PATRIOTISM is one of the driving forces of any country’s, and ultimately, the nation’s reputation and development.
Reputation, because every person worth his or her name should feel immensely proud of being a member of a given country.
The opposite of that would be a case of the person being stateless; meaning that, he or she would not be attached to any given geographic or political entity.
The anxiety of most people to acquire national identity cards (IDs) and passports should stem from the joy the possessor should feel, of being a citizen of a given country, and other factors should be ranked below.
In relatively recent times, scarves bearing national colours that also grace the national flag have become quite popular in the community.
Whenever the national soccer team, Taifa Stars, is engaged in a match with a team of any other country, support of the wananchi for their home team should be automatic.
Sheer logic dictates that very patriotic Tanzanian should be delighted when the home team defeats the opponent, and become heartbroken when the opponents emerge victorious.
Pride should also be invested in the national anthem, chipped into which should be reverence, by standing to attention whenever it is played.
We Tanzanians are also united by the widely spoken Kiswahili language, which we have literally exported elsewhere, or is imported by whoever so wishes.
Regrettably, however, there are certain trends and tendencies within the country which, literally speaking, spoil the show, by way of, again literally speaking, diluting Tanzanian-ness.
Part of the evidence lies in the forthcoming local government elections. A section of the political opposition camp has been crying foul over the manner in which the process has been conducted. Familiar allegations have shot to the fore, under which the government is being accused of treating the camp unfairly.
The State Minister in charge of Regional Administration and Local Government Selemani Jafo, set the issue in perspective in Dodoma recently, dispelling allegations of foul play.
He pointed to various irregularities, meaning that, the issue at hand is adherence to rules and regulations, and that no political party or parties are targeted.
That message should – indeed MUST – sink; that, political competition must be sober, and sobriety should be among the attributes that should define us, Tanzanians.