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Message to foreigners living and working in Tanzania

This is to all people who are living and working in foreign countries, particularly the ones who are working in Tanzania.

I know that living and working in a foreign country can be challenging. Different environment and in most cases it is also a different climate. There are also other issues like culture diversity in all aspects of life, food, clothing, customs and other life norms. All this is challenging, and it takes a lot to adjust and at the same time your work still awaits for you, and you will be expected to perform according to the standards.

People from third world countries, who live and work in developed countries face a lot of challenges in getting good jobs, places to stay and affording life in general. Most of them end up working odd jobs like waiting tables and etc. A handful who are lucky enough get professional jobs face a lot of discrimination. I have friends and relatives abroad and as much as they enjoy living abroad, they still face a lot of challenges, and they are honest enough to admit it.

Here in Tanzania, a lot of companies are privately owned, most Industries are owned by either Chinese or Indians. Do not ask me why, but that's how the situation is. These Industries normally prefers hiring al the top managerial people from abroad, and some of them goes as far as employing expatriates even for posts like accountants, and HRs. Do not ask me how they get work permits, because I always wonder myself.

These people employed in Tanzania also face problems, in shops and markets the moment they realise that you are not local the prices goes up, in the offices interacting with the locals is a problem, and so on and so forth. But today, I only want to advice expatriates employed in Tanzania a few things:

First, this country has people, academically capable to do most of the jobs that these expatriates are being employed to do. Just to point this out, most of these people never have sufficient educational back ground anyway, but this country and its people affords them the opportunity of earning their daily bread. It is wrong for these expatriates to look down on the local people. Very wrong in all levels.

I have and still am living this experience first hand, and I am telling you it is horrible. In these companies your education level does not matter as long as you are a local you get treated like a nobody, in most cases you will be treated as if you were nothing.

The salary packages are completely different, you may be having an expatriate in your department who by the way will be placed there as your boss, but you will be teaching him the work anyway because he does not know how (and yet he is the boss) and at the end of the month he gets paid five times your salary and he does not get paid in this local currency, they are paid in US dollars. It feels bad, but since you still need your bread you have got no way but to keep working.

I would also like to remind them (expatriates) that, this country has been kind enough to give them a place to live, work and earn their living. The least you can do is to treat its people fairly. Do not discriminate them, do not look down on them, pay them according to what they deserve, treat them as If you were in your own country with your own people.

It feels very bad being mistreated when you are in your home country, it feels like you are a prisoner in your own home, it feels bad I am telling you. And these people should know, they should. They are minorities here, technically speaking they are taking the best of our jobs and living in best of our streets and yet the are looking down on us. Most of them only have technical educations, the same kind of education that is being offered by VETA, Why then are we employing people from outside and let our own people suffer? and when we employ them why then do we let them mistreat our people like that? 

One thing that people forget is this "If your country were you come from was all that good, why then did you have to leave and work somewhere else?" obviously you could not get a better job in your country, you could not get a job that would have paid you as much as you are being paid here in your own country and that is why you are in our country right now, so instead of looking down on us you are supposed to respect us, because "we are home" we have not gone anywhere because we have chosen to stick to own country.

Mistreating the people of the country where you are earning your leaving is like 'Cutting off the hand that is feeding you" and we all know that is stupid.

Remember what happened in South Africa? how they got tired of being mistreated and started killing foreigners? that is what will happen in this country one day if this trend does not stop. It is about time all foreigners starts realising that this is 21st century, and people's minds and eyes are wide open. They see what is happening but they choose to stay calm and let the day pass. Have they ever thought of what will happen the day people of this country gets tired of this bull shit?

I see people being brought here from India, they can barely speak English let alone write their own names. They are brought here, we teach them work and the next thing we know they have been promoted to become our bosses and they get paid in dollars. They are given places to stay, Cars, and everything else that a local person would only dream of and never get. Do not bite a hand that feeds you, thank God for the opportunities to earn a living that you have been given, and Thank the people of this country for letting you live in our streets, eat our food and work our jobs.

And to our government, especially our immigration department, we know that there is a limited number of expatriates that each and every company is supposed to have, and also a limited number of years that a person is allowed to live and work in this country. But we are witnessing companies with so many expatriates to the extent that we know that the standard limit has been exceeded. 

The immigration officials are famous in asking and receiving bribes in large sums just in order to allow these people to work in our country. We are not against having foreigners in our countries, but all we want is for their number to be limited and their durations of stay also. I know ten or more people who have been in this country for more than ten years, does it mean that no Local person has been able to be trained and assume those responsibilities? Are Tanzanian That dumb?

I ask myself all the above questions, but I never get an answer. But since we work with these people and we know how long they have stayed here may be it is about time we start exposing them, and also expose those immigration officials who are constantly being bribed. It is about time that the children of this country get the jobs that they deserve. Thousands of university graduates are jobless, we surely do not need accountants being employed from abroad, do we? It is about time someone does something. 

Minister for Labour and your people, internal affairs ministry and all those responsible should start doing your jobs.

~ I'm just saying ~