International Entrepreneurship Trainer Eric James Shigongo continues to shake up Buchosa constituency, his momentum carrying him just like it did the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.
That’s from Eric Shigongo’s Global Publishers. His racy tabloid stable has been the source of more than one post here, so it would be remiss to ignore the blanket coverage being given to his bid to take Mwanza’s Buchosa constituency in October’s National Assembly elections on the CCM ticket. This wouldn’t be the first Obama comparison to be made in this year’s campaigns (h/t Shurufu).
Debunking Obama parallels need not detain us. And neither should Shigongo’s appearance surprise us. A prominent youth wing cadre with deep pockets and a high profile – local boy made good – may be just what the ruling party needs. The seat was held for CCM in 2005 by Samuel Chitalilo, but with just 55 percent of the vote against the Civic United Front’s candidate on 41 percent – a hair’s breadth by Tanzanian standards.
Thus far, Global Publishers are playing it straight: no mention of Chitalilo at this first stage of seeking the party’s endorsement. Also in this initial race is Charles Tizeba. He got the nod from the local party’s Political Committee last time round, only to be over ridden by National Executive Committee.
Thus far, it seems to be a typical campaign. We have the ritual defection of opposition members to CCM, drawn, we are told, by the vigour of the candidate and his vision of a united Buchosa. We also have the religious angle, with TV Preacher Gertrude Rwakatare calling on God to protect him against all the forces of darkness.
Many people are remarking on the apparent enthusiasm of young people like Shigongo (men, usually) to contest this time round. But generational turnover is inevitable. What it does with that power is another thing. With an increasingly centripetal ruling party with a stated intent of retaining power in the hands of a just a few, how things will really change, if at all, is far from clear.