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Patriotic spirit must be embraced by all of us

WE regularly revisit the bitterness that we, as the citizens of this country (and by extension our well-wishers elsewhere who are numerous), felt about the humiliation associated with being colonized.

There are those who tasted the bitterness directly when they were around during the colonial era. Being treated like low-class human beings was truly agonizing.

There is always as far as people conscious of their rights can endure injustices though, and more-so at the hands of foreigners who belong to countries very far away across the seas.

They came into their country, pushed them to the sidelines, became overlords and reduced the rightful owners to virtual statelessness.

Plus, the colonised people were turned into labourers and worse, their natural resources were exploited.

The local sons and daughters in that category, plus their younger compatriots who were born after Uhuru, were tremendously excited when the independence struggles eventually liberated them.

But political independence is not an end in itself. Previously colonized people have to strive to become economically prosperous as well; else, they become victims of neo-colonial and imperialistic machinations.

Towards the attainment of that goal, however, wananchi must, first and foremost, cultivate and sustain the patriotic spirit.

The huge question though is, to what extent have we embraced patriotism and are endeavouring to sustain it ? In an ideal situation, the question should not arise, since patriotism should be an automatic ideal.

But isn’t, and the reason is easy to establish. There are, amongst us, individuals or groups of crooks, who are driven by selfish interests anchored mostly on financial and associated gains.

Such people are least bothered, and some actually not bothered at all, if or when national interests are compromised. President John Magufuli is acutely disturbed by this unpatriotic species.

These elements have no qualms at all about discrediting the country within and beyond the country. One of the latest manifestations is the recent saga centred on our aeroplane being held at a South African airport over some claims by a foreigner.

Some Tanzanians shamelessly celebrated that fact, raising questions over their Tanzanian-ness. It’s something that the President has been commenting on at public functions. It provides food for thought, for the patriotic spirit must be something that each of us must strive to embrace and sustain.

Mwandishi: EDITOR

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