By Zitto Kabwe,actwazalendo
Walking around villages and towns in Tanzania I encounter two major opinions: ‘you are a spoiler’ and ‘you are the future’. Both views are relevant to the current state of affairs our country is going through.
In March when I decided to resign from Parliament and join a new political party, many people had very strong opinions that the party I joined was funded by Edward Lowassa as his alternative if CCM wouldn’t nominate him as a candidate. CCM didn’t nominate him and he subsequently joined CHADEMA, the party whose leaders and supporters were spreading the latter claims.
Shamelessly, the same people are celebrating Lowasa’s candidature and have created a cult-like following with an empty slogan of ‘change’. The people who for almost a decade were calling Lowassa a corrupt person are senselessly singing ‘Change is Lowassa and Lowassa is Change’, a slogan crafted by a US company advising the campaign. For sure, these people see my party and me as spoilers.
There are also, however, those people who were greatly disappointed with the move of the largest opposition parties breaking their principles and joining hands with corruption-tainted politicians, just for the sake of taking over the reigns of power. These people are the ones seeing my party and me as the future.
ACT Wazalendo has 219 parliamentary candidates all over the country, the second largest party in that measure. It has over 2000 councillor candidates in various local government authorities in the country. The candidates and constituency party leaders are spreading ACT Wazalendo policy proposals on a daily basis all over the country. The party is the only political group that addresses the issues of corruption head on and with very clear proposals for curbing the vice. It has pronounced the urgency of returning back to a strict leadership ethics code and to manage the conflicts of interest of political leaders vis-à-vis their business interests.
The book ‘Sowing the Mustard Seed’ tells the story of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) of Uganda which, against all odds, launched a step-by-step liberation movement to liberate Uganda from the bad leadership of Obote and his gang. It took just a few brave young people to rewrite Ugandan history. In Tanzania, a principle-less opposition movement is dying and simultaneously a principle-based alternative is being built. We are sowing the mustard seed.
The Hope of a bright future has to be built on the strong foundations of dignity, patriotism and integrity. The Hope is of a new political movement that is a real alternative to the personality politics that have been driving the Tanzanian political agenda for over two decades. To continue building a secular state that abhors increasingly religious intonations in our body politic; to build a developmental state that adheres to the principles of democracy. Issue-based politics is the new hope and an army of ACT Wazalendo parliamentarians, 75% of them joining parliament for the first time hopefully, will raise the bar higher.