LIKE many other countries in the world, Tanzania has been blessed with elderly citizens, who are reservoirs of memories of critical events related to our country’s history.
Colonialism is something that they recall with great bitterness. It’s because it is most humiliating for a given set of people to find themselves in the awkward situation of being ruled by foreigners.
The most sickening aspect is that colonial rulers treat people, who they have imposed their authority with utmost disrespect. The exp ression ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’ captures the situation appropriately.
The people of the colonial era were reduced to being toilers for the benefit of colonialism masters.
What was more disgraceful, however, was the fact that, besides humiliating the people on whose will they had imposed, they made them toil in conditions that fundamentally amounted to slavery.
The people were furthermore subjected to embarrassment, such as local people recruited to colonial militias chasing presumed tax evaders right into their houses!
There comes a time, however, when subjugated people pronounce a loud, definitive NO to subjugation. It is to that end that, we have fond memories of the gallant compatriots, who waged anticolonial struggles, culminating in our country gaining political independence in 1961.
Those, who played an instrumental role in that glorious end, among the leading ones being the Founder of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, were very vocal in condemning, not only colonial, but also neo-colonial tendencies as well. It’s no wonder, then, that, financial and other forms of assistance to which unreasonable conditions are tied, are deeply frowned upon.
That’s the backdrop against which we salute the reiteration by Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Philip Mpango, that Tanzania won’t bow to development partners’ pressure and tough conditions that violate national values for the sake of financial support.
Speaking at a media briefing in Dodoma at the weekend, he explained that the reduction of donors’ budgetary support was due to some conditions by some of them. Similar sentiments were also voiced by Zanzibar’s Second Vice- President, Ambassador Seif Iddi.
Granted, we are part of what is fancifully styled the global village, within which partnerships are crucial. At the end of the day, however, national sovereignty must be safeguarded and respected!