WE have lived with it for so many years. A good number of public service institutions have been ‘under custody’ when it comes to fake certificates. Unveiling people who have been offering service(s) armed with fake certificates, and therefore fake qualifications, and to some extent fake service delivery, has been, in most cases, in the service of truth.
In fact the culture of forgery is so much embedded in our society to the point of being accepted as not only normal, but the order of the day. Unfortunately, we have already paid an inconspicuous price for it.
The sin of forgery or falsification of, not only certificates, but also accounts, public documents as well as government and other public records has been, and will continue to be with us for quite some time if not addressed.
But for citizens to improperly create, reproduce, or falsify a signature or an initial, or otherwise creating false documents did gain popularity because it was tolerated and was left to grow under various circumstances.
After all these years, it is only a few months ago when Tanzania woke up to face it. And now its people have realised that they are living in the world full of anxieties about fakes. It started with JPM’s stance on a special call to curb people with fake certificates.
As I hear from the public voice, glad as one would imagine, the impact of revealing the seriousness of forgery has now led to citizens beginning to connect from fake certificates to fake branded goods in markets and bazaars in our country, to the need to identity theft and the assumption of ‘fake’ identities online, to the shear need for the government to take serious measures to combat the rise of a culture of forgery.
Apart from all the efforts being made by JPM and his team to protect the government reputation and make it a trusted government of the people, the truth remains obvious that, to have the government full of civil servants who are happy and contented to live and work in a culture built on forgery, fake certificates, falsification and the like can be dangerous.
In fact it has a number of unseen yet lethal social, political and economic implications. Yes, we say lethal implication because of its very harmful and destructive nature. No one can deny that the spirit of forgery can be a serious distraction to JPM efforts to nurturing industrialisation for economic transformation and human development.
Surely, a fake certificate owner can not at all see the need for new interventions to enable Tanzania industrialise in a way that will transform its economy and its society. Thus, the saga of fake certificates, the unethical behaviour of forgery, falsification and the like should be among the major concerns in our society today.
This we insist because, here we are not only talking about the notion of civil servants’ authenticity. There is more to it. By having a fake certificate holder it means one did deliber ately jump a certain curriculum designed for training, suitable for labour market demand, working cultures and confidence in the delivery of service.
On a serious note, fakes and unethical imitation are among the huge, not only hidden and concealed risks, but imperceptible and therefore unnoticed. Serious as they can be, one should not tolerate these barriers which can also affect the ongoing government’s strategic repositioning as it seeks to speed the nurturing of an industrial economy and achieving the desired human development milestones for wananchi.
Likewise, by jumping whatever curriculum, it also implies that this civil servants intentionally if not consciously decided to push oneself off and therefore missed the teaching that was meant for him or her as it thought to promote the culture of hard work, self-confidence, self- esteem, creativity, and innovation and moral integrity before joining the civil service workforce.
So, in principle, what JPM did was okay in the sense that it was essential to command the respect and confidence of the general public.
Public servants in the service of the affairs of others have responsibilities and obligations to those who rely on their work. With face certificates wananchi will keep questioning about their reliability, legitimacy, and trustworthiness as they contribute to the national service.
Yes, if someone forged certificates it would be difficult to prove that he or she has the required competence. If this is not the case especially when it comes to experience gained over a long period of time, then another problem arises and this is whether the said person is a person of character and integrity or not.
With all the pains, which we dearly sympathise with you, the pain that goes with an abrupt removal from office and service, the uncertainty and the moral anxieties that goes with it, the worries and confusion, let us together value the public interest, that collective well being of the community of people and institutions the professional civil servant serves.
Let us be honest, understand the situation and the good will of JPM government. Let us remember that a distinguishing mark of any profession is acceptance of its responsibility to the public. We want the complete wellbeing of our society.
Our cry is to achieve well-being of a community whereby wananchi would enjoy the freedom of others, and the chance that they give others to be themselves, and to develop their potentials. Your fake certificate, will do nothing more than fuel disadvantages in our societies and deny opportunities for human flourishing.