By Deng Vananag
Sept 8, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Since its independence in 1960th from colonial Britain, Tanzania dutifully played host to several African pre and post -colonial liberation movements seeking independence and more freedom for their peoples back in their own respective countries.
Mediated peace processes with all the modesty in the neighbors between their governments and armed opposition groups divided over issues of good governance.
These payless efforts undeniably secured peace and development in its African neighbors and beyond, thanks to abundant Tanzania’s brotherhood and good neighborliness as inculcated by its independence father, the saintly Julius Kabarage Nyerere.
At home, Nyerere cultivated love and hard work among Tanzanians irrespective of ethnicity, race and religion through his African customary – infused socialist philosophy, the Ujamaa.
All these humanely efforts drastically reduced, if not completely eradicate, selfishness and corruption which as the result of thankfulness to the independence father statesman, Nyerere and previously inexperienced opposition big wigs had left nearly 90% Tanzanian electorate chained and shackled for half a century to Chama Cha Mapinduzi, CCM – party of the revolution since independence.
Now is no longer the case with chains and chuckles of slavery broken since Nyerere’s death in 1999.The façade of unity that has been falsely projected after him has now unmasked the previously untold bad and ugly behind the scenes deals before the eye – popping Tanzanians. Those peeling off the mask are current defectors from CCM to opposition coalition, UKAWA.
Featuring prominently among these defectors are former Prime Ministers in good names of Edward Lowassa, opposition standard bearer in upcoming October elections and Frederick Sumaye.
Who have not only cast a strong vote of no confidence in CCM but equally brought much required experience in service delivery they have been known of delivering by electorate while they were still in CCM just a few weeks ago.
This peoples’ confidence in them and in particular, Lowassa was seen when people washed clean with water and soap the tarmacked roads he was going to pass through as the rest lined up hundreds kilometers lengthy roads as they sheered on his wailing motorcades.
Not in home region but his CCM’s challenger’s John Magufuli. Who too, not an easy nut to crack given the equally wonderful job he has done as Minister as well as entrenched ruling party’s infrastructure and state’s resources propping him up.
In effect, is not the CCM fighting an alien aggressor called opposition, but splitting CCM’s house that is divided down the middle and fighting itself going by different names. That is UKAWA led by former CCM’s officials squaring it off with their colleagues in what looks like CCM –Mainstream.
Therefore, CCM seeking unity for the divided SPLM it doesn’t have sparks off an aura of political hypocrisy in the former. For what divided CCM is closely related to that which splintered SPLM apart for decades. The only difference is in timing of its exposure.
It took only less than 20 days for South Sudanese who are more hysterically vocal and emotionally charged to react to Ethiopians’ imposition of John Garang on them back in September, 1983 than 50 years for their Tanzanian peers who are characteristically quite, timid and tolerant to react to the imposition of Presidential candidates by their leaders in CCM on them.
The imposition of candidates came to the open in 1995 when Nyerere had to save less popular Benjamin Mkapa from more popularly hawkish current President Jakaya Kikwete and Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim. Nyerere prevailed on the then younger Jakaya Kikwete to give way to the older Mkapa.
Despite serving his beloved motherland Tanzania extremely well as an Ambassador numerous times in the world and as an eventual long serving Secretary-General for then then Organization for African Unity, OAU now AU with more than five degrees, Dr. Salim was brutally shoved aside from the race. His transgression is allegedly his Arab descent in Zanzibar some CCM’s spin-doctors might not have been comfortable with.
In 2005 waning popularity Kikwete had to be saved by Mkapa from the devouring teeth of more popular Edward Lowassa. It is Mkapa at it again pulling down still widely popular Lowassa ten years later in favor of the little known John Magufuli. Then for Lowassa enough is enough to flee CCM into the open arms of opposition Chadema party that formed opposition coalition with others called UKAWA.
CCM may not be that too tribal, corrupt and visionless alike the SPLM, although the duo shares in common such as favoritism in choosing their leaders. CCM believes in its established institutions with over whoever may be in the lead seen as irrelevant.
While SPLM faces both abject shortage of transparent and accountable institutions with its trigger happy foot soldiers thrust into the forefront behind whom the clownish and dumpy politicians sheer them on while the brightest others horned out deep into the woods.
With CCM no longer a credible arbitrator to re-unite the unity fractured SPLM, it is therefore, high time for the latter to start window shopping for a new arbitrator and avenue. May be they should try casting their sight farther South ward like Botswana or West ward like Senegal as the continent economically progressive and oldest democracies.
Deng Vanang, Journalist and author, to be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org