On human flourishing; Why JPM emphasis on the peculiar interplay between corruption and injustice is so crucial for our country?


I HOPE you would agree with me that most of President John Pombe Magufuli (JPM)'s speeches are geared toward the social health and economic viability for his people.

Mr President is steady when it comes to tirelessly advocating for the well-being of wananchi (read public) who are, and have been the victims, the oppressed, the forgotten and those who have been, for a long-time, debarred.

For JPM, injustice is unfairness. He is absolutely right and no one can persuade him to change his mind. For example, from his philosophy, and in light of the seriousness of the problem of corruption and the severity of the consequences of graft as injustice, what he always sees is the disrespect for human dignity.

So he would want to be there and available to rescue his people. When I listen to him what I tend to hear is his overriding agenda of indicating that corruption essentially entails injustice.

Looking at his eyes I see quite clearly that he would love all citizens to know that they are all expected to abide and therefore participate in protecting the rest of the people. He needs support.

I think it is fair and good to commend Mr President’s vow because as a nation we had reached a very disappointing point. A point where citizens were singing the same song with the same tune saying - there is no at all light at the end of the tunnel, because we have decided to accept corruption as a way of life.

So it has eaten us, because we decided to allow bribery and fraud to devastate us. It was an undeniably sad point because we had reached appoint where fellow citizens could say given the magnitude of the problem of corruption and its corrosive effects on Tanzanians, the transformation of social, political and economic life by making it more attentive and responsive to corruption could not easily be achieved.

Hope had been lost and corruption and injustice had become the norm as fellow deprived groups turn out to be habituated to inequality, unaware of possibilities of social change, resigned to fate, and were willing to accept the legitimacy of the established order that it is only by giving and receiving bribe as the only option for life to continue.

Now the tone of our song is changing and changing for good because we can see light at the end of the tunnel. Indeed things are shifting. We are now witnessing an increased countrywide consciousness, attention and renewed efforts to address the challenges of corruption and injustice and the threats they pose to wananchi.

But why is JPM putting emphasis on the peculiar interplay between corruption and injustice is crucial? The response to this grand question is important. Here I propose; he is doing so because there is an interchange between corruption and injustice.

The two are inseparable. They constantly go together. Corruption is much more intense and best understood when looked at within the context of injustice. Here you talk about issues of socioeconomic inequalities, something known as that power which opposes equal opportunities as well as beneficial results for all members of our society.

You cannot talk about graft without unfairness, inequality, and discrimination. Simply put, one understands better the consequences of corruption when it manifests itself in the number of gross injustices surrounding wananchi.

So we have, and may continue to suffer from the pain of corruption if we do not understand this peculiar interplay between corruption and injustice. I wish, as JPM would insist, that one day all wananchi would stand up and say no to corruption.

I wish people would understand that corruption is injustice and injustice is the result of citizens forgetting responsibilities towards fellow citizens. From my devotional background, corruption and injustice are the outcome of the failure to love one’s neighbour, in the fullest sense, as oneself, and to respect the integrity of common goods on which everyone’s flourishing depends.

So efforts to curb corruption needs wananchi’s support. We propose that the diving motive in wananchi’s backing on this war could best be understood if the relationship that exists between corruption and injustice is well known.

The two are joined together and they are the breeding ground of inequality and other social ills. Both are solely posing threat to citizens’ flourishing. But the question remains; will wananchi see this dynamic link?

Will they acknowledge that by its nature corruption is nothing else than a form of social injustice? Will they foster a culture of saying no to corruption and therefore show and encourage a clear commitment in local communities and be able to display the need to stand up against social injustice, poverty, and economic inequality?

Let’s hope that there will come a time when citizens will at least follow JPM and say their ethical standards, moral uprightness and justice is key to the success of our country.

So as we keep hearing and responding to JPM, lets us seek to notice, value and make his emphasis on the peculiar chemistry between corruption and injustice useful for our mother Tanzania.

Yes, let us do so, for with the Bulldozer, there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.


The author, Dr Alfred Sebahene, is a Lecturer, Researcher, and Social Issues Analyst at St John’s University of Tanzania, Dodoma.

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