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On Human Flourishing; My dream for the awaited new cabinet and its calling beyond 2020

TANZANIANS are excited, motivated and yet nervous and tense.

Their nervousness has to do with the eagerly awaited formation of a new cabinet, particularly on who shall be in and who shall be out. I can understand why people, and especially those who were on the previous team, are anxious. Waiting can be a challenge. But it will happen.

But the naming of the cabinet announcement should not be a concern, because to form a new government requires infinite care and unbounded attention; for if the foundation is badly laid, the superstructure must be bad, said George Washington, an American general and commander in chief of the colonial armies in the American Revolution (1775– 83) who subsequently became the first president of the United States (1789–97).

Likewise, according to JPM, as it was back in 2015, he has clearly told us that he is “still looking for the right people”. He has plainly stated that even if he appoints, the appointment may not necessarily be a guarantee to someone holding the position until 2025.

Put simply, those who will be appointed shall have to deliver as per JPM and citizens’ expectations. Well done Mr President! I think I am right to say the words “right people”, by and large, connotes ethical - moral obligations which shall accompany the appointment. For me, I would go a little bit further.

So my proposal boils down to the task ahead to those who will be appointed. Thus, I think the best excitement and counsel to those who will be part of the team is to be eager and enthusiastic about what the new cabinet shall actually do. This should be our foremost anticipation and expectation.

In my column today, I want to prepare those who will form the cabinet, and indeed other fellow citizens to remember what wananchi are looking forward to. Well, quite simply, as wananchi look back, they have tested the goodness of JPM’s committed leadership and justified during his first term in office 2015-2020.

For them, and indeed for me, the agenda is simple and clear. We want to be steadily moving forward and nothing else.

When I say moving forward, I mean a clear focus on well-being and progress, for now a more specific nature of wellbeing could well be understood in terms of material living conditions - housing, income, jobs and quality of life - community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction and safety.

This we need so separately. The desire of most citizens is to have ministers and leaders who can justify their being and their doing. As they wait for the new team to be announced, faithful citizens’ voices suggest that the old past misery is not at all on the page they are reading today.

Tanzanians want a “good life”, whatever this concept means. And the good news is this; JPM has already shown us that it is indeed possible. In other words, ministers, those already appointed, I mean Hon Kabudi and Hon Mpango, and those who will be appointed, will have a duty to continue helping Tanzanians to understand, as Magufuli has already done, what good life is for them.

They can do so only if they will sincerely and honestly make decisions based on what remains to be done after a very productive five years 2015- 2020 term. In principle, their moral obligation to this country is, in my view, of paramount importance.

The concept “good life” is critical, in that in the past years, it was, by and large, a serious moral failure in public life which caused pain to us. We do not want this to happen. What we want is to see the new cabinet adding goodness to the splendid success of the last five years.

I see the new cabinet calling beyond 2020 as not simple, but tough yet accomplishable. From my ethical inclination, those who will be appointed, should by no means seek to discover, understand and live out the values that guide someone holding a public office.

My prophecy and vision is simple: the prerequisite for the reconstruction of Tanzania by ministers to be appointed is ethics and morality on their part.

And this ethical call is, as indicated earlier, has always been of overriding importance since the days of Thomas Jefferson, an American statesman, who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809, who once rightly suggested that; the purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness.

Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors. My wish is that they will read my vision as I call upon them to be vigilant, sensitive and, among other things, fight corruption by following the footsteps of JPM.

So I call upon them not to act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They should take at their hearts the longing of Tanzanians to move beyond our current classification as a lower-middle income country.

I am eager to see them doing more to move our country beyond the recent upgrade for the product of our country’s strong economic performance of over 6 per cent real gross domestic product (GDP) growth on average for the past decade. This they can do because JPM and his team did it in the previous five years.

Let me reiterate, it is something possible, feasible, and doable. I hope, to help JPM, those who will be appointed, will be the source of coordination of the governmental policy-making process. Equally important, they will be at the forefront in providing democratic legitimation to our good government.

I am optimistic that they will make sure that they create a channel for political accountability and decision making. I think they should remember that as soon as they are appointed, they will play a major role in the authoritative allocation of values we wananchi shall cherish.

Their calling therefore shall be nothing else than to serve Tanzanians by pulling together and integrating central government policies within the government machinery. It is my hope that they will assert the necessity of a common action in order to have a proper cabinet.

So, to you who will be appointed and those already appointed, you should remember that you will be expected and indeed supposed to be major political actors and in a position to make, together, important government decisions. Remember, your positions are at the apex of government. This is my dream for the awaited new cabinet and her calling beyond 2020.


Dr Alfred Sebahene, PhD Social Ethics Specialist and Anti- Corruption Consultant St John’s University of Tanzania Dodoma, Tanzania Email Addresses: arsebahene2@ yahoo.co.uk, alfredsebahene@gmail.com Mobile: 0767 233 997

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Author: Dr Alfred Sebahene

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