The announcement by Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda that Sh346 million has been realised in one month through fines imposed in the current campaign to keep the city clean has, not unexpectedly, raised questions.
This is a tidy sum, but does it signify success or failure in the campaign so far?
That aside, the fact that members of the city militia conducting the campaign have been using threats and even outright violence to force perceived offenders to pay fines cannot and should not be overlooked. What cleanliness entails is also not very clear as people have been fined Sh50,000 for having dusty windows or not having wastepaper baskets in their business premises.
Mr Makonda has decided to dish out half of the money raised through fines to the foot soldiers involved in the initiative. This means that Dar es Salaam residents should expect more of the same for the simple reason that the drive has proved to be lucrative beyond its proponents’ wildest dreams.
Dar es Salaam needs to be much cleaner than it currently is, but it is well-nigh impossible to achieve the desired results sustainably through strong-arm tactics.