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Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong

And then when their attempts lead to futility, nay prove disastrous, they start wondering what went wrong. The expected reaction from the average rightthinking earthling would be that these two parties either need serious help or should never have been where they are in the first place.

That may be exactly what the average sane Tanzanian is thinking right now with regards to the tireless yet futile attempts by some of our Members of Parliament in the name of impressing the public. In retrospect, maybe they are not even trying to impress the public but are bringing to the fore their egos.

Unpleasant truths hurt, ahem, bring cold comfort. But it never helps to loathe the bearer of the horrid truth; it only helps to right wrongs and change. It is unpleasant to note that the public will soon start feeling that they have the wrong people in Parliament. The general public makes up the electorate.

As an electorate, it had expectations when going to polls to elect representatives. Yet some of these representatives do not seem to live up to the expectations of the electorate and instead have turned the revered House into a situation comedy. Assuming that the electorate was the employer, the representatives the employees and while still thinking along those lines, some of those employees are conducting themselves in the manner they have been doing; the best guess is that they would show some element of seriousness for fear of being dismissed.

If the MPs, for a minute believed that they are answerable to the general public, we bet that they would not behave in the way they do. It is difficult to understand what drives them, but the ongoing myopic and rhetoric only serves to show that they are doing it for us. It is also an unpleasant truth that come election time, when the general public goes to vote for the MPs, it is only a few voters in their respective constituencies who decide their fates.

To the MPs, it seems, these few voters make for an easy crowd to lure into a being a loyal electorate. In actuality, the MPs are not paid by the electorate in their constituencies. It is the taxpayers’ money that gives them their daily bread and they still claim that half a loaf a day is not enough while a majority of their kinsfolk have to make do with less than a slice a day.

The MPs, again, upon being elected become members of the National Assembly (mark the word national) and they want
to be recognised as national figures wherever they travel, within and outside the country. And the public always obliges with alacrity. Furthermore, all MPs without a cabinet portfolio become members of parliamentary committees. The committees, among other tasks, act as watchdogs of various matters of national interest.

Shouldn’t that be enough for the public to demand them to behave more appropriately when in the House? The most unpleasant truth of them all is perhaps the fact that some of the unruly MPs in Parliament never hid their true colours and characters even before they were elected into the House. What we are witnessing is a continuation of the personal attacks and mudslinging that was commonplace during election campaigns.

We voted them in anyway. Maybe there was that little hope that all that would change after the elections, after all, election campaigns are competitive and so just like in anything competitive, the unthinkable happens and at times the unthinkable is permissible. But the MPs have proven that they do not see the difference between campaign rhetoric and the pragmatic demands of being a figurehead.

Now as we are feeling a bit shortchanged, they are laughing all the way to the bank. Really, who is the dumb wit? We have ushered in a new era. These days anyone who is bored with their day jobs tries a hand at politics and before you know it they are MPs while capable individuals are left to play second fiddle or languish in the oblivion. We are experimenting with what borders on the precarious and expect a safe outcome.

It is pretty much like sending an ill-equipped Eskimo to the Kalahari and a Sahel nomad to Siberia and then act surprised when disaster strikes. But Murphy’s Law should keep us in perspective; whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Get it?


LAST week, following the inauguration of the newlyelected ...


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