A STORY is told of an elderly politician in a certain county where the multi-party political system had been in motion for several years.
He was sharing his thoughts with a group of young people from various parts of the world on the sidelines of a politics-focused subject.
The few participants from some African countries were amazed by both the revelations of the European “mzee” and the happiness attending the delivery.
He said was extremely happy for having been in the political opposition camp for several years, and wouldn’t mind serving his beloved nation through that medium, over the remaining phase of his life.
Noting their bewilderment, but knowing what its source was, he made a clarification that cast the issue in sharp perspective.
He explained that, over the long period that he had been in the opposition camp, he and his colleagues had been instrumental in keeping the ruling party on its toes.
He explained that, in reaction to sharp criticisms that those in the camp made against the ruling party, the successive governments in power moved the country forward through constructive adjustments based on them.
The message the veteran politician sought to drive home emphatically was that constructive political opposition was a noble patriotic service to one’s country.
Viewed from a different angle, being a ruling party should not be an end in itself, and that, nation building can be fast-tracked from opposition ranks, by keeping the government in power on its toes.
That is a scenario that Tanzania’s opposition camp should grasp, by appreciating that, the current government led by President John Pombe Magufuli has generated admiration and support from within and beyond the country, by fixing shortcomings that had been manifest over a couple of years.
The opposition camp played a part in citing the shortcomings, including, crucially, through Parliament, alongside critics within the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), of which Dr Magufuli is the current National Chairman.
During the current election season ahead of the October scheduled polls, therefore, the focus of all parties should be on national interest promotion issues.
For sure, the electorate is eager to know what a given party, through which right-calibre candidates, seeks to do for Tanzania’s move forward.
Simplistic, sweeping sentiments like “Kuing’oa CCM Madarakani” (to topple CCM from power) as the electoral focus, are meaningless and laughable!