When President John Pombe Magufuli invited retired leaders to an open meeting, many issues came to the fore. Among those things is the satisfaction by the former leaders with Magufuli’s performance. Of all, one thing seemed to not augur well with some quarters pertaining to the identity of the government. This is because there have been some misattributions of the government wherein the exaggeratedly used narrative is that the current government is Magufuli’s but neither is it CCM’s nor Tanzania’s.
Legally and procedurally, after the affirmation of the winner in presidential elections, be it, a party or a person, the government ceases to be the property of the winner. In lieu it becomes it becomes the property of the people who voted it. The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, Cap. 2 Article 6 the Interpretation Act No.15 of 1984 clearly stipulates that “…the Government includes the Government of the United Republic, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, local government authorities and any person who exercises power or authority on behalf of either “Government.”” There is no single mention of the government of either the CCM or the government of Magufuli. There’s no any ambiguity here. Constitutionally and legally, this is how the government is known; is and must be referred to for the matters of documents, functions and identification. This provision is clear and simple. Thus, misattributing, parodying or politicising the government is not only illegal but unusual so to speak. Thanks to such a provision and others, president Magufuli has oft-drummed the message of equality and unity clearly stating that he’s the president of all Tanzanians notwithstanding their divergent ideologies and all that jazz. This may be construed as Magufuli’s repugnance of charlatans, hangers-on and wire-pullers in or outside of his government who dubiously and purposely, for the quest of securing some favours, misattribute the government of the URT to him instead of the people. Sadly, many self-appointed praise singers and self-seekers deliberately attributing the government to Magufuli think they are doing him good and justice. Arguably, for such whiz kids and ort hunters, doing what they do aims at pleasing Magufuli though he’s philosophically negated such ballyhoos, hoo-has and soft-soaping. Refer to how Magufuli decline the offer to name the Kigamboni Bridge after him. Instead, he named the Bridge after Mwalimu Nyerere. Further, Magufuli recently disclosed that the government intends to name the Tazara flyover after Eng. Mfugale. If he were a self-seeker and a cut-rate populist as his detractors paint and portray him, he’d have induced his officers to name the flyover after himself. Further, refer to how Magufuli mortified the Frankenstein who wanted to lull him into tampering with the constitution in order to cling unto power illegally.
Therefore, those misattributing the Government of the URT are doing so either out of arrogance, ignorance or whatever reason(s). Thus, this column differs from former President Benjamin Mkapa who said that he’d like to hear people referring to the current government as the government of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). This shows how Mkapa has never detached himself from his past when he was president. He’d like his style to be replicated. The in the World Statesman, the encyclopedia.com quotes Mkapa as saying “my government is a CCM government.” Far from it. True, Mkapa’s and his predecessors’ and successors’ governments were formed by the CCM. Nonetheless, this doesn’t give the CCM an exclusive right of monopolising or politicising the said government. Doing so is nothing but deliberate robbing the government from its owners, the people of Tanzania. This is illegal and abhorrent by all standards.
All told, now, we need to ask ourselves. Whose Tanzania’s government is? As noted above, the constitution rightly answers this question. The government of the United Republic of Tanzania belongs to the people of Tanzania simply because the government as well as its creator, the constitution draw their powers from the people (Art. 8: 1 (a)). This is why Tanzania spends billions of dollars every five year on election as the way of seeking the consent from the people of Tanzania. Therefore, any attribution or whatever to the contrary of what is stipulated in the constitution is not only illegal but also the violation and trampling of the said constitution of the land.
Provided the constitution is clear about to whom the government of the URT belongs, we need to address other important issues as we advise thersites, who with evil motives, either seek to paint Magufuli as a dictator or self-seeker, to stop misleading our people and wasting time.
Now that we know the truth, let’s stop misleading ourselves and others by misattributing our government to an individual party or person. The government of Tanzania is the government of Tanzanians namely the government of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Source: Citizen, July 18, 2018.