EDITORIAL COMMENT: When CCM lawmakers speak out against corruption


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EDITORIAL COMMENT: When CCM lawmakers speak out against corruption

EDITOR
THIS DAY
DAR ES SALAAM,

ANNE Kilango Malecela’s passionate appeal in the National Assembly last week for the government to step up the battle against high-level corruption resonated with Tanzania’s masses in such a profound manner that highlighted the people’s aspirations for a more just society.

The Same East legislator from the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) touched a chord with the majority of Tanzanians with her rallying call for fellow members of parliament to unite and expose the real architects behind massive looting of public funds.

In her own words, Ms Kilango Malecela cautioned the government of the folly of shielding prominent people believed to have stolen 133bn/- from the Bank of Tanzania’s external payment arrears (EPA) account and embezzled another 216bn/- from the Commodity Import Support (CIS) fund.

She said she was even prepared to sacrifice her own life in the crusade against grand corruption in the country on behalf of the people of Tanzania, and vowed never to be silenced until all the looted public monies have been recovered.

And hers was not the only CCM voice in the House calling for more decisive action from the government on the matter. Several other ruling party MPs joined in, demanding that all the apparently well-connected individuals known to have been paid billions of shillings by the BoT through fraudulent means should be prosecuted.

But what is disturbing most right-thinking Tanzanians is the emergence of a powerful lobby group apparently trying to silence Kilango and other brave MPs from speaking out so strongly against grand corruption in the country � and even using threats and intimidations to do so.

There are reports that some immoral CCM leaders have even threatened a few gallant CCM legislators with expulsion from the party if they continue to ’’publicly embarrass the CCM government’’ in the National Assembly by making such ’unwanted’ corruption allegations.

These kinds of overtures are clearly contrary to the stance of the CCM national chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, who has pledged a zero-tolerance government fight against corruption.

We are also witnessing what appears to be carefully-coordinated and most probably well-funded personal attacks on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Samwel Sitta, in some sections of the local media by certain elements unhappy with his firm leadership of key parliamentary debates and decisions.

It is clear that some powerful lobbyists feeling the heat of the anti-corruption campaign are now attempting to divide MPs against taking a strong enough stance against graft.

And that is precisely why politicians of Ms Kilango Malecela’s rare breed, whether from the ruling CCM or the opposition camp, who refuse to be intimidated by threats or compromised by corruption ought to be fully backed by all MPs and members of the public at large.

After decades of massive looting of public funds, surely all of us have fully realized and comprehended how much of a major impediment that corruption is to development and the end of this cycle of poverty that appears to be trapping the Tanzanian nation as a whole.

With the majority of the citizenry living on less than a dollar a day and failing to access adequate education, water and health care services, there is a need to start a national debate on why this is paradoxically so in a country endowed with so much natural resource wealth.

While corruption may not be the sole cause of these teething national problems, it is certainly one of the key components. Therefore, we are ill-served by attempts to silence ruling party MPs from wagging their fingers at the government and allow those behind the looting of public funds to walk away scot-free.

After all, the speaking out publicly against corruption by CCM lawmakers is not likely to drive voters away from the ruling party come the 2010 general elections. In fact, it is corruption itself and the perceived inadequacy of government efforts to combat it that will ultimately plant the seeds of disillusionment among Tanzanians.
 
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Kilango kasema kweli, Watanzania tumuunge mkono

JUNI 18, mwaka huu, Mbunge wa Same Mashariki (CCM), Anne Kilango Malecela alizua mtafaruku ndani ya Bunge wakati wa mjadala juu ya Bajeti ya 2008/09, kwa kuibua kashfa ya EPA (Akaunti ya Malipo ya Madeni ya Nje), na kusema upo udhaifu mkubwa katika ulinzi wa fedha za wananchi.

Kilango alisema udhaifu huo katika ulinzi wa fedha za wananchi unaotoa mwanya kwa mafisadi kuzipora kirahisi. Alikumbusha matukio ya wizi wa EPA na kuwasihi wabunge wenzake kuhakikisha kuwa sasa unakuwapo ulinzi, vinginevyo bajeti itaendelea kuwa ndogo.

Mbunge huyo alinukuu pia falsafa ya Socrates (mwanafalsafa wa Kigiriki) isemayo, ‘watu wengi maarufu duniani huwa wako tayari kufa kwa ajili ya kile wanachokiamini kuwa ni kweli na haki', na akasisitiza kuwa fedha hizo zisiporudishwa, bungeni hapatakalika na patakuwa padogo.

"Sitakubali kukana falsafa ya Socrates...aliwaambia Wagiriki kuwa hataikana falsafa yake, akapewa sumu akafa. Nami sitakubali kukana kauli ninayoiamini...Wananchi nyamazeni, wabunge tutapambana, fedha zitarudi," Kilango alinukuliwa akisema na kuungwa mkono kwa makofi na baadhi ya wabunge.

Mbunge wa Kishapu, Fred Mpendazoe na Mbunge wa Viti Maalum, Stella Manyanya wote wa CCM nao pia walitoa hoja wakiungana na Anne Kilango kudai fedha zilizoibiwa EPA zirejeshwe na mafisadi watangazwe.


Siku iliyofuata (Juni 19), Mbunge wa Viti Maalumu Anna Abdallah (CCM), aliwashambulia wabunge wanzake kwa kusema ndani ya Bunge kuwa kashfa ya EPA isiwe sababu ya kuwagawa wabunge kwani "hakuna mbunge asiyetaka fedha hizo zirejeshwe….

…Tunatofautiana namna ya kusema tu humu ndani. Sasa kuna wengine wanasema sana, wanaweka na madoido, wengine wanasema kwa upole lakini lengo ni moja tu fedha zirejeshwe. Kwa hiyo, hatuogopi, hakuna anayetishwa, lengo letu ni moja tu.''

Alidai kuwa baadhi ya wabunge walikuwa wakiwashangaa wenzao wa CCM, ambao walikuwa wakisimama kukosoa na hatimaye kuunga mkono hoja.

Kama ilivyo kawaida kwa wanasiasa wengi wanapoishiwa hoja, Mbunge Anna Abdallah hakuacha kushambulia magazeti kwa kuyaita kuwa ni ‘chama kisichosajiliwa' kinachosaidia kuonesha mtafaruku ndani ya Bunge.

Sisi katika KULIKONI tunapenda kuwakumbusha Wabunge wote akimwemo Anna Abdallah kuwa wakiwa ndani ya Bunge ni wawakilishi wa wananchi, wakiwemo walipa-kodi na wapiga-kura wote bila kujali itikadi, vyama vya siasa, dini, makabila, jinsia, umri, rangi za ngozi, taaluma au ajira zao.

Suala hatari kama kashfa ya EPA limeshavuka viwango vyote vya uvumilivu wa kichama, kidini, kiitikadi na kila mwenye upendo wa dhati wa taifa lake angependa kuona au kusikia kauli moja tu: Mafisadi wote waliohusika na wizi huo wa kughushi wanakamatwa kama wahalifu wengine (majambazi, majangili, wabakaji) kufunguliwa mashtaka ya jinai na kutangazwa hadharani.


Mtindo wa wabunge kutafuta faraja za dharura za kisiasa kwa kutibu homa badala ya maradhi halisi ndio umesababisha rushwa kabambe kuota mizizi na kubadilika sura kutoka "Petty Corruption" (Rushwa ya Kauzu) katika miaka ya 1970-90, hadi kuwa "Sophisticated Corruption" (Rushwa ya Mahiri) miaka 1990. Rushwa kabambe ziliendelea kukomaa miaka 1995 hadi kufikia hatua ya ufisadi wa kutisha 2005 unaojadiliwa bungeni sasa.

Mtindo huu wa kuwanyooshea vidole mafisadi au vitendo vyao bila kuwachukulia hatua kali ndio umenawirisha utamaduni mpya wa wananchi wengi kusujudia wala rushwa kabambe na mafisadi kama "Watu Werevu" na vitendo vyao kama "Ujanja" badala ya kuviogopa.

Hivi sasa hapa Tanzania maneno "Werevu" au "Uhodari" na "Mwerevu" au "Hodari" hayatokani tena na tafsiri ya maneno ya Kiingereza "Bravery" au "Brave Person". Kwa utamaduni wa hivi sasa "mtu mwerevu au "hodari"" si yule anayeweza kuleta mafanikio kwa jamii au taifa lake kwa uhodari, elimu, taaluma na maarifa halali.

Leo hii Mtanzania mwerevu au hodari ni yule anayeweza kujipatia yeye binafsi maisha bora kwa haraka hata kama ni kwa kughushi, kulaghai, kupinda sheria, kutoa au kupokea rushwa bila kujali mustaakabali wa adha hiyo au kunaswa na Vyombo vya Dola. Kizazi cha Watanzania wenye imani na utamaduni wa aina hiyo kimeshamiri na kinaweza kuchukua nafasi ya asilimia 35 ya raia wote wa taifa hili hivi sasa.

Katika kizazi hiki kipya kinachoamini "Rushwa ni Uhodari na Ujanja" kuna wasomi mahiri, wanasiasa chipukizi, wataalamu na watumishi wa umma katika sekta zote. Katika utamaduni huu mpya na wa hatari, "mla rushwa mwerevu au hodari" ni yule anayeweza kutoa takrima au huduma fulani kwa ndugu, jamaa na marafiki zake baada ya "mafanikio" katika rushwa.

Inapotokea bahati nzuri fisadi wa aina hii akanaswa hiyo huitwa ni "ajali" au "bahati mbaya" na waliofaidi takrima zake wanahuzunika sana. Mamilioni ya wananchi walioathirika na uovu wa fisadi huyu aliyenaswa kwa bahati huitwa "Wachovu" na wanoko wasiopenda maendeleo ya wenzao.

Viongozi wenye nia nzuri na taifa hili kama Rais Jakaya Kikwete wanajua sana tatizo hili la utamaduni huu potofu wa kusujudia mafisadi. Kinachowakwaza wasiweze kuchukua hatua za haraka haraka ni kukosa nguvu za kisiasa kutoka chini katika jamii inayowazunguka na kutoka taasisi za juu za uongozi wa Taifa kama Bunge. Watu wa kipato cha chini katika jamii wanakosa nafasi kwa vile muda mrefu wanahangaikia maisha yao. Pia wanaogopa kuangamizwa na mafisadi endapo wataanzisha vita za ana kwa ana.

Viongozi wa juu nao wanaogopa kuvuruga mfumo wa utawala, kiuchumi na kisiasa unaowapa fursa ya kulala usingizi kwa "amani na utulivu". Hawapendi kuamsha kile Rais Mstaafu Benjamin Mkapa alichowahi kuwaasa kwa maneno ya Kiingereza: "Don't start upheaval" (Msilete mtafaruku)… Tumieni mbinu za ushawishi, ushauri na demokrasia," aliwahi kuasa Rais Mstaafu Mkapa katika moja ya hotuba zake.

Hivi sasa viongozi wengi wanaogopa kuanzisha vita kali dhidi ya ufisadi maana hawajui watamgusa nani, atakuwa na silaha gani na atalipua bomu gani litakaloleta mtafaruku! Woga wa aina hii unaoneemesha mafisadi umekuwepo katika himaya nyingi zilizoporomoka kwa kishindo toka dunia kuumbwa. Miongoni mwa dola hizo ni jamhuri za Ulaya Mashariki zilizokumbwa na mageuzi miaka ya 1990 zikiongozwa na Romania.

Lakini woga huu una dawa chungu sana na kwa hapa Tanzania dawa ya aina hiyo inachemshwa chunguni hivi sasa. Dawa yenyewe ni kujitoa mhanga kama alivyojitoa mhanga mbunge Anne Kilango na kusema ukweli bila kujali atakasirika nani.

Sasa ni wajibu wa Watanzania wenyewe wakiongozwa na wawakilishi wao ndani ya Bunge kuchagua kujitoa mhanga, kuacha woga na kutafuta dawa nyingine ya kutibu maradhi ya ufisadi tukiwa bado tunatembea au vinginevyo tutarajie tiba.

KULIKONI tunaungana na Anne Kilango, tunampongeza kwa ujasiri wake na tunasema: Hivi sasa hakuna tena haja ya mijadala wala suluhisho… Tiba ianze kwa dozi ya kwanza kashfa ya EPA. Fedha za umma zilizoibwa ni lazima zirudishwe na mafisadi wote watangazwe, washtakiwe.
SOURCE: Kulokoni namba 364, Juni 23, 2008
 
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Tuwashinikize kila kukicha, maana wahusika wengi wa EPA bado wamo serikalini, CCM na hata BoT.
 

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