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Sweet and sour Kikwete

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Prodigal Son, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Prodigal Son

    Prodigal Son JF-Expert Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    Sweet and sour Kikwete: The two sides of Tanzania’s president

    With the general elections set for October, Tanzanians are asking themselves what kind of Head of State have we subjected ourselves to in President Jakaya Kikwete - popularly referred to as Jay Kay.

    Whatever reasons drove us to vote him into power with an overwhelming majority in 2005, we have had a decent period of time to observe him as an individual and test the mettle of his leadership.

    There are probably as many opinions about President Kikwete as there are citizens.

    Certainly in the course of informally surveying people, statements have ranged from complete dismissal through to fierce loyalty.

    Not that Jay Kay is a polarizing figure mind you, it is just that if three Tanzanians are debating a political issue you will get at least five-and-a-half opinions out of them.

    I myself am a sympathizer: many little boys- and a few brave little girls- imagine that they will one day be President, but very few have what it takes to make it happen.

    Like all Tanzanian presidents bar Julius Nyerere, Jay Kay comes from a rather humble background, ergo he is closer to Obama than George W. Bush on the individual agency/intellect scale.

    Since the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) is going to be launching its marketing, sorry, election campaign soon along with a detailed enumeration of their 'successes,' as perceived by themselves, I will focus on the broader things that this President and his administration have handled well:

    1. Firing people in high places: Former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, the late Governor of the Central Bank Daudi Ballali, Former Minister and one-time Attorney General Andrew Chenge, a number of hapless District Commissioners and the rest of the smug untouchables who have been canned within the past three years can attest: that loud whoosh was the sound of political elites’ impunity flying out the window. There is something to be said for setting such a deeply satisfying precedent. One day we might even find someone guilty of corruption, but let me not get ahead of myself.

    - Hiring good people: The current Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda is a decent lifetime civil servant. Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhani, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation head Tido Mhando, national football team Taifa Stars coach Marcio Maximo- all of them seasoned professionals who have been recruited, promoted, sometimes relocated in order to shore up important institutions.

    And these are a just a few of the easily visible ones. Considering his vast powers of appointment Jay Kay seems to be gunning for good lieutenants rather than simply rewarding his puppets, campaign funders, political allies and other presidential hangers-on. Although, naturally, he must do that too.

    - Doing his bit for democracy: Vain he might be, but Jay Kay is not driven by the egotistical Bigmanism that continues to plague so many African heads of state. His occasional tantrums seem to be reserved for instances of incompetence that waste his time, such as lapses in protocol at State House events.

    He generally faces vocal opposition and criticism with equanimity. This has served to set an excellent tone: within reasonable boundaries, Tanzanians can happily cast aspersions all over the government.

    We obviously take advantage of this, especially in the blogosphere. Since so much of democratic discourse relies on intelligently vocal malcontents, things are slowly looking up for us and for civil society. At heart, I suspect that Jay Kay genuinely believes in this whole public service, will-of-the-people business. True democrats are a rare breed.

    Source: East African
  2. MwanaFalsafa1

    MwanaFalsafa1 JF-Expert Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    Being president is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Let me rephrase that, being a leader is the hardest job in the world. It means taking initiative and being ready for the praises or curses. It means putting yourself on the line of fire. It means betting your reputation on what ever decisions you make. Being a leader means not asking for a smaller load but for broader shoulders. Being a leader is loving challenges and thriving in hard circumstances. Being a leader is not the same as being a ruler.

    If people went to school to become presidents like they did for becoming lawyers, doctors etc. I think they would have dropped it and taken another professional. It's too bad that a person really doesn't get the feel of being president until they are actually there. If they did I guaranty you we would only have dedicated and capable people vying for that office.

    Sadly, I believe most of us want the title of president without really wanting the responsibility for it. That's why Nyerere said, "Mtu yoyote anaye kimbilia ikulu muogope kama ukoma", because he knew anybody so eager to become president really didn't know what being president is all about. I think anybody who has ever run for president and failed should thank their lucky stars.

    Being a president is kind of like being a boxer. You might be the greatest fighter in the world but you know you won't leave the ring without at least bruises and wounds. Yes Kikwete is a great "fighter". He had to be to "beat" every other good "fighter" who was vying for the position from the party level to the general elections. Now he must come to the realization that all that won't end without a few scars and bruises.

    The biggest success any president can hope for is to wait and become ex president. Because it is within history where a presidents legacy will be written. History will be the judge. As for now Mr. Kikwete should just take everything as part of the job. Stitch up the openings and continue with the fight until he loses or wins.
  3. MwanaFalsafa1

    MwanaFalsafa1 JF-Expert Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    Few people have what it takes to become president but even fewer have what it takes to be president. To become president is the act of getting elected and ascending into the office of president. To be president is actually being able to carry out the responsibilities and duties of a president. Sadly we have intelligent and talented people who could be presidents but have no means of becoming president and we have people who have the means of becoming presidents but lack what it takes to be president. And if you think those people a rare try imagining something even more rare.....a person who can become president and also be a president.
  4. Sn2139

    Sn2139 JF-Expert Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    Mr. Prodigal Son thanks for your posting, and like others, am tempted to give out my view. Naturally, it is pretty easy to say or write anything for or against someone, particularly a person with the presidency position or any other celebrity.

    However, this is not an effortless task, giving out a precise conclusion about him, her or them. Due to such reality, several people get bogged down delving into facts and become entrapped by simply praising or criticizing opinions which fill many pages of news papers.

    So, to me, Kikwete as a president of the United Republic of Tanzania is a lucky man. Because out of more than 40 million Tanzanians who comprise people with more education, intellect, experience, interested with the post, handsome men and beautiful women, talented leaders etc.than him won the contest by 80%. Disregarding all the strategies he employed to win the race which could have been used by his opponents any way, Kikwete was the luckiest Tanzanian in 2005.

    On the other side, are opinions based on the critical analysis of his performance as the president of Tanzania for the past 5 years, this is the question from many people in and outside the country. To me, the basis for any critical judgment for H.E. Jakaya Kikwete depends on what he promised us during the 2005 campaign (like maisha bora kwa kila mtu, job creation for 1,000,000 citizens, …. are the prpmises delivered? We can make our judgement based on the fulfillment or unfulfilment of the promisses.

    This year he will reappear to the same people, like the 2005 year, to ask for votes. Will the Tanzanians give him their votes? We can judge them (the Tanzanians) on their ability to judge their leaders. Still, Kikwete may remain the luckiest guy this time round as it was in the first round even if he did not fulfill his promises. I know I am not going to vote for him, but can my sole vote pose any threat to 2010 luckiest guy? Yes, it is possible if there are many people out there with the same drive like mine – you know what? kijiti kimoja hakiuinji chawa.
  5. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    I think the writer goes over the top when he compares him to Obama. Obama has done so much in 1 year in power compared to Kikwete's 5 years. Afu linganisha press conferences zao. Obama material yanamtoka kichwani wakati huyu wetu akibaki anajiumauma. There is no comparison kabisa!
  6. Deshbhakt

    Deshbhakt Senior Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    Agreed in principle that it is not easy to be a president despite having aspirations but 'charming' is a natural talent which JK inherited and I may stand to be corrected,that was his charms that brought him all those invited aborad?even if they did,what benefits has trickled down directly to the people in these past 5 years?

    The comment'True democrats are a rare breed' but a question..why was it that the opposition raised all the scandals and not him so as cleanse his own party's image during the initial stage and please do not tell me that he did not know about the whole (scandal)issue/s!

    In terms of governance, I believe he has not made any rock solid impact towards the people and neither on the development front.On the economical front, well the recent increament on foreign debts speaks for itself and this is inclusive of the over spendings by the goverment.

    I am not being judgemental, as everyone has a story,aspiration to be leader but it should be construed in a practical manner which is-deliverance!
  7. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    ]Kuna haja ya kuunganisha thread hii na ile ya 2 sides of Tanzania's President