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Jenerali Ulimwengu; You are weak, Father William, and your purse is tight; at your age, do you think

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Kiganyi, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Kiganyi

    Kiganyi JF-Expert Member

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    Jun 28, 2012
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    By JENERALI ULIMWENGU (email the author)

    Posted Saturday, June 23 2012 at 19:43


    When a young parliamentarian uttered, in parliament recently, words to the effect that the president was “weak,” he immediately provoked the ire of the government, whose representative, the so-called Chief Whip, rose to seek the Deputy Speaker’s “guidance” as to whether that characterization of the president was in order.





    The Deputy Speaker duly declared that it was not, and advised the young member to withdraw his statement, which the young man declined.



    This earned him a suspension from the House, at least for the session, and, as one would expect, set tongues a-wagging: Was it correct to call the president weak?

    Were these young opposition politicians so disrespectful of the country’s top leadership? What had happened to our cultural values when youngsters could hurl abuse at their elders?




    Others questioned the wisdom of the Deputy Speaker in suspending the young parliamentarian: After all, that was an opinion, a very personal opinion, whose fitting rejoinder should have been, “Nonsense, sir, our president is very strong, thank you very much,” and that should have been the end of the matter.

    Unless, of course, in the interest of disputation, both sides challenged each other to back up either claim.







    But, in this case as in so many others, our officials are wont to put on spectacular displays of loyalty to the man at the helm, even when none is demanded of them, perhaps in the belief that it is a sign of good manners, or probably in the hope of advancing political careers.

    For, if a politician cannot safely accuse his political foe of weakness, what can he ever accuse him of?

    I’ve had occasion to complain about our political system’s tendency to stifle debate and constrict meaningful engagement at the polemical level, which has spawned a political culture that privileges manufactured consensus or else sterile shouting matches wherein we talk past, rather than to each other, oftentimes allowing parallel monologues to coexist with little hope of cross-fertilization.



    The matter at hand this time round — otherwise they are legion — is the budget, which many opposition MPs and some ruling party ones criticize as being inadequate as it does not answer the development concerns of the country, does not reflect even the ruling party’s own declared economic commitments and does not do justice to the economic planning frameworks set by a commission chaired by the president himself.



    Recently, in a first, religious leaders across the confessional spectrum met and issued a statement showing how much the government was losing in revenues leakages that, if dammed, would buttress the government’s budgetary provisions and help alleviate the economic hardship of its long suffering citizens.

    There is no reason to suggest the government is overexcited by the clerics’ revelations, although they have galvanized public opinion, especially at this juncture.



    Now, you do not need a political scientist to tell you that the institution of the presidency in Tanzania, as in many African countries, is invested with enormous powers — the imperial presidency, as it has been dubbed — and that these can only be wielded by the man/woman himself/herself, or by those who are expressly mandated by that person so vested.

    The constitutional debate, which has been set in motion recently, will most likely look into these powers with a view to rationalizing them and to investing many of them in constitutionally transparent bodies whose doings can suffer the oversight that presidential prerogatives do not necessarily have to.



    When that happens, any parliamentarian who rises in the House to accuse the president of weakness on matters budgetary will clearly be bringing upon themselves the label of churlishness, and the public will jeer at them.

    SOSI; The EastAfrican
    Kiganyi, JF.
    Mwanzo - wotepamoja.com
     
  2. t

    tubadilike-sasa JF-Expert Member

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    Jun 28, 2012
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    Substance written so meticulously, and the heroins we have and though the cornerstone of the mansion we are building, their importance we give them not!
     
  3. mpayukaji

    mpayukaji JF-Expert Member

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    Jun 28, 2012
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    No doubt Kikwete is so so so weak especially when it comes to making decision. Is it because of his history that has to do with EPA which he had nary recanted? Is it because of the promises he make without living up to them? Is it because he leaves everything in the hands of PM and other as he did when Doctors' strike commenced? Is it because he was voted in not just because he was fit but because he is handsome? Is it because his government is always doing unbelievable things? Is it because Kikwete has nary bothered to offer any explanations regarding whatever allegations made against him? Is it is it? ad infinitum.
     
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