Some very basic lessons on Institutions… (or rather thinking aloud on #Escrow, #Katiba (Constitutions), and #UchaguziWaSerekaliZaMitaa (Local Authority Elections)

There’s this personality, I call it Kyeku, that has emerged within me and it has consumed my soul, brain, heart, and physic! It doesn’t allow me to be #Framed by my society, prior training (mostly on Polisci and IR) neither does it allow me to understand Christianity from traditional view but with one word only – GRACE, which has helped me not to be judgmental to anyone or anything. Kyeku has driven me towards creative writing with desperation due to lack of capacity and training on that what I am finding most interesting desire in my soul and mind.

However, I think Kyeku is now in a relaxing mode as it has allowed me to take up an IR related book by the famous USA academic Francis Fukuyama. Since June, Kyeku wants me to read only creative fiction books (apart from work/research related Education literature). “Depressingly” Kyeku has also been driving me towards an almost indifferent feeling towards politics of Tanzania. May be she was helping me from often feeble and event/mood aroused politicking that is often driven by short term aims and selfish desires that are at best partisan…ok!

Well, so this morning around 5:55am after my morning devotion (I read Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians chapter 2… about ‘the destructive man of lawlessness, who will bring some disturbances in the world before coming back of my Lord Jesus Christ) I opened Fukuyama’s thick hardcover book, first line in the introduction starts “Consider a number of different scenario…” I stopped after the first page, took a pen so I can be highlighting and making notes while reading…I tried to concentrate. Nevertheless, the first sentence steered me to consider, along with many examples given in the chapter, different scenario in Tanzania! Although I’m almost illiterate to the #Escrow saga but seeing it in tweeter, etc it couldn’t escape my mind completely despite the shrewd Kyeku! And this is one scenario that I started to consider… Then I thought…where is the Katiba again? And Uchaguzi wa Serekali za Mitaa? And I knew something is wrong!

The word “lawlessness” and the arguments on state and institutions as developed in the chapter from historical perspectives could no more be separated from scenario in my country…it was a marathon in my small mind…that’s why I need to spit it out here because Kyeku will soon demand I push all these into subconscious…to be Zombie! Lol…just like what I’ve found on my desk from the post office this morning…National Geographic Nov. 2014 issue…title “ Real Zombies: The Strange Science of the Living Dead”…haven’t read the article yet but then was reminded of Krugman’s NY Times blog entry on “Zombie Ideas” – typical characteristics of many policies in my country… anyways!

Are we turning to be Zombie like promoting a kind of lawlessness we are not aware of by jumping into issues without looking at fixing the underlying institutions that will persistently and sustainably resolve these issues?

The Escrow saga is a real shame to a beautiful country like Tanzania (somebody out there calls Tanzania #TheTreasureOfAfrica!)!!! and it has displayed greed at an alarming rate. And, if anything, it reflects the emerging society we are living in which Tanzanians have come to adore “cheap” life by getting rich without hard work! What a shame to the country founded by a man who was known as a Conscious of Africa! Please let us remember our history! It’s very short…remember we are a Candle on Mount Kilimanjaro…meant to be sending rays of hope to our neighbours and Africa at large…

Nevertheless, I feel like we have lost directions in focusing on Escrow at the cost of sidelining discussions on Katiba of which we will soon go into referendum as well as the few weeks away Uchaguzi wa Serekali za Mitaa.

Let me use the following to illustrate what I am saying:

 A war has battles. You may win many battles but loose the war and you may loose many battles and win the war.

Which one is better? Depends on your vision and whether you’ve the Big Picture or Small Picture!

Now, we have the war of which the victory lies on institutions! But unfortunately we are focusing on battles…

Katiba is what will embed institutions in the country that will almost automatically and sustainably counter corruption  and other issues through institutionalization of rule of law, right norms, and appropriate values. Because we are now in the process of reviewing our Katiba, I thought politicians, activists, and every sensible citizen would put much focus on ensuring that we are getting a good Katiba (remember we are in a very bad state on this issues- no discussion here). Yet we are here blinded by the short battle of Escrow saga, which I bet might be forgotten by Christmas, if it stays that long!

Well, we are also having local authorities elections soon, yet people are still busy talking about Escrow, instead of educating the masses about the importance of these grassroots elections after which results touch on the very daily life of a common mwananchi. It is because … MPs are not selected at this one, so it’s not a priority…wait few months to come 2015, the only topic will be election! #SmallPicture …some, I wont be shocked, are taking advantage of Escrow saga to gain political capital for use in 2015!

Well, just so you know…institutions matter! And they are persistent! And rigid…and powerful! If you set right institutions, you are good to go for many years….

Napoleon reflected the following on the French Revolution: – the Civil Code constituted a greater victory than any he had won on the battlefield – Cited in Fukuyama (2014: 16).

For more (academic discussions) on institutions and how they work…please read the following:

–       Kwayu A. (2012) PhD Thesis (Chapter 2)

–       Acemoglu & Robinson (2012)Why Nations Fail

–       Fukuyama F. (2014) Political Order and Political Decay

Think!

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One Response

  1. Ben
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