EDITORIAL: Democracy is about accountability and not litigation THIS DAY THE Americans have a political credo they adhere to and respect very much in their politicking and running of government. They believe, and we must hasten to add, correctly, that in any democracy, the government is by the people and for the people. If one goes a little deeper, one realises that whoever holds elected office is bound to account to the public for every action taken in the course of duty for he or she has been put into that office by the will of the people and to serve the interests of the electorate, period! In a true democracy, a tainted leader has no place. Once such a person loses respect and confidence of the electorate because of impropriety or scandals, the only recourse for such a person is resignation followed by inquest, which may lead the suspect to the courts of law if incriminating evidence is found. In most cases, the disgraced leader does not cling on power; he or she immediately relinquishes responsibility to enable an independent inquiry to do its duty. At the same time to enable the public or the president to choose a successor. We are highlighting these tenets of democratic practice in the light of the on-going public debate in the country over numerous allegations of corruption on the part of public leaders. In recent years, it has become fashionable for whoever is fingered for impropriety to rush to the courts 'to clear the name.' But, for those akin to the Tanzanian political scene, the rush to the courts has other ulterior motives; namely to smokescreen the facts, buy time to clear the air, knowing well that suits take a long time to settle and that anything sub-judicial can not be commented upon. Three leaders have threatened court action. They are the Minister of Minerals and Energy Nazir Karamagi, Permanent Secretary Treasury Gray Mgonja and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water, Patrick Rutabanzibwa We want to tell the leaders who have been implicated in numerous controversial or suspicious deals- Richmond phantom, the Bank of Tanzania's controversial expenditures and loans; blood sucking mineral deals and other impropriety to call it quits or if they feel they are innocent, come public and furnish proper explanations. Justice Mark Bomani, the first Attorney General of independent Tanzania, and now a private advocate, has warned leaders who have threatened to go to the courts over the allegations of corruption, to think twice before they leap; ''because such a step may develop into something totally unexpected.'' The justice correctly said that the on-going national wide debate on corruption should not be stifled. The debate should indeed go on and expose all those who have betrayed the nation, so as to find a way of healing. We fully back the judge's challenge to the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to fully enforce the newly passed anti-graft law. We expect the PCCB to be bold, and investigate whoever is implicated in impropriety and rip-off of national resources. People expect actions and not rhetoric from PCCB. Mr Edward Hosea, it's time you 'crossed the rubicon.'