation in its place. However, taking Tanzania into the federation at this time will be nothing but echoing the old mistakes of 1977.
I still see a lot of mistrust among the citizens of the regional countries particularly in the issue of immigration and land ownership. I also see some criminal elements like open sores waiting to be turned into arrows of hatred. And for the new members, Burundi and Rwanda, ethnic strife is still my major concern.
Yes, Tanzania might be ready to join the Federation yesterday, but Kenya and Uganda are still struggling with their oldest problem, civil strife. Wakikuyu and Waruo. Wakaramajong and Bagisu.
Young man, though I often disagree with you on many issues, I still care deeply about you and your wife Salma. And I sincerely wish you good luck as you walk the long road to building bridges to a better future for all Tanzanians. And most of all, I wish you health and unfailing energy.
Please don't forget to pass on my warmest greetings to Fidel. Tell him that I kindly wish him a full and speedy recovery.
May God always bless Tanzania.