ABOUT six days ago President Samia Suluhu Hassan strongly spoke against some tribal sentiments that are now emerging among some individuals in the country, with most of them surfacing in the area of politics.
It was the moment when the Head of State opened up to the public on the criteria she has been using when picking leaders in her government, saying she mainly looks at someone's ability not a tribe when making appointments.
The Head of State reminded Tanzanians on the important attributes this nation is endowed with and the basic tenets the country has all along been embracing since independence.
President Samia asked Tanzanians to be mindful of the fact that the late first President Julius Nyerere raised Tanzanians without considering their religious or tribal inclinations.
What President Samia said early this week, by any measure, must be supported by any peace loving person in this beautiful land of the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Abeid Amani Karume.
Ethnicity/tribalism or religious sentiments are the factors behind a large number of social conflicts that have occurred or are continuing to occur in many parts of the world.
Tanzanians are not new to the effects of tribal or religious politics, having hosted thousands of refugees from the neighbouring countries that suffered the consequences of the problems.
Experts in conflict resolution say tribalism is known to be a major stumbling block to democracy as well as socioeconomic development. It affects every sphere of development, from social economic, political to educational spheres. In political spheres, tribalism provides an avenue via which state goodies and favours trickle down from those in power to their tribesmen.
In every sector of development, employment becomes skewed, with members of certain community being given certain positions. In societies in which tribalism is deep rooted, the problem is responsible for a lot of ills, including underdevelopment, corruption, rigging of elections and violence/civil war. As Tanzanians, we have the civic duty to wage a spirited campaign against ethnicity.
We are proud of the fact that our founders built a very strong foundation for the nation. Despite the existence of around 120 tribes Tanzania has always remained one.
President Samia’s remarks early this week should serve as a reminder to Tanzanians on the pressing need to discourage individuals peddling tribal sentiments. Very unfortunately those few individuals who have been peddling tribal sentiments have been doing so for their personal gains. They should stop forthwith.