Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tribalism attitude is still a thorn on Africa’s developments

It is rather shameful with what is currently happening in the Republic of Kenya. This is a typical example that proves that tribalism attitudes have become a thorn on the country’s major political movements. Political analysts also say that, “tribalism is responsible for African underdevelopment”. For decades the continent has been engaged in crisis due to misunderstanding among tribes. Some political analysts in Tanzania and abroad have in one way or another linked the ongoing political misunderstandings in Kenya with tribalism. Some politicians in Kenya have been quoted asking ‘wananchi’ to vote for leaders who originate from their tribes or their areas regardless they are incapable to deliver. The story for Kenya goes back to 2007-08 post-election violence that revealed the extent to which tribal forces could quickly bring a country to the brink of civil war. At least 1,100 people were killed and 600,000 others were displaced during the 2007-08 post-election violence. According to the Human Rights Watch, at least 12 people were killed by Police and 100 others injured during demonstration in August, this year, in Western Kenya. Moreover, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said so far 37 people have been killed in the country. According to KNCHR, at least 123 incidents in which Police beat and caused injuries to innocent civilians have been recorded in Nairobi and Kisumu cities in recent months. The challenge to democracy in Africa is not the prevalence of ethnic diversity, but the use of identity politics to promote narrow tribal interests. There are those who argue that tribalism is a result of arbitrary post-colonial boundaries that force different communities to live within artificial borders. Knowing that, Mwalimu Nyerere managed to dismantle tribalism in Tanzania. Speaking to the ‘Daily News on Saturday,’ some political analysts and academicians said Mwalimu Nyerere played a big role in creating the Tanzania of today. They argue that with more than 120 tribes, it would have been difficult for Tanzanians to get a competent and patriotic leader if tribalism was left in the mind of the people. “Tribalism is cancer that kills African democracy, we have many vivid examples that are in trouble because of tribalism, Kenya is one of the countries that are facing the problem,” said University of Dodoma Lecturer, Dr Paul Loisulie. He said Mwalimu Nyerere used the National Service (JKT), boarding schools, Kiswahili language and many other strategies to bring people together. “Through JKT, Mwalimu brought people from various parts of the country, they lived together and shared everything,” he said. According to Dr Loisulie, Mwalimu Nyerere had an idea to unite Africa. He said while some African leaders were applying various strategies to remain in power, Mwalimu Nyerere campaigned for one Africa. “Since some people wanted to remain in power, they even applied tribalism as a means to maintain their power, this has become a big problem to some countries until today,” he said. A political analyst who is also an ad vocate of the High Court, Mr Silvanus Mathias said it is believed that in some countries people vote for leaders from their tribes. “For example, when you go on social media and see how people argue on election matters, you will realise that tribalism is a big problem in some countries including Kenya,” he said. He added that Mwalimu Nyerere was a gifted leader who foresaw all such problems. The continent democracy is no longer the stranglehold of autocrats, but the hijacking of the democratic process by tribal politics. As we mark 18 years since the Founding Father Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere was promoted to glory, it is time to reflect on how tribalism was fought and pulled to pieces in Tanzania. Mwalimu Nyerere managed to unite all Tanzanians and ensure they live together. He used Kiswahili language as a tool of communication for uniting all tribes. The founding Father also ensured all Tanzanians live as members of one family by sharing good values. From the foundation that was set by the Father of the Nation, today Tanzania, which has more than 120 tribes is referred as an island of peace in Africa and the World at large. Mwalimu Nyerere also ensured that political leaders are obtained democratically basing on their ability to lead. This has been difficult for many other African countries, where tribalism has been the main factor in electing leaders.

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