11 July 2018

Tanzania: The Bigger Story in the Sacking of Mwigulu Nchemba

The sacking of Dr Mwigulu Nchemba as Home Affairs minister was something any analyst could see coming. It started a long time ago after and when his ministry became non-functioning. There are some hunches one would employ to easily presage what was in the offing for Mwigulu. His sacking tells a very bigger story than any person can expect.

No untouchables

First of all, it is fact that nobody in President John Magufuli's government is untouchable. Everybody is vulnerable, especially if and when his or her performance is sluggish or does not meet Magufuli's expectations. Mwigulu's dismissal should act as a reminder to other ministers and public officers who seem to be more of liability than asset or those who think they are sacred cows under Magufuli. Guys, Magufuli has clearly and openly shown that what he needs is delivering but not anything else.

For example, the minister under whose watch many blasts occurred before the current one came to power must keep an eye on his performance.

Other ministers are known; and some have already been warned like it was for the one whose ministry failed to address issues that have to do with minerals.

Mysterious killings

Secondly, Mwigulu lost it when he failed to curb the Kibiti mysterious killings that saw many innocent people killed for unknown reasons. So, too, Mwigulu failed to articulate his strategies in curbing the anathema.

Essentially, when the former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ernest Mangu, was shown the door, time was up for Mwigulu. Sadly, Mwigulu didn't read the writing on the wall and the signs of time.

For example, Arusha Town MP Jonathan Lema warned that after failing to address many shortfalls, Mwigulu would be cannibalised by the same power that appointed him. Instead, he kept on doing just the same by maintaining his inertness and sleaziness as he slept at the wheel.

There is a famous adage that humans don't learn from history; and if they do, they do it in a wrong way. As the Minister of Home Affairs, Mwigulu would have revisited the history of the former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi who decided to resign after some innocent people were killed under his watch when he was Minister for Home Affairs.

When Mwigulu was generously advised to call it quits, he sealed his ears hoping things would calm down; and thus survive. On this, had it not been President John Magufuli's forbearance, Mwigulu would have been history a long time ago.

Besides, Mwigulu lost it all when many accusations on illegally issuing working and residence permits surfaced without him reining in. Further, up until now, Tanzania's passports and other documents such as IDs are not protected as they are supposed to be. Such documents used to be sold like peanuts to criminals and international criminal gangs.

Corrupt ministry

Thirdly, Mwigulu presided over a very corrupt ministry that was oft-accused of wrongdoings. For example, the police are ranked higher when it comes to corruption allegations. Refer to the simmering mortification involving the procurement of old and dubious police vehicles that recently forced president Magufuli to vent his anger on the matter. Further, refer to the Lugumi scam about which Magufuli, too, complained and ordered the incoming minister to look into, not to mention Nida scam.

Sluggish police performance

Fourth, Mwigulu's general sluggish nature of police performance sufficed to force Magufuli to boot him out. Apart from this, police are renowned for their heavy handedness when it comes to dealing with dissent voices in the country. Under Mwigulu's watch, many accusations of the lack of peace in the country grew day by day; and as the person in charge did nothing to address them as if it wasn't his business.

'A sitting duck'

Fifth, Mwigulu will be remembered as the Minister of Home Affairs who was like a sitting duck thanks to his indolence and let-down in addressing critical subjects under his docket. This is why Magufuli wondered how people he entrusted with public offices would only appear at unimportant occasions but not on the scenes that needed them most.

In sum, thanks to his sluggishness, Mwigulu's sacking was long overdue. It is sad that he didn't see it coming, up until, he's caught off guard. How many'll blindly replicate the same and suffer the same fate? Time will accurately and timely tell.

Off the cuffs, I applaud Mwigulu for being ahead of others when it comes to donning on national flag. Again, donning on a flag without delivering is as good as nothing.


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