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I Don’t Care About Democracy That Does Not Bring Results

Let’s provoke a debate that questions our assumptions and seeks to understand the true nature of governance and its impact on human lives.

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Should people care more about the fact that they are able to elect their government and that they have freedoms and rights of this and that sort, or should they care more that such a government is actually functioning and is improving their lives? 

That is the paradox: balancing liberal democracy and human beings’ inert nature, which suggests we want ownership of our choices and freedoms.

I don’t care about democracy if it does not bring results. No, I am lying. I do care about democracy, even if there are no prospects of lifting millions out of poverty. No, I am lying again. I really don’t care. 

As a citizen, I want a government that really cares about its citizens and gets things done. Where that government comes from it does not matter to me. Because, what is the ultimate goal of having any form of government?

Governments are like engines. Some are shiny and impressive, boasting all the latest features and gadgets. They look good on paper, and they win awards for their design. But what use is an engine if it doesn’t start when you turn the key? 

READ MORE: Nationalists’ Victory In European Elections Reflects the Failures of Globalist Liberal Agenda

On the other hand, you have engines that might not look impressive at all. They might even be old and a bit rusty. But when you turn the key, they roar to life, taking you where you need to go without fail.

At a crossroads

Tanzania, like many other nations, stands at a crossroads. We see nations flaunting their democratic credentials, parading their electoral processes and debates. Yet, many of these same nations are plagued by inefficiency, corruption, and social injustice.

On the other hand, there are countries that don’t fit the mould of a ‘democratic’ state but have made significant strides in development, poverty reduction, and healthcare. Take Rwanda, for instance. 

Despite criticisms about its democratic credentials, Rwanda has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty, improving public health, and creating a more stable society since the 1994 genocide.

Consider China, too. Its rise from a poor, agrarian society to a global superpower in just a few decades is often used as a case study in development. The Chinese government is far from democratic, yet it has managed to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty, build world-class infrastructure, and become a leader in technology and innovation. 

READ MORE: Tanzania’s Development Aspirations Will Remain Pipe Dreams Without Investment In Manufacturing, Industrialisation

Should the average Chinese citizen care more about the absence of a democratic process or the tangible improvements in their quality of life?

Another example is Singapore. Under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore transformed from a struggling post-colonial city-state into one of the world’s most prosperous countries. Lee’s government was known for its authoritarian streak but delivered unparalleled economic growth and social stability.

Then there’s the story of Finland, a paragon of democracy and welfare. While democracy thrives there, it also showcases an effective government that provides for its people. High quality of life, excellent education, and a robust social welfare system are all hallmarks of a functioning democracy. 

But how many nations have the cultural, historical, and social conditions that Finland does? Is it reasonable to hold all countries to this standard?

Serving the people

Now, think about our beloved Tanzania. If we focus solely on having democratic processes, are we neglecting the essential purpose of government—improving the lives of citizens? The recent advancements in infrastructure, healthcare, and education are encouraging. 

READ MORE: Tanzania Cannot Afford to Remain a Graveyard for Old European, Asian Cars

Yet, we are still shackled by poverty, corruption, and inefficiencies that democratic processes alone have not solved. What if a different approach, one less focused on the process and more on results, could be our pathway to success?

The ultimate goal of any government, democratic or otherwise, should be to serve its people—to lift them out of poverty, provide them with opportunities for a better life, ensure their safety, and guarantee their well-being. 

If a government can achieve these ends, should the means really matter? Or is it time to redefine our understanding of what truly constitutes a good government?

This is not to say that democracy is without value. Freedom, representation, and accountability principles are noble and should not be discarded lightly. But perhaps it is time to challenge the notion that democracy is the only path to these outcomes. 

In a world where functioning autocracies deliver results and faltering democracies struggle to meet basic needs, maybe the real question we should be asking is how do we create a government that works for us, regardless of the label we attach to it?

Let’s provoke a debate that questions our assumptions and seeks to understand the true nature of governance and its impact on human lives. Let’s ask ourselves, what kind of engine do we really need to drive Tanzania forward? One that looks good in the showroom or one that reliably takes us where we need to go?

Kennedy Mmari is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Serengeti Bytes, a Dar es Salaam-based communications, public relations and digital media agency. He’s available at and on X as @KennedyMmari. The opinions expressed here are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chanzo. If you are interested in publishing in this space, please get in touch with our editors at

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4 Responses

  1. Very well Said Mmari, The vivid example also goes to our late Mwalimu Nyerere. We witnessed results during his reign, nowadays we witness publicity stunts while some few polititians squander our resources through corrupt practices and irresponsibility to what they do with public wealth as annually expounded by the CAG’s office…
    Sometimes you shade tears when you witness peoples suffering on the expense of polititians and public officials actions…
    Keep writing the truth Kennedy… future will tell

  2. I absolutly agree with you Kennedy, another excellent example was Gaddafi’s Libya.. look where the pursuit of democracy has left them ( or was it the lie?) Iam in awe of the progress that Rwanda has and continues to make, all things considered. It it ain’t broken why try to fix it in the name of a certain ideology we must follow blindly? Lets focus on electing leaders that will actually move the goal post towards better services and opportunities.Our eye should be on destroying the ugly monster of corruption, complacency and inflated egos , thats the major root of our woes. As an African nation we are indeed moving some of these posts, lets choose wisely at local and national levels this and next year

  3. In any country whichever well experienced and organized in democracy will never be hindered by the democracy in development.

    Some of country you took as case study are corruptive and unresponsible democratic country so as they fail to implement democracy system and not democracy system fails to implement the country.

  4. Thanks for this thoughtful piece. But to me the problem is how do we.know a government is delivering if people aren’t allowed to say how they feel or what they experience. Is assessment of delivery just based on counting bridges and hospitals built or do we also need to understand the citizen experience? And what about the groups that are inevitably left out of delivery without democracy. Surely both means and ends or process and outcomes matter especially for the most vulnerable and neglected groups.

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