The public too would love to beat up on officials feeding their inner despot...

Saturday June 29 2013



Elsie Eyakuze

Elsie Eyakuze 

By Elsie Eyakuze

Well, Mister Prime Minister, that’s one way of getting an already nervous population of civilians quite terrified. “Wapigwe tu!” — what an unfortunate sentiment to put out there — “They will be beaten...”

Over the course of a career in the public sector, there must be numerous occasions when the urge to smack some sense into whoever is apparently misbehaving becomes overwhelming. I want to assure you, sir, that the feeling is mutual.

There are far too many instances in the life of a civilian when public servants behave in a manner that can only be described as infuriating — often, it seems, just to feed their inner despot.

People are annoying, and often they are dangerous, it’s true. But that’s no reason to abandon an adherence to the rule of law.

As it is, there is entirely too much ambiguity about what is going on with the current wave of instability.

With the various events of the past few years, from the rough treatment and killing of journalists to clerics being targeted and an escalation in religious strife to the regular manhandling of the opposition, and the belligerence of elected leaders, some questions do emerge: What is the role of the state in all this? When did it become “reasonable” to approach these problems with a blanket policy of police violence?

When, Mister Prime Minister, did our government become so incompetent at its job of maintaining a reasonable level of security and stability for its civilians?

Was it under this administration, or has the problem been simmering for longer? While I am fascinated and appalled by the sheer scale of preparations for Obama’s visit to Tanzania, there is a part of me that’s relieved he’s bringing half of arms-bearing America along for his protection.

Because left to the devices of this current government, well. Good thing Obama isn’t taking chances.