PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has once again demonstrated in no uncertain terms that he truly means business and is committed to waging the war against corruption to its logical, victorious conclusion.
When opening the Annual Meeting of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) in Mwanza last Thursday, President Kikwete said corruption has continued at full strength in the country, thus denying citizens their right to access crucial social services.
It is for this reason that the president called on all key stakeholders to effectively take part in this relentless fight against corruption.
As the top commander of the war, he directed PCCB to ensure full implementation of the new law on Election Expenses to give more integrity to the electoral process and democracy in general.
The president’s warning that the new law will not spare anyone who solicits, takes or gives bribe to, is timely. Indeed, this is the time to rid our nation of corrupt leaders.
As he rightly pointed out, people who want to ascend to leadership positions through corrupt means will have no chance again with the implementation of the new law.
The Elections Expenses legislation aims to set up rules and guidelines on financing election campaigns and guidelines on financing election campaigns so as to create level playground for all citizens to exercise democracy.
However, it is important for the government to look into ways of providing voter education to the people so that they know what the new law is all about. As suggested by some legislators when discussing the bill, the public need to be enlightened on the whole concept of ‘election expenses’ before going to general elections.
We all need to understand that the war against corruption is not that different from other national efforts to eradicate ignorance, poverty and disease. But what places corruption ahead of these other national enemies of progress is its toxicity that has the power to reduce all the other efforts to little more than nonsense if it is not wiped out, and soonest.
We believe the president’s apparent resolve to turn the country around by rooting out the dominant corruption malaise will have a significant political, economic and social impact on future generations of Tanzanians.
Suffice to say that corruption, especially at high levels of government may have become a real national headache...but it is not and has never been a part of this country’s DNA.
The important thing here is to maintain genuine support of President Kikwete’s ongoing efforts to revamp and keep up the social norms of our country, and to feel genuinely ashamed to let corruption continue to flourish.