M. M. Mwanakijiji We believe it is there. We act as if it does exist in perpetuity and the very attempt of questioning its relevance is met with a forceful and reliablee opposition. Peace. We are described to be a unique African nation that is blessed by the Almighty with peace, solidarity and tranquility that seem to be exclusively ours. This peace that is constantly portrayed to be a result of good governance and exceptional leadership of the founders of our republic is used to warn us every time that if we stand in opposition of the current government, if we stand firm against mediocre leadership we are endangering this unique and rare value and therefore by default we are always asked not to cause trouble "lest peace be the first victim". We are admonished by leaders of the ruling party (in different ways and by different words) to be wary and watchful of politicians who 'seek cheap popularity" from the opposition. That, if we were to listen them and take them seriously we will be putting peace and tranquility of our beloved nation at stake. Thus, I'll argue that to most Tanzanians peace then is that absence of violent conflict, internal strifes and wars. According to this flawed mentality we are a "peaceful" nation just because such negative events are not happening in our country. We are a peaceful nation. That my friends is an illusion; an illusion of a magnitude only comparable to that famous illusion in Plato's Allegory of the Cave. It is not real. Our minds are lying to us; we are looking through a fault instrument and hence our interpretation is inherently erratic because it is based on wrong information that we have acquired. Unfortunately, those who believe this illusion will defend it to their death and strongly and sometimes I fear violently, charge anyone one who promulgate a different view to be heretic to be "burned at stake". My friends, peace is not the absence of war, violent conflicts or internal strives. Peace is the result of rule of justice and the presence of equality. Sometimes what is seen to be seen as tranquility is nothing but the rule of fear. The quietness on the surface of the ocean should not be taken as an indication of stillness of the ocean. Tanzanian people are quiet and most of the time very laid back. We like to present our cases through arguing and making proposals and counter proposals. At the same time, we hate arguing! Whenever someone make a strong arguments or pushes a certain proposal we tend to default to "mpeni basi". We don't like stubborn people (wabishi). Because of that very fact we give up easily and sometimes with minimal opposition. What I see is that, there is a new generation of young Tanzanians who when certain circumstances change will not tolerate or accept this illusion of tranquility. They will stand up against corrupt regime and as we have seen in other parts of the world, they will challenge the status quo and the sight of that won't be very good to our eyes! When that day comes (as it surelly will), we should understand that the seeds of its fruition have been planted so many decades ago. Only the cultivation and defence of the rule of law, the presence of accountable and transparent leadership, and the exaltation of the virtues of justice and equality among our people will create an environment where true and sustainable peace will exist and flourish. Yes, true peace! Not the peace of the fearful, but the peace of the grateful; Not the peace of the scared, but the peace of what is shared; Not the peace as an illusion, but the peace that is an allusion of what we truly know to be true. And only then, the illusion of tranquility will seize to amaze and dazzle us. For then, we will know peace in reality, potentiality, and in actuality. NB: First Draft.