Liberal Peace Conflict, Gender, and Peacebuilding

Liberal Peace Conflict, Gender, and Peacebuilding

Wednesday 29 July 2020


LIVE: KINACHOENDELEA MSIBANI NYUMBANI KWA MKAPA - YouTubeIn a  midnight  broadcast  last  Thursday night,  23rd  July, 2020;  President  John  Pombe  Magufuli  announced  the  sad  and  sudden  death  of  former  President  Benjamin  William  Mkapa,  of  the  third  phase  Government  of  the  United  Republic  of  Tanzania.  This  news  was  as shocking  as  it  was  sudden,  for  there  had  been  no  prior news  that  he  was  sick,  or  that  he  had  any  life  threatening  health  problems.  It   later  transpired  that  he  died  peacefully  at  around  10.30 p.m. that  night.               
The   news  of  his  death  was  absolutely shocking   to  everyone  who  herd  it,  but  was  much  more  so  to  those  who  worked  closely  with  him  during  his  lifetime,  including  myself.   However,  that  was  the  wish  of  our  creator,  and  there  is  absolutely  nothing  anyone  could  do about  it.   As  the  Muslim  prayer  says  in  part :  “sote  ni  waja  wake,  na  kwake  tutarejea”.          
 May   the  lord  God  grant  eternal  peace  to  our  dear  departed former  leader.
The  attributes of  former  President  Mkapa.The  late  former  President  Benjamin  Mkapa,  was  a  man  of  many  attributes.             
In  the  first  place,  he  was   well  grounded  in  scholarship.  And  he  used  his  scholarship  generously for  the  public  benefit,  in  accordance  with  the CCM  dictum “nitajilielimisha  kwa  kadri  ya  uwezo  wangu,  na  nitatumia  elimu  yangu  kwa  faida  ya  wote”.    His  latest  scholarly  production  being  his  autobiography  book  titled  My  Life,  My  Purpose”;  which  he  inaugurated  on  the  anniversary  date  of  his  81st  birthday,  12th  November  last  year.  On  that  occasion,  the  print  media,  quite  rightly,  was  awash  with  deserved praises  for  Hon.  Mkapa  and  his  new  book.     Unfortunately  for  me,  because  I  am  currently  nestled  smugly  in  my  cozy  retirement  home  far  away  in  Ukerewe  Island,  I  was  not  able  to  attend  the  occasion,  although  I  had  been  invited  by  personal  letter  from  Mr.  Mkapa   himself.                                                                                                                                
But  I  watched  and   listened  to  the  live  broadcasts  of  that  event;  and,  based  on  the  comments   made  by  President  Magufuli  in  his  televised  speech  delivered  at  that  inauguration   event;  I  concluded  that   Hon  Mkapa’s   book  is  a    ‘must  read’  material;   for  it  is  a  masterpiece  wisdom  tome.                  
His   scholarly talents are  vividly  displayed  in  that   book.   “Curiosity killed  the  cat”,   so  says  one  English  proverb.  Thus,  being  aware  of   Mkapa’s   mastery  of  the  English  language,  I  was  particularly curious  to  see  the  inevitably  fabulous   English  language  in  which  that  book  is  written.   Former  President  Benjamin  Mkapa  was  a  student  at  the  famous  Makerere  University  College  in  Uganda,  at  that  time  known  as  ‘the  University  College  of  East  Africa,  affiliated  to  London  University’ .                        
That  Institution  was,  in  reality,  an  “ivory  tower”,   established  by  the  British  Authorities   in  this  East  Africa  part  of  the  then  vast   “British  Empire”.  (There  was  an  exact  replica  Institution  in  West  Africa,  then  known  as  “The  University  College  of  West  Africa”  based  in  Accra,  Ghana,    also  affiliated   to  London  University;  which  was  catering  for  that  part  of  the  very  vast  British  Empire  “upon  which”,  it  was  proudly  asserted,  “the  sun  never  sets”.                                                        
These  Educational  Institutions  were  established,  partly   for  the  grand  purpose  of  spreading  the  ‘Gospel’   of  British  culture,  language  being  an  essential  component  of  any  culture.  Thus,   the  relevant  University  Authorities  decided  to  introduce  at  Makerere,  a   single-subject   first  degree  programme,   then  known  as  the  ‘B.A.  English  (Honours)’  degree;  and  Benjamin  William  Mkapa   was  one  of  the  very  few  students  who  qualified  for  admission  to  that  programme.     He  therefore  graduated  from  Makerere  with  a  London  University  Bachelor’s  (Honours)   degree  in  English  Literature.  
Both  his  spoken  deliveries,  as  well  as  his  written   texts,   provide  sufficient  evidence  of  his   exceptional    mastery  of  the  Queen’s   language.  Thus,  I  assumed  that  this  particular aspect  would   be  a  dominant  feature  of  his  new  book;  which  is  what  accounts  for  my   curiosity  mentioned   above.  My  curiosity   was  entirely  satisfied  when  I  subsequently  read  the  book.
My  personal  working  relationships  with President   Mkapa.
.In  his  speech  at  the inauguration  ceremony  of  Mkapa’s  book,  President  Magufuli  obligingly  made  certain  candid  comments   regarding  the  ‘huge,  unequivocal,   trust  and  support’  that  he himself  had received  from  President  Mkapa,  during  the  time  when  he  was  a  Minister  in  President  Mkapa’s  Government.   I  too,  have  some   very  pleasant  memories  of  President  Mkapa’s  trust  in  me,  when  I  was  the  Speaker of  Parliament during  the  whole  of  his  ten  years  as  President.  
I  had  been elected  Speaker  of  the  National  Assembly  in  April  1994,  upon  the  retirement  of  veteran  Speaker  Adam  Sapi  Mkwawa.  But  I  was  re-elected  in  1995,  when  Benjamin  William  Mkapa  was  first  elected  to  the  Presidency.    The  two  of  us   served  concurrently  in  our  respective  capacities  for  ten  years,  until  2005.  During  that  period,    we  developed  a  very  close  affinity   in  terms  of cordial  cooperation,  genuine  trust,  and  mutual  respect.  
President  Mkapa  appeared  to have  a  great   deal  of  trust  in  me  personally.  The  first  indicator  of  this  trust  was  when he  was  making  his  choice  of  Prime  Minister  in 1995.   Immediately  after  he  had  settled  on  the  name  of  his  choice,  he  sent  for  me,  in  order  to  seek  advice  on   whether,  in  my  opinion,    since  this  person  was  a  rather  low  profile  politician,   his  choice  would  be  acceptable  to  the  members  of  Parliament   when  it  is  presented  to  them  for  confirmation.  He  said  he was  prepared  to  make  another  choice,  depending  on  my  advice.  I  gave  him  the  assurance  that  he  had  made a  good  choice,  and  that  Parliament  would  most  certainly  endorse  his  choice.     
It  is  also  during  this  period   when  the  death  occurred  of  the  father  of  the  nation,  Mwalimu  Julius  Nyerere,  in  a  London  hospital  on  14th  October,  1999.  As  is  customary,  the  normal  arrangements  were  made  for  paying  the  last  respects  the  body  of  the  late  founder  President  Mwalimu  Nyerere  at  the  National  stadium  in  Dar  es Salaam.  And  because  of  Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  high   personal  social  status  and  world  renown,  this  event   attracted  a huge  gathering  of  distinguished  guests,  including   a  large  number  of  foreign   Heads  of  States  and  Governments. Under  normal  circumstances,  the  funeral  committee prepares  the  obituary  message  that  is  normally  read  out  during  the  funeral  proceedings.  But  no,  not  on  this  occasion,  when  President  Mkapa  decided,   late  in  the  evening  of  the  day  before  the  appointed  day  for  this  function, that  I    should  prepare  the  obituary  statement  and  read  it  out   at  that  function  the  next  morning.         
He  was  obviously  confident  thatI  could  do  it,  even  at  such  short  notice.  And  I   dutifully  accomplished  that  assignment.  
 I  also  remember  how,   in  his  first  term  in  office,    President   Mkapa  sent  me  to  Kampala,  Uganda   on  a  rather  delicate political  mission;  which  was  to help  President  Yoweri Museveni,  to  succeed  in  the  seemingly  difficult  task  of  convincing  his  NRM  Parliamentarians,  to  accept  the  need  for  that country  to  change  to  the  multi-party  political  system.   President  Museveni  had,  apparently,    been   greatly  impressed  by  Tanzania’s  smooth  transition  to  that  system.  Thus,  he  had  asked  President  Mkapa  to  send  a  trusted   envoy to  Kampala,  who  would  help  to  persuade  the  Uganda   NRM   members  of  Parliament  to  see  the  good  side  of  multi-party  politics,  by  explaining  to  them  the  Tanzanian  successful  experience  in  that  regard.    Once  again,  President  Mkapa   decided  to   give  that  assignment  to  me,   another  demonstration  of   his  genuine trust  and  confidence in  me.
Our  close  cooperation  in  running  the   affairs  of  State. 
It  is  presumably  common  knowledge  that  the  Government  of  any  country  is  sustained  by  three  pillars:  the  Government  (the  Executive);  the  Legislature;  and  the  Judiciary.  President  Mkapa  was  of  the  settled  view  that  without  the full  support  of  the  Legislature,  the  Government  would  not  be  able  to  function  effectively.  This  is  because  the  Government  needs Parliament’s  approval  for  its  annual  budgets,  and,  obviously,  without  money  with  which  to  fund  its  social  and  economic  infrastructure  projects,  its  operations   will be  totally  paralyzed.  Similarly,  the  Government  is  enjoined  to  observe  the  rule  of  law  in  all  its  administrative  activities,  and   it  is  only  Parliament  which  is  empowered  to  pass  the  necessary  laws  which  are  required  for  the   country’s  good  governance.  Thus,  without  such  laws  being  enacted  by  Parliament,  the  Government  will be  negatively  impacted   in  its  operations.                                                   
  President  Mkapa  was  keenly  aware  of  these  governance  imperatives.    He  therefore   wholeheartedly  devoted  himself  to  establishing  cordial  working  relations  with  me  the  Speaker,  being  the   Head  of  that  institution.  And  indeed,  we  achieved   many  positive results  because  of  this  close  cooperation,  through  constant  communication  and  consultations.
President  Mkapa  was  a  seasoned  diplomat.
Another  of   President  Mkapa’s  major  personal  attributes,  was  his  accomplishment in  diplomacy.  This  is   evidenced  by  his   deployment  separately  by  the  United Nations  and the  African  Union,  to  mediate  in  conflicts  afflicting our  neighbouring  countries  of  Burundi,  and  Kenya.
The  long  lasting  Burundi  tribal  conflict  has  defied  all  international  efforts  to  find  a  lasting  solution.  During  his  life  time,  Mwalimu  Nyerere  had  been  invited to  make   his  influential  contribution  to  these  efforts,  but  he  died  before  a  settlement  could  be  reached. President  Mkapa  was  subsequently  invited  to  also  make  his  contribution,  which  he  did  with  great  negotiating  skills,  but  had  to  give  up  when  he  felt  that  his  efforts  were  being  wasted,  as  they  were  not  likely  to  produce  the  desired  results. 
However,  he  was  much  more  successful  in  his  mediation  efforts  in  the  case  of  Kenya,  which  had  been  plunged  into  a  serious  political  crisis   as  a  result  of their  disputed  2002  general  elections.  On  that  occasion,  President  Mkapa’s  mediation  team,  which  included  former  Secretary  General  of the  United  Nations  Dr.  Kofi  Annan  from  Ghana;  successfully  negotiated  the  agreement  which  led  to  the  formation  of  a  Government  of  national  unity  in  Kenya,  with  Raila Odinga,  the  leader  of  the  party  that  had  lost  the  election,  being  appointed  Prime  Minister.
President  Mkapa’s  declared  policy  of  ‘Uwazi  na  Ukweli’.
Upon assuming office  after  winning the 1995  Presidential  election,  President  Mkapa  promised  that  he  would  implement  the  policy  of  ‘transparent  Government’.  He  was  of  the  firm  view  that,  in  his  own  words, “in  a  democratic  society,  the  people  have  the  right  to  be  informed about  what  the  Government  is  doing   on  all  issues  of  concern  to  them”;   and,  indeed,  he  faithfully  implemented  this  policy,  by  introducing  the  Presidential  monthly  addresses  to  the  people  through  the  mass  media,  for  the  purpose  of  keeping  the  public  fully  informed  of  what  he  Government  was  doing,  and  why.  He also promptly  established  in  his  Office,  a  Directorate  of  Presidential  Communications;  and  also  directed  that  a  senior  official  be  designated  in  each  Ministry,  whose  main  responsibility   would  be  to  inform  the  public,  through  the  media,  of  what  his  Ministry  was  doing.  Furthermore, he  informed  me  that  he  would  be  coming  to  address  Parliament  frequently,  in  order  to  keep  the  representatives  of  the  people  informed  of  what  the  Government  is  doing. “Uwazi, na  Ukweli”.  May his  soul  rest  in  eternal  peace,  AMEN. /0754767576. 
 I would  like  to  encourage  all  those  who  want  to  pay  proper  tribute  to the  late  former  President   Benjamin  Mkapa,  to  read  his  recent  book,  which  is  available  in  many  bookshops. In that  book  the  author  has  detailed  all   the  results  of  his  endeavours,  both  the  positive  achievements,  as  well  as  the  inevitable  failures.  That book  is  what  says  it  all  about  our  departed  leader.   May his  soul  rest  in  eternal  peace.  
Source: Cd Pius Msekwa,       


Mshairi maarufu wa Kenya na Afrika Mashariki Abdallah Mwasimba hatunaye. Ni pigo jingine kwa Malenga wa eneo hili. Alizimanya na kuzitunza siri za ushairi kama kunga ya familia. Kwa washairi kama sisi, tunajua thamani ya mja huyu katika tasnia hii adhimu na adimu kwa sasa. Malenga wamepungua kwa vile wamepotea. Huyu naye afuatia, nani pengo ataziba? Kwa habari zaidi BONYEZA HAPA 

Tuesday 28 July 2020


For the courtesy of Mwananchi Newspaper 

Benjamin Mkapa: The Man I knew and Interacted With

The late Benjamin William Mkapa (81) former Tanzania president––who died suddenly on Friday; and will be buried today at Lupaso Village South Tanzania where he was born––was not only my president but also my friend.  Although he was a powerful person, he was the man with who we could exchange emails whenever, as peace scholar and a friend, I needed his ‘nuggets of wisdom’ especially on diplomacy, international issues, mediation and peace mission among many. What a humble human being that did not allow his power and stature to set him apart from commoners! Considering the power Mkapa commanded as a former president or a statesman, many would think Mkapa were an aloft former president. Nope, he was accessible and ready to help whenever and wherever he could. I received the news of Mkapa’s untimely demise as I was preparing myself to go to bed at about 10.00 Central Time. I tried to call his best friend, my friend Cde Pius Msekwa, retired speaker of the national parliament, secretary-General of the TANU and later the CCM, chancellor of the University of Dar Es Salaam and current Chancellor of Moshi Cooperative University and Mbeya University of Science and Technology among many positions he held. Actually, though the phone went through, Msekwa was unable to speak. Later he emailed me saying that he was busy the whole day responding to questions and doing interviews with the media about the late Mkapa whom he knew more than anybody else, as he put it himself. The death of the person that you know at a personal level is shockingly torturous so to speak. It took me time to accept that Hon Mkapa was no more.
            After the news sank in, I had to collect myself and touch base with more friends to see how they received such shocking news. Those who knew our relationship consoled me greatly.
Personally, I came to know and interact with the late Mkapa through my best friend Cde Msekwa with who I co-authored the book on president John Magufuli: Magufulification: Concept That Will Define Africa’s Future and the Man Who Makes Things Happen published by GDY Publishers of Dar Es Salaam. As well, Mkapa inspired us to write this book after he published his magnum opus namely his biography, My life, my purpose: A Tanzanian President Remember (2020). We even wanted him to write its proem, but we declined for fear of overburdening him, especially at the time he was marketing his biography. Importantly, I still vividly remember everything as if it happened just yesterday. When I introduced myself to the late Mkapa, he was then unwell. He just sent me a short email asking me to bear with him so that after recovering, he’d soon touch base with me. And indeed, he did. Thereafter, I was free to ask him any question or help whenever I felt like. His death, at a personal level, had heavy impacts on me as a friend and person who had access to this statesman. More importantly, Mkapa was one of the humblest persons I have ever interacted with, especially as a former president and a statesman. I can put in the same class with other two famous people I have known and interacted with as friends namely, Cde Msekwa and former Kenyan Chief Justice Ndugu Willy M. Mutunga (PhD) who still calls me ndugu whenever we touch base.
At national level, Mkapa was Tanzania’s long-time ambassador, minister for foreign affairs, Mwl Nyerere’s secretary and later a two-term president from 1995 to 2005. Under his stewardship, Tanzania achieved a great deal locally, regionally and internationally. After becoming president, Mkapa showed very high self-confidence so as to be viewed as being aloft and arrogant. He used to say it as it regardless what would follow provided that he firmed up his argument. He was an ace and eloquent debater whose skills of constructing arguments were a rarity in the crop of the leaders of his time. As president, his regime oversaw the liberalisation of Tanzania’s economy after being closed close for three decades of Ujamaa and Kujitegemea or Socialism and Self-reliance that the founder of Tanzania, Mwl Nyerere presided over before handing the baton to Alhaj Ali Hassan Mwinyi whose economic policy was not clear.  When some his detractors complained that he was betraying the goal of socialism, without even cooling his jets, Mkapa told them point blank that the era of preferential treatments were long gone. His was economic competition and competence. It is at this time the Kenyan National Group Media (NMG), according to its chair, Wilfred Kiboro, received invitation from Mkapa personally to do business in the country. Thus, the coming of Mkapa to power opened up Tanzania economy to the international community to invest. However, his policy did not succeed as he wanted it to because most of his lieutenants betrayed him by entering bogus contracts that saw Tanzania cascade economically. To show his humility and trustworthiness, Mkapa  openly admitted his failures and made an apology to all Tanzanians. To cap it all, he documented his apology in his book about his life that I have mentioned above. On top of economic liberalisation, Mkapa created many government institutions such as Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) among others; formed the commission to look into corruption. However, he did not publish its findings.  As well, Mkapa openly pushed Tanzania to paying debts it had accumulated for a long time and returned Tanzania to the map of the world as a capable country anybody could do business with.  
Even before becoming president, as minister of foreign affairs, Mkapa contributed hugely in the formation of post-Amin government in Uganda after Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) repelled Idi Amin’s soldiers after invading Tanzania and thereafter toppled Amin and forced him to exile. As for Kenya, Mkapa became instrumental soon after the 2007 Post-Election Violence (PEV). Under his and former UN Secretary General, the late Kofi Annan, Kenya was able to reach the agreement of forming a Government of National Unity (GNU) under Mwai Kibaki as president and his nemesis, Raila Odinga as Prime Minister. Despite its political animosities and squabbling, the GNU delivered Kenya from the tribal abyss.
Burundi will always remember his as a facilitator of peaceful resolution of conflict after the government and some factions set Burundi to a perilous path. The East African Community appointed Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni as a mediator and Mkapa as a facilitator. Soon Museveni left Mkapa do everything up until the conflict was resolved. Thereafter, Burundi became peaceful up until today.
Back to Mkapa I personally knew, for the entire time I interacted with him, I discovered a very humble and kind person that I did not expect in the person I used to know as president before. As an educated person, he liked logic to guide whatever argument was made. When it came to defending his position, like his mentor, Julius Nyerere, the founder of Tanzania, he was like a lion who would send his opponent shivering. However, once the dialogue was over, the gentle and humble Mkapa would resume his position and warmly intermingle with everybody who approached him.
For those who knew Mkapa as president and a person, it is not easy to contain him in one article or book. Now that he is no more, history will soon start to revisit him and bring forth his unknown treasures as a leader and a human.  Journey Well in your eternal journey Benjamin William Mkapa. Tangulia nasi twaja Mpendwa ndugu Mkapa. Every soul will one day die.
Source: African Executive Magazine today.

Monday 27 July 2020

Thursday 23 July 2020

Benjamin Mkapa, I knew

The late Benjamin William Mkapa, former Tanzania president, was not only my president but also my friend. The man with who we could exchange even emails whenever I needed his ‘nuggets of wisdom’. What a humble human being that did not allow his power and stature to set him apart from commoners. Considering the  power he commanded as a former president or a statesman, many would think Mkapa were an alofr  former president. Nope, he was accessible and ready to help whenever he could. I received the news of the demise of Mkapa as I was preparing myself to go to bed at about 10.00 Central Time. I tried to call his best friend my friend Cde Pius Msekwa, who was unable to speak. It took me time to accept that Hon Mkapa was no more.
To be frank, I came to know and interact with the late Mkapa through my best friend Cde Pius Msekwa with whom I co-authored the book on president John Magufuli when I had any issue I wanted to tackle. As well, Mkapa inspired us to write this book after he published his magnum opus. We even wanted him to write its foreword but we declined for fear of overburdening him so to speak. Importantly,  I still vividly remember. When I introduced myself to the late Mkapa, he was then unwell. He just sent me a short email asking me to bear with him so that after recovering, he’d soon touch base with me. And indeed, he did. Thereafter, I was free to ask him any question or help whenever I felt like. I feel weak that I cannot write much up until it sinks in. Importantly, Mkapa was one of the humblest persons I have ever interacted with, especially as a former president and a statesman.
Clip Art Botanical Ilustrations - Flowers For The Dead Png ...



Fawaz Khalid AlMarzouq One of Unsung Heroes of Middle East

Fawaz Khalid AlMarzouq” is one of the Middle East most influential and successful Entrepreneurs.As Owner, Chairman and CEO of the group of companies, he has built on the legacy of his late father “Khalid Yousuf Al-Marzouq”, he spearheaded the growth and development of his business. At the forefront of this achievement has been the unprecedented creation of one of the largest new city development in the Middle East, if not the World “Sabah Al-Ahmad Sea City Project”.
In meeting the unique demands of this project he has transformed the capabilities of the company from Real Estate development into a major multi-disciplinary contracting organisation. In parallel, single headedly, he has expanded the corporate portfolio into a diverse range of sectors and services.

Two Humans Who Created the Ogre That's Now Destroying the US

Donald Trump's parents, the elder Mary (aka 'Gam') and Fred Sr.
Mary and Fred Trump the parents of the current US ruiner Donald Trump

Wednesday 22 July 2020


 In  my  article  of  last  week,  I  gave  our  esteemed  readers   proper  notice   of  the  culmination  of  the    series  of  articles  relating  to  my  forthcoming  book,  titled  The  story  of  my  life  in  the  Public  Service:  A  Contribution  to  the  Political  History  of  Tanzania”;   which  had  commenced  at  the  beginning  of  January  this  year.   Thus,  we  must  now  move  to  other  interesting  topics.
DailynewsAnd   since  this  is  our  general  election  year,    It  seems  appropriate  that   we  should   address  the  general  subject   of  elections   in  the forthcoming  discussions  in  this  column;  with  the principal   aim  of  enhancing  public  understanding  of  the  basic  issues  involved  in  this  important  business  of  elections.     This  will  indeed   be  useful,  especially   in   view  of   the  extraordinary  enthusiasm  which  has  been  shown  by  the  unprecedented   influx  of  aspirants  who  are  seeking  nomination  by  their  respective  political  parties,  for  participation  in  this  particular  election.  And  this  influx  has,  inevitably,  raised    speculation  regarding  the  factors  that might   have  triggered  this  huge  turnout  of  aspirants,  not  only   for  the  Presidential  election,  but  also,  and    much  more  so,   in  the  Parliamentary  and  the  Local  Authorities  elections.  We   will  investigate  this  exciting  point  in  the  next  article.                             
In  today’s  article,  we  will  kick-start  these  discussions  with a  brief   examination  of  the essential  ingredients  of  the  multi-party  electoral  system.
The  multi-party  electoral  system.
It  should  be  common  knowledge,   that  Tanzania’s  electoral  system  was  inherited  from   the  British   system;   which,  essentially,  makes  provision  for what  is  known  as  “Government  by  political  party”;  which  means   that  the  different  political  parties  are  expected  to  actively  compete  in  open  elections;   after  which,   the  winner  becomes  entitled  to  form  the   Government  of  the  day.   Thus,  as   noted  above,  the  most  significant  feature  of  this  year’s  general  election  seems  to  be  the  unprecedented,  very    active  participation  by  large  numbers  of  aspirants  of   different  political  parties  in  these  elections  at  all  levels.    
Participating  in  elections  is,  in  fact,  the   raison  d’etre   for  the  registration  of  political  parties  in  Tanzania.  This   is   specified   in  the  Political  Parties  Act  (no.  5  of  1992),  which  gives  the  following  definition  of  a  political  party:-  “Political  party “  means  any  organized  group  formed  for  the  purpose  of  forming  a  Government,  or  a  Local  Authority,   within  the  United  Republic  through  elections,  and   for  putting  up,  or  supporting  candidates  for  such  elections”.   Thus,  according  to  this  definition,    any  other  group  which  is  not  formed  for  the  purpose  of  participating  in  elections,  does  not  qualify  to  be  called  a  ‘political  party’.  Such  group  could  perhaps  be  called  an  “interest  group”,  or  “pressure  group”,  which  is  formed  for  the  sole  purpose  of  pursuing  the  achievement  of  a  given  specific   lawful  objective.
The  hidden  challenges  of  multi-party  politics:
Many  political  parties,  only  one  basic  policy.
The  leading  principle  in  multi-party  electoral  competitions,   is  that  voters  should  select  the  party  which  presents   the  best  policy  options.  This  is  the  first  crucial  ingredient  of  the  multi-party  political  system.                                                              
In  normal  situations,  electoral  competition  requires   that  each  participating  political  party  will  present,  in  its  election  manifesto  and  in  its  campaign  speeches,   some  clearly  defined  policy  positions,  which  will  enable  the  voters  to  make  an  informed  choice   between  the  alternative  policies  being  so  presented  by  the  different  participating  parties.  This,  basically,  implies  that  each  participating  party will  endeavour  to  persuade  and  convince  the  majority  of  the  voters  to  vote  for  their  respective  candidates,   on  the  basis  of  the  party’s    attractive  policies,  which  they  will  implement   after  getting  the  coveted  opportunity  to  form  the  Government. 
 However,  in  almost  all  the  developing  countries,  including  Tanzania; ,  in  reality,  there  is  only  one  policy  option  that  really  matters  to  the  electorate;  namely,  the  need  to  enhance  the  social  and  economic  welfare  of  the  people,   by  eliminating  poverty, ignorance,  disease,  and  of  course  corruption.  A  close  look  at  the  slogan  with  which  have  been   used  by  the  different  political  parties   in   the  recent  past,   such  as    CCM’s  “kuleta  maisha  bora  kwa  kila  mtanzania”;  CHADEMA’s  “”Tunachukia  umasikini”;  or  CUF’s  “Haki  sawa  kwa  wote”;  may  appear  to  be  different;    but,  basically,   all  of  them  are  focusing  on  the  same  issues  relating  to  the  fight  against  the  four  common  enemies  mentioned  above. This,  obviously,    makes  it  difficult  for  the  voters  to  make  their  choices  on  the  basis  of  the  parties’  policy  differences  between  them,  and  therefore  unable  to  “vote  for  the  party  with  the  best  policies”.
  A  gentle   reminder  of  Mwalimu  Nyerere’s  position.
“My  argument  is  that  a  multi-party  system  can  be  justified  only  when  the  parties  are  divided  over  some  fundamental  issues.   Otherwise,  it  merely  encourages   the  growth  of  factionalism. Let  us  take  the  case  of  two  major  parties.  Both  have  the  interests  of  the  people  at  heart,  or  so  they  claim.  Both  believe  that  education  is  a  good  thing,  and  that  it  should  be  made  available  to  everybody.    Both  believe  that  medical  care  should  be  within  the  reach  of  all  persons,  and  so  on.    Given  that  fundamental  agreement,  it  would  be  far  more  sensible  if  both  sides  were  to  disband,  and  let   the  electorate  choose  the  best  individuals  from  among  them  all,  and   these  individuals   will  meet  in  Parliament  to  discuss  the  details  of  doing  the  required  jobs,  and  cooperate   fully  in  getting  them  done”  (Mwalimu  Nyerere  in  ‘Freedom  and  Unity’,  Oxford  University  Press,  1966,  page 196).
That  is  probably  why,  in  the  absence  of   such  clearly  identifiable  policy  differences  between  the  Ruling  party  and  the  Opposition  parties;  the  latter  have  resorted  to  a    campaign  strategy,   of   merely  calling  upon  the  electorate  “to  remove  CCM  from  Power”. 
CCM  can,  of  course,  be  removed  from  power  by  the  majority  of  voters  at  a  general  election,  but  this  can  only  happen  in  certain  specified  circumstances,  specifically,   in situations  where  the  voters  themselves  have  been   fully  convinced,  from  their  own  collective  assessment,  that  the  Ruling  party  has  totally  failed    them   in  their  expectations.  And   I  submit  that  such  conclusion  will  be  reached    ONLY   when  CCM  has   miserably  failed  to  deliver  on  its  promises,  but   certainly  NOT  as  a  result  of  campaign  demands  by  opposition  parties  for  its  removal
The   absence  of   the  requisite  multi-party  political  culture. 
This  is  the  second   crucial  ingredient  of  the  multi-party  democratic  political  system.  Multi-party democracy  is based on the   proposition that  at certain  agreed  intervals,  say  after  every  five  years;  competitive  elections will be held between  the  relevant   political parties, thus providing  an opportunity  for power either to remain in the hands of the then ruling party, or to pass to another political party or coalition of parties, as the case maybe.  The multi-party political culture   requires  that the losing party will form the Opposition in parliament, with  the  function  of  seeking  to challenge the government’s policies and actions therein;   while waiting for the opportunity when they will themselves  win an election,  and form the government of the day.                                  
This concept   was  plainly   expressed  in  an  article  written  for  the  Commonwealth   Journal   “The  Parliamentarian”   by the then Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchell, MP, in the following words:- “The Caribbean people have long had a reputation for passionate partisan debate in the adversarial form of parliamentary multi-party democracy inherited from Westminster.  But they also enjoyed the reputation   of  playing by the rules,   whereby the  winners  took office,  and the losers  accepted  the results,   and continued   the debate from  the opposition benches  inside Parliament.   But today, passionate political debates are being continued in an alarming number of instances   not in Parliament, but in the streets.    And they are being pressed not by debate, but by demonstrations. 
Our acceptance of the Parliamentary system of government is being seriously eroded”. It  has    been my contention,  that this kind of situation is brought about by the lack of the requisite multiparty political culture,   which should therefore be   created, developed, and properly nurtured. This  lack  of  the  requisite  multi-party  political  culture   is  explained  by  the  fact  that  this  culture    is  actually  rooted in the Western countries of Europe and North America.    Indeed,   experience  has shown that in many of the non-Western countries which do not have his kind of culture,  operating  the system  of multi-party democracy has, inevitably,  been  quite   problematic.   To  confirm  this,  let  me  cite   only   two  examples,  quoted   from the Journal of  the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association,  “The parliamentarian” :-    
 (i) Lesotho.                                                                                                                                                 “Ever since the independence of Lesotho, political activity in the country has been partisan in form, and exclusionary in character. Society has  been  balkanized  into new groupings which call themselves political parties,  all dedicated to vie for, and exclude one another from, the  control of state power.   Political parties in Lesotho are the antithesis of nation building. This is the origin of the mutual disdain and repugnance that members of different political parties feel for each other, which has produced a basis for political instability that has become a permanent feature of politics in the country”.
 (ii)    Kenya.                                                                                                                            
 “The re-introduction of political pluralism was one of the greatest political developments in Kenya since independence.  But it now appears that political parties have turned into a liability, not only  stifling democracy,  but  also impeding the transformation of Kenya into a modern society.  Virtually all political parties in Kenya have sacrificed healthy competition and internal democracy,   at the altar of individual aggrandizement”
These examples  serve to demonstrate that the lack of the multi-party culture,  is  a  major hindrance,  and   indeed  a  huge fault line, in  the proper functioning of the multi-party political system through multi-party elections. 
Multi-party  democracy  requires  the  presence  of  a  strong  Opposition  camp.
The  emergence  of  the  “UKAWA”   Coalition  was intended  to  strengthen  the  Opposition  camp.  The  presence  of  a  strong  Opposition  is  indeed  necessary  for  the  vibrancy  of  electoral   democracy.  
Two  former  Presidents  of  the  United  Republic of  Tanzania,  are  on  record as  having  bemoaned  the  apparent  weaknesses  of  the  Opposition  during  their  period  in  office.  President  Mkapa  (as  he  then  was),  in   his   speech  to inaugurate  the  8th  Parliament,    made  the  following  pertinent  comments  regarding  the  weakness  of  the  Opposition:-  “If  we  do  not  have  serious  political   competition  between  comparable  teams,  we  will  slowly  degenerate  into  political  frivolity”.   He  was  referring  the  results  of  the  2000  general  elections,  in  which  the  Opposition  camp  performed    poorly  at  all  levels.  Both   In  the  Presidential  election,  where  CCM  had  obtained  a  huge 71%  of  the  total  valid  votes  cast;  and  in  the  Parliamentary  elections,  where   CCM  has  scored  a  handsome  87.45%  of  all  the  Parliamentary  seats.  
On  his  part, President   Jakaya  Kikwete  of  the  fourth  phase  Government,  speaking  at  a  new  year  sherry  party  which  he  hosted  for  the  foreign  Diplomats  accredited  to  Tanzania  on  10th  January 2006,   lamented  that  “the  poor  performance  of  the  Opposition  parties  in  the  2005  general  elections  had  raised  great  concern  as  to  whether  Tanzania  was  unwittingly  reverting  to  the  previous  one-party  political  system”.
The  results  of  that  general  election  showed   that  in  the  Presidential  election,  CCM  had  scooped  a  premium 80.28%,  leaving   the  seven  participating  Opposition  parties  to  share  the  remaining  small   percentage;  while  in  the  Parliamentary  elections,   of  the  13  participating  political  parties,  CCM  had  scored  an  overwhelming  majority  of  206  parliamentary   seats,  while  only  three  Opposition  parties  were  able  to  obtain  a  tiny  share  of the  remaining   Parliamentary  seats.                                                                 It  is  this  poor  electoral  performance  that  the  former  Presidents  were  talking  about.
(will   continue  next  week) / 0754767576.