By MBONEKO MUNYAGA, 30th December 2011 @ 11:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 958
Mwalimu Julius Nyerere once said the CCM presidential candidate was the de facto next head of state and it was therefore very important that during election time, the oldest party in East Africa come up not only with a very credible contestant but a highly nationalist leader.
Mwalimu went on to list the qualities of the kind of president that Tanzania deserves. His or her looks were immaterial. In fact, Mwalimu said, if the main reason a person tended to prefer a certain candidate was based on the fair way they looked, then the best treat was to take such a person home and make tea for them.
According to Mwalimu, the president of Tanzania had to be someone who believed firmly in the oneness of the nation, defended the constitution and discriminated not Tanzanians based on their colour, religion or tribe. About 17 years ago when Mwalimu delivered that landmark speech, Tanzania was already a nation shaken apart from its firm foundation of unity, love and ethical leadership. That speech was highly inspirational and a healing touch to the nation.
It is my sincere view that anyone who aspires for the leadership of our country should make those words his or her political credo. The threat of the country tearing apart still lingers above the sky today, especially given the massive corruption and the growing inequality, including before the eyes of the law, among the people.
What is going inside all the political parties also paints a very somber picture for hope. The biggest problem inside the ruling CCM seems to be the rush for power. Almost everybody wants to be president forgetting that the time for doing so has not yet come. In any case, the post has only one person at a time. But the presidential train for the 2015 general election already appears to be the longest in CCM’s history.
Apparently, there is a belief that anyone now can be president, whether or not they have the desired qualifications and the qualities. I think it is high time that the country came up with a law that would make it a crime to aspire for a particular political post before the stipulated period. The nation can hardly go on with the current chaos that the people have just witnessed.
President Jakaya Kikwete was hardly settled in for his second and final term this ending year than hawks started jostling shoulders for his succession. Whether we like it or not, this is a new culture that polarizes the nation. Instead of thinking of how to take the people to the next level in the quest for development, potential leaders are openly jockeying for succeeding the incumbent, in effect telling him, “your time is over” before the constitutional whistle is blown!
NCCR-Mageuzi just handed the people a Sh 19 billion bill by expelling their youthful MP, David Kafulila.Luckily the court has stalled the decision but not altogether thwarted it. Even if a court decision is delayed for the next two years, there is still a likelihood that the people of Kigoma South could live to the next election in 2015 without an MP because by elections cannot be held if a seat falls vacant with less than half the period remaining before the next election.
Perhaps, at the time of reading this article, another MP, Mr Hamad Rashid could also have been expelled from the Civic United Front (CUF) for the simple reason that he had expressed the desire to contest the post of Secretary General, currently held by the party’s strongman, Maalim Seif Hamad, the Zanzibar First Vice President in the government of national unity. Mr Rashid has in turn threatened to form a new political party if he is expelled. But it might but it not be easy.
He was formally CCM cadre before he jumped on the CUF band wagon, I think at first pursuing narrow interests. It could be difficult for him to marshal the kind of following that thinks he is capable of doing. In any case, Mwalimu again said proliferation of political parties was not synonymous with broader democracy. In fact Mwalimu had discounted many of the political parties of the day, saying true opposition will only come when CCM breaks apart.
Of the many political parties then, 17 altogether, Mwalimu had singled out Chadema as being slightly better although the party was not given big chances then considering that Augustine Mrema’s Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) was considered the “real opposition.” If many of the cadres in CCM also continue to be preoccupied by dreams of landing the presidency, then there is a big likelihood too that the days that Mwalimu saw from afar could be just around the corner, especially more so given that the year ahead is internal election year for the party.
CCM will hold its grassroots elections to the topmost post of the party’s national leadership, which will also end with the National Congress, admittedly the country’s most colourful political pageantry. Thus, 2012 is the year to watch. The challenge for all political parties during the year will be to demonstrate the kind of maturity that will make the people could to hold them in esteem.
Our leaders should remember that politics is the master engine of national leadership. The fight against poverty will be hard to win without political parties demonstrating the kind of mellowness that the people expect of them so that they may continue to place their general will to be government to the ideals and philosophies they espouse.
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