Thursday, November 17, 2011

Only So Much Hypocrisy, Please.

I've been sitting on a piece about governance seen from the flip side. It wasn't going anywhere for months until fellow writer Peter Muthamia- you read him in The Citizen amongst other places- suggested that I investigate why Tanzanians have so much pent up anger towards the government. That did the trick: I was inspired again. Perhaps not in the way that I suspect Peter meant, but inspired nonetheless.

Why indeed to Tanzanians have so much pent up anger towards the government? Are we really that divisible from our government to begin with? I am obsessing about citizenship and agency more and more over time. I'm thinking less and less about individuals and political personalities. I have become convinced that root of the problem lies elsewhere... so next week in the East African:
"Take the corruption issue for example. The reason we have been circling the drain on the corruption issue is that as a society we happen to endorse it. In Dar es Salaam choosing not to pay bribes to lubricate the gears of life is as radical a lifestyle choice as being a vegan non-drinker. Most of us can't quite muster the moral strength for this and have paid a little something to somebody somewhere to get the land, the car, the license, the tender, the client, the mailing list, the deal, the interview, the job, you name it. What's even worse is that far too many of us have also encouraged our politicians to steal bigger and better so that they can redistribute their wealth to us. We solicit them for church fundraisers and school fees for the orphans, for connections and wedding contributions, for “hela ya soda” and a sackful of rice all the while pretending not to know where the money might be coming from"


  1. Summed up in the old saw: countries get the government they deserve!

  2. exactly! i used to fight with anyone who even vaguely suggested that... but i guess it's time to grow up and face the music. :(


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