“Politicians are the same everywhere. They will promise to build a bridge where there is no river”.
A structural engineer received a call from a real estate company informing him of a problem on one of the floors of a multi-storey building. There was an extremely huge wall-crack on the 17th floor of the building. The structural engineer accepted to take the task, which would start by an inspection.
On arrival at the premises, the engineer pressed a button for the elevator to take him downstairs to the basement (underground floors) of the building. His hosts, who wrongly thought that the solution would be provided directly to the cracks on the floor, informed him that the crack was up on the 17th floor, not down the basement. He looked at them and confidently replied: “yes, your crack may be on the 17th floor. But your problem is down on the foundation.” They continued with the elevator down to the basement.
Sure enough, when they got down the basement, they found a good number of concrete blocks having been taken off of the foundation wall. A security guard who happened to have his own small construction project, confessed that he had, for so long, been chiselling out a block each day he came to work, hide it in a bag, and take it to his construction site afar off. The structural engineer later advised the owner of the building about the magnitude of the problem and what would take to bring the building back to stability.
Similar to the multi-storey building, we have numerous cracks on different floors of our dual-storey building – Tanzania. The cracks have been caused gradually and for long. We have a huge crack on our education system. Many other cracks threaten our economy at different levels. Amazingly we tend to quickly forget that most of our problems are long-lasting and happened when some of our comrades were chiselling out a block each time they were given the mandate to govern our affairs. We wrongly want somebody to g o directly to the seventeenth floor and get rid of the crack that began on the foundation about fifty years back!
No solution is immediately available for us to fix all our national problems as quickly as most of us want to. No individual is equipped with power and intellect enough to solve our problems as shortly as we would want. Quick fixes are not an option for a building that has been damaged for almost a half a decade. We definitely need to know the magnitude of our problem and what would take us to bring this building back to stability. The cracks are exceedingly huge and long-lasting. They need huge and sustainable plans and implementation from each citizen of this nation in their respective places of work. Thinking that politicians are super human and were given a solution manual to our problems is a wrong way of thinking.
Politicians are not gods. They are not the problem solvers- we are. But our problems can’t be solved only during election years. We need to be consistent.
Having removed blocks on the foundation wall of hard work cannot end over-night. A crack of unaccountability is huge and has negative impact to our economy. Placing a hole of corruption on our foundation wall is detrimental and needs careful and persistent efforts to overcome. Placing holes on the foundation wall of our union is lethal to the unity we’ve bragged about and needs to be checked out quickly.
Chiselling off blocks of morals and religion can’t be fixed tomorrow. Chiselling out the blocks of cultural teachings is not something we can just repair cosmetically. It’s needful, therefore, to understand that we need to face our log-lasting problems head-on.
Elections are coming. Politicians will capitalize on our frustration to promise quick fixes and cosmetic repairs to our problems in their quest to navigate their way up to fame. Most of us will be told that all our problems will be solved by so-and-so because she has an encyclopaedia of solutions to our problems, but she has just been waiting for the right time – election time. Others will tell us that they have looked into our future and realized that they are the only messiahs for our redemption. We’ll yet be told that if we put somebody to a certain position we’ll remain with problems unless we elect this or that person/party.
Some people will use their popularity and tell us that there is completely no difference between popularity and leadership ability. Others will timely and very conveniently cross party lines to prove that they are so patriotic and they deserve each of our votes as if that is the only one thing they need to be great leaders. There are those who will say that they have been in the parliament for three decades and so they automatically deserve another term despite their record of performance.
However, hard as it may be to understand, our problems will not be solved with the petty promises during a short few months of election preparation. We need to continually engage ourselves into the affairs of our nation. Our problems are not one-man made and aren’t going to be one-man show. We all need to take part. The games we all play of getting promises of little cents from vote seekers and elect them to offices while completely incapable of yielding any sustainable solutions to our problems just takes us deeper into the pit of destruction. Sweet promises unparalleled with good implementation aren’t going to take us far. Remember, politicians are the same everywhere. They will promise to build bridges where there is no river. To be on the same side elect those with the least promises for they will be the least disappointment. Let’s elect able leaders.