LETTERS

A nation in darkness
It does not need an advanced economic degree to understand, that no nation can ever claim economic progress where there is no reliable supply of energy, especially in this age. More than ninety percent of Tanzanians have been in darkness since the beginning of time, and little has been done to correct the chronic power rationing problem, while our leaders are taking advantage of the situation by continuing to line their pockets at the tax payer’s expense.

Our leaders are testing people’s will and resolve. Richmond, and Dowan masterminds have plunged the nation into darkness while themselves leading utopian lifestyles. They may never face justice for their criminal offenses.
The common man, the poor and the powerless, who can’t afford expensive generators, and do not reside in the affluent parts of the city where power is never off, have been left to dance to the tune of power rationing year after year. What a shame for a nation blessed with many rivers, abundant fossil and renewable sources of energy sufficient to power the entire nation yet leaving its people in despair, and constantly in darkness.

More than 90 percent of Tanzania’s population has no access to electricity. What plans do our politicians have in place to harness renewable sources of energy after most non-renewable sources are depleted?

It will be very dangerous and extremely expensive to pipe gas from Kilwa – Songo Songo to the Dar es Salaam, Ubungo power plant, a tiny facility surrounded by a huge population. Such undertakings can be done in Kilwa (at the source where space is unlimited ) and electricity could then be transported to wherever it is needed within the country, instead of exposing the population to danger, and burdening the nation with such a huge cost.

Research centers, communication facilities, factories and other businesses need constant and reliable energy supply to meet their production quotas, to retain the labor force; pay workers, and be able to compete in the domestic and international markets. The current environment of two to four working hours a day of a couple of days a month of electricity cannot foster economic progress. The country needs reliable electricity, full stop.

Tanzania is not lacking the financial ability to provide energy to her people. Billions are spent on expensive Land-Cruisers, unwanted and outdated Radar, the losses involving the EPA, the Richmond and Dowans fraudsters. This would be sufficient to bring to an end, the decades-old power problem.

The problem is simply the management; irresponsible, no vision, thinking of today and not the future.

I have never comprehended what the Minister of Energy does. Neither do I understand what TANESCO is for, because its leadership is still the same year after year. Commissions that have cost tax payers billions of shillings have been set up and their findings have never been implemented. The individuals implicated with fraud are still free, yet the petty criminals are paraded daily in the judicial system.

Our leaders must forgo their hefty sitting, training, and travel allowances. In other parts of the world, people pay to attend meetings, yet in our country our leaders must be paid to attend training which is very bizarre considering the fact that our economy is a donor dependant one.

The parliament must act swiftly to turn on the lights for all Tanzanians, otherwise the nation will continue to remain in the darkness with her economic future in limbo.

Unabated continuation of grand corruption will push the nation to a point of no return. Our politicians must read the signs on the wall, telling them clearly, that the nation is rapidly descending into the dark ages, as the voices of the tax payers finance their lucrative positions shouting ‘TURN ON THE LIGHTS’.
Hildebrand Shayo


Tanzanian Notes and Records

My mother Sheila Unwin has a large collection of Tanzania Notes and Records going back to 1934 which we need to dispose of. As they are of great historical interest can you advertise them free to a good home in the next newsletter. You may remember she recently published a book ‘The Arab Chest’.
Vicky Unwin. E-mail: <contact the editor for Vicky’s email>>

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