In ostentatious public spending we are like beggars feasting on caviar


It is during crises like the one brought about by the war in the Ukraine that our lethargic consciences stir for a while, before being distracted by another of those nonsense that fills our daily conversations.

The war in Ukraine has surely hit our pockets hard and everyone around us is taking note of real life issues like how do we survive the skyrocketing cost of living?

From fuel to food prices and more, there seems to be an upward spiral that we have to cough up just to stay afloat, not even moving an inch forward.

We are going to have to be more careful about how we spend our little money, and maybe this is what we should have been doing all along, only we are incurable spenders. It might seem that the less we have, the more we want to spend.


I remember a former president said something quite remarkable, and no one in the audience seemed to notice the presidential conundrum. He said something to the effect that people were making too much noise about the amount of money the government was spending, but not suggesting how the state coffers could be bolstered, allowing the government to spend more without people paying too much attention. to expenses.


It is this kind of idiocy that drives itself into our skulls to the point that we lose real-life perspectives and live in the wonderland we have created for ourselves.

No wonder some people believed the late President John Magufuli when he said that Tanzania would soon be a donor country!

That may come one day, but look at the way we do the basic stuff. Anyone who has run a small private business will tell you that motor vehicle fleets are the most notorious when it comes to depleting resources, so they are usually eliminated or kept to a minimum.

The practice around the world is to make employees, even at the highest levels of government, access easy loans and buy their own cars, which they then drive as they wish, only charging allowances for fuel and maintenance.

Own car

This has shown us that no official, no matter how extravagant, will load their own car with coal, firewood or scrap metal, which they routinely do with government cars.

I said what governments have done to alleviate the problem. I should add here that the Tanzanian government did this too, in the 1980s but, after officers were loaned cars from the previous government, the government bought new cars for the government group, and it was, and still is , business as usual. !

It is this indifference to matters of public ownership that makes our government perhaps one of the most expensive to run in the world, per capita.

Arguably, the group of government vehicles boasts the flashiest models, flashier than those seen in Saudi Arabia.

Compared to us, our neighbors in the East African Community are lagging behind in bespoke wheel driving, though South Sudan may soon catch up on bad behaviour.

It is the ostentation of the poor, like beggars feasting on caviar!

unacceptable situation

Now this needs a Ukraine for people to realize that there is an unacceptable situation.

The other day I heard the Speaker of Parliament tell MPs to turn off their cars when they (Members) are in session.

In other words, while lawmakers are in parliament, their vehicles are running outside the august Chamber, waiting for the “waheshimiwa” to find their cars properly cooled. It’s almost pornographic.

A representative body that does not show concern for the waste of its people’s resources is a symptom of a deep rot in the bowels of the system it serves.

Nobody needs to say that our people are very poor, and that their poverty is being exacerbated by those individuals they “elected” (doubtful) so that they can “bring development” (impossible).

I pity the Speaker for having to admit in public about the running engines of the parliamentarians’ cars. It is so embarrassing that many people with a sense of pride would have said it on camera, in an office memo, perhaps, so as not to anger the population.

But perhaps he thought it was okay to say it in public since a lot of people knew about it anyway, and in a country where abominations happen on a daily basis, this is likely to come across as trivial.

But there is something bordering on mental illness when adults fail to realize that their economic realities do not guarantee them to live and behave as if they were Beyoncé Knowles or Aliko Dangote.

Our rulers need serious advice to free them from this disease that has taken over all our public service structures.

We just don’t make sense, and I think those watching us, especially those from whom we continually beg, must be wondering if we have normally functioning brains.

Jenerali Ulimwengu is now on YouTube via jeneralionline tv. Email: [email protected]

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