Circus Circus

The media are blowing things out of proportion. Dodoma was swarming with journalists looking for a story. If anything they are making things worse.

So said an MP to me recently, just a couple of days after the last parliamentary session came to an end in Dodoma. If you saw the front page splash headline and story in yesterday’s Mwananchi, you’d agree with him.

What was the story? Mwananchi wanted us to know that some ministers are in the pockets of some tycoons. On the one hand, tell me something I don’t know. On the other, what is their evidence for this? Nothing more than a speech by an opposition Civic United Front official in Dar’s sprawling Mbagala suburb the previous day.

No names, no bank account details = no story.

And this isn’t just shoddy journalism – it’s potentially dangerous too. The Tanzanian state is weak enough as it is. If you want to further undermine it, continue with this type of thing and watch things get worse.

Things ain’t perfect, but we need state and government to deliver the public services that people desperately need. When you have names and dates, please please publish. If you don’t, keep quiet and stop making things worse.

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