THIS week President JPM did the unthinkable to those who have been ‘thinking’ on his behalf. After a year and months of his officials ‘imposing’ themselves on him, he finally solved the jinx.
In what would have been seen as impossible and probably a rare thing for the President, he directed the newly appointed Minister for Information, Culture, Sports and Arts, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe to instruct the police force to release Bongo flavor artiste Emmanuel Elibariki, a.k.a, Ney wa Mitego from police custody at Morogoro central station.
Ney wa Mitego was being held over the week end by the police force for questioning and possible arraignment before the court for releasing a song which goes by the title “Wapo” which according to the police force was sarcastic to the political establishment.
Minister Mwakyembe also advised Tanzania Arts Council (BASATA) to reconsider its decision on the same and notbanning “Wapo.” Expectedly, the decision reached by President JPM has received a lot of accolades from Tanzanians of all cadres.
Socio-political analysts in Tanzania and across East African region observed that the move by President JPM will end months of speculations that Tanzania’s President is intolerant of criticism and opposing voices.
President JPM who assumed power a year ago, has placed himself as a no nonsense President and has since stood firm in a fight against graft and indiscipline in government as well as private and informal sectors.
Irreparably, his stance on graft and austerity measures that he has implemented since he assumed power has hurt many ‘irresponsible’ government officials and their accomplices in both the private as well as informal sectors who had formed an ‘alliance’ to rip-off the government.
President JPM’s zero intolerance on undisciplined civil servants, his on the spot ‘pricking the boils’ style and unannounced visits at work places has created fear amongst government officials and employees of various cadres.
Resulting from this, is slothfulness in decision making by most government ministries, departments and agencies on issues that do not even require President’s approval to be implemented. Fear of making wrong decisions or doing something that would not impress the President cropped up and showed its ugly head.
Regrettably, commands and orders from several heads of MDA’s became the order of the day. A minister issues an order, deputy minister issues an order, permanent secretary issues an order, CEO’s and DG’s issues orders, RC’s and DC’s issues orders and it became chaotic. Seemingly, a lot of orders were not communicated and uncoordinated and as a result they ended up confusing citizens. Figure this out this, what happens when everyone strive to think for or through the President?
The Vice-President imposing herself speaking and thinking like the President, the PM doing the same, Ministers doing the same, Deputies doing the same, heads of MDA’s doing the same, LGA’s doing the same, editors and journalists doing the same!
Psychologists observe that, by nature human beings are directed by needs-be it physical or psychological- to do things that would satisfy those needs. Holly Wallis, an American psychologist on movement observes that, “…our bodies know how to move, partially in our innate makeup and otherwise from our learned behavior formed at a young age, and the subsequent movement patterns that developed.
Controlled by our central nervous system, we are subconsciously able to make split second decisions about movement, whether to propel us forward to the next task, to direct us around space, or stop us from impending danger.
” Wallis further adds that,“We do not need to think through these actions, in fact, overthinking can be detrimental. Often times, the exact opposite of our intention occurs. By thinking too much about our bodies in motion (doings), we are inadvertently slowing our progress forward, and creating barriers to movement fueled by fear and doubt.” Undoubtedly, Wallis observation’s is not different from what many observers have noted on what is happening in our ministries, departments and agencies today.
It is crystal clear that in a situation where everyone try to think through the ‘thinking’ of the President and try to impress the President instead of working hard to provide quality services to wananchi expect nothing but duplication of efforts, collision, sluggishness in decision making, hindrances, witch hunting, bootlicking and the highest level of unprofessionalism at play.
I am sure President Magufuli has not asked or instructed anybody in his government to think, speak and work for him as a person. What we know is that he appointed his cabinet and heads of departments and agencies to help him regenerate the economy and to serve Tanzanians.
Other displays are simply antics! Socio-political analysts have observed in recent days both politicians and technocrats in government have failed to carry out their duties to the expectations of their employers (wananchi) partly because they decided to be impostors.
“What I see is that those who are supposed to advise the President are not doing their jobs. They either fear to do so or they are not the right people,” quips Peter Mwambulukutu, a political scientist and analyst based in Dar es Salaam.
Mwambulukutu said he has confidence in President JPM and that when rightly and timely advised he usually heeds to the advice. “Take, for instance, the case of Ney wa Mitego. Who would have thought the President would have acted the way he did.
I am sure Dr Harrison Mwakyembe advised him well and you could just see how it worked,” he said. If those who have been given the mandate by the President to be his advisors are not doing their work, who is to blame?
In this scenario, should we blame the President or his advisors? “If advisors are not candid enough to face the President and advise him accordingly before he makes a decision, we must not expect miracles from a single person.
This is not a hyperbolic prediction; it is not a hysterical prediction; it is simply a candid reading of what history tells us happens when everybody try to think through someone else’s,” observes Mwambulukutu.
As I am writing this article, I tried to close my eyes and stop thinking of what the editor would think of it….not because I doubt what I have written…. but because I don’t want to impose her perceived thinking on me and stop writing.
This is the trickiest part which has caught many government officials off guard in most cases. Should the editor, for instance, in her opinion and position think my piece will not augur well with those she serves, she may decide to kill the piece on ‘fear’ which at times does not even exist.
Conversely, the no nonsense stance by President JPM should be taken as a window of opportunity by government officials to distinguish themselves from ‘business as usual’ officials.
The ‘villager in me’ advises President JPM to review his appointments and pick those with the passion, guts and skills to do the right thing first time and all the time. This way, he will be able to realise his dream of industrialising Tanzania hence build a mid-level economy.
Have a great Sato comrades!