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False expectations regarding CCM’s new Secretary-General

THE appointment of Ndugu Dr Bashiru Ally as Secretary-General of Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) continued to be the ‘hot news’ in the print media last week, with commentators offering their varied views on what they expect to be the ‘challenges’ which will face him in his new assignment.

Their comments may be paraphrased and summarized as “calls to the new Secretary-General to return CCM back to its former glory, particularly, the restoration of its core ideology of “Ujamaa na Kujitegemea (Socialism and Self- Reliance); and to its reputation as ‘a party of workers and peasants’, which was fully committed to enhancing the welfare of the majority poor, and those other disadvantaged groups in the community”.

Very unfortunately, these are false expectations! And the reason for their falsity is simply that they appear to be based on the lack of a clear understanding of the actual operational strategies of Chama cha Mapinduzi, probably due to the fact that such strategies are CCM’s internal, in-house matters which are not normally accessible to the general public.

But since they do not form part of the ‘party secrets’ (siri za Chama), this article focuses on expounding those matters, in an effort to help our readers to understand them better. There are two main responses to the assertions made in the said commentators’ opinions.

The first is that contrary to public perception, CCM has not, in fact, abandoned its Ujamaa ideology, to the extent of raising false expectations that the new Secretary-General will apply his mind and energies to its ‘resurrection’.

The second is that the CCM Secretary-General, in his individual capacity, has no mandate to deliver on those expectations. These responses will be further elaborated in the paragraphs which follow below.

CCM has not abandoned the Ujamaa ideology The notion that CCM has abandoned its core ideology of Ujamaa na Kujitegemea, is actually misconceived.

This is because what really happened (and probably led to this perception among the public), is that at the beginning of the 1990s, there was a major ‘tactical change of strategy’, in the process of implementing the Ujamaa ideology.

The said change is manifested by the “Tunakwenda na wakati” statement, which was made in March 1991 by the then CCM national Chairman Ali Hassan Mwinyi, when he was explaining why the CCM National Executive Committee meeting in Zanzibar, which had been held the previous month, had resolved to ‘abandon’ the Arusha Declaration leadership code of ethics.

That NEC resolution was roundly condemned by many observers, as having “killed” the Arusha Declaration, which is the blueprint policy document which enunciated the party’s ideology of ‘socialism and self-reliance’.

This was done because it had been realized that the implementation of that ideology had been faced with a variety of obstacles and challenges. These are what prompted the CCM National Executive Committee, as far back as November 1981, to hold a lengthy meeting which lasted from 23rd November, to 7th December, 1981; for the purpose of evaluating the party’s performance in implementing this ideology, identifying the obstacles, and to chart the way forward.

The identified obstacles included: “a low level of understanding of the Ujamaa ideology among its members, plus the lack of programmes for its implementation”.

Consequent upon this realization, that meeting resolved to issue certain guidelines, in order to remedy the situation. These guidelines were contained in a policy document titled “CCM Guidelines of 1981”.

Among many other things, that document acknowledged that “although the party has been quite successful in implementing its policies in a large number of areas, it must be admitted that it has actually failed in its efforts to build Ujamaa”.

The document continues as follows: “For many years, the party has not given appropriate recognition to the crucial role of individual party members, and the importance of their contribution to the building of Ujamaa.

It is a truism that without the foot soldiers who will carry out the fighting at the front line of building Ujamaa, the intended objectives cannot be achieved.

The foot soldiers in this case, are the individual members of CCM, who must take the initiative, and show the way for others to follow. Thus, the first and foremost requirement is to enable every individual party member to acquire a proper understanding of the Ujamaa ideology”.

This statement is what identifies the true cause for CCM’s failure ‘to build Ujamaa’; which is that CCM was attempting ‘to build socialism, where there are no socialists,’ and this is, quite clearly, an impossible task! Since that situation has not substantially changed over the years since that statement was made that is what makes it imprudent for CCM to even contemplate resurrecting the Ujamaa ideology in its entirety, including, in particular, the outdated concept of the ‘nationalizations of private properties’!

It should be noted, however, that there are other Ujamaa concepts which have NOT been abandoned, and they continue to be observed and implemented, as shown below.

The Ujamaa concepts which have not been abandoned It may be helpful to remind our readers that the Ujamaa ideology, as enunciated in the Arusha Declaration, contains the following specified aspects: (1) That “there should be no exploitation”.

Regarding this aspect, the Arusha Declaration states as follows: “In a mature socialist society, every person is a worker . . . Its people are not divided into a lower class of working people, and an upper class of those who depend on the labour of others. Instead, every person who is capable of working, does actually work, and is entitled to a just return for his labour.

Furthermore, there is no significant difference between the incomes of the different categories of those workers”.

There is abundant evidence that all the successive CCM Governments have been implementing this aspect of the Ujamaa philosophy, by taking measures to reduce poverty through TASAF programmes and other related measures, of reducing unemployment, especially among the Youth; by encouraging and empowering them to engage in self-employment projects , especially in the field of Agriculture.

The CCM election manifesto for 2015/2020 is a clear manifestation of this resolve to continue implementing that aspect of the Arusha Declaration on the Ujamaa ideology.

(2) That “all major means of production are owned and controlled by the State”. Regarding this aspect, the Arusha Declaration provides as follows:- “The only guarantee for genuine socialist transformation is for the State to take effective ownership and control of all the major means of production”.

It is in respect of this aspect of the Arusha declaration that CCM deliberately decided to “to change its implementation strategy, and this was done as a result of the utter failure of the State owned industries to produce enough goods for the needs of the people.

The change of strategy involved inviting the participation of the private sector in the ownership and control of the means for industrial production. That is when new policies like the “Public/Private Partnership (PPP) were introduced. But the basic principle of State ownership and control of the most essential utilities, such as those responsible for the supply of electricity and water, were retained under the sole ownership and control of the State.

(3) That “there must be democracy”. Regarding this aspect, the Arusha Declaration provides as follows:- “ But a country does not become socialist simply because its major means of production are owned and controlled by the State.

The State itself must be governed by a democratic Government, duly elected by the people themselves.

Socialism cannot survive where there is no democracy”. It clear that the principle of democracy has not been abandoned, since all the successive CCM Governments have been duly elected by the people themselves, after every five years.

(4) That “socialism is a matter of faith”. Regarding this aspect, the Arusha Declaration provides as follows:- “However, socialism cannot establish itself, for socialism is a question of faith. It can only be established and sustained by people who have complete faith in its efficacy as a social and economic system”.

This is what actually explains the failure in the attempt “to build socialism where there are no socialists” which we referred to above.

The Secretary-General has no individual mandate This is the second of our responses to the misconceived expectations quoted above.

What it means is that because of the specified provisions of the CCM Constitution relating to the party structure and operations.

The Secretary-General, in his individual capacity, has no mandate whatsoever, to deliver on the expectations quoted above, for the following reasons:- (a) As a general rule, CCM leaders, in their individual capacities, have no mandate to make decisions on behalf of the party.

The standing rule is that Party decisions can only be made by the relevant party organs. (b) The ‘style of leadership’ within CCM, was designed to be that of ‘participatory leadership’ (Uongozi wa pamoja).

This means that no individual leader has the power to act alone. He must always consider himself as part of a team which must act together, particularly in relation to the function of decision-making.

There is an old CCM slogan (call it a principle), which aptly says that “Chama ni Vikao, siyo kiongozi mmoja mmoja”. That is the reason why, in order to facilitate the smooth operation of that principle, a cadre of what are known as “Wakuu wa Chama”, i.e. the principal leaders, was established at every level of the party hierarchy, plus an ‘order of precedence’ for these principals, which was also established, which shows clearly that the top leader at every level, is always the party Chairman.

(c) The roles and functions of each of these principals are clearly defined and provided for in the party Constitution. The Secretary-General is an individual leader The CCM Secretary-General is, in essence, an individual leader at the national level.

In the first place, he is only one of the team of “Wakuu wa Chama’ at the national level. Article 112 of the 2017 edition of the Constitution of Chama cha Mapinduzi provides as follows:- “Kutakuwa na Wakuu wa Chama wa CCM wafuatao: (a) Mwenyekiti wa CCM; (b) Makamu wawili wa Mwenyekiti wa CCM; (c) Katibu Mkuu wa CCM.

Hence, in accordance with the rules, the Secretary-General has no mandate to work alone, or in isolation; for he must always act as part of the team of the ‘Wakuu wa Chama’ at that level.

Furthermore, articles 113, 114, and 115 of the party Constitution define the roles and functions of each of the ‘Wakuu wa Chama’. In such circumstances expectations that the CCM new Secretary-General “will face challenges of restoring the party to its former glory” are totally misconceived.

This is because; the party structure does not expose him alone to any challenges that may arise. All such challenges will normally be handled by the party in its corporate capacity.

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Author: Pius Msekwa

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