Ideologies Not Necessarily Panacea for Our Underdevelopment U.S [column] (allAfrica.com)
Feedback from the readers has always been the spice of good arguments and a healthy sign of generating purposeful discussions. Ours is a country hurrying for development hence the saying goes, “we should run while others are walking” and therefore, constructive criticism is necessary for the good of our country.
In one of my previous columns, I ventured into arguing about the lack of ideologies for our political parties and that most of our parties seem to work in accordance with their manifestos, and other high profile statements without known ideologies. For example, the ruling party, CCM is tasked with the responsibility of implementing the Election Manifesto, Mkukuta, Vision 2025, Big Results Now (BRN) etc.
The manifestos are guided action plans for five year periods that are supposed to move the country from one point to another. It is a progressive approach on developmental activities, which sometimes are not practical but only serve to appease people in achieving contractual agreement between the party and its members.
It is during such times that the party is required to account for what it had done within that given period. Mail & Guardian Africa newspaper is convinced that even the coalition forming Ukawa see eye to eye on ideology whether social or economic, but they have come together for the sole purpose of ascending to power.
Precedents drawn from other African countries such as Gabon, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Africa and Rwanda, show that the ruling party is a coalition with other parties co-opting the major players to retain a stranglehold on power without an ideology.
One of my esteemed readers has recently cautioned me that I should not ‘personalise’ ideologies rather should address issues that citizens would benefit from.
He drew a strong critical but constructive view on this premise anchored on Nyerereism. Maybe he had in mind of Obama’s theory that Africa does not need a strong man but strong democratic institutions!
In my submission entitled Nyerereism, new ideology for Zitto’s Party, I tried to argue that, only Alliance for Change and Transparency (Mzalendo) promises to work within the framework of an ideology. Actually, it is Nyerere’s idealism on his special blend of socialism based on humanism and togetherness.
Ideologies are political orientation that characterises the thinking of a group or a nation. Orientation is an integrated set of attitudes and beliefs that in Nyerere’s time included self-reliance in education and a set of creed that were checks and balances of doing things. Yes, this was socialism and self-reliance as an ideology.
It is not possible to draw a line on the differences between the two big political parties, CCM and Chadema. Even their members crisscrossing from one party to another, ideology is not an issue yet they seem to have a common agenda of improving living standards of their people.
They all speak the same language and all appear to loathe graft in principle yet they do compromise with it for the sake of political survival as we have just seen recently from both parties in what amounts to politics of the belly!
Who has between the two the courage of accusing the other on corruption? I could not agree more with my esteemed reader who clearly argued that what matters is not the name of the ideology, but the policy. He comes up with a number of illustrative countries and their achievements in addressing people’s dire socio-economic needs.
He points out Western Europe generates wealth to look after their own citizens: Free Health Care, Free Education, Social Security/ Benefits.
That is why immigrants flock into those countries. In addition, countries like Australia, New Zealand, and their citizens enjoy this heavenly bliss. USA and Canada are other developed countries with similar approach.
However, in USA there are those who are homeless mostly blacks and Latinos healthcare may be too expensive and the Obamacare is resolving this anomaly.
China has moved away from poverty to aggressive wealth creation/acquisition; they are now economically very strong; most Chinese are now enjoying the fruits of their wealth. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, have massive oil and gas wealth; their citizens enjoy the wealth: Free Health Care, Free Education, Social Security/ benefits Singapore: under the late Lee Kuan Yew with no natural resources; almost one party state; very good civic governance; now very wealthy: citizens enjoy all benefits mentioned above.
The opposite of this is countries like Democratic Republic of Congo with oil, gas and mineral rich, her citizens are very poor, war stricken with a hopeless dispensation so as Nigeria.
Out of Africa, there is Mexico, oil rich but citizens are very poor and flock to USA illegally while Colombia with abundance of natural resources, citizens are very poor, war stricken, drug infested country, and main exporter of cocaine to USA.
Brazil rich in oil and natural resources and Brazilians are now enjoying and Russian Federation very rich in oil and gas, citizens are poor war stricken oligarch.
Yes, it is a well-set example of countries where we can weigh ourselves as to where we belong. Indeed, we may not need to have an ideology but equally well with blessed natural resources that include minerals, gas and wildlife; why not make a difference to allow our people enjoy from this natural endowment.
I am convinced we need to opt for Radicalism as an ideology, a political orientation of those who favour revolutionary changes in government and society. With that somewhat revolutionary approach, we may make positive inroads in making our citizens enjoy the wealth: Free Health Care, Free Education, Social Security/benefits.
They do not need their pockets to be filled with money but if these essential social services are readily available then that is it.
I am equally convinced that the incoming leadership regardless where they come from whether from the ruling or the opposition parties; with this approach, we can be a tiger state of East Africa just in the footpath of Asia Tigers.