MY RELATIONSHIP WITH SINGIDA
I began a special relationship of love and affection with Singida on the 8th of May 1975, the day that I was born. It has been my deepest desire ever since to take care of its people for as long as I live. It is my belief that Singida will be a role model for development and success in Tanzania in the near future. My aim is to put all my strength in realizing this dream. I left Singida when I was very young and spent much of my time studying abroad. I gained a lot of knowledge and experience during those years but my goal was always to return to my homeland and work for my own people.
I returned to Tanzania in 1998 after receiving a degree in International business and Finance from The University of Georgetown in America. After spending a few days in Dar Es Salam I headed towards Singida in hope of seeing a city changed for the better.
After paying my respects to the graves of my great grand father and other ancestors I walked along the road and came across an old man who was filling his water bucket with remarkably yellow coloured water from the ground.It was clear that the water was polluted with dirt and not fit for drinking. When I asked him what he was going to do with this water he replied that this was his daily drinking water for the family. His answer suddenly brought me face to face with the reality of everyday life in an ordinary hardworking man’s life. I could not believe that this man was forced to use this water for drinking. Later when I went with him to his house and met his family I saw many of other drinking buckets filled with the same water and any doubt in my mind was replaced with grief and anger. The old man knew me and my family very well. He told me an educated mind has the power to make a difference. He looked at me and said that one should never forget one’s roots. His parting words to me were to think about becoming the people’s representative in Singida and look for a parliamentary seat in the elections.
First Attempt at Politics
In 2000, Tanzania hosted it’s second multiparty elections where I ran for my home constituency of Singida as a Member of Parliament (MP). To my surprise at the time, I won the preliminary votes for Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), the ruling party, with overwhelming majority but this joy was short lived. Because of my age, being 25 years old at the time, I was deemed too young to hold the seat in parliament.
Despite the decision of the party, I chose not to loose hope. I humbly supported the candidate who replaced me for the MP seat and did my best to campaign in support of his nomination. It was a very important lesson I learnt that day the first of many scenarios where I made sure the party’s interests were a given priority over my own ambitions.
Appointment as Member of Parliament
Luckily, my patience and perseverance paid off – in 2005 during the third multi-party elections in Tanzania, I campaigned again to become MP and won a landslide victory with over 90% of the total votes. Subsequently on 29th December 2005, I was sworn in for the first time in my career (not the last), as MP for Singida. Being sworn in was a monumental moment in life – it showed me that God teaches us patience during delay. My discouragement transformed into forbearance. And in that moment, I knew, every good thing in life has its time.