Tanzania, Tanzania, Nakupenda kwa Moyo Wote!

After spending three weeks in Tanzania and seeing people from all walks of life, I am taking this opportunity to reflect on my experience. Generally, Tanzania is a great country with tremendous potential and opportunities. The country is endowed with a vast amount of natural resources (lakes, oceans, rivers, trees and minerals) and huge chunks of untapped land that is readily available for all sorts of development activities. It can be used for tourism, agriculture, fishing, and all other sorts of entrepreneurship.

However, a small group of Tanzanians are getting richer beyond recognition. Some of the rich Tanzanians are actually vacationing outside the country to far lands such as Europe and the United States. Whereas the majority of  Tanzanians face serious hardship putting a roof over their heads and food on the table. It is an interesting contrast.

I care less how people spend their hard earned cash. But, the issue here is that most of these rich Tanzanians actually work for the government. With government salaries alone, these people would not be able to afford to take their families to Kigamboni(FunCity), not mentioning Stone Town, Zanzibar. It is the corruption and embezzlement of public funds that is so open and publicly accepted that allows for all this to happen.

Actually I somewhat believe it does not matter how well you pay a Tanzanian (a grain of salt here), s/he will definitely find a way to embezzle public funds anyway. In my views, low wages is not the singular reason for why people steal from wherever position they have.  The culture of corruptness and the societal expectations that comes along with it contribute directly to this problem. For example, it is openly accepted that if you have a good position in the government or wherever; you should be able to have a nicer car, a gorofa, and many other stuffs. If you won’t do that people in Tanzania will start asking questions. Does s/he have a mental problem? Why is s/he not stealing?

Everyone is.

Fact of the matter is when you steal the allocated funds for development projects to build your lavish gorofas and beach front three storey houses, the expected development projects remain idol and incomplete. The people who suffer the most are those who depend on government social services who are indirectly reinforcing this societal norm. No wonder, there are no roads to accommodate all the cars in Dar Es Salaam not to mention the hinterlands, no stationary to write statements at most police posts (you have to provide your own 10 sheets of paper to write a police statement on), no gloves for midwives to deliver babies in most, if not all hospitals and the list goes on. It is a pathetic situation.

Changing this culture is one of the solutions to Tanzania’s problems. Issues like the Members of parliaments (MPs) having to receive three salaries {regular salaries (Tshs12, 000,000 per month), seating allowances and per diems) is absurd, but it all stems from the same societal culture of expecting too much from little to no work at all.

And, all this is happening at the time when the government is completely and entirely bankrupt. The government cannot afford to carry out its obligation due to lack of funds. Donors please help my fellow Tanzanians to finance their misplaced priorities and expectations. LMAO all the way back to the ATL.

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5 thoughts on “Tanzania, Tanzania, Nakupenda kwa Moyo Wote!

  1. The Tanzania you lived in is quite different from that of today. It is terrible to see peasants being pushed from their fertile lands by the officials in the government. You may need to visit and see for yourself.


  2. Pingback: Tanzania, Tanzania, Nakupenda kwa Moyo Robo!!!!! | Γονείς σε Δράση

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