Saturday, June 6, 2009

Don’t be fooled with the numbers

The minister for money, Braza Mustapha Mkulo has been talking about numbers. He has said Shs 9.2 trillion is expected to see the country through the current bad times and finance next year’s General Election.

The new Budget will be about 32 per cent bigger than last years 7.2 trillion, an increase of 2.3 trillion. The economy is growing by more than 7 per cent, blah…blah. So much for the numbers game. Me? I am not impressed, of course.

I have always insisted that to check out the index of the economic growth you will instantly see it on the guy and the dame in the street. You see ‘growth’ in the people, not from fancy numbers read out in the Bunge. Trillions this year. It’s probably going to be zillions of Tanzanian shillings next year. You wonder - are we seeking to intensify our brotherly relationship with Zimbabwe, or something?

And according to Braza Mkulo (pictured below, practising weight-lifting) infrastructure projects will exist only in the Coast, Morogoro and Iringa regions. Some 100 billion has allocated to building three roads in the constituencies of his Infrastructure counterpart, Dr Shukuru Kawamba (read; campaigning for next year’s elections)

Part of the chunk of the money will also go the constituency of the chairman of the Finance and Economic Committee, Dr Abdalla Kigoda. Korogwe-Msata-Handeni-Mikumi, Wazo Hill and ultimately Dar road. (read;campaigning)

Braza Mkulo doing some weight-lifting
Put the icing on the cake, and fishand please the ‘Mzee’ at Ikulu. The Chalinze-Segera road is now to be turned into a double lane show. This is in a country where many Tanzanians have never even seen a tarmarked road!

Which is great? I would have done even more. If I was in the Finance and Economic Affairs set up I would suggest that an international airport be built at Msata. Kwa Mzee. Fishing is an art which some politicians excel at

That’s it for infrastructure development in Tanzania. The rest can go to hell!
Guys have started to campaign for elections under the guise of ‘Budget’ thing.

But some MPs, CCM MPs, have started to see red over the Budget joke. Tabora Urban MP, Mr. Siraju Kaboyonga asked: “I have not seen any allocations for the construction of the Dodoma-Kigoma roads, as well as rehabilitation of the central railways line. The two are the most important infrastructure projects that could earn much revenue from transit trade to the neighboring countries. Where are our priorities?” he asked.
Kaboyonga, a CCM member, asked why the government planned to expand the Segera-Chalinze road into to two lanes, while more important ones had yet to be constructed. I could easily answer that for our beloved government. The double lane will make it easier for Mzee’s motorcade to zip in and out of the area without too many hassles. I think it was a patriotic move which will boost the economy to 12 per cent next year.

Another MP, Tony Diallo, a former minister of water, took a combative dive on the move by Finance Minister Mkulo. He is angry about the Geita-Mwanza road. He accused former finance minister, Basil Mramba of pinching the monies for the road and to go and build roads in his constituency in Rombo. The present Budget ignores the Geita-Mwanza road.

In their sabre-rattling the MPs have sworn that they are going to block the next Budget session next week. They even threatened that the Bunge could be dissolved over Braza Mkulo Budget plans.

Is that real, or are our MPs politicking with an eye on the election show next year?

No comments: