NKWAZI MHANGO NKUZI
MEDIA for over a year have pressed former president, Benjamin Mkapa, to come clean on plethora of allegations that he wrongly and abusively used the State House for person gains.
Many dared him to no avail. Now at least we know what Mkapa has in store for us as far as allegations are concerned.
At last, on October 17 he came to the agora and said he needs to be left alone to enjoy his retirement. Well, even though he is entitled to freedom of expression, Mkapa must know that people want to know how he managed their country. This is Tanzanians’ country not Mkapa’s.
His pricey stance however, may sound as total admission that he wants to get away with our big bucks. As a statesman, Mkapa needs to be respected and thus back off from these allegations if he truly wants to be respected.
Mkapa’s unconvincing comment when he was asked about the allegations is tantalizing. He said he is retired, thus he cannot agree to be dragged into politics. To him all allegations are, but brawl and political!
This, needless to say, is taken as arrogance and being out of touch with time. But he must clearly comprehend that the wind of change presently pouncing our country can turn the tables on anybody regardless how famous that person is.
I think people need to hear Mkapa’s defence not as means of trying him. They want to know how to deal with the likes shall they act mischievously as he is alleged to have done.
Mkapa’s defiance does not help or do him any good. But again it is a challenge to our constitution that it is providing a breeding bed for corrupt rulers.
Therefore despite condemning Mkapa’s suicidal stance, we need to thank him for this eye-opener. This will knock sense into the heads of those who resist the need to re-write our constitution so that it can be logical to the democratic transformation we need to embark on.
The constitution, legally speaking, is the document by the people for trust worthily and diligently ruling them.
The late Mwalimu Nyerere once warned that had he wanted to become king under the current constitution he would. He went further as warning that shall one day a madman find himself at the helm, the constitution makes it easier for any bulimia to be carried out and still sound legal!
Eight years after his death his warning is proved right. If Mkapa, despite all the noises, can get the muscle to confidently pooh-pooh everything, what else are we waiting for?
Looking at the ‘kinghood’ we are facing presently whereby the president does not bother to accommodate our views, what, for God’s sake, are we then waiting for?
I unflinchingly concur with Rev. Christopher Mtikila who argued all those uncomfortable with Mkapa’s stance to go to court and file a constitutional case. Yes, this is, but a sure way of putting things straight. "Who will bell the cat?"
The law is clear and it has premises for this. This means that our activists like Nola, LHRC, TGNP and others can join hands and do the right thing at this right time by instituting a constitutional case reminiscent to this debacle.
Mkapa and the general public need to reasonably take this situation seriously. For, nobody is above the law and nobody is ready to be taken for a ride. If Mkapa is innocent and clean or otherwise it should be clearly known. If indeed he lives according to what he used to say, he is duty bound to help us out of this impasse. No arrogance or pretexts at this time can help us.
The former head of state used to preach the rule of law. He is the first president to form the ministry for good governance even though it did not exist during his tenure.
This is inclusive by nature. If he clings unto state of denial, indeed he will be conflicting with his own teachings. This is double standard. What bad augury!
If Mkapa and the general public stay put, obvious the thud resulting from this confrontational stance will be tremendous and chances are that one will lose or even suffer before the majority.
Mkapa must understand that he is not an island. People know more than he thinks. His disrespect of the masses, God avert, can gear the people into vindicating his family. He won’t be the first one. We saw this in Philippines, Indonesia, DRC, Ethiopia and what not.
Though Kikwete assured him of his protection, all of them should understand that the country is not a private estate where the owner is acting as he deems fit.
To depend on President Kikwete to act is to overburden him. His share of blame resulting from the escalation and surfacing of scandals is enough. If Mkapa wants to help him, he should cooperate. This again will neutralize mass anger which can be directed to all of them altogether.
Mwalimu Nyerere left a very shining legacy by which people can be guided on how to sort out their differences. And those who think they can cow them should brace themselves for trouble. The best enemy is the dead enemy but not in Nyerere’s case. He becomes much stronger and stronger as days go by due to the speed of erosion of what he stood for. He still has many disciples who can sing ‘Miserere mei Nyerere’ as it happened during his eighth commemoration.
To remind him, if Jenerali Ulimwengu’s school of thought that Tanzanians should embrace themselves to form vanguard and neo-socialist movement to recoup the country and her resources is worked on, indeed nobody will get away with it even survive this Tsunami of awakening.
Though Ulimwengu’s challenge can be taken lightly, it should be appreciated that we still have true patriots who will never stomach what they think is plundering their future generations. They are so many who are on warpath due to their discomfiture with what is going on. If anything, this is Nyerere’s legacy. For he oft-taught that nitaitetea nchi yangu kwa moyo wangu wote, literally, I shall wholeheartedly defend my country. These teachings are still in the mind of the people, believe it not.
So those who think they can suffocate them are wrong. Instead of jumping over a smoking gun they must answer. They must give reasonable answers before people jib.
How can they easily forget these creeds if at all they invested their future in their nation that is unreasonably being trampled as those doing so trump up pretexts and lies to justify their ends?
What makes matters worse is the weight of the pundits that have decided to weigh in. people like Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Joseph Butiku, John Malecela and others who will follow are not cheap shrimps Mkapa and his cohorts can easily gnash. Indeed, Mkapa is terribly wrong and out of touch for the stand he is taking with regards to corruption allegations involving him and his cabal of friends and associates.