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In shaking up the cabinet, the president struck the right ‘codes’, giving the nation, a new ‘imagine’ of the government

Moreover, it seems the shake up was mostly a response to the CAG and Parliamentary Committee Reports and recommendations; otherwise ministers who should have resigned earlier for other reasons should have been dropped. For example it was time for this Minister who witnessed episodes of army bombs going off killing people and causing extensive damage, to be honourably relieved of any ministerial post.

Likewise, there are ministers who went into the Cabinet promising heaven, giving high hopes to the people, who have little or nothing to show for their tenure. These should have gone as well. The problem however, could that there are no objective indicators to measure ministerial performance.

You recognise Ministers, not by their actions, but by the type of government vehicles they are driven in. Clearly as a part of the new Constitution we need to establish the qualifications of a minister, how the minister’s performance can
be measured, and how they could be relieved of their duties should they under perform.

In the build-up towards the crescendo of the cabinet reshuffle, many writers expressed their opinion. “Fresh Cabinet should usher in a new work culture”, wrote one columnist (Daily Blog 5 May, p. 7). “President Jakaya Kikwete struck the right ‘codes’ during his May Day address to workers and the nation when he promised to give his cabinet a new lineup.

The people are waiting and only hope that the coming outfit will quench their ‘thirsty’ for changes in the top leadership of the country.....”. “Striking the right codes” does not sound right. Kind of off tune. To strike or touch a chord (with somebody) is to do or say something that people feel is familiar or true; an emotional response, especially one of sympathy (such as, the story struck the right chord).

It is noted that code and chord sound the same and it may be easy to mix them up. How about “quenching peoples’ ‘thirsty’”? Here, the writer is referring to a noun not an adjective. Thus the correct wording is “peoples’ thirst”. Of course these are people who are thirsty. Compare this to the front page headline: “Pinda leaves Public Thirsty” (Good Citizen, April 24th).

The public is thirsty. Their thirst needs quenching. Writers were aware that in making the decision to reshuffle the cabinet, innocent ministers may suffer unnecessarily but, writes one: “I ‘can dare’ say, it does not make any difference as the people want to see actions”. You do not need both “can” and “dare” in the above sentence. “I dare say” is adequate. “I dare say” is used when saying or agreeing that something may be true. An example could be: “I dare say, performance will improve after the Cabinet reshuffle”.

The writer goes on to emphasise that tainted ministers need to go, not least because: “Cabinet Ministers carry the collective ‘imagine’ of the people they lead”. I can imagine that the “imagine” in the foregoing sentence was a typing error and the writer had “image” in mind. Yes, the ministers carry the collective image of us all, like they represent us in the eyes of others. Should they lack integrity, the society they lead could be construed as lacking integrity as well.

In an earlier article titled “Place local government in the hands of locals” (Daily Blog, April 21, p. 7), a writer pointed out that at least five cabinet ministers were accused of massive embezzlement of public funds. “Those dangled on ‘a cliff hanger’ included the Minister for Finance ......”. We have problems with the use of the phrase “dangled on a cliff hanger” in this context. What the
writer had in mind was that these hapless ministers had been pushed to the edge of a cliff and there was mounting pressure that they be pushed over. Thus, according to him they were dangling on a cliff hanger.

However, the phrase “cliff hanger” has nothing to do with cliffs. A cliff hanger is a situation in a story, film or competition that makes you feel very excited or nervous because you do not know what will happen, or have to wait a long time to see how it will end”. What if the writer had left out the “hanger” bit from the cliff and said: “Those dangling on the cliff are the Minister of Finance ..........etc”? There was a baying for the Cabinet reshuffle. It came. But this may be a cliff hanger. Will the Ministers, new and old, perform or not? Only time will tell.

lusuggakironde@gmail.om

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Author: LUSUGA KIRONDE

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