Wanajamvi: Someni makala hii ambayo naona imetulia, kuhusu JK na harakati zake za kutafuta kukumbukwa yaani legacy kwa nguvu. Baada ya kuiboronga vita dhidi ya rushwa na kusitasita kuhusu mabadiliko ya Katiba, sasa anaona mradi wa barabara za lami katika awamu yake zenye ujumla wa urefu wa kilometa 11,000 ndiyo anataka akumbukwe nao kwani anaamini utaweka imprint yake katika nchi. Lakini kama mwandishi anavyotahadharisha mradi huo unaweza kumrudia mwenyewe na kuwa ni issue kubwa ya ufisadi katika historia ya nchi hii na kufanya ule wa EPA cha mtoto tu. Makala yenyewe imo katika gazeti la The African la leo (jumamosi) kitu ambacho hata hivyo kimenishangaza kidogo kwani gazeti hilo ni la kampuni ya Rostam ambaye ni swahiba wa JK. Nimeweka highlight kwenye rangi: *********** Jakaya Kikwetes quest for a legacy By Hilal K. Sued "While it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure they point in a commendable direction." - James Branch Cabell American novelist. He couldnt be more right. And that is how real statesmen on this world are to be remembered for the deeds they did to the good of mankind. But unfortunately that doesnt preclude any leader to claim, or trumpet for a legacy even though claim and trumpet are perhaps too self-ascending. The most coherent dictionary definition of legacy -- is something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past. That is to say anything abstract or material. More often than not, deeds good deeds committed by leaders are not feats for them to brag about. Let the citizens be the judges thereof and decide if any one among them can be regarded as a legacy to that leader. Take development gains for instance. Development is a concept that lacks a universally accepted definition, but it is most used in a holistic and multi-disciplinary context of human development - the development of livelihoods and greater quality of life for humans. It is about peoples lives, how decent they live, their purchasing power of basic needs and the availability of essential social services. Albert Einstein, the German born American physicist said The only justifiable purpose of political institutions is to ensure the unhindered development of the individual. Hence any political institution, in this context any government, worth its name can only justify its existence if it is seriously addressing the concerns of its people, in effect developing their lot. And this development must be vividly discerned by and appreciated by the people themselves. It should never be an issue for debate and/or that needs trumpeting about by officials. Above all, it should not be an issue by which a national leader or his government should remind the people to remember him. But that is precisely what President Jakaya Kikwete appears to be doing. With only less than four years left to complete his second five-year term, President Kikwete is in desperate need of something by which Tanzanians are to remember him as he sails into the sunset of his presidency. A fitting Kiswahili saying Anatafuta shuka alfajiri (i.e. fumbling for bed sheet at the approach of dawn) rightly describes the situation. I will explain. In his Q & A debate that was televised live two days before last years general elections he was asked by a reporter what he would like the wananchi to remember him by after he finishes his presidency. The silence that followed was undeniably conspicuous as and disturbing both to him and the viewers. Surely there was nothing which Tanzanians can remember him by. After what appeared to be an eon he hazarded: I would like them to remember me by having moved them from here to there. The words came out with the help of the gesture of his hands. That was it. He moved them from the time when sugar was sold for Sh 450/- per kilo to about sh 2,000/- now an increase of about 400 per cent in five years. At that rate the commodity will sell at about sh 8,000 per kilo when he leaves office. The same can be said of cement, corrugated iron sheets, etc etc. But wait for a moment. Last week JK inaugurated the construction of the 13-km Mwenge-Tegeta dual carriageway that will cost about Tsh 88bn/- grant aid from the Japanese. But what he said at that event shows clearly how desperate he is on the issue of legacy. He said by the time his administration (that is the Phase IV Administration) comes to a close (in 2015) it will have constructed 11,000 kilometres of tarmac roads, the biggest road construction accomplishment by any administration in the countrys history. He said it loud and clear and anyone watching him over TV during news bulletins later on that day would not have failed to grasp the message intended. He would like Tanzanians to remember him for road construction. Nothing bad of course I mean if the colossal project comes to any fruition. The question that comes up thick and fast is why trumpet on something that is only half-way through? Why not remain silent until he finishes his term and then let the wananchi give their own appraisal? They will surely talk about it in the manner of Mzee Ruksa after his accomplishment in delivering Tanzanians out of the most severe economic austerity in the country in mid-80s. Besides, JKs road construction feat could boomerang on him, and this has been insinuated by none other than himself. In the same speech, JK directed the Works Minister, Dr John Magufuli, to immediately move and smash a gang poised to swindle the Government billions of shillings by constructing sub standard roads. He said one way of swindling is for officials in the government road construction agency TANROADS paying billions to road contractors after approving shoddy work. JKs fears stem from reliable reports of surfaces of tarmac highways already constructed cracking up and grass growing in the cracks formed. As he told the minister, colossal sums of money go into road projects and so, it goes without saying that the bribe money is also colossal. And if that is the case, and if Magufuli fails to arrest the situation as well as the culprits, as he certainly will then JKs road construction feat by which he would prefer the wananchi to remember him would instead be the greatest bribery scam to hit his administration or rather any administration in the countrys history. It will dwarf the EPA swindles many times over. Dr Magufuli cannot move against any corrupt official under his charge because he has no record of doing that in the 15 years he has been a cabinet minister spanning two administrations. He has a reputation of portraying himself as a man of industry and diligence (mchapa kazi), hence dubiously dubbed as a no nonsense minister a man of the people and a prolific anti-corruption crusader (sic). Unfortunately hes nothing of the kind, only that he has a penchant for publicity. Being prolific does not necessarily mean one is an accomplished person. So there is a very huge possibility that JK would end up with a very negative legacy if he continues to pin his hopes on the road projects and in particular to his mchapakazi with very dubious credentials in graft fighting. If JK had wanted Tanzanians to remember him by after he botched the graft war issue he could have instead hold onto the issue of a new Constitution. But it now appears that he didnt want that issue at all during his presidency. No doubt he knew he could not supervise the sensitive, perilous issue that could destabilize his smooth going administration, let alone plunge the country into some chaos he could not be able to control, the glimpse of which we are now witnessing. He wanted the tortuous task to be left to the next administration. His disinclination is testified by the fact that the Constitution issue was not included in his partys election manifesto, nor in his numerous campaign promises. It was also not an item in his speech inaugurating the 10th Parliament in Dodoma last November. JKs u-turn on the issue could be a subconscious response to great unanticipated pressure from various quarters demanding change perhaps with recent occurrences in the Arab world in mind. In addition, the way hes handling the issue which displays his light approach thereof proves his built in reluctance to fully commit himself. However since he is already in it, then he must see to it that he accomplishes it even by agreeing to have the issues course and direction wrestled from him. He may not be realizing that after all he could leave his legacy to the country albeit in a very unenthusiastic manner.