TANZANIA is not exempt from the poor country narrative that stretches back to when the country was under colonial rule.
Our country was among countries in the African continent, as well as, on a broader scale, on the ones in regional entities elsewhere in the wide world, which were regarded as not only being poor, but also hopeless.
It was a case of twisting the realities on the ground, for the express purpose of benefitting the ‘twisters’. It was a case of the colonizers creating an impression that the people they colonized were silly.
The reality was, and remains, that intelligence, creativity and other attributes have nothing to do with skin pigmentation.
The reality, furthermore was that the colonizers were attracted to abundant natural resources far away from their countries of origin. Tanzania’s natural resources include minerals, agricultural produce and tourist attractions.
If the colonizers hadn’t come in on an evil mission of subjugation and plunder, we would have made much headway on the social and economic fronts.
This fact is being brought powerfully home by the fifth phase government led by President John Pombe Magufuli. He frequently reminds his compatriots and people elsewhere, that, ours is a RICH and not POOR country.
This has been consistently borne out by the terrific speed at which the country is registering social and economic strides. This stems from, among other initiates, curbing corruption, wasteful expenditure and rigid enforcement of the work ethic and accountability.
It is an uphill struggle, though, due to the fact that deeply entrenched bad habits don’t vanish swiftly.
For the habits were part of a negative culture from which some of our compatriots were accustomed to benefitting from.
The culture had indeed evolved into an acceptable way of life, and whoever opposed it was perceived to be a strange species. Come the Magufuli-led administration, things are dramatically changing.
The Head of State for one, often says that our country isn’t poor but rich. Oh, yes; and the evidence is all around us, through the strides we have made during the slightly over four years of his presidency.
The struggle has to be sustained, the Head of State being on the forefront, noting recently, for instance, that chief executive officers of some state institutions drew monthly salaries of up to fifteen million shillings but had failed to pay dividend to the government.