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The rise and rise of posho

The rise and rise of posho

Posho had a derogatory ring to it because it was ‘Manamba’ who worked in the plantations who received it. Respectable people received salaries, not posho. On the 29th of December 2011, one of the local dailies reported that a physical fight between two officials actually happened in Kigoma over the issue of Posho.

This shows that posho is a very serious matter indeed… When the parliamentary posho issue hit the headlines, people greeted it with varying opinions and feelings. I must admit I too was a bit confused at first because I was pulled in one direction by the thoughts of the real costs of living. I have done some travelling on the job and could at some point sympathize with the MPs’ cries…

Our shilling has depreciated very substantially and the power of the “Nyekundu ya Msimbazi” has been eroded to almost nothing. We all agree that our Waheshimiwa must live decently. The Waheshimiwa must also face and sometimes handle the problems of people from their constituencies; help with school fees, transport fares, food etc. There was an extreme case of a man who was fined (for adultery) who also went to his MP requesting for help in paying that fine.

The MP must have ‘African generosity’ which I suppose will not be takrima when it is not close to election time. So all taken into consideration, 200,000/- may not be too much for an MP. With all this rationality about the real cost of living in Dodoma, I still had nagging doubts about the correctness of that hefty increase… I know a number of Waheshimiwa personally; quality people all of them, intelligent, eloquent and capable.

We thank and acknowledge those who were from the very beginning, opposed to poshos in empathy with the common man. Of course there are also some who won their positions by dubious means but this is the world we are living where only the fittest (may be the most ruthless) survive, not the most civilized. It is not a matter of ‘Wivu wa Kike’. Cardinal Pengo’s words make a lot of sense because the Waheshimiwa should still be part of the community that they represent. 

They can only help the people if they feel their pains. Waheshimiwa must also know that once they are in Parliament they represent not only their constituencies, but all Tanzanians. They may help members of their constituencies in personal problems out of their own pockets out of their kindness, but it should not be a formal arrangement.

Some wapiga kura feel that they have a right to ‘beg’ because they voted for the MPs but what about the others who have no direct access to their Mbunge? His or her duty is to strive to serve all. If 70,000/- is completely inadequate as an allowance within a day, so what are the Waheshimiwa thinking about the minimum wage?

What about the Government budgets that they approve? What are they doing to stem the slide of the shilling against foreign currencies? What are they doing to collect revenues from available but overlooked and neglected sources?  The big multimillion dollar projects? In short, are they monitoring the performance of the Government on fiscal issues? The Waheshimiwa should strive to make ‘Maisha bora kwa kila Mtanzania’ a reality for all, not just themselves. 

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Mwandishi: JOHN NDUNGURU

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