The adage has it, "blessed is the hand that giveth than the one that taketh"
Forgive me. When I remember this maxim and look at how African presidents go shamelessly cup in hand begging, I feel infatuated and reduced to a gawk.
When I survey all riches and wealth our continent is endowed with, truly I feel bad and nauseated. That is when the urge to share my feelings with my readership, twanging like hell, pop in.
I am not writing this to satirize anybody. It is a self-reflection aiming at knocking sense into heads so that we can re-correct ourselves as we kick start the whole process of getting out of this mess-cum infamy.
I still remember seeing one former regional commissioner of Dar es Salaam expelling the matonyas from his Heaven of Peace. They’re degraded and shoveled into trucks like sand ready to be dumped in rural areas where everything sinister is sent. Had he known that he’s acting like a croc laughing the gator!
When this was going on, I just asked myself. "What if one day donor nations do the same to their Matonyas in suits?"
Yes, these guys can do. They've third world countries to dump their cargo.
I went on self-quizzing. "Was it the scenario of nyani that does not see its butt?
I didn't get the answer. For I still see no difference between a beggar in expensive vehicles and suits and the one in rags. A beggar is beggar so to speak.
Does the beggar feel comfortable about begging? Who knows? If I were one, I think, I’d not even walk around in the streets thump up and chest beating for begging.
Even when I come back from begging missions I’d insinuatingly report my mission not with pomp and confidence as I always see some other punks do in some quarters.
I remember the guys in Brazil. After finding that begging is degrading, they turned to organizing and sensibly using their resources and now they’re picking up some speed to Canaan!
Yes one person’s trash is another’s treasure. The sage has it. The minerals we’re abusing like trash are but treasures for others. Some like China are even watering their lips wishing they’d a tenth of what we’re abusing!
Is it the tale of giving a coin to a dog or playing music to the goat? Nay, I don’t think so. Let us stomach it. How many arms do those we beg have?
Do you remember the biblical Zacchaeus? When he went to Jesus seeking salvation he found that he’d what it take but he’s his own obstacle!
Looking at minerals in Kahama, Buzwagi, Geita, Mwadui, Makongorosi, animals, rivers, oceans, rivers, lakes and what have you, like Zacchaeus, I find myself muffled! This reminds me of Mwalimu Nyerere who once said "You have all wealth. But you’re sitting on it" He’s pretty rights in couple of things the chief of which is not to misuse the minerals. His was to reasonably and diligently make use of them in future. Sadly though, this future’s no more. If it is, it is nothing but a letdown!
Nyerere wanted to jump start the process by laying foundation. He educated and inoculated his people to prepare them for the future he foresaw. Sadly again, he didn't know that sometimes the lion can sire a hyena!
He didn't foresee the fact that contagious diseases like selfishness, hopelessness, uselessness, greed, corruption, myopia, wealth worshiping and other hitches would strike!
Nyerere’s failed by his disciples. Has this vice been stamped out of the society? To know this well, remember the factories, schools, hospitals, dispensaries and shambas he established without languishing in begging. Where are they now? We’ve pointlessly and senselessly thrown them to investors. Have we ever evaluated how much we get as a hunk or are we satisfied with what a few individuals from this art of destruction?
As a nation, I am sure it’s sad. But as for a few individual success can be seen. We've secret millionaires even billionaires. There’s a downfall though. What does it help to have a drop of millionaires amidst the ocean of paupers who live on less than a dollar a day? Shame on you!
You know what. I command much respect for being a factory of words. I put smile on faces. But do you know the secret behind all this success? Let me whisper it into your ears. "I went to free schools during Mwalimu’s era" Warning though. Don’t try or dream about this presently. People will laugh at you.
Note of reminder. By then there were no hundreds of mines even tourism was boycotted because the old man’s a staunch socialist who refused to self-degrade and being cheated by money printers and minters in the name of economic adjustments and other blah-blah. He did all above mentioned as a free leader not ruler. He didn't have his hands and legs tied on conditions and orders from abroad.
Mchonga used to rant even rave at the so-called donors now we revere. They indeed feared and respected him. His was not like what we’re facing today whereby donors are yet other gods!
I know many people don’t like them. But this is vindicating them. They’re not forcing anyone to go beg from them. Theirs is business as usual. Theirs is to make profit not humanity. Sometimes we blame these guys for no reason. We want them to be fair. Perfect. Are we fair to our hoi polloi? We complain they’re exploiting us. Well. Aren't we exploiting ours? Some are exploiting even their wives and kids by rooting family treasurers! Donors have aids to show. What do we have? Donors even discipline themselves when it comes to spending their tax payer’s money. What of us?
Please understand me. I've visited many rich countries. I've never seen the leaders of these countries wasting a lot of time and resources on merrymaking things like us. Let’s face it and fear each other not. One day I’ll survey how the leaders of developed countries do their business. I’ll go as far as visiting the lives of their spouses who are always in oblivion not in lime light like ours. While the leaders of developed countries are building their societies; we’re fond of building castles whereby our country is a pauper? Why aren't we ashamed of this hopelessness-cum uselessness?
Our counterparts are using medium size vehicles for the business of their governments. Contrary though, we’re fond of oil guzzlers and long and large motorcades almost for every who’s who in the government. Sadly, even our spouses, vitegemezi, who never see a ballot box, are enjoying the same king size motorcades.
Source: Thisday Nov., 25, 2013.