This tradition by Cabinet Ministers to always begin exigency of their office by familiarization tours is steadily becoming a political wound we must hastily dress.
The past month has seen a trail of ministers touring every corner of the country, visiting sites and individuals—all in the name of familiarization tours.
We have even noted, with deep regret, fleets of vehicles, all trailing behind a minister visiting a borehole. A story is told of 57 vehicles, just a weekend ago, trailing behind two ministers on a familiarization tour.
Is this the direction we should be taking as a nation?
Perhaps, as Nyasa Times, we are naïve to the terms of reference for our Cabinet Ministers; however, we are not green to point out that certain traditions hardly add value to our political settlement.
Come to think of it: What, specifically, is it that these ministers are trying to familiarize themselves with?
Truth be told, these ministries have been there since time immemorial. There are records of everything that was being done and it is common sense that one doesn’t need these familiarization tours but just to sit in the office and go through the files.
Further, each and every ministry has a robust structure in place, well manned by technocrats with enviable institutional memory.
Ministers don’t need to be embarrassing themselves, staggering around the country in the name of familiarization tours. They just need briefings from these technocrats.
Which is why, we feel these familiarizations tours are not just cost-ineffective—draining millions from the already stuffed national purse; they are, to us, an avenue by our ministers to solicit bribes from some executives.
They are not necessarily familiarization tours aimed to help the minister get a practical understanding of his/her ministry operates; rather, ministers use these trips to personally familiarize themselves with prospective campaign funders and, also, business associates.
That is why, if you note, most ministers go to Asian industries and plants. Why? These are key campaign funders for politicians.
It is our submission; therefore, that government needs to stop these familiarization tours. We submit that a special school of government needs to be put in place to help orient our ministers into exigencies of their office.
Otherwise, as earlier underlined, this tradition by Cabinet Ministers to always begin exigency of their office by familiarization tours is a toxic political avenue for corruption.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :