Tag Archives: CCM

Ten more years

Asian Countries which developed rapidly were not celebrated in the area of democracy and good governance. We ourselves decided to have a democratic system by our own choice and we must continue on that path as freedom and respect is both an objective and a catalyst for human development.

But Tanzanians know that in our great national achievements, a key lever of success was the political will of our country’s supreme leadership. Everybody recalls Mwalimu J.K. Nyerere’s famous slogan: “we have just one task – to beat him. We have cause. We are capable. And we have the will”. And Tanzania’s youth, Tanzania’s fighters, defeated Idi Amin Dada to the point where he fled his own country.

In the other examples we noted above, the supreme leadership of the country had clear political will which was embraced by other leaders, public servants and the wider public. That is how we were successful. The work ahead of us needs leaders with political will and the discipline that goes with that. Accordingly, we need leaders who can put the country’s interests ahead of their own.

This may indicate a move towards a Beijing consensus as much as anything else. Zhongnanhai meets Chimwaga, maybe. Taken from Mwelekeo wa Sera za CCM katika Miaka 2010 2010 to 2020 (CCM Policy Direction for the Years 2010 to 2020). Get your at the always useful CCM website.

When is a campaign not a campaign?

Possibly when it’s a book launch. January Makamba announced today that he’s looking for the CCM nomination to run for the Bumbuli constituency in this year’s National Assembly elections, while also launching his new book , which happens to focus on Bumbuli and its potential. Have a read of the press release, if you have your Swahili hat on.

His interest in the seat has hardly been a secret. The incumbent – William Shellukindo, also of CCM of course – has reportedly  complained within the party of what he claims are campaign activities outside the allotted campaign period, accusing him of providing “food, drinks and thank you money” to branch representatives in at least one Ward. Read more at Raia Mwema. It’s a useful picture of what is to be expected in any race in most places in Tanzania and far beyond.

Makamba denies the accusation and is confident of getting the nomination. The same Raia Mwema story : “even if I don’t run myself, whoever does will defeat Shellukindo”.

As son of party Secretary General Yusuf Makamba as well as being Assistant to President Kikwete, he certainly has the connections  – not necessarily a bad thing in an honourable member.

Bumbuli won’t be a race to watch – as Makamba fils says, it’s in the bag. Just like the Ikulu race: as a result Shurufu is rightly watching the Presidential contest for signs of who may be contenders for the real contest in 2015 when Kikwete steps down. Others may be positioning themselves for even later contests.

Smiley Happy People

Elsie let us into the secrets of  vote hedging in Tanzania this week. Happily I didn’t have to sign anything to get the full collection of CCM paraphenalia in 2005 . My request for a copy of the manifesto was met with the manifesto itself along with the mini-flag, head scarf, T shirt and kanga.

But why has it taken me five years to notice that the party logo is a smiley face?

It’s winking, isn’t it?

“The wise dove conceals its wings”

Somebody today asked me for my take on Mpendazoe’s defection from CCM to CCJ – Chama Cha Jamii, our latest opposition start up. Analysis at times like these is a fruitless exercise. Too much is built on happenstance and not even  insiders have full information. The matters arising in the incident are not new: the influence of a rich and corrupt elite on CCM and its administration; the Richmond generators scandal and the Tanzania Railway Limited imbroglio. Important issues but nothing new has emerged.

What was notable was the language employed by the various characters. Mpendazoe himself looked for biblical parallels. From Habari Leo newspaper:

“CCJ is like Joshua who lead the people to Canaan. Nobody’s denying that CCM took us out of colonialism, it has done great work and made its mark but I say that it can’t give Tanzanians change for this century. We need new ideas. “

He also felt it necessary to respond to Sheikh Yahya Hussein’s prediction  that any opponent to Kikwete will meet an untimely end. From Mwananchi:

People shouldn’t fear that anyone will die as he predicted by the authority of his lords of darkness.

Admittedly, I know how easy it is to get carried away when the microphones are switched on down at Maelezo. It is a heady experience.

John Shibuda MP – likely, and losing, contender for the CCM nomination – leaned heavily on biblical metaphor too. In a particularly convoluted text message to Mwananchi newspaper:

“To move from one church or mosque to another is not to abandon Islam or Christianity. In making this decision, he isn’t being disobedient to the government and he is not showing a lack of patriotism. Just because a believer has no bishop or sheikh isn’t to say he is lost to the Virgin Mary or the Prophet Muhammad. The wise dove conceals its wings”

The Chairman of CCM in Mpendazoe’s Shinyanga Region, Hamisi Mgeja, was more earthy – and the more powerful for that:

The Chairman said that Mpendazoe’s decision was like the journey of a crocodile, which will inevitably include some lizards. The fire started by the MP for Kishapu [Mpendazoe] is just brush fire.

And as we look at the reactions of those who are maybe closer to power we see, not surprisingly more evidence of modernity and its particular complications. With Pius Msekwa, CCM’s deputy chairman, it was a reminder of the balance of power, and not a little superior derision:

“CCM has 4,600,000 members and out of 320 MPs it has 270 so [the party] can hardly be troubled by the departure of just one…..  Really? Is Mpendazoe a leader? Surely you must be joking?”

And as for Zitto Kabwe, for a Tanzanian MP with a Facebook account, it’s not surprising that his reaction to Habari Leo newspaper came over the internets and was distinguished by those modern concerns of strategy, conspiracy and due recompense.

The MP for Kigoma North, Zitto Kabwe, by way of the internet, said that the decision to join the opposition is a heroic one. “We welcome him. I have doubts about his strategy of coming out in a press conference and not at a rally in his constituency as he is about to lose his seat for the rest of this parliament. Maybe he suspected that somebody was out to get him, I had heard there was a Central Committee meeting…”

On the issue of end of parliament payments, he said that depends on how long the MP has been sitting. For an MP who dies his benefits are paid to his family.

There’s only one way this is all going, no?

We must think big..

It’s been said that CCM doesn’t need to cheat in elections – its property and business interests, media access and control of public spaces means it doesn’t have to. But that’s no reason to rest on their laurels. If Kikwete has anything to with it, finding a parking space is going to get more difficult:

CCM Chairman, President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete wants the party to broaden its thinking on investment and to abandon small projects, such as car parking. Instead, Chairman Kikwete urged the party to use its many valuable assets to enter large scale property development which will increase the party’s financial capacity and be a solid base for the party for many years to come.

“Our party cannot be poor. We have 396 plots in Dar es Salaam Region alone. We just need to be smarter in investment. Those assets can fund the party nation wide….. Our properties are enough to fund the party….

“We must think big. Leave behind old ideas. We have great assets in property. Now let’s start on some high rises of 20 or even 60 stories”

That’s from Ikulu Mawasiliano,  the blog of The Directorate of Presidential Communication of The United Republic Of Tanzania –  Salva Rweyemamu’s office – informing us of Chairman Kikwete’s recent tour of party offices in Kinondoni District.

Sharp eyed city residents will be familiar with many of the party’s properties. And like our President, I’ve often been surprised by how rarely the party leverages it’s substantial property portfolio: a whole block at Magomeni Mapipa that just houses ‘frame’ type shops; a tumble down building in the middle of Upanga, with rooms rented out to one man show clearing agents and hair dressers.

Now that the Chairman has spoken, how many more disputes like this one can we expect?

h/t to Mikocheni Report for pointing out Ikulu Mawasiliano

The Sheikh’s Secret Revealed

That’s the headline in today’s MwanaHalisi (which brings you to their irregularly updated website). Unfortunately, we don’t get insight into Sheikh Yahya’s use of numbers. But we do get interesting context on internal CCM machinations, manoeuvring for the presidency and the instrumental use of the occult – courtesy of Saed Kubenea. Here goes in translation:

The cause of the  threat from Sheikh Yahya Hussein that whoever opposes President Kikwete will meet a sudden death are now known.

Credible sources have told MwanaHalisi that “political turmoil” caused Sheikh Yahya to “come out and try and save his friend Kikwete”.

The political turmoil which has caused such threats and predictions is claimed to be a reaction to a group of current and past leaders of Chama Cha Mapinduzi, (CCM) which is arranging to have an alternative presidential nominee next year.

According to our source, the whole country has been over run with “ants” who are meeting with each member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and Annual Conference Delegates to advocate great changes in party meetings to be held early next year.

Reports say that by the end of September, members of this group, called “ants” for the way in which they have over run the country, had already met and reached an understanding with 80 NEC members  who want an alternative CCM presidential nominee.

Furthermore, this group, driven by the idea that “Kikwete has forgotten us and has allowed us to be abused” has registered 1,200 out of 1,700 Annual Conference Delegates, who have the final say on the presidential candidate. Continue reading