Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi may well be facing one of its toughest tests in the country’s history following the new wake of opposition politics…for the first time, the party finds itself in the ring against a daring alliance of four parties that form the Umoja Wa Katiba ya Wananchi Coalition, UKAWA …but are Tanzanians ready to break the jinx or will the age long status quo persist?
The ruling party CCM will spend an estimated Sh10 billion in campaigns.My point is that Edward Lowassa has managed to attract a lot of votes from numerous young Tanzanians who find it easier to identify themselves with a younger person.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has narrated to Parliament how he shuttled between former President Mwai Kibaki and Cord leader Raila Odinga to end the stalemate that followed the bungled 2007 presidential elections.
With 19 days to the elections in Tanzania, President Kikwete’s farewell address to Kenyan when he addressed a joint session of Parliament on Tuesday was laced with memories of the role he played in setting up a coalition government that ended post-election violence.President Kikwete spoke with mirth as he described how he carried messages between Kibaki and Mr Odinga during mediation talks that led to the formation of the coalition government that oversaw the enactment of a new Constitution in 2010. “Kenya’s problems are our problems and that’s why I didn’t want to be invited, I came over,” he added. President Kikwete also spoke of a request by President Kibaki not to leave until the violence had ended and his reluctance to heed the request. “I told him I can’t stay too long. We can’t have two presidents in Kenya,” President Kikwete said.
His official address in English was brief and his audience was rapt. Members did not doze off as is often the case during such occasions. MPs quickly forgot he arrived an hour and 10 minutes after the scheduled time. President Kikwete later translated the English speech into Kiswahili and coloured it with anecdotes. “To me, this is a very great honour and I will never forget it,” he added.
President Kikwete was also emphatic about the special relationship between Kenya and Tanzania, which he said should not change with the change of government in his country.“I know there is anxiety about what will happen in Tanzania after the elections. Tanzania’s policy towards Kenya will remain the same. I don’t see anyone changing that,” President Kikwete said with a strong emphasis on the ties between the two countries. President Kikwete has been in power for 10 years. “I came here to bid you farewell and give you assurance that Tanzania will remain the same in its relationship with Kenya. If anything, it will get stronger,” he added. He said Kenya remains one of Tanzania’s biggest trading partners and repeatedly described the country as a strategic partner. “The bulk of our trade is with Kenya,” he said.