Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Woman For President?

On Wednesday, think it was anyways, I was idling on the couch watching TBC1 when a news story caught my eye. A camera man with palsied hands had been allowed to film the Tanzanian delegation (Minister of Defense plus retinue) that visited Dr. Asha Rose Migiro's offices in New York. The lady in question was dropping mad heavy hints about life after the UN, which she was saying would likely happen sooner rather than later.

And now, she has quit the Deputy Directorship of the United Nations to come home. The Twitterverse is rife with speculation about What It All Means, because as we know Tanzanian international bigwigs don't just "come home." No. Tanzanian international bigwigs repatriate With Intent, usually political. The question is, what are Dr. Migiro's intentions?

If there is one thing that I love about this polity, it is the fact that we respect our social contact for avoiding President-For-Life disease. With 2015 barrelling towards us at high speed, it is definitely time to start shopping for candidates and speculating about what the future should hold according to our diverse political beliefs. Our excited gossip around Dr. Migiro's career shift is indicative of at least one thing to me: we're that country that would just vote in a woman without sweating it.

Rumors about Dr. Migiro's potential as a President have been around for as long as Jay Kay has been a Celebrident himself. CCM has some wonderful internal training and succession mechanisms that tend to offer a bevy of beauties for national delectation when it comes to polling time. Well, that's if you are in the party. Actually, scratch that: who knows how democratic CCM's internal mechanisms are. But let's just say that Dr. Migiro's name is at least one star in a constellation that comes up during pointed political discussions of the speculative kind.

Just to fantasize constructively for a minute here, I hope that Dr. Migiro does have presidential aspirations. And if she does, I hope that she packs a mean punch and that she will bring out all her heavy weapons for the presidential battle because she'll need them. Lest you think that I am in favor of her just because she's a woman: you're only partially right. Tanzanian politics is full of women, most of whom I wouldn't pee on if their wigs caught fire. Gender, when it comes to presidency, is invariably trumped by quality.

In the past six months I have managed to lose faith in a lot of politicians whom I was passionate about. Friends have cause to tease me about my hopelessly naive belief in: Chadema, CUF, Mizengo Pinda, Jakaya Kikwete, Halima Mdee, just to mention a few who have broken my stupid heart. The good thing about that is, hello! Now I am free to fall into desperate adulation with other politicians. There are MPs out there who have no idea just how much of a fangirl I am. Dr. Migiro is kind of one of them.

That she is a capable and competent woman is not exactly news, and isn't even the main reason why I would love to see a Migiro presidency come to life. Intelligent and competent Tanzanians are as common as dirt, believe it or not. I think that what I like about her most is that she projects a bad-ass can-do managerial vibe. I know that there are people who want their Presidents to be Christian, or heterosexual, or Bantu or some other flimsy criterion. I don't care a whit for that. All I want from my President and number one public employee is overwhelming amounts of intellect, political acumen, agency and stone-cold republicanism. When I look around at the potential offerings, Dr. Migiro is definitely a step above other ambitious people who have me researching emigration schemes. The fact that she's a woman? That's the chocolate-raspberry coulis on that particular cupcake.

But it's all just speculation, isn't it? Yeah.

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