Talking about power specifically people power, in her book, “Thinking Outside Ballot Box,” Brigitte DePage said that power is as fluid as the water in the lake. Nobody can stop water from going wherever it wants. The analogue is: Everybody’s aware of the power one possesses as far as running the business of the state is concerned. We heard of and read about many people in the world who brought about changes in their countries. These people are not made of steel and stones. They’re made of bones water and blood just like we’re made of. Again, why did they do that what we can’t do despite underscoring the immense power we've? Simple, they decided to truly say: “Enough is enough” knowingly that those who want to dupe and bulldoze them draw their artificial power from them through their consent, vote.
Coming to the hot debate we’re having currently vis a vis the New Draft Constitution that’s pointlessly and dubiously doctored by Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), as Tanzanians, we, firstly, need to appreciate and employ the power we’ve shall we want to get the New Constitution we deserve. We must understand. Whatever comes out of what’s going on will reflect our way of doing things. Shall we sit aside and look; a few venal politicos with their personal vested interests will write the Constitution for us. However, this Constitution will be referred to as ours; practically, it won’t be ours but theirs. Who needs such injustice in the first place?
I heard people hugging Presider Jake Kiquette, pleading with him that he’d not concur with the doctored document he’s presented. While this was going on, it came to light that Kiquette had already appended his signature to the doctored bill. Thereafter, we witnessed sideshows whereby the presider dined and wined the opposition bigwigs. Again, what's the rationale of discussing what seems to be a raw done deal? Opposition top dogs came out of the meeting all teeth out. Again, why moving goalposts in the eleventh hour if at all they are serious and focused? They said that their talks were encouraging? Suppose this becomes carrot dangling? Opposing politicos said that soon they’ll wise Kiquette about what’s to be done. Well done. Will he live up to his words and commitments to improving a doctored bill? Supposed he ignores all those noises and let the document stand as it is? Shall he do what we don’t want; we must stand in his way showing him that we’we've power that we can use to defend ourselves and our nation.
If anything, applying people power's the only simplest and surest way of putting the current impasse to an end. Yes, we can' And we'd. It’s sad to note that since we gained our independence over fifty years down the line, we’re still languishing in abject poverty. We’re still evidencing our God-given natural resources being vended at a throwaway price. Yet still, we still allow ourselves to go cup in hand begging as if we’re not gifted with all these riches! This should be stopped at any cost shall we aspire to move forward as a hunk that belongs to all of us equally and equitably.
You don’t need to be a satyagrahi or a monk to stand against this naked injustice committed against your motherland. If you allow self-seekers to fool you they’ll do and you’ll regret later when you won’t have any way of alleviating the ills. The very question everybody must ask himself or herself is: Am I happy and satisfied with a doctored document they call my constitution to be? If the answer’s negative, then play your part by supporting those who want the paper be corrected before being made a law.
As I said above, people have power that can’t be stopped by tanks, guns, water cannons and whatnot. What’s needed is for the people to show their power by telling those who think have power that they’re not going to be the agents of injustice committed in their name. Instead of leaving the whole show to politicians, support them and dictate terms they'd present. Lend them your power so that you can get the constitution that you deservedly need and want. Show those who use your power that the power's yours. This is what true democracy's all about. It’s about those who decide to decide what they want to decide. Members of Parliaments who doctored the document did so for their own peril and interests. We'd not allow them to take us for a ride and get away with it. Our constitution is our future.
The most crucial question people need to ask themselves is: What type of constitution do I need and want between the one I've made and the doctored one?
In sum, it must be appreciated that we'll get the constitution we deserve depending on how we’re going to use our power. If we sit on it, we're done. If we show our power, truly, we’re safe. We need to do away from the misconception that activism's the venue for politicians and young people. Instead, activism's the venue for all of us as a people and as a nation. We need to stop their offal ASAP.
Source: Thisday Nov., 18, 2013.