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CCM, CHADEMA and the Theory of Conflict and Violence.

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Mchambuzi, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Mchambuzi

    Mchambuzi JF-Expert Member

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    Tanzania remains an Olympian when it comes to the pattern of violence that has dominated many parts of Sub Saharan Africa since the end of colonialism. In spite of the existence of several destabilizing factors, we remain fairly intact in terms of political stability & social coherency. Thanks to the extensive project of creating a national identity by the late Mwalimu Nyerere soon after independence. The project emphasized peace and unity as central national values.

    But how fragile and vulnerable as a society are we today?
    Today, almost 90% of Tanzanians live under one dollar a day. This is equivalent to about 40 million Tanzanians out of the estimated total population of 45 million. We remain, however to be a nation of people with so much pride. Many Tanzanians cite ‘peace and unity' as their main source of this ‘national pride'.

    However, if one happens to believe in conventional theories of conflict, Tanzania should be blighted by violence and instability. Theories of conflict propose a number of indicators that are of potentially volatile situation in a country. These include high unemployment; significant youth population; highly heterogeneous ethnic and religious groups and military insecurity in surrounding territories. Practically speaking, all these pre-conditional factors for conflict and violence Prevail. One report on Instability and insecurity in African States identifies four main factors attributed to violence and conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa. The factors are: (i) Low GDP Per Capita (ii) Chronic Foreign Aid – Dependency (iii) Instability in the neighboring countries and (iv) Heterogeneous population. Now let us examine these factors in the context of Tanzania.
    According to the report on Instability and insecurity in Africa, GDP per capita is one of the strongest correlations of state instability. Tanzania has an extremely low GDP per capita. Recent data reveal our GDP Per Capita standing at about $450. Following the classification of countries by income, which is an exercise conducted by the World Bank, a $450 GDP Per Capita puts Tanzania in the lowest category of the development league i.e. low income countries. So if the theory of violence and conflict holds, a GDP Per Capita of $450 puts Tanzania at a high risk of falling into political conflicts and violence.

    Tanzania's Vision 2025 envisages the country to climb into a middle income bracket by 2025. According to the World Bank, the threshold for becoming a middle income country is GDP Per Capita of at least $905. Based on the Tanzania 2025 Vision, this means we will reach this threshold ($905 GDP Per Capita) within the next 14 years. This is a challenging task. There are hopes however because since the year 2000, on average, our economy has maintained a GDP growth rate of about 6%. Nevertheless, Tanzania is still ranked amongst the poorest nations in the world. While an average growth rate of 6% over the last ten years may be a huge improvement compared to the dearth growth rates experienced during Ujamaa (1967 – 1985), the fact still remains that a $905 GDP Per Capita will not make the majority of Tanzanians any better-off, especially due to the combination of economic loses that we incurred during Ujamaa era (even though one may argue we had social gains) and the failure of the so called impressive economic growth to become inclusive of the poor. One of the best ways to make us escape extreme poverty is by envisioning and emulating success stories like Taiwan and other Asian Tigers. However, this remains a daunting task because - starting with a current per capita GDP of about $450 today, even if we manage to grow our GDP at an unbelievable rate of 10% a year consistently, it would still take us over 30 years to get to Taiwan's GDP Per Capita (i.e. $15,000), which is roughly a third of the GDP Per Capita of the world's richest economy (USA $46,000). Therefore we should be prepared to continue to starve and live in poverty for at least 30 years, thus putting Tanzania at high risk of falling into political conflicts and violence for at least 30 years, if we assume the theory of conflicts and violence holds.

    A second correlate of state instability is chronic foreign aid dependency. Since independence (1961), Tanzania has been one of the biggest recipients of foreign aid in the developing world. There was a period when Tanzania was ranked second only to Israel in terms of AID per Capita. By 1985, we had received about $10 billion in foreign aid from both bilateral and multilateral donors. During the 1990s, donors' contributed about 60% the country's budget. According reports from the Ministry of Finance, donors contributed about 34% of the country's budget for the 2008/2009 financial period. This financial year, AID is almost 30% of our budget. The looming question remains: Where has all the $10 Billion AID gone? And to make matters worse, given the chronic balance of payments problems facing the country at present together with high corruption rankings in the Transparency International Index, we should expect a precipitous decline in AID for the next medium term. It is also less likely that we will manage to raise enough revenues from domestic sources to enable us minimize foreign dependency in our budgets sustainable as envisaged by Minister of Finance, Mustafa Mkullo. According to Mr. Mkullo, the target is to reduce AID dependency to less than 10% of our budget by the year 2015 by filling the gap with revenues from domestic sources, implying more tax burden on the poor. According to the IMF, the real weakness of Tanzania's economy is its huge current account deficit. The situation was made worse by the global financial crisis, a phenomenon further widened the country's current account. According to BOT, the country's current account deficit rose by 67% to $3.1 in the year ending October 2008, from $1.86 billion in the previous year (2007) due to high imports (versus low exports) and a drop in current transfers (such as foreign aid). Even the country's five years development plan 2011 – 2015/16 notes that our current account has been in perpetual deficit. This is spreading cancer to our economic well-being. Given the unconvincing arguments that we will be able to reduce foreign assistance in our budgets sustainable for the next 4 years, if we assume the theory of conflicts and violence holds, Foreign Aid Dependency still remains to be a factor that highly correlates with conflict in Tanzania.

    A third strong correlate to violence and conflict is the instability in the immediate neighbors, where conflicts have repeatedly engulfed the region. Infrequent instability in Kenya and Uganda has always been both, a concern and threat to Tanzania. These neighboring effects also extend to the presence of large number of refugee population in Tanzania, still numbering to thousands, mainly from Burundi, DRC and increasingly Somalia. Recent data by the economist intelligence unit show that Tanzania ranks fourth in terms of countries with the largest refugee population in the world. Due to its political stability, Tanzania has for many years, been hosting a large refugee population from neighboring countries. According to the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), Tanzania hosted approximately 500,000 refugees at the end of 2001, including more than 350,000 from Burundi, nearly 120,000 from Congo-Kinshasa, some 25,000 from Rwanda, and more than 3,000 from Somalia. Tanzania also hosted an additional 300,000 to 470,000 Burundians who resided in western Tanzania. Also an estimated 30,000 new refugees fled to Tanzania from Burundi and Congo-Kinshasa during 2001.The overwhelming majority of refugees live in Tanzania's impoverished northwest, where basic social services barely met the needs of Tanzania local residents. Also persistent rumors alleging that Tanzania harbors Somalia armed elements - Al-Shabab (see Dr. Mwakyembe in Mwanahalisi) threatens to strain insecurity in the country. All these are factors that highly correlate with conflict.

    The last correlate relates to demographic dynamics. When one pays attention to the characteristics of demographics in Tanzania, it is easy to note that the country is in a fragile state Youth protuberance, rapid urbanization (resulting from economic hardship in rural areas), and a decline in arable land per capita. All these are factors which highly correlate with conflict and they are highly prevalent in Tanzania. According to several statistics (Household Budget Survey, World Development Reports etc), about 48% (about 22 million Tanzanians) of the country's population is under the age of 15. Additionally, 70% of the population (about 32 million Tanzanians) are said to be under the age of 30. These are youths and most of them lack social security in terms of access to health care, meaningful education and decent employment. Additionally, Tanzania has highly heterogeneous ethnic and religious groups. We are divided almost in half in terms of Christian and Muslims. There is also a large number of Tanzanians with Asian origin (estimated between 2 and 3 million), who during the economic hardship of the early 1990s faced constant hostility from Black Tanzanians over the control of wealth and resources in the country.

    For how long are we going to remain peaceful?
    There is no doubt that the extensive project by Nyerere to create a national identifies which emphasized on the importance of peace and unity in the context of economic development is largely responsible our current political stability in Tanzania. Despite high incidence of poverty in the country, it is the national identify that makes many Tanzanians attempt to stay away from politics of divisiveness, violence and conflicts, thus reject any political parties that invest in violence, ethnic and religious polarization.
    One important lesson for our political parties in Tanzania, CCM and Chadema in particular is that it should be in their self-interest to pursue policies that emphasize peace and non-divisive modes of competition in Tanzanian politics. Conflict and violence may only render political parties in Tanzania attention in the short run. Any perceptions that the political parties are trying to divide the electorate will undermine their chances of gaining widespread political support in the country. Despite living in extreme poverty, most Tanzanians have little patience for violence and divisiveness in politics, and are always ready to turn away from any political parties that do not seem committed to maintaining peace, something which Tanzanians are still very proud of. It should be noted that when Nyalali and his commission released their report on multi-party system survey in early 1990s, most Tanzanians opposed multiparty system. The main fear among many Tanzanians was that political competition in Tanzania would lead to polarization, violence and conflicts. While many Tanzanians now support multipartism, they seem to be very fearful of any political chaos that might ensue from open conflict. Tanzanians who tend to show high levels of support for competitive politics do so mainly due to the fact that political competition in the country has not yet divided the nation or brought widespread violence. As a CCM member, I can confidently say that much of CCM's support comes not from support for our particular policies or confidence in our overall leadership of the country, but rather from many cautious Tanzanians who see a vote for CCM as a vote for the peaceful political culture. If opposition parties can prove that they represent the same peaceful political culture as our party CCM, they will be able to enlarge their base of support among the cautious democrats.
     
  2. j

    jnuswe JF-Expert Member

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    Thumbs up !
     
  3. Mzee Mwanakijiji

    Mzee Mwanakijiji Platinum Member

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    Mchambuzi; should a conflict be violent in nature to be counted as a conflict? In other words, do you really believe there is no conflict iexisting in Tanzania right now, a conflict which could potentially escalate more and more into a violent conflict? Already people have died in the hands of the state in a political setting - isn't this enough violence to qualify for a "violent conflict"?, the adamant opposition of the corrupt ruling and educated elite is mounting - can't we say this in itself is a political conflict?

    Probably, if I were to give my unsolicited humble opinion - the discussion needs to be on ways to diffuse the current political conflict - which we have to recognize that indeed it does exist- to bring it to a level of political differences that need not to be hostile. By recognizing the dangers that our political conflict pose to our national future will lead us to push for true political reforms that would eventually help our country to mature as a true democracy not democrazy.
     
  4. M

    MAURIN Senior Member

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    Anguko la CCM Limetimia,dhuruma na mabavu vimejaa ndani yao.
     
  5. Mchambuzi

    Mchambuzi JF-Expert Member

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    Mwanakijiji,

    You are right. I was trying to be of the opinion kwamba conflict in Tanzania bado sio a going-concern meaning bado haijafikia level ya kui categorize as indefinite. But the argument kwamba it is already a going-concern is equally correct in my view.
     
  6. Mzee Mwanakijiji

    Mzee Mwanakijiji Platinum Member

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    I think my friend that lies the danger. When it gets to a "indefinite" level.. it will be too late.
     
  7. Sooth

    Sooth JF-Expert Member

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    Reading between and beyond the lines, you seem to suggest that the opposition(chadema) condones violence. I wonder, what has CCM done of late to maintain peace and stability? How come there is no CCM MP with the balls to condemn police brutality (killings in police stations, Mbarali, I will not mention Arusha na Nyamongo, 4 your sake)? Where is good governance-checks and balances, the police shoots people, they investigate and provide ruling over the very same matter?

    Prior to the kick-off of the 10th parliament sessions, a workshop/seminar of all MPs was held at Ubungo plaza, there, the intelligence chief pointed out that the bigger threat to national security is religious fundamentalism. What has the CCM govt done so far to arrest the situation? Have the media/people responsible for instigation been warned? No, but instead you want the whole world to believe that the opposition is the problem-it will cause violence and war. The truth is, you are boasting to be the only party that can maintain peace, but you are doing nothing in practice, apart from relying on the pillars that were laid by Nyerere. Those pillars need to be respected and cherished, as you used to do in the past.

    Whenever there is a strong opposition party, then automatically it becomes violent. First it was NCCR, then CUF, and now CHADEMA. How convenient! How come CUF and NCCR are now the darling of the government and "peace-loving parties"? Cheap, dangerous,outdated propaganda! The only propaganda that can work now is development, people-centered development!
     
  8. F

    FJM JF-Expert Member

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    The article started well, but the last paragraph appears as though was written years back - before the last general elections maybe? It simpy does not reflect on the real situation that we are witnessing. For example on the red:

    1. Despite high incidence of poverty in the country, it is the national identify that makes many Tanzanians attempt to stay away from politics of divisiveness, violence and conflicts, thus reject any political parties that invest in violence, ethnic and religious polarization. -
    Which political party has invested in violence, ethinic and religious polarization?

    2. Despite their poor livelihoods, most Tanzanians have little patience for violence and divisiveness in politics, and they are always ready to turn against any political parties that do not seem committed to preserving peace, something which Tanzanians are still so proud of - would you say the massive turnout at CDM rallies is a testimony that Tanzanians now see CDM as the only party committed to preserving peace?

    3. It should be noted that when Nyalali and his commission released their report on multi-party system survey in early 1990s, most Tanzanians opposed multiparty system -That was then, when ordinary Tanzanians had faith in the governance system including the nation's leadership. Plus remeber, approx 40% of Tanzanians today are below 20yrs! which means they were born after Judge Nyalali commission. Unless you are suggesting they sent thier contributions while in the 'womb' otherwise they know nothing about the commission. The thing only they've known in thier lives is selling match boxes on the streets, and if lucky a place at one of those shule za kata!

    4.While many Tanzanians now support multipartism, they seem to be very fearful of any political chaos that might result from open conflict - How many Tanzanians are fearful of any politcal chaos?. And to be on the safe side, what is your defination of political chaos?

    5. As a CCM member, I can confidently say that much of CCM's support comes not from support for our particular policies or confidence in our overall leadership of the country, but rather from many cautious Tanzanians who see a vote for CCM as a vote for the peaceful political culture - CCM's support comes from NEC with a sprinkle of men/women in the uniform.
     
  9. Mchambuzi

    Mchambuzi JF-Expert Member

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    Its not true that i am suggesting Chadema is instigating violence in Tanzania. Chanzo kikubwa cha violence ni hasira za wananchi ambao wanajiona wanazidi kudidimia kwenye umaskini wakiwa chini ya serikali inayoongozwa na chama kilichokaa madarakani kwa karibia miaka 50. Sasa what CCM au Chadema does in the process ndio issue muhimu ya kuijadili, especially suala la ahadi na utekelezaji wa sera za kumwinua maskini.
     
  10. Mchambuzi

    Mchambuzi JF-Expert Member

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    1. What i meant is that for many years, watanzania wengi were fearful of opposition parties mainly because of elimu ndogo ya uraia. They perceived opposition to CCM as illegal, thus tried to stay away from political parties outside CCM. This largely contributed to increased legitimacy and acceptance of CCM among Watanzania. They related opposition parties with potential political instability and this is wrong. Watanzania however are increasingly getting into grip with the fact that opposition parties contribute to improved governance and sound management of the country's resources, among other things. There is no party in my knowledge that invests in violence, ethinic and religious polarization.

    2. I wouldn't say that massive turnout at Chadema's rallies is a testimony that Tanzanians now see the party as the only party committed to preserving peace. I would say instead that given 50 years of hopelessness in terms of improved well-being, Chadema is turning out to be an alternative for them in that end.
    3. On Nyalali's point, i concur with your argument. I was just trying to make a connection, looks like i made a loose connection with the empirical context.

    4. I am personally fearful of political chaos and am certain kwamba many others are fearful as well, including you - my definition political chaos is simply absence of order or unpredictable order or absence of law and order in the public sphere instigated by political factors such as mistrusting the ruling government, unfair election etc. And this has to be wide-spread and indefinite. In my opinion, we haven't reached there yet but we may not be far from it.
     
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