Tuesday, 3 December 2013


As months inch towards Tanzania’s mother-of-all elections in 2015, whispers are increasingly becoming the order of the day as they revolve around politics. Tanzanians will make their own judgments if the country is thrown into darkness again, when hospitals will not be offering services, industrial production will be crippled and students fail to study because we failed to act
This week, for instance, many self-styled political pundits trained their eyes on the regional tour across  of the country by former UN Deputy Secretary General, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro.
One of the political pundits said the diplomat was being ‘introduced’ to the masses through the ruling party before the elections so that if her name were to be proposed as a presidential candidate those who matter should not raise contest.

Tanzania's ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) on (November 14th, 2012) re-elected President Jakaya Kikwete as its party chairman until 2017.The re-shuffle included the replacement of secretary general Wilson Mukama who was succeeded by Abdulrahman Kinana. Members January Makamba, Asha Abdallah Juma and John Chiligati were replaced with Asha-Rose Migiro and Mwingulu Mchemba Vuai Ali Vuai and Nape Nnauye retained their positions! CCM general assembly member Hussein Bashe said he is happy with the new secretariat because it brings together new young faces and experienced leaders who can help unite the party."The disbanded secretariat was killing the party. Their divisiveness contributed a lot to our poor performance in the 2010 general elections," we expect 2015 to have 70 % off all votes. Bashiru Ali, a political science lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, says CCM's poor performance was more about their policies than the new face of politicians.





we know so much about Richmond and its alleged twin Dowans then we would answer the rhetorical question that was posed by the then Prime Minister during his forced resignation because of all this electricity saga!


No longer will Zitto be Chadema’s deputy secretary, nor deputy leader of the opposition in parliament. There’s even a suggestion that he will be stripped of his party membership, with uncertain consequences for his status as an MP – Tanzania doesn’t allow independent MPs, and “crossing the floor” to join another party mid-term is unheard of.I will come to the implications in a moment. But first, some background is essential.Zitto has long been a difficult character, both for the government and his own party leaders. He is quite possibly the most popular political figure in the country (though no data exists to confirm this) and has been a huge asset to his party. At only 37 years old, he has an appeal to the youth vote that no other politician can match. But there have always been suspicions that his energy and drive owed more to his personal ambition (he had already indicated his intention to run for the presidency in 2015) than his party allegiance. He has fought long and hard for tax justice, public financial accountability, transparency in mining and gas contracts, and more, in part through his roles as chair of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Shadow Finance Minister. No-one doubts his ability or his determination. But his campaigns have sometimes been lonely ones, lacking support from his senior Chadema colleagues, suspicious of his personal popularity, tech and media savvy and youth appeal. Internal disagreements recently grew heated, such as over his insistence that Chadema should be audited by the National Audit Office for the public funds its receives and his refusal to participate in the allowance culture that pervades Tanzanian politics.  

But whether or not Zitto is allowed to keep his Chadema membership card, the complete breakdown of relations between Zitto and Mbowe has major implications for their respective careers, for Chadema, and for Tanzanian politics as a whole.
So what are those implications?
First, this hurts Chadema. Badly. They will miss his contribution; Zitto was one of their big hitters, better than any others at pulling in the youth vote, connecting the party to the small but influential online crowd, and representing the party on a global stage. Chadema with Zitto in a leading role could have challenged CCM hard in 2015. Without Zitto, they have no chance.On top of which, they look bad for how they have dealt with this issue. One of the main justifications of Zitto’s allies for a change of party leadership was that Mbowe and his inner circle did not listen. Their reaction to the Strategy for Change document seems to confirm these claims. In much the same way, it hurts Mbowe. 
That’s not to say I don’t understand Mbowe’s dilemma. Zitto’s ambition and popularity were a genuine threat to him, and Zitto was unwilling to compromise his principles for the good of the party. Zitto’s strategy (and that of his allies) to challenge for the leadership was arguably the beginnings of an internal party coup. No party leader, anywhere, would be happy with that. 
It’s tough at the top: as the party grew more viable, there was more for individual politicians with their personal ambitions to fight over. Mbowe in 2005 and Slaa in 2010 knew in their hearts that they couldn’t become president, but the party’s candidate for 2015 stands a chance. (Stood a chance). On this count, they’ve failed to overcome that challenge.
Second, CCM are delighted. Just as their status as the country’s ruling party looked to be under more serious challenge than ever before, their challengers shoot themselves in the foot. Look at January Makamba’s twitter activity over the past few days – he can’t contain his joy. Nor can the CCM-owned Uhuru newspaper – see front pages from Saturday andMonday. In contrast, Chadema’s media strongholds, Tanzania Daima and Jamii Forums, areon the defensive as never before.
There are even some cynics arguing that CCM have engineered these problems for Chadema, and it’s not impossible. “We are trying our best to help them,” explained the official CCM Twitter account. High on adrenaline and success and flirting with a dangerous truth, or just an unfortunate choice of words? I will let you be the judge. Third, and most significantly, this hurts Tanzania. I have long complained about the unashamedly pro-government reporting of the government-owned Daily News, but in this case, the paper has got it just right. “Let Chadema stay put for the sake of democracy,” was their editorial headline on Sunday. ”We need a strong opposition to keep pricking the government of the day into action for the development of the nation.” The Guardian agrees.  
Democracy is a messy process and politics often has a bad name, but it remains the best way of keeping governments honest. A healthy democracy needs a healthy opposition.What will happen next is much harder to answer. This story is far from over.
But one thing is for certain: Zitto will be back. There are very few with his commitment, ambition and ability. He is an inspiration to many, who will follow wherever he decides to lead. Indeed, he may well be back soon. If Mbowe and co. decide they are better off with Zitto inside their tent pissing out than on the outside pissing in, he may yet keep his card. And he may yet find a way of challenging for the party chairmanship and presidential nomination. He may have to delay his presidential ambitions, he may have to spend some time off the front line. But I would not bet against him being back in the game within weeks or even days. I would not want to be Freeman Mbowe right now.  

Ther candidates who would, in the words of many rumour mongers, would join the German trained lawyer are the Monduli MP (CCM), Mr Edward Lowassa and, of course, the smooth talking Tanzanian chief diplomat, Mr Bernard Membe.
As far as scandals are concerned, Mr Membe can be considered to be ‘Mr Clean,’ as far as the public is concerned.But is such credential adequate to catapult him into the sole candidacy for the Union presidency?
For the political pundit (who is however, considered by The Whisperer nothing more than a rumour monger) that may not be enough given the in-fighting that normally take centre-stage during the fight for such a post.
Indeed, if a clean man like Dr Salim could be dislodged through dirty tricks that included the misuse of his picture through the use of the adobe photo-shop, what would stop such people from soiling Mr Membe’s name.
And what about Mama Migoro, does she stand any chance in the race? Why not, says the political pundit, and adds, “she will only have to work on the local front…but as far as the foreign docket is concerned, she is more than armed for the task…after all, there is no school in the world where people are taught on how they can become presidents.”The political pundit did not end there, he said if a former primary school headteacher, like former President Daniel Arap Moi managed to transform himself into a professor of Kenyan politics what would stop the likes of Mama Migoro from becoming one?
But when others raised the question of the so called Richmond scandal in relation to Mr Snow-white, the political pundits was quick to say that the man cannot be punished for an offence which he has already served  


Yes, the man stepped down to take political responsibility for a problem that happened in a docket that had been under his watch.
In the words of the political analyst, Mr Snow-white had therefore served the sentence in the same way that Mr Ali Hassan Mwinyi had done in 1976 as Minister for Home Affairs following the deaths of a number of prisoners in a Mwanza prison. A decade after the tragedy, Mr Mwinyi would become the second President of the United Republic of Tanzania after ‘beating’ the founding father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere at his own game.
According to sources then, Mwalimu’s preference had been Tanzania’s best known diplomat, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, the man who would be remembered for spearheading China’s entry into the United Nations in 1970s.Mwalimu had apparently reached an accord with Mr Mwinyi to remain in Zanzibar where he had brought numerous socio-economic changes in the isles.
But unknown to Mwalimu, some very strong forces in the isles were against Dr Salim, for reasons best known to themselves, and it was the same forces that egged on Mwinyi to go for it.
And when Mwinyi was later asked, after a political deadlock in the central committee if he was ready for the post, he is quoted to have said, ‘I will try.’ The rest is course history.

Dr Migiro, Mr Membe, Tubaijuka  and Mr Lowassa will however, be strongly challenged for the lucrative post by the former speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Samuel Sitta, in the battle of their lives.The latter has been very transparent about his intentions to vie for the highest post on the land.Mr Sitta has repeatedly made it known to the world about his suitability as a presidential material.And what about the man’s advancing age? That is nothing, says a political pundit who claims to know even the man who will eventually emerge victorious in the race for the presidency as the ruling party’s sole candidate. He said if Michael Satta could become Zambia’s President at 74 there is nothing to stop Mr Sitta from vying for the post.
As to who would at the end of the day emerge victorious in the race for Ikulu, the political pundit says it would be extremely difficult for anyone to stop Mr Snow-white.

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