AfricaPress-Tanzania: ELECTION seasons are often dramatic seasons. The eminent Kenyan intellectual, Professor PLO Lumumba, sharply criticizes the culture woven around tribes during the seasons, where some members of a given tribe tend to regard an aspiring candidate in, say, constituency polls, as their son or daughter.
Thankfully, Tanzania isn’t as tormented by the monster of tribalism or ethnicity as it is the case in quite many other parts of the world.
We owe the considerably strong spirit of Tanzanian-ness to the generation of leaders at the head of which was leading independence struggle nationalist Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
It would be naïve of us, though, to pretend that we are a nation of wholly righteous people. We have our share of men and women whose moral disposition is off-the-mark.
On the electoral front, as we are inching towards the General Election scheduled for October this year, the fever is rising, as individuals, some openly, and others on a “whispering” basis, have indicated interest in vying for parliamentary and presidential slots.
Whereas some are driven by the spirit of propelling the social and economic advancement of their constituencies, others perceive the positions, should they get them, as agencies for personal and family social, as well as economic advancement.
It is worthwhile to recall, at this juncture, that, before the advent of the Fifth Phase government led by President John Magufuli, presidential appointments were perceived as big deals.
The “bigness” lay, for the negatively disposed species, in the opportunities the positions provided, for vast enrichment through various corrupt means.
The expression “nimeula” and “ameula” (loosely translating as “I have made it” and “he or she has made it”) implied that the individual had literally been offered a golden, but illegal opportunity to engineer enrichment for oneself and the broad family.
The lavish parties thrown for presidential appointees were generally an expression by the organisers of their happiness over the individual being congratulated, for joining the class of those who had made it.
To be fair, though, the “Kuula” (making it) in that context, wasn’t the driving spirit of all the individuals involved.
As the momentum of the General Election gathers tempo, we ought to remind ourselves that patriotism and nation building, and not personal glory or family enrichment, should be the driving force of seekers of elective office.