HAVE you noted that politicians are the same all over the world that is why they can promise to build a bridge where there is no river? These are people who lead terrible lives, when he is not straddling an issue, he is busy dodging one, but because they form part of the society, we must live with them and show them that they must not necessarily be leaders.
To narrow the point home, as East Africa community citizens numbering over 150 million people, the bloc wants charismatic leaders capable of making the citizens shelve off poverty, fight diseases, ignorance and above all uprooting corruption to its roots.
It may be debatable that leaders are born and not made despite education they may have or acquire to lead its people, but the business of a leader is to turn weaknesses into strengths, obstacles into stepping stones, and disasters into triumphs and that is exactly where John Pombe Magufuli (JPM) and Paul Kagame of Rwanda are leaders at the helm in the fight against corruption in their backyards (read EAC bloc).
Recently, President Magufuli advised residents of Arusha (read citizens of EAC) to shun cheap politics saying: “There is no way we can ever make development strides by steeping into cheap politics that divide people; nobody here was born supporting any political party!”
As citizens of the bloc, if we want economic growth/ development, we should never let an economic (development) question get into politics, because politicians make mistakes that is why there are political elections every now and then.
“As far as I am concerned, politics that deserve attention is that which deals with development and my government has started to set aside more than 40 per cent of our annual collections of 1.3 trillion/- into development projects,” said Dr Magufuli.
It was circulated in some social media that some brothers from another mother wanted to borrow JPM into their ‘homestead’ for some hours to fight corruption because they realized that a neighbour is unsafe – for whatever reason – unless you are also safe next door and fight graft that is “wasting” our socio-economic fabrics or resources.
All citizens of the community-the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania have the same feelings and require secured jobs, square meals on their tables, better education for their children and such paradigm, and for sure no outsider will spare his/her time and board a jet to come and deliver these into the bloc without a string attached to his/her offer.
There are so many blocs in the world ranging from the European Union to Ecomog/ Ecowas in Africa and since they were formed they have existed and persisted all storms.
For instance, the European Union (EU), a political and economic union of 28 member states that located in Europe and cov ers an area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mil), and an estimated population of over 510 million was developed with an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states.
With the same aims as EAC to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enacted legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development, EU has thrived all sorts of storms because the citizens have more say on it than its politicians.
Think of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) established in 1975 via the treaty of Lagos with 15-member regional group to promote economic integration in all fields of activity of the constituting countries.
The member states-Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo have one way or another embroiled in civil strife and border conflicts, but that has not made it disintegrate.
Integrated economic activities as envisaged in the area has revolve around but not limited to industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial issues, social as well as cultural matters for the sake of its citizens, and at the end of the day shown doors to its rouge politicians not leaders to unite the bloc.
Expectations of economic integration have always been high in the agenda of its citizens and the bloc, and a lot has been accomplished by the regional group since the endorsement of the treaty which gave it the required legal teeth.
Going by current assessments, the regional body has exceeded the expectations of its founding fathers, why not us in EAC? Today, the organisation is being acknowledged globally as a successful regional body, a toast to a workable integration and regional co-existence.
The Vision of ECOWAS just like EAC has been the creation of a borderless region where the population has access to its abundant resources and is able to exploit the same through the creation of opportunities under a sustainable environment.
Since EAC was started just like ECOWAS we ought to realize that all are possible unless we want to tear it apart and this time the citizens who have seen the light, what we want is hapa ni kazi tu for the citizens to feed their children, educate them, acquire good shelters and live, but not survive in the region.