It is disheartening that Tanzania does not share in the other EAC countries’ desire to fast-track East Africa’s regional integration. This has come out very clearly in their unwillingness to act on decisions that have already been agreed on.
This dilly-dallying and “wariness” exhibited by Tanzania leaves more questions than answers. Will the East Africa Federation ever see the light of day with Tanzania in the picture? Is there the political will, on the Tanzania side, to see this dream (dream really! Whose dream?) come to fruition?
I read a certain article by Tom Mshindi sometime this week that says something to the effect that Tanzania’s self-interest must not derail integration.
I reproduce some sections of the said article to help us reflect even better on this issue.
1. “IT IS A GOOD THING THAT in Zanzibar last week, Tanzania finally came clean on its opposition to the desire to fast-track East Africa’s regional integration. Its position liberates the other four states from the burden of collegiality and allows them to pursue faster integration without the distraction of a partner that is clearly unwilling to commit to either a plan of action or key principles.”
2. “…Tanzania has decided to backtrack on decisions agreed by the Council of Ministers and now wants to renegotiate them.”
3. “This is what the Zanzibar meeting was intended to do, only for the Tanzania delegation to demur and submit instead that the pace should be slower.”
4. “On the contrary, there are numerous tales of frustration and distress that Kenyan companies in particular have to put up with when seeking work permits for staff who work in Tanzania.”
This brings to mind the issue of the Nation Media Company employees who were denied work permits but instead were ordered out of Tanzania some three years ago. They were declared prohibited immigrants. Prohibited immigrants?! Surely!
I honestly think that we should forget about Tanzania and go on with the fast tracking of the East Africa Federation without them. I believe this will be for the good of our people. The remaining four East African countries – Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi – will make East Africa an economic power house.
I like people of action (and vision) like Presidents Kagame (Rwanda) and Museveni (Uganda). Even before Rwanda was officially allowed into the East Africa Community, President Kagame made a very profound statement that astounded many. He said that professionals from Eastern African countries would not require work permits to take jobs in Rwanda.
As a bottom-line:
Genuine willingness to submit to the protocol is of the essence. Tanzania should not be arm twisted into committing to anything it is not ready to stand for.
* Tanzania’s self-interest must not derail integration
* Tanzania “importing” Albino body parts? – This is insane!
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