TO a pretty large ex tent, politics is characterised as a dirty g ame. This, however, shouldn’t b e the case.
For, whereas, primarily, the participants in the competitive aspects of that presumed game are essentially competitors, they are supposed to b e driven b y the desire to work in the b est interests of a g iven country.
Patriotism is indeed supposed to be the major force that should drive the individuals involved. They should promote national interests. That is an ideal b ut larg ely elusive situation, from which Tanz ania is not ex empt, the political ‘dirty g ame’ culture b eing a b ig curse.
It b ecomes particularly manifest during g eneral elections, when to a considerab le deg ree, some political parties (as individuals or g roupings) b ecome deadly enemies.
The particularly very disturb ing aspect is that, even some g laring truths are distorted to seem to b e lies, and ob vious achievements are not ack nowledged, or, worse, are downgraded to shortcomings!
There are limits to such distortions, however, and this is something that has come to the fore, in the wak e of the g overnance style of the Fifth P hase P resident, Dr John P ombe Magufuli.
One of its most notab le aspects is to g ive more prominence to the promotion of national interests that emb race all wananchi; their association with particular political parties (or with none) b eing incidental.
Significantly, to that end, he regularly states and emphatically so, that, whereas he is National chairman of the ruling party, CCM, he is ob lig ed to serve all Tanzanians.
That has been borne out b y many impressive achievements, and at fast speed, that the government has attained in k ey social and economic welfare sectors.
Hence the chain of praises he and the government at large have won, trigg ering defections b y some Opposition political camp leaders and members to CCM.
The recent move by one-time Prime Minister Edward Lowassa to rejoin CCM is particularly significant, as he has associated it with P resident Magufuli’s g ood work, ask ing those who voted for him in the 2015 General Election to shift their support to him.
It is sig nificant to note, indeed, that the fifth phase government is fix ing shortcomings on which the Opposition camp had been very vocal in condemning!
Inherent in Mr Lowassa’s sentiments, therefore, is the fact that political competition has to b e rational, healthy and b eneficial for the nation’s collective interest, and not a manifestation of deadly hostility.