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Mr Prime Minister actions speak louder than words

11th March 2012
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Our Prime Minister, Honourable Mizengo Kayanza Pinda is a very humbled man, and a son of a peasant from Rukwa region who ‘accidentaly’ scooped the position of premiership in February, 2008.

For those who knew him before he became the Prime Minister, they admit that Pinda is an honest guy who has served this country for over three decades in different capacity, after graduating as lawyer from the University of Dar es Salaam in early 1970s. But, one thing they didn’t tell us is that when it comes to managing disasters or tough situations, he sometimes limps.

They also didn’t tell us that he is clever in narrating troubles, but doesn’t take tough decisions to solve those problems immediately. I will give you some few parables to prove what I am saying about the performance of our beloved Premier.

Just imagine a man who stood before the ‘holy house’ in Dodoma, and told the parliament, that he wished he had the power to hire and fire, so that he could immediately sack the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, David Jairo.

But, since he had no such powers, he was leaving everything in the hands of the head of State, who by that moment, was in his luxurious Gulf Stream 55 Jet, flying to South Africa, for an official visit. Therefore, the Premier told the Parliament that since he was powerless in hiring and firing the Permanent Secretaries, he couldn’t fire the besieged David Jairo.

Finally, we all know how the Jairo’s episode ended and it’s now history like any other big stories that emerged like thunderstorm before vanishing suddenly.

However few months later, the same man who lacked the power to hire and fire Permanent Secretaries, sacked the Madam Blandina Nyoni who was the PS of the embattled ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Where he got the power and the audacity to fire the Madam Permanent Secretary, early this year, is still a matter of public debate.

Then there was a time when the PM denounced the culture of seminars and workshops within the government and its agencies, because these events were unnecessarily denting the big chunk of taxpayers’ billions annually. This was a very good idea from our humbled Premier and a son of the peasant from the western part of Tanzania.

Till today, the culture of seminars and workshops is rampant within the government and its agencies, and the Prime Minister himself has also participated as a guest of honour in the very same events he denounced. While he is the head prefect who has all the powers to ban all these seminars and workshops, he opted to continue complaining, the very same way the ordinary citizens do.

If the big boss is also in the ‘blame and complain’ game, who will save this country from the current lavish spending in seminars and workshops? Who will restore discipline among civil servants?

Who will lead the war against grand corruption in local government where a third of all billions allocated for development goes to the ‘dogs’ annually? No wonder during 2011/12 budget, this government set aside $800 million (Sh1.2 trillion) as allowances, while the country was weathering so many storms that needed money.

For instance the Tanzania Electrical Supply needed just 50 percent of this amount to end the power rationing, but, it wasn’t given anything until the legislators blocked the budget of the Ministry for Energy and Minerals.

Then our beloved Prime Minister also complained about the culture of ‘four by four’ vehicles or fuel guzzlers, which are highly ‘worshipped’ by the poor government of Tanzania.

This was a good move and every well-wisher welcomed it, because for decades, we, taxpayers have strongly criticised this culture of spending billions to buy highly expensive Japanese vehicles.

In a simple mathematics, one Land Cruiser, VX-V8 costs Sh200 million or ten classes or ten tractors. Kenya has already joined Rwanda in banning these fuel guzzlers as one of the measures to reduce unnecessary expenditure within the government.

In Tanzania, perhaps as usual we are either still conducting a feasibility study on how those enjoying these luxurious fuel guzzlers would be affected by the decision to ban these vehicles or we are simply still waiting for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to say something, before we act.

Perhaps, for those who have forgotten, in 1992 Regional Commissioners were using Toyota Cressida Mark II and Land rovers (defenders 110). So did the judges despite the fact that in those days most of our roads were in poor condition.

Today, at the time when the government boasts of huge investment in infrastructure development especially our road network, Tanzania is still occupied with the most expensive vehicles at the expense of taxpayers.

Here we are today with our beloved Prime Minister still continuing with the complaining theory, instead of declaring that the government has immediately banned any procurement, buying or use of these fuel guzzlers.

The way I know it, the Prime Minister shouldn’t be complaining, but taking decisions immediately because he has the authority from the Chief Executive Officer of the United Republic of Tanzania as well as the Parliament to be there. The way I know it, the Prime Minister should talk less, but show more actions than narrations.

He should be a man of actions, instead of joining us in complaining about various issues facing this country. If the Premier can’t act especially in those issues within his mandate, then, he should stop complaining. Actions speak louder than words.

At least we are told his previous record was very clean, and his life has always been as simple as the peasant’s son, but this doesn’t add values in this country if actions are not taken.

Some people say, if they were given a leader who takes ‘ten percent’, but delivers effectively, and the one who is very clean, humbled, but doesn’t take decisions, they would have chosen the ‘ten-percent’ guy.

What matters at the end of the day is performance not sainthood. In journalism we say ‘it’s the contents that count, not the size or colour.” People will not eat my sainthood…they need better living, modern roads, good schools, better salaries and many more.

To achieve better living dream, the allocation of resources has to be done properly by suspending all unnecessary expenditures like seminars, workshops and procurement of luxurious fuel guzzlers.

Tanzania is not poor but it’s just broke temporarily because of failure to manage our resources as well as setting our priorities.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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