Finns Facts:We pay intellectuals peanuts, they decamp to cheap politics FINNIGAN WA SIMBEYE THIS DAY DAR ES SALAAM INTELLECTUALS at the Hill last week questioned the governments sincerity in paying members of parliament lucrative pension packages amounting to 25m/- after completing their five-year tenure of services. The intellectuals were debating on corruption in the countrys faulty electoral process which has seen people with questionable character, including controversial businessmen, win parliamentary seats to represent impoverished Tanzania to the august House. Media reports quoted several highly respectable Tanzanian intellectuals, including Professor Haroub Othman and Dr Benson Bana, as questioning the governments sincerity in paying politicians lucratively compared to experts, people who have spent years in school to acquire skills which we badly need to develop this rich country. Sometime earlier this year, one of the most respectable law experts in the country, retired University of Dar es Salaam distinguished lecturer for over two decades, Professor Issa Shivji, questioned what people holding doctorate degrees were doing in politics instead of using their intellect in research. Shivji was amazed by the rate at which PhD holders are decamping their coveted areas of professionalism to cheap politics, usually reserved for semi literate peasants, workers and trade unionists. Probably now Prof. Shivji has an answer to his question as explained by his peer, Prof. Othman who questioned how an MP earns more in five years than a highly qualified academician does after serving three decades and above. When a resource rich country like ours compensates experts poorly, those who went to school in order to get rich, decamp and choose whatever cheap business is around that delivers the most returns to earn a living. Many such characters are legislators, cabinet ministers, deputy ministers; but the worst is they become businessmen themselves. But those who went to school with a commitment to emancipate millions of impoverished Tanzanians through their knowledge and skills by undertaking research, basic research and not applied research which is the cheap side of intellectual innovation, stay at the Hill and lecture or go out into the rural area and do research. Our policy-makers who have stopped trusting homegrown solutions to our problems and instead prefer Western donated solutions and perks which often target the elite class of legislators, the executive and judiciary to push through policies that are of interest to the North. We have abandoned local intellectuals, undermined the domestic education system and frustrated basic research projects by allocating peanut funding to cover the area at the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology while chorusing science and technology as fundamental factors towards developing a modern economy. Until we learn to compensate people who have spent time at school acquiring skills and developing their intellect and give little attention to people whose only job is talking politics, this country shall continue to be poor in real terms of modern economies while our resources are tapped by second year psychology and archeology students from Europe, North America and Asia. Paying politicians lucratively and timely shall never develop this country and instead, it shall make its free fall to bottom of the worlds intellectually and economically poorest countries faster and real.