Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Weekly Sneak: Serukamba, The New Four-Letter Word.

I just couldn't let it go, you know. I mean, I know that Peter Serukamba made a very human mistake and he said he was sorry and this is going to follow him around like a horrible smell for a while and I'm just kicking him while he's down. Ouch. Sometimes you have to help people regret their actions, just a little bit, for the common good. It's part of my job as a columnist.

I do want to thank Serukamba for giving me a way to frame something I have wanted to say for a while. Though I suspect I am in repeating-myself-due-to-limited-ideas territory, this is important. A very wise friend helped me figure out why so many of us still harbor a great fondness for our President in spite of the horrible disappointment of his administration. It's because he is us. He is the quintessential Tanzanian in all the good ways... and all the bad ways too. And we love him for it because if there's one thing that unites Tanzanians it is our love of ourselves. Thanks, Mkuki, you nailed it. Jakaya Kikwete is the ultimate product of the Mwenzetu Principle. We need to run as far away as possible from this mode of thinking:
"The Mwenzetu Principle doesn't work anymore. We're a fast-growing multiparty democracy now, not a sleepy socialist experiment backwater. The last thing we should be doing is selecting public officials on the basis that they are 'just like us.' We've been doing that for a while and look what it has gotten us. We're hardly getting the public services that we need, we're riddled with corruption, we've got MPs casually swearing at each other on taxpayer time. We're due for an upgrade. We need public servants who embody our aspirations, not our limitations."


  1. Remind me of the whole "Bush is someone I could have a beer with" thing. Ugh!

  2. well, i was trying to be a little delicate about it, Dr. Bob. but, basically, yeah.

  3. Mama Mdogo .... this post put a smile on my face ... I don't know if it will help to sort campaign against the "Mwenzetu Principle" because this is reall killing us.


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