July 27, 2015 § 1 Comment
In politics I don’t see it a problem for politicians to decamp and move to places where their interests are served better. The opposition we have today is a result of disgruntled members of the single party system. If Lowassa really moves out of CCM he will be doing so for mainly two reasons:
- To get a psychological relief of the pain he suffered after being axed from CCM candidature
- He wants to still pursue his dream popularly known as “safari ya Matumaini” that meaning standing as a presidential candidate against his former fellow cabinet minister Dr Magufuli
Whether it is a mistake for the coalition of parties for people’s constitution (UKAWA) to allow him to be their flag bearer or not time will tell. Mostly in my view that will be determined by the outcomes of October elections. If UKAWA wins, opposition are likely to consolidate their power and change the constitution in their favour (not for Wananchi per se). If they lose election their loose coalition is likely to disintegrate and CCM is likely to consolidate their power for quite some time to come. The negative perception against Lowassa in this scenario is likely to diminish CHADEMA and make it an irrelevant force in the politics of our country. That will be a tragic demise of the once respected opposition party not only by its followers but by CCM too.
If I was in the position of influencing what happens in UKAWA and especially the main opposition party I would advise the following:
Welcome Lowassa’s in the party but not as a presidential material but as a senior adviser to the party. File in a strong presidential candidate from within the existing members of CHADEMA. Invite more defectors from the ruling party to consolidate their influence in Councilors’, parliamentary and presidential elections. Bank on gradual progress of the party and UKAWA coalition even if it doesn’t win on the presidential ticket. Focus especially on members of parliament to even out CCM dominance in the house. UKAWA in this scenario stands 50/50 chance of winning presidential votes and 60/40 to win the parliamentary and council seats. If UKAWA loses by any margin the effects would not derail their agenda for change it will rather consolidate by their influence in the House. UKAWA and the leading party (CHADEMA) are likely to continue consolidating and the likelihood to win the next election is even much higher than if they lose with Lowassa as a flag bearer.
CCM had already suspected a potential defection by its key members and cadres. Traditionally ruling parties especially those who have ruled since independence are a hard nut to crack. This is by virtue of their consolidated power and influence to the government institutions including security machineries for the last 54 years. CCM knows circumstances of 2015 election will be unique and are likely to employ the most vicious methods be it conventional or non-conventional to win this important election. Lowassa was feared by most of CCM leadership as a man of vengeance and would likely avenge his intra-party opponents. He was not feared because of his perceived corruption behavior as opposition has sold a story for some time now.
The misappropriation of public money and corruption in the ruling class is so systemic that it is difficult to just single out one member without touching the rest. The ruling party is clever enough to know that. That explains why despite the Richmond scandal being hipped on Lowassa he was still nominated by the Party Central Committee to contest for Monduli constituency in 2010 and he won by sounding margin. In the House Lowassa was also elected as the Chairman of Defense and Security Committee. So I don’t see rejection of Lowassa to really base on corruption allegations. CCM would be even more apprehensive of Lowassa by him moving to opposition and are likely to employ every tactics and resources at their disposal to prevent him from becoming a president. This is a hard choice for CHADEMA in my view. Hard as it may seem they still need to make decision for the interest of higher principles after which results would be more sustainable. Mungu ibariki Tanzania.