WHENEVER we discuss political, economic and social issues, which are at the very core of the livelihood and prosperity of Tanzanians, it is most helpful for us to look back to where we started off as a nation.
Our memories, of both senior citizens who were youngsters when the then Tanganyika became an independent nation in 1961 and subsequently merged with Zanzibar in 1964 to produce Tanzania, as well as the relatively younger ones to whom recollections of highlights of the past were, are critical inputs into that pursuit.
The leadership core revolving around the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, cited poverty, ignorance and disease as the major problems to which wananchi were obliged to join forces in confronting.
The message being driven home was that political independence was not an end in itself; that, so long as the people were being tortured by those major problems, their independence was at best highly diluted, and at best meaningless. Hence the major focus being put on confronting the said problems.
On ignorance for one, the immediate post-independence era laid much emphasis on schools at various levels, as avenues for acquiring education.
The struggle continues, but it is apparent that, whereas some problems are understandable, others are products of evil forces, in the form of, crooked elements, the public school component one of victims.
One of the illustrative cases relates to Wanyere B Primary School in Suguti Ward, in Mara Region’s Musoma District, for whom lessons are conducted in the shade of trees.
Village Chairman Thomas Musiba sorrowfully recounts that money that wananchi raised between 2017 and 2019 to ease the problem was embezzled.
He has furthermore disclosed that the central government had disbursed 46 million shillings for the construction of a teachers’ staff room, two classrooms and some toilets, but the contractor vanished before the project was completed.
Stories of that nature are commonplace, whose history is traceable to the culture that had preceded the Fifth Phase government, whereby ‘deal fixing’ was a virtual devil inspired industry.
Crooked individuals perceived whatever positions they held in whatever sector, was, so to speak, a grand opportunity to loot.
Naturally, the education sector wasn’t spared, and, in spite of the earnest resolve by the government to curb the trend, some diehard elements don’t give up easily. So, the struggle must continue !