Last week President Jakaya Kikwete re-started his regional tours of government ministries and institutions to find out how they have fared since he last visited them in 2006 weeks after he was sworn in for his first term. At that time the tours could have rightly been termed familiarization tours. The tours this time cannot be termed as such. They are made at the time his image is in serious situation, squabbling within his party has reached a crescendo and a barrage of salvoes from the opposition ranging from price hikes of basic commodities, power rationing etc are barely responded to in similar, required manner. In a way the visits are principally designed to repair that image. But what a way he goes about it! Not only hes ready to publicly humiliate his top lieutenants specifically cabinet ministers he is even ready to give very controversial statement that leave people wondering, for instance, in this country, what does one benefit by playing by the rules? It appears that law breakers are also receiving recognition by the state. While at the Works Ministry, he point blankly told the Minister, Dr John Magufuli to be humane, that he should not demolish houses that have been illegally built inside road reserves. A question that crops up fast and thick is if these law breakers need to be treated humanely, what about the law abiding citizens in the society? Will they continue to be so? Did his 2006 ministry tours improve things in them? Hardly. Lets take some stock. Two of those visits stand out not for what he said to the staff and workers thereof, but also for what later happened in them. These were the Ministry for Lands and Human Settlement, the Ministry for Information, Youth and Sports and the Dar es Salaam based prisons. The first he visited was the Ministry for Lands and Human Settlement where he had very strong words for the officials of all ranks about their one failing you know which. He lashed at the ministry, saying it was stinking of corruption and he would see to it that this practice stopped forthwith. He said all those who will not heed this call would lose their jobs as there were hundreds of jobless people countrywide in waiting. He never went back to the ministry again and we do not know how many officials in the ministry lost their jobs for their continued pursuit of corrupt activities the practice that actually thrived in the establishment instead of declining. The rot in the Lands ministry, and the manner his nascent administration went on to deal with it demonstrated that the malady was to stay. And in no instance was this fully illustrated than the issue concerning two blocks of flats in Masaki area that were ordered demolished and were demolished as their construction, it was claimed, was corruptibly sanctioned by Kinondoni Municipal officials. Nonetheless not a single official was reportedly prosecuted in connection with the issue. Scores of other land allocations that stank of corruption were reported and are still being reported many of which started with a bang and ended in whimper. Mere hating corruption is not the best way to deal with the vice. This was discerned during his second visit to the ministry last week when he became one among millions of other ordinary Tanzanians to register displeasure on the corruption rot in the ministry. And that is heartrending. The person holding the topmost post in the country, controlling all apparatuses of the state that deal with law enforcement at the snap of his fingers, also complaining of fraud in a government ministry! And that is not on a single particular incident, but is the order of the things since he last time visited the ministry. All the wananchi are looking at their president as the ultimate person to righten up things in the establishment as he wields immense powers to do that. If he is also to complain about the wrong goings in the establishment then one might find himself without words. Then came the visit to the Prisons Department in mid 2006 during which he toured the three Dar es Salaam based prisons, Keko, Ukonga and Segerea. It was the first such visit in Tanzania by a head of state and he used the occasion to pledge, among other things, the improvement of prison conditions and humane treatment of inmates. He said: The situation is terrible, there is a lot to be done to see to it that inmates are treated like human beings, and added that the aim of the visit was to learn about what was going on and he promised that the government would look for solutions, particularly on the issue of overcrowding in prison. However the presidential visit did not prevent inmates staging a strike almost one year later involving inmates in Dar es Salaam prisons and elsewhere in the country for the very ills JK pledged his government would find solutions thereof. They refused to alight from prison trucks to attend court sessions. They were demanding equal treatment in the disposal of their cases. They cited the speed of investigations and the eventual reduction of the murder charge to manslaughter that faced a government heavyweight, the former Tabora Regional Commissioner, Ukiwaona Ditopile Mzuzuri, the move that ultimately saw him granted bail. For over a week the remandees placed the Government in an embarrassing situation, leaving it with only one option, and a humiliating one at that of having to plead with the inmates to call off their strike. That they eventually did, but only after the government met their main condition sending ministers and other senior officials into prison to talk to them, and only after the latter promised to deal with their grievances. After that everybody was happy and had sound sleep. Sound sleep? Not for the remandees. After the officials left and night fell some of them believed to have spearheaded the strike were taken from their cells and paraded before senior prison officials who interrogated them for hours about their strike.