The government has immerse power and resources. If left unchecked and unaccountable they could be abused and misused. It is unwise to let the government perform the role of oversight on itself. This role is best left to a strong, independent, non-beneficial entity. This entity is called the opposition and it plays an important part in development of a country. They holds the government accountable and keep its power in check. They have to be powerful enough to perform their task better. Power commands respect. If they are weak, they would not be taken seriously. Their actions and efforts would be kelele za chura (frog noise at water pool).
One characteristic of undeveloped countries is that they have weak political system. The opposition is no better. It is so weak that the government just trampled upon as it misuses power and resources. Their leaders and supporters are usually harassed, threaten, manipulated and even thrown in jail. They are labelled traitors for refusing to get in bed with the government. Their main aim being to snatch power. In some countries opposition leaders are forced to operate as lone wolves. Their supporters are too scared to be identified in public. This weakens them, making them an easy target for abuse. Leaving the country under the mercies of few selfish individuals.
Sometimes the personal agendas of opposition leaders influences their tasks. Instead of performing the oversight role, they turn to competing with the government. They will make a show when they criticize the government. Sometimes they would make a mockery of government efforts and plans just to undermine them. All this just to write their own political resumes. They are driven by personal ambition. They see that they will have more to gain when the government fails than when it is successful. They will keep scores and only join forces when they are going to gain. Otherwise they will sit back and wait for things to go south so that they can emerge as heroes.
The government and the opposition need to work together to foster national unity. We are so divided into government and opposition that we have develop a mindset of waiting for our turn to be served. It is considered an act of betrayal for an opposition leader to be seen working with the government. He/she would not be touch by a ten feet pole by his/her colleagues as it would be a political suicide. This not only hinders development but also divides the country. To eliminate social injustices such as tribalism, corruption, nepotism, poverty among others we need a united front. Fighting and accusing each other over these issues is like burying our heads in the sand.
The role of the opposition is not to oppose or compete with the government. It is to hold it accountable on its use of resources and power. A strong and focused opposition would carried out it task effectively. It would not sit back and wait for things to go south so that they can act. For they know that when the government fail, they too have fail.
photo credit: Shridhar D <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/44845979@N05/21163099764″>“Few of them were to be trusted within reach of a trowel and a pile of bricks.” ― P.G. Wodehouse</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>