TANZANIA, MY COUNTRY
By , Edward chacha
My fellow countrymen:
After four agonizing decades of illicit enrichment, stagnant wages, and corruption plague that have capsized our nation's economy, I simply can not take it anymore. That is why with great sense of unassuming nature; I announce today my candidacy for the President of United Republic of Tanzania.
I imagine many of you are wondering, who is this guy and why is he running for President?
Well, the answer is pretty simple friends—the state of affairs in our country, as some of you have noticed, is in very deep sh*t, and for me to sit on the sidelines and be just a spectator is absolutely capriciousness.
Besides, I hate CCM. I have always hated CCM. As a matter of fact, I have had hard time liking anyone who does like CCM. Nevertheless, that is not the only reason why I'm running for the President of the United Republic of Tanzania. I have some other reasons, too.
I am bitter.
Having lived abroad for more than seven years now (done lots of doubles and triples), it really angers me to hear/see some stupid guys like Chenge, Balali, Lowassa, and Mzee Ben squandering public money recklessly while leaving millions and millions of children at home who can no longer have milk to drink starving to death.
Seriously, ndugu wananchi, the fact that Tanzania has been governed by the same immoral, greedy, ignorant, and corrupt people over and over again is a proof that we, ordinary citizens, have in one way or another, failed to exercise our civic duty in a very responsible way.
Yes, sometimes it takes a while to recognize how dumb voters can sometimes really be, but as of now, I have come to conclude that voters (themselves) not mafisadi are the ones to blame for the current gloomy state of affair in our country. And that, irritates me to the limit!
You will think that some of us would prefer to base our voting decision on socio-economic policies; but sadly, the majority of wananchi particularly in rural Tanzania does share different methodology. Their voting decisions are based on a small bag of sugar or a bottle of Kilimanjaro beer ( or safari lager, I suppose).
Election after election they have been voting against their own socio--economic interests over small things like a bag of salt—and make no mistake about it—there are some who are planning to repeat the same mistake again in 2010 or even in 2015.
Seriously, come October 2010, they will go into their voting booths—vote for CCM—while knowing for sure that there is no one damn bit of thing that is going to change.
You see, that's were you (voters) are trying to make another mistake again, right there.
Because it makes no sense at all for a country like Tanzania which is blessed with enormous natural resources to continue to be a beggar state full of numerous social and economic problems while foreign companies continue to enjoy super-normal returns at the expense of our natural resources.
Enough is enough. The old way will not do—on the economy or on any other issue. It is a time for new ideas, innovative action and visionary leadership that calls forth the best in each and every one of us. And that is why I'm running for the President of United Republic of Tanzania.
And so my fellow Tanzanians, in weeks and months ahead I will be criss-crossing every small-town and city in Tanzania—from Tarime to Marangu to Nzega—enlisting all Tanzanians to believe in themselves, and to tie that belief to highest ideals that—“There is nothing wrong with Tanzania that can not be cured with what is right with Tanzania.”
I intend also to work hard to steer a national conversation away from corruption and toward honesty; away from economic dependence and toward economic independence; away from defeatism and toward resilience.
As Woodrow Wilson, American 28th president, once noted, “We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let our dreams die, but others nourish them, protect them, and nurse them through bad days till they bring them to sunshine of tomorrow.”
And Like Woodrow Wilson, I do believe that if we have the guts to dream big, there is no challenge we cannot meet, there is no destiny that we can fail to fulfill.
So here is what I'm suggesting:
When I am president of the United Republic of Tanzania, all dubious contracts signed secretly by previous governments (The second-phase under Mwinyi & The third phase-under Mkapa) will be invalidated. You can take that into the bank. And all other future contracts must require the approval of parliament before commencing.
I mean, let's face it wananchi. Unofficial data indicates that in the year 2005, Tanzanite, a Blue gemstones, which are mined only in Tanzania earned the government total revenue of US $ 20 million, while at the same time, the processed gems fetched a record profit of approximately US $ 500 million in US market. If that is not a pure lunacy? You tell me...
What is more, when I am president, I will not cease to challenge youth of Tanzania to do what no other generation has tried to do before. That is—to cross a New Frontier—the frontier of modern technology.
See, in the old economy, a country's economic prospects were limited by its place on the map and its natural resources. Location was everything. But in the new economy, information technology is everything (Clinton, 2000).
That is why when I am President; my first priority will be to provide high speed internet access for all Tanzanians at the cheapest price possible by laying broadband in every municipal across the country.
Municipal broadband networks will make cities more attractive to businesses, especially high-tech and research companies, which are dependent on communication. And at the same time enabling small and home-based businesses to participate in international and regional commerce.
I will also reduce the size and scope of the central government to only ten ministries in order to increase efficiency and reduce needless government expenditure. For example, Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives and Minister for Water and Irrigation will be joined as— Ministry of agriculture. Minister for Communication, Science and Technology and Minister for Education and Vocational Training will be joined as— Ministry of Education and science and so forth…
In addition, I will create a new ministry—Ministry of the future. This new ministry will only comprise the group of five or six people with the best brain in the land who will give the best advice to the president on every vital issue that affects our nation.
For example, to permanently solve the transportation troubles in Tanzania, I will ask this intellectual group of people to conduct a scheme that would end long, tiresome, and rather expensive cross two-countries traveling trend which forces people traveling from the Lake zone Regions to Dar es salaam to go through Nairobi-Kenya due to the lack of Regional Highway Network that links different parts of Tanzania.
And on the issue of constitution: as a president, I intend to lead a national conversation on the need to amend the outdated constitution so that the legal age to be president is lowered to 35 years. Because right now, to run for president, you must be at least 40 years old —and that get on my nerves sometimes. Why?—because the Kingunges, the makambas, and some other older mafisadi guys don't give a damn about the future generation! And so as their life expectancy continue to go down hill, they get more and more nervous and start stealing our national treasure even at the fast pace—and as a result it is ufisadi juu ya ufisadi .
But I suppose if the age requirement for running for president was to be lowered to 35yrs, we would perhaps bring forth (in large number) the best of the youth of Tanzania who is now—by all measures—getting soft and losing its moral fiber as the country struggles to move forward towards a better tomorrow and away from the current gloomy and increasingly aid-dependent economy.
And finally my fellow citizen, let me end by paraphrasing a quote from an American poet and humanist, Walt Whitman, by just reminding you all that: “The true genius of Tanzania is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor it its ambassadors or mafisadi , but always most in the hands of common people.”
Let us give this country back to the people to whom it belongs.
My name is Gustanza the Great, and I'm running for president.
May God bless Tanzania!