My advise to UKAWA and CHADEMA

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:

  1. To get a psychological relief of the pain he suffered after being axed from CCM candidature
  2. 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.


§ One Response to My advise to UKAWA and CHADEMA

  • Bard says:

    Reblogged this on Truth as Imagined and commented:
    I agree with this analysis of what I believe is at stake in the election of 2015 in Tanzania.

    For me, it has become strongly a question of Character and Principles. For while the principles that UKAWA claims to stand for are admirable, their character seems at best questionable.
    UKAWA has made a mess of the internal process of selecting a candidate and this is indicative of its character in my opinion. Each member of the coalition believes it is the best option for the joint candidacy. Why shouldn’t they? UKAWA is after all established parties that have hitherto run against each other. The problem arises when UKAWA essentially confirms that “Umoja Ni Ushindi” (unity is victory); however, UKAWA cannot seem to find that unity within itself when victory is for one person, one party. Its character remains in question because on the basis of character, it has yet to separate itself from CCM. UKAWA is just as (counterproductively) power hungry, and with the admittance (and possible candidacy) of Lowassa has jeopardized its principles.

    I read a tweet that described the acceptance of Lowassa into UKAWA as “political expediency”. This characterization is both apropos and worrisome. Although unofficial, the potential candidacy of Lowassa makes this election a true election and not one for show. UKAWA, as it was, was light years (a few presidential terms) away from competing against CCM at this level primarily because its unity has seemingly always been fickle and opportunistic (I.e it’s almost election year, let’s get the band back together). Although this has now vaulted UKAWA forward, did the ship leave without seatbelts and a trained pilot? What about a proper course? The danger of political expediency for UKAWA is that it risks all for now with no plans for later. I believe this article points this out very well. Lowassa did not leave CCM to play second (or lower) fiddle again. He came to UKAWA (specifically CHADEMA) because UKAWA (really, CHADEMA) has the second best chance at presidency behind his first choice. Lowassa gives UKAWA a better chance, but does he give UKAWA a future?
    I don’t believe so. I don’t believe so because should UKAWA choose Lowassa, I am convinced that the ship has no course. As this article suggests, the true path, not the most expedient, must begin with laboring through fundamental pieces. The presidential election, with or without Lowassa, is likely going to be CCM’s (the article is optimistic, giving them a 50/50 chance with Lowassa. The extent of Lowassa’s clout will be measured in the forthcoming weeks). However, the future has yet to be seized by any party. That future begins in the Parliament. There’s a great opportunity for UKAWA to chart the course now, win seats and potential majority, and begin the proper work to win the people’s hearts and minds while revealing and committing to their principles of development.
    It is possible that UKAWA can run a two-front campaign this year. Should it manage to do so and not put all its eggs in one basket, then perhaps the future can still be seized. My personal interest is in the advancement of the quality and access of education in Tanzania. Neither CCM nor UKAWA have shown commitment to education as far as I know. Positions on key issues (and whether education makes it as an issue?) will be clarified in weeks to come. I am still learning every day about the state of politics in the nation of Tanzania. This is a mere record of some of my thoughts until this point. My opinions are incomplete as facts, but I am excited to see this develop in the weeks to come.

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