A few weeks ago Mr. Zitto Kabwe wrote an article on his blog “Kabwe na Demokrasia” entitled “The Bottom 30 Millions”. This article gave a succinct analysis of the deliberate policies and priorities put forth by the government at Magogoni that aim to keep the 30+ millions of poor Tanzanians in the rural areas in abject poverty. It is not rocket science to see the facts in their misplaced policies and priorities. If you look at education, the expansion of school buildings and enrollment at the secondary level is commendable but it has failed to meet the quality education delivery expectations of the students and the country. This misplaced policy alone is leaving millions of poor children at ward schools unprepared, uneducated, and unemployable each year. This is what I call a deliberate “mis-education” process of the poor masses in rural Tanzania.
The education policy is just one among many policies put forth by the Magogoni government. Other policies include the famous “Kilimo Kwanza.” This beautiful policy on paper has not been well executed in the rural areas. There are very good languages in the policy like lending farmers tractors and farm implements to help them increase productivity. However, the realities in the villages are quite different. Very few farmers (peasants) can afford to buy a tractor outright at Tshs 30,000,000. Furthermore, many do not know and/or have the information on how the banking system works.
For the banks to lend you money, you need to have collateral. Collateral can be a house or a titled deed of your piece of land. Since many peasants don’t have titles to their land and also don’t have houses that are valuable for the loans—they end up not receiving the tractor and farm implement loans. In addition, it is hard and sometimes completely impossible for the ministry of land employees to come to a village and issue land titles to these poor souls. Therefore the whole policy is self defeating.
To sum this all up, only the rich and the well connected can actually take advantage of the Kilimo Kwanza policies. And they are doing just that. Thus supporting Kabwe’s saying that these policies are deliberately designed to leave behind 30+ millions real people that would otherwise benefit from these policies and in return benefit the nation as a whole. My point here is that–we have seen these shenanigans over and over again. When id enough is enough for gods’ sake? What are Tanzanians doing to change the status quo?
5 thoughts on “Zitto Kabwe: The Bottom 30 Millions.”
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Many people do get the Afrigasm moment the first time they land in the motherland. It does not last for a long time though after seeing the real life of many people in the continent. I hope you had fun with your Afrigasm….enjoy it while it lasts!
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Thanks for the comments Betsy. I will try to read “Half the Sky” when I find it. I was just trying to offer my thoughts on some of the policies the government of Tanzania is pushing forward. I agree with you that Kiva.org could be a good start for the farmers to get cheaper loans. What most people forget is that the peasants in Tanzani have no any formal training and really do not know what is available to them besides their government. I guess training them on how to tap on already available resources could help.
It would make more sense for these rural communities to pull together their resources and take advantage of organizations like kiva.org that help to provide small micro-finance loans. They could use said loan to purchase tractors and other necessary supplies to help their local farmers and community. On a side note, if you haven’t yet read “Half the Sky” by Nickolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, I recommend reading it! Great book and provides an interesting point of view!