I WENT totally berserk and ballistic when I read the story that Andrew Chenge, the Minister for Infrastructure Development, owns a million bucks in a foreign bank! The history of socialist Tanzania tells me: Legally nobody can own such a large amount of dough!
First of all the big question is: If indeed Chenge got this money legally why should he stash it in off-shore banks? I may be regarded as ka-mai even a dodo for posing such a question. But again, if such a large amount of money is stashed abroad whilst we have reliable banks here at home, what does patriotism mean to such person in the first place?
If indeed this money is legally acquired, why stash it abroad? It does not make sense, does it? The same person is the minister for infrastructure development. Doesn’t he know our banks also are part of economic infrastructures he heads; how come he does not trust them?
Many times, Chenge has been accused of wrong doings when he was the chief government lawyer. The despoilers are speaking volumes. They have it that he gave bad advice to the government during the bovine privatization under Mkapa which ended up being ’ufisadi mtupu’ or sheer corruption.
Now the beans have been spilled. What will President Jakaya Kikwete who, in essence, has become another castle for Chenge, tell us? How many parsimonious ministers, former ministers, principal secretaries and who's who like Chenge are still at large?
Now I can aver comfortably that I have traced the reason why Tanzania, with all the abundant natural resources, is wallowing in abject poverty. While a few self serving goons are feasting on our sweat living such slap-up lives, we suffer in penury. Latin sage has it that ’’Verbum Sapienti Satis’’ or in the language many of us understand, ’’The word of the wise suffices.’’
I think. The revelations about Chenge’s billions speak volumes to Kikwete, who I believe this time will do something he has always hesitated to do. I am not blaming the president. But looking at how he has been ’dealing’ with the culprits, his behaviour leaves a lot to be desired. Now that what has been said for a long time about the minister has proved to be true, it is high time for Mr president to listen to us by taking prompt action against the minister and other people of the minister’s like.
I think. The majority of Tanzanians are now tired of being given a raw deal. I still wonder! How Chenge can still be a Cabinet minister amidst such stinky allegations? The time for the wise monkey to see nothing and say nothing is now over. This attitude will never do us any good.
If an individual we entrusted with our office can shamelessly steal from us in this way, what of the hundreds we suspect and know? How many of the likes of Chenge do still exist in our midst? It is likely that we have a large number.
Source: Thisday April 17, 2008.