Peace or Pieces?
It is inevitably that time of the season again when we experience little pockets of “madness” as a result of an animal we call politics. I confidently call it madness because according to an online dictionary I use, one of the definitions of madness is “a state of frenzied or chaotic activity” that is only experienced when certain activities are going on. For example, you can say that when Arsenal and Manchester United are playing, fans from both camps experience at least 100 minutes of madness until the game is over. Depending on who wins, the madness might be extended for a little while longer. Of course we all know that when Manchester United loses, we all have great moments of peace and sanity…. Ooh, how I love those moments! Anyway, moving on swiftly…
If you are in Tanzania, then you know what day and date it is today (25th October 2015). It is D-Day, meaning Decision Day, the day when all those who registered to vote walk to their designated voting stations and cast their votes for their preferred leaders. Prior to today, we have been seeing all manner of campaigns, listened to promises made to us by those vying for the various posts up for grabs, in the process leaving so many people confused and not knowing what to think of all the promises that have been made. Well, those have been interesting times but the moment of reckoning has finally come. In less than 72 hours, we will know who the leaders of this great nation of Tanzania will be. This obviously means that there will be winners and there will be losers.
Question is, which side will win and which side will lose? Will the losing side accept the results and move past that loss and deliberately make that very important decision to work with the winning side for the betterment of this great Nation? On the other hand, will the winning side have what it takes to accept their win graceful without too much drama, or will they behave like the Manchester United fans who when they win they think the world is their footstool and all the other teams are their slaves?
I have to admit the elections this time are causing me some discomfort but I pray that above all else sanity will prevail. It doesn’t matter who wins and who loses but the most important thing to remember is that no matter what happens, there will still be life after today and tomorrow. Question is, will we still have the same ambience we have enjoyed all these years? Will we still be able to enjoy our peace or will be busy collecting the pieces of our broken peace?
Tanzania has always been known as the haven of peace and if you look at all the other East African Countries, only this country has maintained its peace all these years. Yes it is possible that there has been cases of violence and disrupted peace in various parts of the country at one time or another but you cannot compare that with what the other East African countries have gone through. My prayer today is that sanity will prevail, and that everyone will opt to vote for PEACE.
Yes it is possible. All you have to do is purpose that once you have cast your vote then you will have no other business other than encouraging everyone else around you to stay calm and peaceful no matter what happens. Remember, those guys you are going to vote in
probably actually do not know you. You are just a pawn in their game of chess, using you to get to their political ambitions. So why allow yourself to be used to cause disturbance of any kind? Wise up and make a conscious decision that you will choose to maintain and safeguard peace throughout the election process and thereafter. Just like I normally get very confused when I hear Manchester United football fans the world over disturbing our peace just because some overly hyped up, balding guy called Rooney was fouled and the ref ignored it, this is the same thing I wonder when I hear people killing each other because of some politician. To me that is utter non-sense because guess what, while you are busy killing each other like goats, the families of those same politicians would probably be enjoying a holiday in Hawaii or some Caribbean island.
People, you may not have control over who wins or loses. You may not have control over who will be the next president of this great country. However, you do have the ultimate choice and control to ensure that you maintain peace no matter what happens. Remember, it is not about you but about the generations that are coming after you. If you decide to cause bloodshed, have you thought about how that might impact your children? Your economy?
To all those politicians out there who have been spewing and exchanging venomous words while campaigning, I’d like to draw your attention to words spoken by one of the greatest political idols who ever lived in this continent. He said, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner” – Nelson Mandela. As for those fanatics of the various political divides that will be fighting it out at the polling stations, here is some wisdom for you from the same political idol; "No one is born hating another person because of the color of this skin, or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart that its opposite.” – in other words, it doesn’t matter who wins this election. Keep your hatred for each other aside and forge a partnership for the growth of this country.
I do not know what will happen after today but I can tell you I have a dream; a dream that this country will still remain as peaceful and as calm as it has always been. If there is anything my heart is yearning for and crying for right now, it is that Tanzania will still remain peaceful and beautiful after this historic election process is over. Remember, we are the ones to maintain the peace or destabilize it.
Tanzania, from the bottom of my heart and from a spiritual stand-point, I speak peace upon you and all the people who live within your boarders.
As for you reading this today, be an ambassador of peace today and always...... And remember, whether CCM or Chadema, we can all learn to co-exist and respect each others preferences.
PS: Article originally published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 25th October, 2015, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".