Tanzania’s misery is not over despite the passing of the autocratic president earlier this year. When Samia Suluhu reached the presidential office, the calls for political stability were high amid her initial heroic actions of busting her predecessor’s COVID conspiracy theories.
However, authoritarianism is unfolding in the country, setting dangerous precedents for the governments to come in Dar es Salaam.
The United States State Department labels Tanzania as a stable political country, despite mentioning in the same report that the country does not allow the freedom of assembly and expression to its citizens.
This contradictory content from the official website of the United States also empowers the Tanzania government to continue its hegemonic practices against its citizens.
How is the United States helping Tanzania in perpetrating political instability? Why should no investor look at Tanzania as a potential business market? And how is the country heading toward a disaster under the leadership of a lady who is turning out to be a new John Magufuli? Let’s see.
Is Tanzania Really a Politically Stable Country? Certainly Not
According to the World Bank, the political stability in any country can be gauged by the following parameters.
- Rule of law
- Strong institutions with negation to the absolute individual power
- Low corruption
- Efficient bureaucracy
- Investment friendly regime
Evaluating Tanzania on all the above parameters will only yield utter shame for the country. Under the leadership of Samia Suluhu, Tanzania is failing to comply even on a single parameter defined by the World Bank.
The constitution of Tanzania confers absolute powers to the president at the expense of the weakened state institutions.
This results in dwindling bureaucratic powers, as civil servants cannot work under the bleak institutional structure.
Pro-investment government is yet another feature to decide the political stability of the country. Without making constitutional changes, Samia Suluhu’s economic agenda is just to please the general public and is working as an eye washer for most of the public.
The deteriorating rule of law in Tanzania also evinces that the country has much to achieve to come near political stability.
In times when the opposition leader is facing terrorism charges in court, the discussion of the rule of law in the country becomes even more relevant.
The law is being used as an instrument of the government to prosecute political rivals instead of serving justice.
This makes Tanzania one of the worst countries to live in within Africa.
The US Must Reconsider its Policy for Tanzania to Stop Authoritarianism
The US State Department opines that Tanzania has a politically stable environment. However, by joining the dots, it is evident that Tanzania is nowhere near political stability with the current setup.
Without oppressing the weak, President John Magufulli’s election was never possible in 2020. However, with a controversial landslide victory, he rose to power once again due to the election that is widely believed to be manipulated in the dictator’s favor.
As the electoral activity was itself manipulated, so the president elected in its result was also the fraudulent one, and so was the parliament.
Until or unless free and fair elections are not encouraged in Tanzania, the country can never enter a progressive era.
The US State Department says, “Compared to some of its neighbors, Tanzania remains a politically stable and peaceful country. Since November 2015, however, the government has restricted civic and media freedoms, including severely limiting the ability of opposition political parties and civil society organizations to debate issues publicly or assemble peacefully.”
The statement in itself is a contradictory one, which encourages the Tanzanian government to carry forward its oppressive agenda.
No country can become politically stable while it oppresses the media and political parties.
The matter of fact is that Kamala Harris and the Secretary of State did not censure the Tanzanian government for better human rights practices.
Both of these factors combined are enough for the Tanzanian government not to provide a level playing field to the political rivals.
It is in the best interest of the Tanzanian people that the State Department immediately remove the contradictory statement from its official web portal, or the misery for Tanzanian people will continue.
Setting Money on Fire is Better than Investing in Tanzania
Despite facing double-digit economic growth, Tanzania has been facing a crisis for the last two years. Any investor willing to invest in this country will end up losing big money.
Political stability is one of the most important prerequisites of feasible business regimes. Without the assurance of a stable political environment and the peaceful transition of power, no business can thrive.
As Tanzania is politically stagnant, where the presidents abuse the powers concentrated in their hands, businesses are bound to fail.
Private sector business leaders also have a social responsibility to disapprove of Tanzania’s government policies by boycotting the country for the greater good of the people living in the country.
Markets like Kenya offer all the potential business opportunities to investors with a promising rate of returns. So, big investors must find other options than Tanzania to get the best value from their money.
Zambia also provides a big market to potential investors with little saturation in almost all the fields.
As businesses are driven by profits and not emotions, all African investors must look to the neighboring countries of Tanzania to establish their businesses there.
Otherwise, their money will be doomed as the political stability in-country is only worsening with every passing day.
Tanzania: A Place Where Political Protests are an Invitation to Death, just like Cuba
Tanzania is observing the worst features of all the authoritative countries combined. While it follows the footsteps of North Korea in prompting dictatorship, it is obliging with Cuban policies of curbing protests.
People in Tanzania have no right to assemble against the government despite the pervasiveness of the political crisis in the country, just like Cuba.
In Tanzania, living through the cruelty is the only option for residents, as protesting would only expose them to a bigger danger.
As the government is curbing activism, no one can expect to administer a rally against the systematic injustice of Samia Suluhu without serving a jail term.
The prosecution of the opposition leader will make the matter even worse. Now, the media and civil society know that protesting against injustice can lead them to jails, so they prefer not to get involved in any such anti-government activity.
If the business goes on as usual, it is only a matter of time that an Arab Spring-like uprising would be initiated in Tanzania that would be hard to stop.
This is a fair warning for the Tanzanian government that they course-correct themselves or be ready for the rebellion.
The US government should also put an all-inclusive agenda in front of the Tanzanian government, which must be pursued at any cost.
Just like Iran, the US needs to sanction Tanzania as well, both economically and diplomatically, if they fail to implement a reformatory agenda.
The US can also convince the European Union, United Nations, civil society organizations, and international partners to work together to strangle the Tanzanian government until it decides to change its path.
Without any constitutional reform, all the talks will be of political nature that will serve no other purpose than eye washing the critics.