An open letter to all Tanzanians
From M. J. SABODO
Dear my fellow countrymen,
When Mwalimu Nyerere nationalised properties under the gist of socialistic politics, I, M. J. Sabodo, gave him and some senior officials of his government copies of a book entitled SOCIALISM THAT WORKS authored by Lee Kwang, a minister in the Singapore government for 30 years. I call upon every Tanzanian to read this book.
With no intention of humiliating former president Mzee Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Benjamini William Mkapa, I know for sure the duo were handpicked by Mwalimu Nyerere to lead Tanzania. Thank God both of them have proved to be among good leaders of Tanzania, and even more so the ruling party – CCM. But the fact remains they were appointees of Mwalimu.
Now the big question is, who really planted the fourth phase President Hon. Jakaya Kikwete? The President has been steadfast in his five years in the office. Recalling his landslide victory, it was a show that many Tanzanians had faith in him.
Now I am so surprised to see Hon. President on political platforms campaigning for corrupt leaders. Or put it this way those accused of corruption, with some with cases in court of law. You claim that they are hardworkers. This astounding and diluting the faith Tanzanians had in their government.
HOW TO PROMOTE OUR ECONOMY
Let me start with a living example.
Tanzania and Singapore gained independence almost the same year. During that time the US dollar was equivalent to three dollars of Singapore, which is also equivalent to Tsh 7. After 40 years now the same US dollar is equivalent to 1.6 dollars of Singapore and also equivalent to Tsh 1,100. When Kikwete assumed powers the US dollar was equivalent to Tsh 950, but now one US dollar is equivalent to Tsh 1,525. Where are we heading to?
The size of Singapore is not larger than Bagamoyo. It is a small country with a population of six million people compared to Tanzania’s 40 million.
One region in India is capable of producing food that can satisfactorily feed a billion people of India. Tanzania still imports food for domestic consumption.
We have about 800 square kms of seawaters, but our fishermen still use ancient means (canoes) for fishing.
HOW CAN WE COMPARE OURSELVES?
Mwalimu Nyerere’s nationalisation policy and Mkapa’s trade liberalisation policy have not brought us any success. The two policies have failed us. Just compare our currency to the dollar of Singapore. Because of the past scenarios I am calling upon Hon. Jakaya Kikwete to find the best way of supporting peasants and fisherman of Tanzania so that they are not drawn into hunger.
When I told Mwalimu that he was not a king but the president of Tanzania, he laughed. I don’t know what the feelings of Hon. Kikwete would be or other presidential hopefuls if I told them the same thing. It is better to speak the truth without hiding anything, because the truth is the same as the sunlight. It is impossible to be covered by anything.
The opinions of Mzee Sabodo on this year’s October 31 general election:
If it happens you know the formula of your opponent, then the victory will be much easier for you. If you don’t know your opponent well and you still decide to clash with him, it is like going to war without knowing who your opponent is,
If it happens you know your opponent even without knowing his thinking, you can still fight him,
I’m not saying nor do I not believe that the opposition parties are an enemy of our country,
So an opposition party is not an enemy, but a good helper in contributing to the development of our nation,
We are aware that CCM has made blunders and is still making many more blunders,
There were shortcomings in the economic policies of the Mwalimu Nyerere during his administration,
There were unstable policies during the Ali Hassan Mwinyi’s government,
The third phase government of Benjamin Mkapa, on its part, out rightly ignored agriculture and the peasants of this country and instead it paid much attention to international issues, especially the North,
When Kikwete takes control of the nation again, I don’t what mistakes he is going to make again,
I would like to believe that he will support farmers and promote farming,
If it happens that a party makes mistakes, it must be corrected. That is a true democracy.
I do not mean there should not be opposition in the country. It must be there. But it must be a kind of opposition that can contribute to development and stand for the future of our nation,
England spent almost 200 years to create the opposition as it today – Labour and Tory parties,
India, for instance, despite 50 years of multiparty democracy, it is still unstable and does not have the desired unity. Things are still uncertain.
Long live Tanzania
M. R. J. SABODO
P. O. Box 730
DAR ES SALAAM
Source: Business Times Friday October 15 – 21, 2010, page 4