IF or when something attracts much interest or attention from other quarters, it is obvious that it has something very special.
The opposite is the case in relation to something that is at best valueless, and at worst, is extremely annoying. Two examples may powerfully drive the point home.
At one extreme, children are attracted to biscuits on account of being sweet. On the other, people passing by an overflowing cesspit are extremely annoyed, weaker-willed ones amongst whom vomit.
The scramble for Africa in the 1880s, which led to the continent being curved up into colonies of various European nations, had similarities of the attractions that human beings have for sweet things.
The Europeans were attracted to the vast natural resources that the African continent possessed, such as minerals and cheap labour.
Our country, initially Tanganyika and subsequently Tanzania, was one of the victims, as it boasts resources that include minerals.
The nationalist struggles waged on the Mainland and in the Isles sought to right a grievous wrong. Pitifully, though, political independence was for several years not translated into socio-economic prosperity for wananchi.
Neo-colonialism and imperialism conspired to render political independence hollow, in spite of our country being resourcerich.
One of the major problems has been the enemy-within factor, whereby crooked citizens in government, business sector circles and elsewhere, have been engaging in high-level corrupt deals.
Hence our relatively slow-paced socio-economic development, as public funds have been consistently looted. President John Magufuli is one of the most aggrieved citizens over that scenario, consistently reminding us, and the world at large, that ours is a rich and not poor country.
Hence the initiatives he has set in motion to set things right, among the most vivid being the anti-corruption drive.
The latest noteworthy one is the amnesty granted to individuals facing economic sabotage charges, who are willing to seek pardon in return for surrendering stolen money.
Four hundred and sixty seven of them have seized the chance, under which 107.8 billion shillings will be surrendered to the State.
The figure is bound to swell as the deadline has been extended to one more week. The money will be a crucial input into the nation’s social-economic enterprise.
That’s one more PLUS for the President’s creativity in fast-tracking national development.
Plus, naturally, a warning to would-be swindlers, that crime doesn’t pay.