IT IS a festive season again, stretching from mid December to January, a time of madness!
Yes, it is a time of merry making, flooded with bonanzas, marriage ceremonies with bliss of happiness forgetting the hardship of the outgoing year. Traditionally, we are used to making various proposals or recommendations that would be accomplished in the following new-year.
Did you manage to make a difference this year? I remember as usual in my previous almanac, I tried to sort out issues that could be top in the agenda and possibly see their implementations on the government side. The country at that time was almost edging into a basket case category after a series of misfortunes that had struck on us.
The multiple results of those misfortunes had led the country into economic hardship with spiral inflation. Apparently I had five noted items for that outgoing year. The first two emanated from the Parliament, the Commissioning of the National Development Plan, and equally well the Constitutional Review.
Of course those Parliamentary Sessions had gone to the annals of history for blocking some of the Ministry's budgetary estimates while Dar es Salaam was in total darkness because of the ongoing quagmire of Tanesco's power supply together with the hue and cry of the ailing railway network demanding rescue from total collapse!
It was a tough debacle between the executives and parliamentarians, much to the chagrin of the parliamentarians, the trio saga of Jairo, Utoh and Luhanjo was another bone of contention. Did we reach anywhere in tackling those highlights of the year? Did we get the feedback?
Thanks to the advent of Mwakyembe in the cabinet and that we have now Mwakyembe's trains to Ubungo Maziwa and Mwakanga. And my sister, Honourable Member of Parliament Maria Hewa of Mwanza must be the happiest individual for witnessing the resumption of services for passenger train to Mwanza. In utter disbelief, seeing the dawn arrival of the snake iron rolling and horning its arrival at Mwanza Railway Station must have won many hearts of our people.
Likewise the Kigoma residents are now enjoying the railway services. We hope the services will not be short-lived like the Tanesco saga. What is happening with our much needed energy consortium, Tanesco? though Minister Muhongo was coming up with that magic wand from South Africa that could make the power rationing the story of the past.
Instead we are hearing euphemistic language of "not rationing but maintenance" yet the bottom line is the erratic power supply. While I was putting up together my column, the Minister of State - Environment, Dr Terezya Huvisa Luoga, was on the news launching what was known as Dar es Salaam City Environment Outlook 2011.
What is this again; is it another of the several documents which end up gathering dust in the bookshelves and government cabinets? According to the Minister, the document provides information and knowledge on the City environment serving as a guide document for policymakers and other stakeholders on how to improve environment performance of the city. Speaking out of the official prepared statement, the Minister bemoaned the city of Dar es Salaam officials for leaving the city in such a filthy situation.
The Dar es Salam City is stinking. However, she praised the efforts done by the Ilala Municipality, at least something is being done. In this context with the document launched, this would be my supreme assignment for the year 2013 in making sure that the implementation of this report is done.
I will dedicate my pen to see to it that something is happening and there is a real change! If towns like Moshi, Musoma, Kigoma can be clean, what is the problem with Dar es Salaam? The Minister was just coming from Maputo, once Lorez Marques and said she was upbeat with the cleanliness of that city! Dar es Salaam is said to be one of the top ten cities of the world to be dirty.
We should be ashamed of that and see how we commit ourselves in the implementation of this Dar es Salaam Environment Outlook. Deliberating is one thing and implementation is another. We cannot allow the continued degradation of the environment and deterioration of human well-being while we continue to sit on the so-called Master Plan of the Dar es Salaam City and the Strategic Urban Development Plan (SUDP) and the Community Infrastructure Upgrading Programme (CIUP).
We are intoxicated with these terminologies which mean nothing to the 4 million plus inhabitants of Dar es Salaam. Do they understand those acronyms? Let us go simple, involve everybody to make our city clean. Apparently I was lucky to have stayed in a city which is dubbed to be the cleanest city in Africa, Windhoek of Namibia. All the credit goes to the City Council which has that commitment of making the city clean.
The city is the service provider of all utilities of the city, water, electricity, law and order with their own police, traffic etc. Your municipality bill includes, water, electricity, refuse collection, sewage system rental plot and all other related issues that would stop you from littering the city.
This has an inbuilt culture of cleanliness to its residents and would not dare to litter the streets. Go to the Windhoek's Manzesse famously known as Katutura; there is no difference between the town centre and those places in terms of cleanliness! So while we are celebrating Xmas and looking forward to the New Year 2013, let's give it a thought making our Dar es Salaam city clean!
If Mwakyembe could manage to urge people to stop from 'kuchimba dawa' in the bushes, it is equally possible to change that culture of living amidst filthy surroundings and our City Fathers should be taken to task and have their accountability reports public in line with government and people's partnership in transparency. Merry Xmas!!!