“YEAR’S end is neither an end nor a begining but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us”~ Hal Borland
It was a very challenging year as for example, Tanzania witnessed the President who was in power passing away for the first time in her history since independence, some sixty years ago! The new administration has a slogan of, “Kazi Iendelee” meaning; “no much changes are to take place but the efficacy in continuing with what were and still are promised in the ruling party, CCM’s 2020 Election Manifesto.
But, with some months moving ahead, more than half a year, things have some changes rhyming with the philosophical reality, letting the work continue, did not mean the whole-sale of what was taking place in the Fifth Phase government!
We also witnessed the new President, this time a woman, becoming the Head of The United Republic of Tanzania, being ready to face challenges and criticism. The constitution versus the first build the economy contentions were other tit-bits of the challenges.
Still, the orientation in fighting the deadly pandemic, COVID19 changed a great deal as vaccines were ferried in Tanzania, and the country could borrow so as to support and revamp the economy. So they say!
Though critiques have been preferring internal funding sources, but authorities have assured the nation that they will stick to the borrowing binge for big infrastructure projects.
Like the previous administration, the public infrastructure projects are not subjected to rigorous investment appraisal. What we hear is the “flag ship” projects.
The biggest economic dilemma in these projects in 2021 is that; seven out of ten mega-projects, of which many infrastructure projects are, over-budget, late, and under-deliver on the projected economic impact laid out by the project designers.
The challenges were in social encounter. One of the them was and still is, for those who were and are ready to vaccinate for immunity against COVID19 with its variants such from delta to omicron mutations! On the other hand in line to social challenges, two prominent clergy, the bishops were against the current regime on vaccination.
In sports, arts and entertainment not much was recorded at the region, the continent and the global level. As Waswahili elders could put it, “asiyekubali kushindwa si mshindani,” meaning, he who does not concede defeat, is not a not a competitor. It is as if to say, we retreat, review and find a right way forward for future best performance.
The Political Shocks-and-Absorbers!
It was the death of President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli on 17th March 2021, not only Tanzania by itself, but also the whole continent, were sorrowfully touched! The Tanzania URT 1977 Constitution provides for the Vice President to take over. Amongst the top leaders of the nation were of the idea that Tanzania was not ready to be headed by a woman president.
Some supported, others sources say the military supported the Constitutional verses. Hence Samia was sworn-in and Madam President is in power as we enter in 2022.
Still, it should be recalled that in the Isles, another political icon in Tanzania passed away, this was none other than Maalim Seif Shariff Ahmad! At the sametime, President Hussein Ali Mwinyi, has been setting for reconciliation and the economic stability through the Blue Economy Resources.
With these changes, a new culture in politics and even the economy of Tanzania had taken place after six years of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Freedom of expression has manifested itself.
The news media, social media, some individuals, though political parties are still seeking more of their rights given standing laws. New developments in that regard are “political dialogues”, reconcialtion committees but many are demanding for a New Constitution or overhaul of the administrative infrastructure. But, analysts do comment that, the difference between the two, is that, freedom should not completely depend on the individual’s will to allow or not, but be institutionalized or entrenched in the constitution.
In economic diplomacy, investors have been trekking in to invest. It has been in concurrence with what the Romans said, “Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur cum eis”, that is time has changed, and therefore, let us change with it. The change in Tanzania ever since the death of Magufuli, is quite vivid.
In the international politics, policies and diplomacy, Madam President Hassan, says Tanzania is not an island isolated deep seas! She has held regional, continental and even addressed the United Nations General Assembly, contrary was what was Magufuli’s stand!
The Social Circles
COVID19 pandemic or the so locally called UVIKO19, has been not new in Tanzania Public Health Sector. But, what transpired most in 2021, was as Madam President Hassan ventured in inoculating an exemplary campaign, but of importance, the U-turn from what her predecessor was standing for. But, as a result, some clerics have not been supporting the vaccines against COVID19. This has been publically protested.
It has been the same protest with some other members within the ruling political party. Likely, collective responsibility is in shambles. What is not discerned is as to whether this anomaly is temporary or a situation to be permanent in which might be leading to its crambling! Who knows!?! One Mzee Mwinyi Rukhsa, was once quoted as, “cheche ya moto, inaweza kuunguza dunia,” meaning a spark of fire can set the whole world on fire!
It is the same of what is said in Latin that, “Causa causae, causanti causantibus!” It is translated as “the cause of the cause, caused the cause of the causes!” Such a fracas may trigger other fracases within the whole enclave of this long time standing political party in Africa, the oldest after ANC of South Africa!
Though these protestors have some issues for the public interests, ever increasing numbers prompt thinkers to question as to what is not going tranquil within the ruling regime in Tanzania and that what is the right way to bring the placid back to normal.
People have declined in responding to vaccination. It was the late Magufuli who discouraged Tanzanians from vaccinating. He was worried that the so called “imperialists” had their hidden agenda in vaccines.
Sports, Arts and Entertainment
Tanzania has been participating in a good number of events be they local, regional, continental and even on international events. Participation is in one side, but participating with a purpose could be another concern altogether.
With known or unknown or even individual purposes, champions, medals or any award is what mainly people look into. Unless tourism could be another purpose for be fulfilled. Tanzania participated in Tokyo 2020 Olympics this year, no medal was won. In football, not much has been achieved. The national football team, Taifa Stars, failed to qualify FIFA world cup and the African Cup of
In music, the most outspoken to vastly be coming up is lady Zuchu. Her circles are within East, Southern and Central Africa. It is said that, other non-traditional sports and games, may elevate Tanzania status to the international platform.
By the fact that all issues reflected on are so common, required is not to shy away from them, but to openly tackle them collectively. With good will and the Tanzanians I know, we generally have solutions. As it has been said more than once before, it can be done, play your part.
Estote parati all for an economically challenging 2022.
The author, Dr. Bravious Kahyoza, lectures in Economics at Kampala International University; is a research fellow at Fort Hall School of Government~ Nairobi; a researcher at Maarifa Institute, and a policy analyst at Malembo Farm~ Dar es aalam, Tanzania.