Posted: October 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

It is common place to hear Tanzanian criticize the criticism of a critic on the ground that it is not constructive and ‘not constructive’ to them means the critic just pointing out fault in the system without offering solutions to those faults he/she identified.

This is nonsense!

A critic is primarily meant to criticize. And ‘to criticize’ means identifying faults in the system and drawing the attention of those in authority to those faults for them to do their job of fixing those problems. It doesn’t necessarily mean proffering solutions to the identified problems. The decision of whether or not to proffer solutions to the problems he/she identified is the prerogative of the critic.


A government is in power primarily for one reason and one reason alone and that is identifying and fixing problems in the system. A critic exists mainly due to the failure of the government to adequately carry out their duty of identifying and solving problems inherent in the system. So, the existence of the critic is an indictment on the competence and efficiency of those in government to carry out their duty the same duty for which they are being paid billions in salaries and allowances.

The critic is a private citizen. He/she has no access to the huge budget those in authority have access to. He/she has no access to any of the luxuries those in government have neither does he/she fly to London/Indian or elsewhere to treat common disease on government expense. The critic is just a citizen like every other citizen who lives in constant fear of death in the hands of both state and non state actors.

And you yet look beyond all those who are being handsomely paid to proffer solutions to the problems in the system and look towards the critic for solutions even when he/she has been patriotic enough to help the government do his/her job by identifying those problems? Do you now see how illogical it is to ask the critic to criticize constructively by offering solutions? Telling the critic to back up his criticism with solutions is as silly as expecting a man who drew your attention to your flat tyre problem to be the one to tell you how and where to get a Vulcanizer to fix your flat tyre problem.

Just as those in government are duty-bound to identify problems in the system and fix them, a car owner or a driver owe it to himself to identify problems with his tyres and fix them. That a driver has to wait for someone else to draw his attention to the fact that he has a flat tyre is an indictment on his efficiency as a driver because a good driver is supposed to know when any of his tyres need some air as it will certainly reflect in his steering.

Whether constructive or destructive, a responsible government looks beyond the diction of the critic and concentrates on solving the problems already identified by this critic!

If a private citizen who is patriotic enough to help his government identify faults within the system, should be the one to still proffer solutions to those faults, what exactly would be the job of ministers, special advisers, special assistants and retinue of aides who are being paid with our common wealth for the sole purpose of proffering solutions to problems in the system?

The critic has enough common sense, self respect and integrity to know he/she doesn’t have what it takes to fix Tanzanian’s problems. And this is why he/she never put his/her name on the ballot paper as candidate. The people who boasted they’ve studied all the problems and were now armed with the solutions only to now start asking for these same solutions from the citizens, should quickly schedule a one-on-one with their conscience because the truth is, they are scamming the people by continuing to pay themselves outrageous salaries and allowances for jobs they knew they were never capable of doing.

Even if a critic has all the solutions to the problems in the system, it is still very immoral that the visionless lots in government should continue to draw huge salaries and allowances for doing nothing while the critic keep helping them with the problems as well as the solutions to those problems.

The idea of constructive criticism defeats the rule guiding employee/ employer relationship which is exactly what exists between the government and the citizens because those in government are nothing but employees of the Tanzanian people and the powers they are wielding aren’t theirs but the people’s. The people are the employers of those in government. And it is settled in the field of common sense that an employer has the right to criticize his employee however he chooses. A responsible employee doesn’t complain about the manner his employer chooses to criticize him/her. Instead, he picks the points in his/her employer’s criticism because he/she know it is an indictment on his/her efficiency as an employee that his boss even had to criticize him/her.

The notion of ‘constructive criticism’ is a very silly notion!

Twiter @noor_abdul

  1. Daniel says:

    Of course construction of the notion of “constructive criticism” to mean no criticism without solution amount to say no one should see the problem in the system unless he/she has or know the solution to it. That is totally bad. It is actually a violation of freedom of speech, thoughts and conscience. No one should be limited evaluate the system and those who are trained as experts to fix the system “problems” should do just that, because that is what they are paid for.I like the reasoning in the article but lets not forget to air our “constructive criticisms” constructively and not destructively.

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