JOSEPH Stalin (once the leader of the Soviet Union from 1927 until 1953) in one of his famous quotes said “Leaders come and go, but the people (read country) remain. Only the people are immortal,” that should be a lesson to Heads of government institutions tasked to man them.
It is setting a bad precedence in the public especially to the youth who graduate from colleges and tasked in positions, where one would be asked to make decisions on funds, when they hear that so and so, despite being educated and a manager, has embezzled money meant to run the institutions and no punishment taken.
Leaders as adults and parents should know that the people they serve or institutions entrusted in their hands require discipline to deliver. It becomes a shame and unprofessional for any leader whether he/she is a director, regional/district commissioner, you name it to turn his/her position as an opportunity to mint extra coin by mismanaging office.
These people represent the government and should realize that they are public servants, who will always be accountable in managing paid taxes as funds. The culture of clandestinely eating/embezzling public funds and wait to be exposed by watchdogs like the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), whichever way looked at, is not healthy for the nation.
It indoctrinates to the youth in schools and colleges that once appointed in an office, you must devise a means of ‘fleecing’ and look for a tough lawyer in town. Why must such leaders be allowed to live larger than life with ill-acquired wealth at the expense of taxpayers’ sweat? This is not the Tanzania Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, the founding father of the nation and his team, who sacrificed their lives to bring independence had in mind.
The successive regimes have fought mismanagement of public offices and this war should be extended because taxpayers’ money should not be taken for granted, but meant for development. In the same breathe, vetting public officials should be constantly carried out and those who are not willing should not be compromised with.
Vetting, also known as a background review, should involve keenly and thoroughly crosschecking their employment history, authenticating educational credentials such as degrees, professional licenses and certifications, checking social media profiles, routinely reviewing credit reports and searching for any prior criminal records or jail time.
Above all, with a clue that man loves gold and fears weapons, the government must become tough and empower the watchdogs to ascend on any suspect without favour and finally nationalise any ill-acquired wealth as a lesson to others.