As the nation commemorated the 17th anniversary of the death of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere yesterday, Tanzanians have been urged to go back to the basis of Arusha Declaration to foster integrity among leaders and fight corruption in the country.
According to politicians and academicians, it is difficult to abandon the Arusha Declaration because it has scientific grounds on the country’s development vision.
Speaking at a symposium to commemorate the death of Mwalimu Nyerere, the Deputy Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Engineer Stella Manyanya, insisted the need to go back to the basis of leadership ethics and patriotism for the development of the country.
The symposium was organised by Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy.
“We have witnessed various challenges that afflict our country such as public servants engaging in corruption, ghost workers and student scandals …all these are due to lack of leadership ethics,” Eng. Manyanya said.
She commended the actions being taken by the Fifth Phase Government against public servants who go against the Code of Leadership Ethics. Eng. Manyanya called upon people to abide by leadership ethics regardless of their political affiliation.
According to her, lack of leadership ethics has caused people to believe that a good leader is the one who provides them with gifts - as a result they elect them basing on what they have benefited.
“This is very dangerous for the country because leaders are being elected basing on what they have given the electorate and not on merit,” Eng. Manyanya said. She, however, called for thorough assessment of the Arusha Declaration to make it understood by many people especially the youth.
According to Eng. Manyanya, most youth may be missing the actual meaning of the concept, thus the need to be improved to cope with the current generation. Contributing in the debate, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Vice-Chairman (Mainland), Mr Philip Mangula, said the Arusha Declaration provides the country with vision, thus all leaders should understand that they are responsible for serving people by basing on the concept and not otherwise.
“Nowadays leaders have been abusing their positions and electorate have been violating their democratic rights by cheaply selling their votes through bribes,” he said. He insisted that leaders should understand that the basis of the Arusha Declaration is humanity and not obtaining votes through corruption, because doing so means going against the principles set by the late Mwalimu Nyerere.
Mr Mangula further said that his party has been nominating leaders basing on the same grounds, thus, screening was done on contestants of last year’s general election to ensure that they get qualified leaders.
He said that a total of 41 people applied for the presidential post in the last general election and CCM’s Ethics Committee had to screen all of them to ensure that they get a national leader with the required qualifications.
Mr Mangula cautioned that CCM would not allow any person who bribes people to obtain any position in the government.The Executive Director of Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, Mr Joseph Butiku, said that Mwalimu Nyerere believed in humanity, that is why he wanted all people to be treated equally.
Mr Butiku said that leadership ethics are clearly stated in the Arusha Declaration and any person who wants to be a leader must be a leader of the people and not for personal benefit.
He said that although the leadership ethics is a good guideline, there were some leaders who have been criticising it because they want to fulfil their personal interests. Another contributor, Dr Harun Kondo, said that it is difficult to abandon the Arusha Declaration because it has scientific grounds on the prospects of the country.
“There are some people who are against the Arusha Declaration, but it is difficult to abandon it because it is the vision of our country’s development,” he said.