ANOTHER session is on its way. Indeed, in the next few days, Bunge, the representative institution of the Tanzanian people will be meeting in Dodoma.
This one is the longest for it will be working on the budget. We shall once again be reminded of the fact that Bunge sovereignty is the fundamental expression of the sovereignty of the people. I believe all parliamentarians know this.
As such, I also sorely trust that Bunge is very much a working place, and nothing else. Out of this concept of work, I presume that parliamentarians will understand that the wananchi reasonable expectation shall be hinged on whether their representatives are serious and therefore committedly seeking their welfare or not.
They will follow their discussions and deliberations very closely. The session will start amidst common existing challenges facing Tanzanians.
I hope Bunge will be asking itself whether, since their last meeting, it has really liberated a reasonable number of Tanzanians from the yokes of poverty, deprivation and the like. Likewise they will be sitting again for the budget session while the decline in levels of trust in politicians, political parties and some institutions of state continues to be a concern to citizens. Obviously this should also be of particular concern to the Bunge.
They will be sitting while some of them have already, since election, scored low on levels of trust. Some of them may already have noticed that in their constituents, fewer and fewer voters trust them even though general distrust of some of our leaders is in contrast to the high regard in which some individual MPs are held by the people they represent.
Indeed individual MPs remain fairly credible not only in their constituents but in the public eye in general. Most of these credible members of the house have always stood in the line of defence to prevent voters from falling into severe hardship and destitution.
By the way, wananchi cry is that the wabunge will seek to stand up for their rights as well as faithfully committing themselves to the ongoing process of reforming the country so as to promote jobs and deepen our democracy, fight poverty, advance equality of opportunity, extend security, responsibility and independence for wananchi.
Wananchi shall be expectant to hear that their representatives are standing firm as they develop effective governance and democracy, manage the country’s economy, and promote socially responsible business practice. We look forward to hearing and seeing this happening.
Whatever they shall say in the Bunge, they should not leave us vulnerable citizens confused about where to turn in a crisis be it of water shortage, ongoing strife between farmers and livestock keepers and the like. When they stand up and begin to speak, I hope they will ensure that they are speaking for prosperity for all, strong and safe communities, and highquality healthcare.
At this budget session one wishes that ‘wabunge’ will affirm that education has a special place in their plan, that their effort will be focused on poverty and inequality reduction, that they will agree on the need to put in place policies which will raise the growth rate with greater equity, crackdown on corruption, promote human rights, including for women and girls.
This is meant to be a serious business for the next three months. We shall wait to see though as to whether they are serious about our welfare. We call upon them to bring us economic stability, steady growth and investment in public services.
We shall wait to see that after three months they have come up with a clear resolve and have categorically decided to put our schools and hospitals first. We are seeing signs of prosperous future, but we are thirsty of an active welfare state, that which constantly promotes work for those who can and security for those who cannot. To do this, they shall need to be clear in their values and confident in their policies though.
To seek the welfare of their people should remind them that they should also seek a new mandate from their voters. They should not come to this session without consulting and listening to their people. Will they? Some will some will not. In fact some of them may have not been to their constituents for a very long time.
I do not know. As they sit, some questions are critical and needs a careful reflection. Will they have but one aim and one single irrevocable purpose, which is to ensure the welfare of their people? Will they seek the peace and prosperity of us and our country? Will they work for the good of Tanzania?
We remind them: In this coming Bunge session, let them seek the welfare of Tanzanians? Watch out, fifty years have been spent to form this peaceful state, but an hour or a one MP’s careless, irresponsible, and barratry speech may lay it in the dust. Mine is a cry for prosperity and well-being of citizens.
Please allow wananchi to grow and develop in a healthy and vigorous way. Do please create in the Bunge congenial environment for this to happen.Let Tanzanians flourish! The author, Dr Alfred Sebahene, is a Lecturer, Researcher, and Social Issues Analyst at St John’s University of Tanzania, Dodoma.
- Email address: arsebahene2@ yahoo.co.uk 0767 233 997 or 0625638756