Friday, 18 August 2017

Waraka maalum aliouandika Maalim Seif kwenda kwa jaji Francis Mutungi

THE CIVIC UNITED FRONT

(CUF-Chama Cha Wananchi)

Office of Secretary General

P.o.box 3637, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Kumb.Na.: CUF/HQ/AKM/003/017/08                                Tarehe : 16/8/2017

Mhe. Jaji Francis S.K.Mutungi,

Msajili wa Vyama vya Siasa,

Kivukoni Ilala CBD,      

1 Mtaa wa Shaban Robert,

S.L.P.  63010.

11101 Dar es salam.

YAH :  KUFUKUZWA UANACHAMA WANACHAMA SABA (07) WA CUF

Tafadhali rudia barua yako yenye kumbukumbu Na. HA. 322/362/14/57 ya tarehe 01 Agosti, 2017 inayohusiana na suala lililotajwa hapo juu.

Kwanza napenda kukuarifu kuwa nimechelewa kuijibu barua yako kwa sababu sikuwepo nchini, ingawa nilipata taarifa ya kupokelewa kwa barua yako wakati nikiwa nje ya nchi. Niliamua niijibu barua yako hiyo nikiwa Makao Makuu ya The CIVIC UNITED FRONT (CUF – Chama Cha Wananchi), Mtendeni Zanzibar.

Katika barua yako hiyo dhana uliyoijenga ni kuwa umepokea taarifa kutoka kwa Profesa Ibrahim H. Lipumba ikimtambulisha Mheshimiwa Magdalena Sakaya kuwa ndiye Kaimu Katibu Mkuu wa CUF. Nawe uliikubali barua hiyo kwa kuwa, kwa mtazamo wako Profesa Lipumba ni Mwenyekiti wa Taifa wa CUF. Hili nataka kuliweka wazi ili wengine uliowapelekea nakala ya barua uliyoniletea watambuestatus ya Profesa Lipumba katika CUF – Chama Cha Wananchi.

Mheshimiwa Msajili unafahamu fika kuwa Profesa Ibrahim H. Lipumba mwenyewe aliamua kujiuzuilu uenyekiti wa taifa wa Chama cha CUF. Pamoja na kuniandikia mimi nikiwa Katibu Mkuu na pia Katibu wa Mamlaka iliyomchagua (Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa) kunijulisha kuwa amejiuzulu, pia alikwenda kwenye mkutano na waandishi wa habari akatangaza hadharani kuwa amejiuzulu.
Nikatoa taarifa ya kujiuzulu kwake Profesa Lipumba kwa kikao cha Baraza Kuu la Uongozi kilichofuata baada ya kupokea barua yake ya kujiuzulu na Baraza likaipokea taarifa hio kwa masikitiko makubwa. Hata hivyo Baraza likaelekeza kuwa kujiuzulu uongozi ni miongoni mwa haki za wanachama wa Chama chetu. Hivyo itabidi kuitishwa kwa Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa ili nao utoe Baraka zake.

Baada ya kipindi kinachokaribia mwaka mmoja Profesa Lipumba akaniandikia barua kunieleza kuwa anatengua kujiuzulu kwake! Nilishangazwa na barua hiyo maana ilikuwa ndio mara ya kwanza kusikia mtu anajiuzulu kwa hiari yake, anakaa njee ya uongozi kwa takriban mwaka nzima, halafu anatengua kujiuzulu kwake! Katika Katiba ya CUF hakuna kipengele chochote kinachotoa nafasi kwa kiongozi aliyejiuzulu kutengua kujiuzulu kwake!

Hatimaye Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa wa CUF ukaitishwa na Katibu Mkuu akatoa taarifa ya kupokea barua ya kujiuzulu kwa Profesa Ibrahim Lipumba nafasi yake ya Uenyekiti wa Taifa wa Chama. Nikaisoma barua yake mbele ya Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa, na baada ya mjadala wa kina maamuzi yakachukuliwa kwa mujibu wa matakwa ya Katiba ya CUF ya 1992 (Toleo la 2014) kwa kupiga kura. Wajumbe 437 wakakubali kujizulu kwa Profesa Lipumba dhidi ya Wajumbe 14 waliokataa. Hivyo Profesa Ibrahim H. Lipumba kuanzia siku aliyojiuzulu si Mwenyekiti wa Taifa wa CUF. Profesa Lipumba hana mamlaka ya kukiongoza Chama chetu.

Najua kuwa alikulalamikia, ukaniletea barua zake za malalamiko na ukataka maoni ya Chama. Nikakujibu kwa maandishi. Kwenda na kurudi ukatoa kile ulichokiita Msimamo wa Msajili juu ya kadhia iliyokikumba Chama! Huo ni Msimamo sio hukumu. Maana kama ni hukumu ningetarajia katika huo ulioita Msimamo ungeeleza kuwa kwa uwezo uliopewa na kifungu Na. kadhaa cha Sheria ya Vyama vya Siasa Na.5 ya 1992, au kwa mujibu wa uwezo uliopewa na Katiba ya CUF ya 1992 (Toleo la 2014) katika kifungu Na. kadhaa umeamua kumrudisha Profesa Ibrahim Lipumba kuwa Mwenyekiti wa Taifa wa CUF. Lakini hukuweza kuonesha uwezo wako wa kisheria au kikatiba kumrudisha Profesa Lipumba kuwa Mwenyekiti wa Taifa CUF – Chama Cha Wananchi, kwa sababu huna uwezo huo kwa mujibu wa sheria za nchi wala kwa mujibu wa Katiba ya CUF. Hata hivyo mara baada ya kupata huo ulioita Msimamo wa Msajili, Profesa Lipumba na genge lake walivamia jengo la Ofisi Kuu ya Makao Makuu ya CUF – Chama Cha Wananchi lilopo Buguruni, wakilindwa na askari polisi wakavunja lango kuu, wakavunja vitasa vya milango ya ofisi kadhaa na kufanya uharibifu mkubwa wa mali na vifaa kadhaa vya chama.Hayo yakitendeka chini ya ulinzi wa askari wa jeshi la polisi! Mfano wa jinsi utawala bora usivyozingatiwa!

Mheshimiwa Msajili, unajua vizuri kuwa CUF – Chama Cha Wananchi hakiukubali uamuzi huo, na Bodi ya Wadhamini ya Chama kwa uwezo ilionao kwa mujibu wa sheria za nchi, na kwa mujibu wa Katiba ya CUF – Chama Cha Wananchi, ilifungua shauri Mahakama Kuu ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania kupinga huo uliouita Msimamo wako, ambao matokeo yake ni kumpandikiza Profesa Ibrahim Lipumba kuwa Mwenyekiti wa chama chetu kinyume cha Katiba ya chama chetu. Na tangu hapo umeendelea kuwa naye bega kwa bega katika kukivuruga chama chetu.

Kesi inaendelea katika Mahakama Kuu. Kwa hali ya kawaida, ungetazamia kuwa wewe kama Msajili, na hasa ukiwa Jaji wa Mahakama Kuu hio hio usingeendelea kushirikiana na Profesa Lipumba kufanya vitendo ambavyo ni vya kihuni na vya hujuma dhidi ya Chama. Busara zingekuelekeza kumsihi Profesa Lipumba asubiri hukumu ya Mahakama Kuu, na kama angekataa wewe kama Msajili na Ofisi yako ungejitenga naye.

Tunaloshuhudia ni kila kukicha unaendelea kumuunga mkono Profesa Lipumba hata katika mambo ya aibu ya kula njama na Profesa Lipumba kumuwezesha atoe ruzuku ya CUF kinyume na matakwa na taratibu zilizowekwa katika Katiba ya CUF ya 1992 (Toleo la 2014). Narudia kusemakuwa Prof. Lipumba si Mwenyekiti wa Taifa wa CUF. Lakini kutokana na vitendo vyake vya kukosa nidhamu katika kusababisha vurugu katika kikao cha dharura cha Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa wa chama chetu, Baraza Kuu la Uongozi la Taifa, kwa uwezo lillonao kwa mujibu wa masharti ya Katiba ya CUF, lilimfukuza Profesa Ibrahim Lipumba uanachama wa CUF. Taarifa hiyo pia nilikuletea, lakini umeamua kuitia kapuni ili kutimiza matakwa yako binafsi. Ikiwa Profesa Ibrahim H. Lipumba sio mwanachama wa CUF, hawezi kabisa kuwa kiongozi wa Chama, hasa nafasi ya juu kabisa katika Chama. Kinachotokea kikiongozwa nawe na Ofisi yako ni ubabe, kutojali sheria  za nchi wala Katiba ya Chama chetu ilimradi mufikie lengo lenu!

Mheshimiwa Msajili, Umeandika katika barua yako hiyo ya tarehe 01 Agosti, 2017, na naomba kukunukuu :
“… Napenda kukumbusha kuwa, tarehe 16 Machi, 2017 Ofisi ya Msajili wa Vyama vya Siasa ilipokea barua kutoka kwa chama chenu iliyosainiwa  na Mwenyekiti wa Taifa Profesa Ibrahim H. Lipumba, ikimtambulisha Mheshimiwa Magdalena Sakaya kuwa ndiye Kaimu Katibu Mkuu. Baada ya kusoma Katiba ya chama chenu, niliridhia uamuzi huo kwa barua yenye kumbukumbu HA. 322/362//14/74 ya tarehe 21 Machi, 2017.

Aidha, mpaka sasa Ofisi ya Msajili wa Vyama vya Siasa haijapokea barua yoyote kutoka katika chama chenu, inayotengua uamuzi wa kukaimisha  ukatibu mkuu Mheshimiwa Magdalena Sakaya…”

Mheshimiwa Msajili, nashangaa, tena nashangaa sana, kwa maelezo yako hayo! Mimi ninavyojua ni kuwa kiongozi anakaimiwa ikiwa hayupo nchini, au hawezi kutekeleza majukumu yake. Hivyo ndivyo Katiba ya CUF ya 1992 (Toleo la 2014) kifungu cha 105 (1) kinavyoeleza. Hapo ulipopokea barua ya Profesa Lipumba ya tarehe 16 Machi, 2017 nilikuwepo nchini nikiwa nafanya kazi za Chama Makao Makuu ya Chama, tena nikiwa mzima wa afya na akili timamu.  Wewe umetoa uamuzi kutokana na hiyo barua ya Profesa Lipumba kwa madai kuwa eti siendi Ofisi Kuu Buguruni.

Tafadhali angalia Katiba ya CUF ya 1992 (Toleo la 2014) kifungu Na. 1 (2) ambacho kinaeleza ifuatavyo:

(2) Makao Makuu ya Chama yatakuwa katika Mji Mkuu wa Zanzibar na anuani yake itakuwa kama itakavyoamuliwa na Baraza Kuu la Uongozi la Taifa’’
Kifungu cha 1 (3) kinaeleza ifuatavyo:

“1 (3) Kutakuwa na Ofisi Kuu ya Makao Makuu ya Chama Mjini Dar es Salaam na anuani yake itakuwa kama itakavyoamuliwa na Baraza Kuu la Uongozi la Taifa.”

Sikumbuki kuwa mkutano Mkuu ambao ndio wenye madaraka ya kufanya maamuzi yoyote yanayohusiana na Chama chetu umewahi kubadilisha kifungu hicho cha Katiba ya CUF – Chama Cha Wananchi. Kama hivyo ndivyo ukweli unabakia pale pale : kwamba Makao Makuu ya chama chetu yako katika Mji Mkuu wa Zanzibar. Na kwa sasa Makao Makuu hayo yapo katika Mtaa wa Mtendeni, katika mji mkuu wa Zanzibar. Wewe mwenyewe umeshawahi kuyatembelea Makao Makuu hayo! Bado ofisi iliyoko Buguruni, Dar es Salaam, ni Ofisi Kuu ya Makao Makuu.

Mheshimiwa Msajili, jee ulijiridhisha kuwa sifanyi kazi katika Makao Makuu ya Chama?  Mimi nikiwa Katibu Mkuu wa Chama nimeendelea kufanya kazi zangu za kichama sio tu katika Zanzibar, lakini pia hata katika Tanzania Bara, ingawa ni wazi kuwa juhudi zimefanywa na Profesa Lipumba na genge lake, wakiungwa mkono na Ofisi yako na Jeshi la Polisi kunizuia nisifanye kazi kwa uhuru katika enea la Tanzania Bara. Vyombo vya habari nchini vimekuwa vikitoa taarifa juu ya shughuli za kichama ninazoendelea kuzifanya Zanzibar na Bara, lakini pia na mazuio ninayoekewa na Jeshi la Polisi kunizuia nisifanye shughuli Tanzania Bara. Jeshi la Polisi ni chombo cha dola. Ofisi ya Msajili ni ofisi ya dola. Vyombo hivyo vinaposhirikiana kumzuia Katibu Mkuu wa Chama asifanye kazi katika upande mmoja wa Jamhuri, wakati sheria ya Vyama vya Siasa Na. 5 ya 1992 inaeleza kinaga ubaga kwamba vyama vya siasa lazima viwe vya kitaifa, nini athari zake? Profesa Ibrahim Lipumba anapewa ulinzi mkubwa wa polisi kufanya shughuli Tanzania Bara. Maalim Seif anazuiwa kufanya kazi Bara, afanye kazi Zanzibar tu. Maana yake ni kukigawa chama kwa msingi wa pande mbili za Muungano! Ni jambo la kusikitisha kuwa dola imejiangusha kiasi hicho!

Mheshimiwa Msajili, hivyo kwa maoni yako, Mheshimiwa Jaji wa Mahakama Kuu ya Jamhuri ya Muungano, Ofisi Kuu ya Dar es Salaam ina uzito zaidi kuliko Makao Makuu yenyewe? Na unadai katika barua yako kuwa ulijiridhisha na maelezo ya Profesa Lipumba kuwa sifiki Buguruni basi nimeshindwa kufanya kazi! Jee, uliniita kuniuliza ili kupata maelezo ya upande wa pili? Hukunita! Au maelezo ya Profesa Lipumba ni maelezo ya kitabu kitakatifu hayawezi kupingwa? Hivyo ndivyo haki inavoamuliwa? Is that justice?

Kwa mujibu wa Katiba ya CUF – Chama cha Wananchi, mimi, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad bado ni Katibu Mkuu wa Chama, nipo nchini, ni mzima na nina akili timamu. Ilivyokuwa nipo nafasi yangu haiwezi kukaimiwa! Mheshimiwa Magdalena Sakaya alikuwa Naibu Katibu Mkuu wa chama chetu. Baraza Kuu lilisimamisha uanachama wake Hivyo asingeweza kuendelea kuwa Naibu Katibu Mkuu. Kwa sasa Baraza Kuu lishamfukuza uanachama.  Kweli Katiba ya CUF inaeleza kuwa nafasi ya Katibu Mkuu  itakaimiwa na Naibu Katibu Mkuu anayemfuata Katibu Mkuu ikiwa Katibu Mkuu hayupo nchini au hawezi kutekeleza majukumu yake. Hata ingekuwa nafasi yangu inapaswa kukaimiwa, basi siyo na Mheshimiwa Magadalena Sakaya ambaye si mwanachama wa CUF!

Kwa taarifa yako, Profesa Lipumba alipofukuzwa uanachama na Baraza Kuu, na Mheshimiwa Sakaya na wenzake waliposimamishwa uanachama wote waliniletea barua za kukata rufaa dhidi ya maamuzi ya Baraza Kuu kwa Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa. Barua ninazo. Na wote niliwajibu kuwa nimepokea barua zao na taratibu za kuziwasilishwa Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa zitafuatwa. Maana yake wote, wote kabisa, walitambua madaraka ya Baraza Kuu. Kabla ya mchakato haujakamilika, Mheshimiwa Msajili, unaingilia na kutoa uliouita Msimamo wa Msajili, msimamo uliompa nguvu Profesa Lipumba na genge lake kuleta fujo katika chama chetu. Kwa heshima zote, napenda kukueleza kuwa wewe ndiye tatizo. Profesa Lipumba na wenzake tungemalizana nao ikiwa ungewacha mchakato wa ndani ya chama ukamilike!

Mheshimiwa Msajili katika barua yako umesema kuwa:
“… taarifa uliyowasilisha inapaswa kuwasilishwa na mtu mwenye dhamana ya majukumu ya Katibu Mkuu au Mwenyekiti wa Taifa wa CUF-Chama Cha Wananchi kwa sasa ambao ni Mheshimiwa Magdalena Sakaya au Profesa Ibrahim Lipumba au wawakilishi wao waliopewa idhini…”

Hili nilishalieleza kuwa kwa mujibu wa Katiba ya CUF,  Waheshimiwa hao wote wawili si wanachama wa CUF, na hivyo hawawezi kuwa viongozi wa Chama chetu. Pia haiwezekani awepo Kaimu Katibu Mkuu wakati Katibu Mkuu yupo na anachapa kazi, labda kwa matakwa yako binafsi, ambayo hayaendani kabisa na masharti ya Katiba ya CUF – Chama Cha Wananchi ya 1992 (Toleo la 2014).

Kuhusu uhalali wa kikao kilichofanya maamuzi ya kuwafukuza wanachama saba, Wanachama hao wamefukuzwa na Baraza Kuu la Taifa halali lililochaguliwa na Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa uliofanyika mwaka 2014. Hadi sasa hakujafanyika Mkutano Mkuu wa Taifa mwengine wakuchagua wajumbe wapya wa Baraza Kuu. Isitoshe kikao cha dharura cha Baraza Kuu la Uongozi la Taifa kiliitishwa na Kamati ya Utendaji ya Taifa halali, kwa mujibu wa masharti ya ya Katiba ya CUF kifungu 80 (1) kama mwenyewe ulivyoeleza katika barua yako.

Nami, kwa sababu nilizozieleza hapo juu, bado nasisitiza kuwa Mwenyekiti wa Kamati ya Utendaji ya Taifa ya CUF – Chama Cha Wananchi, ni Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, na siyo Mheshimiwa Magdalena Sakaya. Wajumbe wa Kamati ya Utendaji ya Taifa halali waliteuliwa naaliyekuwa Mwenyekiti wa Taifa wa Chama, Profesa Ibrahim H. Lipumba ambaye alijiuzulu, baada ya kushauriana na aliyekuwa Makamu Mwenyekiti , Mheshimiwa Juma Duni Haji ambaye naye pia alijiuzuli, na kuthibitishwa na Baraza Kuu la Uongozi la Taifa kama ilivyowekwa bayana na kifungu Na. 91 (1) (f) cha Katiba ya CUF ya 1992 (Toleo la 2014). Kwa bahati mbaya wewe unawatambua Wajumbe wa Kamati ya Taifa walioteuliwa na mtu ambaye si mwanachama wa CUF na wala si Mwenyekiti wa Taifa wa Chama chetu.

Ni kweli kuwa  kifungu cha 91 (c ) kinaeleza kuwa vikao vya kitaifa vya Chama chetu, kikiwemo kikao cha Baraza Kuu la Uongozi la Taifa vitaongozwa na Mwenyekiti wa Taifa. Lakini naomba ukiangalie kifungu Na. 82 (3) ambachokinaeleza kuwa ikiwa Mwenyekiti wa Taifa hayupo, kikao hicho kitaongozwa na Makamu Mwenyekiti, naye ikiwa naye hayupo kikao kitamchagua mjumbe mmoja wa Baraza Kuu la Uongozi la Taifa asiyekuwa Katibu Mkuu wa Chama au mjumbe wa Kamati ya Utendaji ya Taifa kuongoza kikao hicho na mjumbe huyo atakuwa mwenyekiti wa muda wa kikao hicho tu.

Kwa bahati mbaya Chama chetu kwa sasa hakina Mwenyekiti wa Taifa na wala Makamu Mwenyekiti. Kwa hivyo kikao kilimchagua Mheshimiwa Hamid Bobali ambaye ni Mjumbe wa Baraza Kuu kuongoza kikao hicho. Hivyo kikao kilikuwa halali na maamuzi yake ni halali.

Mheshimiwa Msajili napenda utambue kuwa CUF – Chama Cha Wananchi ni taasisi, tena Taasisi makini. Kinaendeshwa na kuongozwa kwa mujibu wa sheria za nchi na Katiba ya Chama hicho pamoja na Kanuni ambazo hutungwa na mamlaka husika kila inapohitajika. Sisi viongozi wa CUF tunajitahidi kuongozwa na sheria za nchi, Katiba ya Chama na Kanuni zake katika kukiendesha chama. Hatuongozwi na matakwa ya mtu yeyote, hata kama mtu huyo ni Msajili wa Vyama vya Siasa. Ninavyofahamu Msajili hana mamlaka ya kupandikiza watu anaowataka kuwa viongozi wa chama chetu. Msajili hana uwezo wa kuingilia maamuzi halali ya vikao halali vya Chama chetu. Viongozi huchaguliwa /kuteuliwa na wanachama wenyewe/viongozi halali wa chama.

Tunaloshuhudia ni kuwa Mheshimiwa Msajili una agenda yako ya kukisambaratisha chama chetu. Inasemekana kuwa unazungumza kuwa yanayotokea katika chama cha CUF eti ni kumuhangaisha Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, Katibu Mkuu wa CUF, kwa sababu eti bwana huyo anaihangaisha Serikali ya Mapinduzi ya Zanzibar kiasi kuwa serikali hiyo haiwezi kufanya shughuli zake! Kama hilo ndilo lengo, la kujiuliza inakuwaje Msajili, tena akiwa Jaji wa Mahakama Kuu anajiingiza katika mambo ya siasa? Naomba ujue kuwa fanyeni mnayoyafanya, kabisa hamtaweza kuwatoa Wazanzibari katika kudai haki yao ya ushindi mnono walioupata katika Uchaguzi Mkuu wa Zanzibar wa 25 Oktoba, 2015. Wataendelea kuidai haki yao hadi waitie mikononi. Njama za Profesa Lipumba na genge lake la kutaka kumfukuza Katibu Mkuu wa CUF hazitazuia haki kupatikana. Mnajiadhirisha tu mbele ya macho ya Watanzania na dunia kwa ujumla.
Wakatabuhu.

HAKI  SAWA  KWA  WOTE

Seif Sharif Hamad

KATIBU MKUU

Nakala kwa :-

Mheshimiwa Spika
Bunge la Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania

S.L.P 941,

Dodoma

Mheshimiwa Mwenyekiti,
Tume ya Taifa ya Uchaguzi

Mtaa wa Ghana/Ohio,

P.O.Box 10923

Dar es Salaam

Mheshimiwa  Mwenyekiti,
Tume ya Haki za Binadamu na Utawala Bora

Kitalu Na. 8 mtaa wa Lithuli,

P.O.Box 2643,

Dar es Salaam

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

How Kenya could move away from the politics of ethnicity



In 1992 Kenya held its first multi-party election in 26 years. Since this re-introduction of multipartism, the “politics of tribe” has been blamed for the country’s political tribulations.This has led to a system under which leaders channel overnment resources to their ethnic supporters to ensure their political survival. In turn, their supporters begin to feel entitled to government resources.
The politics of ethnicity therefore becomes an inter-community competition, not merely for representation in governance, but for resources.This isn’t a problem exclusive to Kenya. Studies show that many African countries are finding it difficult to manage diversity, and particularly ethnicity.In other parts of the world such as Yugoslavia, Burma, and Sri Lanka, ethnicity has been politicised and has consequently played a major role in triggering violence.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

ANAGALIA LIVE LALA SALAMA YA UCHAGUZI WA KENYA





Regional integration has taken a back seat in Kenya’s election. Why it matters

As Kenya’s general election beckons the race has effectively narrowed down to two horses. Either, opposition leader Raila Odinga , or incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta will be Kenya’s president after August 8.
The bid for State House has attracted eight presidential contenders in total. But in recent weeks the focus has shifted to Odinga’s National Super Alliance and Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, both of which have recently unveiled their manifestos.
While the manifestos look good on paper, depending on one’s political leaning, they are unlikely to have a significant impact on how Kenyans will cast their votes. The majority of the electorate have already decided on their preferred candidate. Most will vote on the basis of their tribal affiliations. The latest polling by Infotrak shows that only 8% of Kenyans are undecided on which presidential aspirant to vote for.
Despite the fact that party manifestos will not shift voting patterns, they do provide a policy snapshot of what the parties would prioritise were they to form the next government.
The fact that neither the Jubilee Party nor the National Super Alliance manifesto takes much account of relations between Kenya and its peers in the East African Community, is noteworthy. And disturbing.
A study of the two manifestos shows that neither has a coherent plan for regional integration. This should concern Kenyans, as well as the country’s neighbours.
Relations between Kenya and its neighbours aren’t as they could be. A few months ago cabinet secretary for foreign affairs Amina Mohamed accused Kenya’s neighbours of not backing her candidature for the chairmanship of the African Union commission. Uganda openly disputed the claims, which only served to bring more attention to the suspicions.
More concerning are the increasingly unpredictable relations between Kenya and Tanzania. Even as the campaign heats up a diplomatic row is raging between the two countries.
Tanzania and Kenya are key actors in the EAC integration process. According to the 2016 Kenya economic report, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda account for the largest intra-trade volumes within the EAC sub-region.
Therefore, Tanzania’s protectionist tendencies, which include both tariff and non-tariff barriers, not only threaten free trade within the community, but also encourage other states to place their own national interests before those of the union.
Tanzania’s overt nationalism is likely to stymie the integration process. Thus the need for Kenya and Tanzania to quietly resolve their differences before they escalate into an open diplomatic row.

Fractious regional relations

There have long been cracks in East Africa’s fledgling union.
Since the 2013 general election that ushered in the Jubilee administration, Kenya’s engagement in the community has become increasingly low key. The result was the formation of an informal coalition of the willing, which included Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. It’s goal was the fast-tracking of regional integration through large scale regional infrastructure projects. These countries came together in reaction to Tanzania’s lukewarm approach to community affairs. At the time the informal coalition was formed, Tanzania was under the leadership of President Jakaya Kikwete.
Following the election of President John Pombe Magufuli in 2015, Kenya’s engagement with Tanzania has slackened even further. The cold relations between the two countries is partially explained by the diplomatic charm offensive that Magufuli launched to restore Tanzania’s influence in the region. His efforts scuttled the coalition of the willing and sidelined Kenya within the bloc.
A potent and noxious mix of competing interests have aggravated the frosty relationship between Kenya and Tanzania. There is stiff competition between the two countries to host large scale regional projects. There have also been disagreements over trade deals.
The standoff is threatening the integration process because the other community members are finding that they have to align themselves with either Kenya or Tanzania. This is getting in the way of joint decision making.
A highlight of the competing views in the region surfaced during the signing of the European Union/East African Community economic partnership agreement when Kenya and Tanzania once again took opposing views.
Tanzania has always opposed the trade deal on the grounds that it was contrary to its national economic interest. Kenya’s view is that Tanzania wants to scuttle the economic progress of the east African bloc.

Tensions fuelled by elections

Differing points of view between political elites in the region have also contributed to dampened community relations. Whenever one of the member states goes into an election, other community leaders will align with either the opposition or the incumbent. These alignments are usually based on personal relationships rather than common ideology.
Forming alignments based on a shared ideology would indicate that the integration process was on course. More so because the East African Community’s ultimate objective is to form a political union and a shared ideology would go a long way to that end. But, instead of staking cross-border political support on ideology or regional policy frameworks, support continues to be pegged on personal relationships.
This is detrimental to the integration process. In 1977, the first East African Community suffered a similar fate when it collapsed under the burden of personal differences between leaders in the bloc.
Nevertheless, the political goodwill of individual elites in community governments cannot be gainsaid. Politicians will always be at the centre of the policy that governs the integration process.
It’s on this basis that I argue for the inclusion of more detailed East African Community-related policy in the manifestos of Kenya’s main political outfits. Whoever forms the next government needs to factor in the big matter of community integration.