Government is not creative in addressing national problems By Evarist Kagaruki President Jakaya Kikwetes administration has been criticized for not being innovative in tackling critical problems facing the nation. These include: the power crisis, the persistent rise in the cost of living, unemployment, and corruption. The ministers, who are supposed to be helping the president find ways of addressing these and other problems, dont seem to be busying themselves doing that; they are not being seen to be scratching their heads for solutions in the face of mounting challenges. President Kikwete seems to be doing almost everything by himself! With the exception, perhaps, of a few ministries (e.g. Works, Natural Resources, and Lands), where, at least, you could see some initiative to get things done differently (creatively), the governments methods of solving problems have been generally stereo-typed. That is why we continue to hear disappointing statements like, the government can do nothing about the rising oil prices because the problem was global; or, inflation cant be avoided because we are trading with countries (like China) whose economies were experiencing inflationary trends; or, the power crises and the unfavorable food situation were due to drought over which the government has no control, and so forth. When statements like these become the standard (ready made) answer to the serious socio-economic problems besieging the country, then you can be sure that the leadership is incapable of thinking through the problems creatively and is bogged down to doing things the routine way. The main opposition party, Chadema, is locking horns with the government today not because the party really has any agenda of ousting Kikwetes government through mass demonstrations and rallies (since practically that is not possible and Chadema leaders know it); but basically because the opposition party is telling people things the government would not want to hear regarding the problems besieging the nation. Of course, sometimes, the language in which party leaders conveyed their message to the government lacked decency; and this is not good for a party that aims at taking the reins of power one day. Credible politicians behave with decorum when speaking in public. Otherwise, Chademas peaceful demonstrations and rallies are healthy for democracy (but not for the economy, considering that they were being held invariably on work days). The governments frantic reaction to Chademas stinging public criticisms and demonstrations only helped to strengthen the partys case; in the absence of any coherent strategies on the part of the government to tackle the serious national problems, it has become easy for the rival opposition party to launch a successful psychological warfare against the ruling party and its government. The only way the government could thwart the onslaught would be getting things done to improve the lot of the poor Tanzanian populace. But it is not only Chadema, which is making those in the CCM and its government uncomfortable. There are dissenting voices within the ruling party itself and its affiliated bodies, particularly the Youth Wing (Umoja wa Vijana wa CCM or UV-CCM for short) who, in what sounds like echoing the rival partys call, are demanding to see performance and accountability in government. And they are doing so in an unprecedented style that is certainly embarrassing to the grand old party. For example, in its recent meeting, the CCMs DSalaam Regional Executive Committee censured Kikwetes government and gave what sounded like a directive on how it (the government) could deal with the problems mentioned earlier in this piece. On the face of it, one might ask: Whats wrong with that? But, ordinarily, such directives should come from either the Central Committee or National Executive Committee of CCM, not the lower organs of the party, or, least of all, its affiliate bodies. But what is perhaps most interesting is the pressure the UV-CCM (Coast Region) has brought to bear on the leadership; they have accused the Party Secretariat led by Secretary General Yusuf Makamba, of failing to advise and guide the president and called on all its officials to step down. To most political pundits, all this goes to show how weak the ruling party and government had become in recent years.