A Pastoral Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Tanzania
25 February, 2000
To strive towards being elected is a good deed because it provides an opportunity to the one candidate (if chosen) to render services to follow citizens. A leader who fulfils his duties well is pleasing to God and receives respect and dignity from everyone (Jn 12:26; Rm 14:18). Such a leader has the following qualities:
A Truthful Person: Does not make empty or false promises during the campaign and does not cheat the people.
A Faithful Person: Remembers that he/she represents voters of his/her constituency and thus cannot sorely defend the political party at the expense of people. He/she does not betray basic values of the nation and the basic needs of the people.
A Self-sacrificing Person: He/she is even willing to sacrifice his/her position in view of defending justice and rights of the people. A good leader offers his/her time, strength and even health for the common good. He/she is even ready to lose a position or a good opportunity in order to defend the truth, justice and the common good.
A Person Guided by Basic Values: Among these basic values are life, human dignity, freedom, peace and equality. These values are defined in the Preamble of the Constitution of Tanzania. From the political point of view, our basic values are unity, equality and democracy. A good leader does not spend most of his/her time on trivial matters at the expense of addressing bigger and more pressing issues in the Nation.
The Constitution of the Nation is the basic law of the land, which expresses the aspirations, and desires of the Tanzanian citizens and that spells out the peoples' want to be led and governed. The Constitution is not a thing to play with or to be discarded easily by government, rather, the Government is there to serve the Constitution. We warn our leaders not to change the Constitution in game like manner. It is improper to make piecemeal changes that follow the temporary needs of politicians or those that are in favor of a certain group or of one person.
In order that the coming elections provide us with leaders who are worthy, we encourage each party to be careful in choosing the candidates who have needed qualities.