Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Failure of New constitution , 2015 election and squeezing of the democracy in Tanzania

The year 2014 is going to be the year that sets the tone for the 2015 elections. The politician with an argument for the future of Tanzania, been arguing that the opposition in Tanzania has been fighting the right battles the wrong way; that instead of the opposition focusing on removing ruling party  from power; it should be pushing to remove power from them - and any other future power from the president of the country.The constitution accords the president too much power and that since most of the problems of post-independence  appear to have historically originated from all-powerful presidents, the best solution is to amend the constitution and clip these powers. There are signs many Tanzanian now have hope after opposition signaled for the first time to work under one umbrella  to run parliamentary candidates  for the next elections as one candidate for each parliament, the second advantage for the opposition is the end of Kikwete Presidency is huge opportunity for opposition to benefit if they use carefully and strategically to maneuver some influential and unhappy  , clean politician from ruling party to join the force of UKAWA for 2015 elections.

There is possibility for opposition to win the majority in the parliament and amend the constitution for political reform.Include the reform of equal representation in election commission , reform intelligence agencies , include Police to be non politicized force, court system and the corruption of family inheritance of all powerful positions in the government .It has become one of the headache of many Tanzanians now this days it has become a business  as usual for employment to be by the ruling family only have employment right .It has created special class for specific family. Other area opposition need to capitalize is corruption have been a normal not secret any more is every where in the government. Other area is bogus contracts and under the table contracts.The new form of corruptions of overseas trips for the government official have create room for more corruption scandal according to CCM insiders .

The other opportunity opposition have huge benefit to win is the historical  fight  inside the ruling party for the new President nominations  this can make easy win for the opposition to win in many areas. There is clear picture now 2014 we will see CCM camps fighting hard to win the nominations.CCM strategist for this candidates have created room for Lowassa camp to finish or reduce former Parliament speaker Samuel Sitta popularity  by hijacking the new constitution and forcing party agenda to neutralize the devolution in the new proposed Warioba constitution under the speaker of constitution parliament .Now Samuel Sitta have finished politically , Lowassa camp they see the new room to emerge to secure the nomination for the next President very easily.The second Battle for the ruling party is in Zanzibar between two CCM old guards who many analyst think the current President  of Zanzibar is forced by Kikwete camp to run for Union Presidency .The current  fight is between the Current Vice President of Tanzania  DR Gharib Bilal and the second Vice President of Zanzibar Ambassador Seif Iddi who are  both very ambitions to be the next  President of Zanzibar also Zanzibar Finance minister Omar Yussuf is working underground to secure the same position. While opposition CUF in Zanzibar have signaled to have the current First Vice President Seif Sheriff Hamad as their candidate for 2015 Elections For any law or constitution to be effective, it must reflect the balance and distribution of ACTUAL power in society. can write the best constitution in the world. But for as long as the words of the constitution do not reflect the ACTUAL distribution of power, it will remain a mere piece of paper. The most effective constitution has to be self-reinforcing i.e. there would be high rewards for honouring it and severe costs for violating it.This means that the challenge f is how to build the necessary political capacity to ensure that leaders are subject to the law. If that capacity exists through political organisation and mobilisation, then it will be easy to organise the constitutional movement to trim the powers of the executive. Africa has had so many changes of government, some violent, some pacific; but none of them has fundamentally changed the nature of governance – may be with the exception of Rwanda, a case study I will argue another day. Museveni has repeated every single “mistake” he accused Obote of and often in worse form: on tribalism, nepotism, cronyism, corruption, elite privilege, etc. In fact Obote managed a much more effective and efficient public sector; Museveni has presided over one with gross corruption and incompetence.

Why has the opposition been unable to marshal sufficient political support for its aims? First, the opposition has put the cart before the horse. Its objective has been regime change in the hope that it can re-launch the democratic agenda.Yet power cannot democratise itself. Once in power, any other leader or ruling party will find that the laws and institutions any ruling party has been using to retain power are an advantage to it as well. Mwai Kibaki had promised to run for one term and immediately he was elected, he wanted to run for a second term.  So has been Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.Abdualye Wade in Senegal was planning  constitution for third term or groom his son.

So we cannot rely on the goodness of the individuals in power –  Neither can we rely on laws written on a piece of paper without grounding in political reality. A law restraining a president will be meaningless if there is no capacity within society to restrain his hand when he violates it.In Egypt and Tunisia, we are seeing the incipient signs of effective political accountability. Popular protests may be paralysing government and making it difficult to govern these countries. But it also suggests that leaders in those two countries cannot do as they wish.In our case, the opposition needs to make regime change a secondary objective. Its primary objective needs to be social reform. It has to position itself as the spokesperson of the powerful constituencies – traditional collectivities, churches, mosques, farmers, teachers, vendors, taxi drivers, small and medium scale entrepreneurs, students, unemployed youths, boda boda riders, professionals etc. By being the voice of these individual and collective interests, the opposition will convince many to join them – not in a struggle for regime change but social reform.

And here is the clincher: these reforms will mean fighting the government when necessary and working and compromising with it when it is also necessary. It will also stop the opposition looking at government/ccm as eternal “enemies” and begin looking at them as potential allies in the advancement of the good of our citizens.

This way, the opposition will democratise and recognise the legitimacy of the ruling party’s interests as well. But most critically, by championing social reform, the opposition will be able to build an infrastructure of support within society based on people’s actual needs; wages, prices, services, etc. Then, may be,  the opposition will have a chance of  kicking ccm out.

No comments: