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Matokeo ya uchaguzi Tanzania yazua gomzo ulaya

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by The Informer, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. T

    The Informer Senior Member

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    Nov 21, 2010
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    Latest Polls Point to Signs of Change in Tanzania

    By Richard Whitehead*

    DAR ES SALAAM (IDN) – Tanzania's fourth multiparty elections on October 30, 2010 were, in some ways, not significantly different from the first three, held in 1995, 2000 and 2005. As before, the ruling party, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), routed the opposition parties and emerged as the dominant force in the country’s legislative and executive branches.

    As in earlier elections, the CCM's 2010 campaign theme centred on its status as the 'defender of the nation' against the 'disorder' and 'chaos' that would prevail in the aftermath of a sweeping opposition victory, while the opposition parties for their part attacked the CCM's poor record on fighting corruption and advancing development.

    And, like those verdicts bestowed upon previous elections, the 2010 elections were evaluated by international and domestic observers as somewhere between 'free and fair' and 'free, but not fair', only to be topped off with metaphors like 'tranquil' and 'peaceful'.

    All in all, it appears that once again the long-time incumbent party in Tanzania has managed to reproduce its dominant -- some might say hegemonic -- position, while escaping the sort of international condemnation levelled against some of the continent’s other long-time incumbents.

    RADICALLY DIFFERENT

    Yet this election was also radically different from those held in 2000 and 2005, to the extent that, in this election show-down, the leading opposition party -- the Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) -- made some sizable election gains.

    While the CCM's presidential candidate, Jakaya Kikwete, was re-elected in 2010 by an impressive 38.4 per cent margin over the next runner-up, President Kikwete was first elected in 2005 by a margin of 68.6 per cent over the runner-up. His predecessor, Benjamin Mkapa, was re-elected in 2000 by a 55.9 per cent margin.

    As Jenerali Ulimwengu notes in his recent article in The East African, given the fact that the opposition parties won more than 50 constituencies and the fact that the leading opposition candidate, Dr Wilbrod Slaa, has managed to 'reinvigorate' an otherwise waning opposition party and change the political landscapes throughout many of the country's urban areas. This election, when compared to the previous two, has illuminated the possible limits of the CCM's capacity to comfortably and continuously dominate elections.

    SIGNPOSTS

    To be sure, some additional developments borne out during this election can be read as signposts for the welcomed emergence of a more competitive polity. However, these developments, along with the prospects of a more competitive polity generally, should not necessarily be taken as an indication that Tanzania might be en route to a deeper democracy with the potential for broader citizen empowerment.

    The first development -- one potentially challenging to the CCM's prospects in the 2015 election -- is the growing significance of the youth vote. Indeed, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, people between the ages of 20 to 40 make up about 31 per cent of the Tanzanian population.

    Within the voting age population, young people up to the age of 40 account for approximately 68 per cent, versus the 18 per cent old enough to remember the euphoria of independence in 1961, brought about by the CCM’s antecedent parties, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP).

    As recently pointed out by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala, a high youth turnout could easily be responsible for CHADEMA's improved election fortunes. The battle over the youth vote will certainly define the campaign themes of the 2015 election, where the CCM will face the added disadvantage of having to deal with an internal power struggle over Kikwete’s replacement.

    Secondly, and related to this, is the increased use of the internet generally, and social media particularly. The Jamii Forums, Facebook and Twitter have grown into some of the more vibrant hotspots for exchanging views and information about the elections. And this widening social media sphere has proven to be a world far more sympathetic to the opposition, especially CHADEMA.

    As clearly reflected in a Mwananchi online pre-election poll -- where respondents favoured Dr Slaa by a 60 per cent margin over President Jakaya Kikwete -- participation in the internet, and by extension online activism, is overwhelmingly dominated by opposition supporters. This is probably a reflection of the fact that young people are generally more tech savvy and also more likely to back an opposition party. Moreover, folks with professional backgrounds living in urban areas are both more likely to have internet access and more likely to back an opposition party.

    Finally, and tentatively, this election might also illustrate a loosening of those mutually beneficial exchanges that sustain the CCM's rule and enrich the fortunes of a budding commercial class. Indeed, as I pointed out in some of my earlier research, the CCM's ability to secure such wide victory margins in the face of multiparty elections is found in the party's ability to pair its 'guardian of national unity' status with a rising commercial class that trades political support in exchange for favourable treatment by the state.

    Simultaneously, the massive levels of corruption that accompany these exchanges serve as opposition focal points that are gifted with salience when high-level scandals – for example, the Richmond and Central Bank scandals -- provide powerful evidence of opposition claims.

    Moreover, as the CCM’s ability to win elections becomes less certain, commercial elites will undoubtedly try to hedge their bets by diversifying their political networks. This might explain the July 2010 decision by Mustafa Jaffar Sabodo, a prominent business tycoon, to donate some Tsh 100 million to CHADEMA's coffers while still proclaiming his loyalty to the CCM.

    DEMOCRACY AROUND THE CORNER?

    These three developments might strengthen the capacity for opposition parties to pair winning messages with the financial, network and human capital for spreading those messages. While the growing strength of the opposition may provide the incentives for the CCM to take issues like 'good governance' and 'accountability' more seriously, there are, however, a few reasons as to why recent election developments should not necessarily be celebrated as evidence of a coming democracy.

    First is the fact that voter turnout (as a percentage of registered voters) in this election was an appalling 42.8 per cent, compared to 76.7 per cent in 1995, 84.4 per cent in 2000 and 72.4 per cent in 2005. While reasons behind this abrupt decline are unclear, one Jamii Forum post speculates that low voter turnout might be caused by problems ranging from poor voting infrastructure to the fact that people simply have not seen any changes in their lives since the start of multiparty politics. Declining voter turnout might be seen as a step away from rather than toward democracy, especially if this decline is a reflection of dissatisfaction or feelings of alienation.

    Secondly, despite the promises of liberal democracy generally, and multiparty elections specifically, parties throughout Africa often emerge as vehicles utterly incapable of translating broader societal needs into actual public policy. Whereas campaign messages look so sincere during the heated campaign battles, in the times between elections, parties and politicians generally fail to cultivate durable connections with those that lack the financial backing to offer something in return.

    This of course, is not just a problem in Africa. But, the sheer level of poverty throughout the continent, coupled with the disproportionate influence that powerful international actors have on domestic policy affairs, makes this disconnect between new or long-time incumbent parties on one hand, and the continent's largely poor majorities on the other hand, more pronounced and more challenging for deepening democracy’s reach.

    In reality, this disconnection plays out during election campaigns as well, where competition requires parties to play the game according to the tune of those that hold the keys to the fortunes for financing an election war-chest. Co-joining electoral competition with enormous wealth asymmetries and widespread poverty incentivises behaviour that pays mere lip service to the plights faced by poor people, while taking the interests of economic elites more seriously.

    As elections in many of Tanzania's neighbouring cases demonstrate, multiparty competition amid conditions of massive wealth inequalities and poverty is not enough to ensure that the promises of democracy are fulfilled for the majority of the citizens. While ruling parties like the Movement for Multiparty Democracy in Zambia (MMD) and the Party of National Unity (PNU) in Kenya face rather stiff competition, the ability of electoral competition to truly translate into broader citizen empowerment is questionable.

    This point has been echoed in a recent article in The East African, which essentially depicts the political environment in Tanzania as one where elites compete for the spoils of victory, while the vast majority of Tanzanians are completely sidelined in the political process.

    DISCONNECT

    The disconnect between broader citizen empowerment on one hand, and the terms of conflict in multiparty politics on the other, is also manifest in the widely celebrated digital social networking venues. Without a doubt, social media forums can serve as a democratising force by facilitating the exchange of ideas and information between ordinary people and by allowing social movements to gain broader sympathies in their struggles in the face of human rights abuses.

    However, it must also be remembered that participation in social media throughout much of Africa represents a small and significantly affluent segment of the population. In Tanzania, data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) show that only 520,000 Tanzanians, or 1.3 per cent of the population, managed to use the internet at least one time during 2008.

    While ITU data shows that 31 per cent have mobile phone subscriptions, only a small margin of these are likely to be those devices capable of connecting to these internet-based fora. These trends are not likely to change rapidly anytime in the near future.

    None of this should be taken as suggesting that greater electoral competition in Tanzania will produce no real net benefits. Indeed, the watchful eyes of a robust election competitor might provide the necessary pressures that entice the country's leaders to take issues like corruption more seriously.

    Social media offer venues that, in the absence of extreme poverty and asymmetries in wealth and education, might act as a force for broader participation and empowerment. Likewise, competition between political actors might facilitate the inclusion of society's poorer members. However, where poverty is pervasive and resources confined to a select few, one might also wonder about whose terms this inclusion might reflect.

    Given the high levels of extreme poverty and resource asymmetries in Tanzania, paired with the tendency for resources to determine the amplitude of political voice, recent election developments should not by themselves be taken as synonymous with the movement toward a democracy that meaningfully relates to the everyday lives of ordinary Tanzanians.

    * Dr Richard Whitehead holds a PhD in comparative politics and has extensively researched political parties and elections in East Africa. He currently works as a private research and publishing consultant.

    2010 IDN-InDepthNews | Analysis That Matters
     
  2. N

    NgomaNgumu Senior Member

    #2
    Nov 21, 2010
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    Tatizo kubwa tulilonalo wengi ni level ya kuelewa mambo matokeo yake tunayachukulia mambo for granted sana. Sikulaumu mzee wangu Anfal lakini naomba wale wengi wanaotaka mabadiliko wakisome kipande hichi vizuri "

    Secondly, despite the promises of liberal democracy generally, and multiparty elections specifically, parties throughout Africa often emerge as vehicles utterly incapable of translating broader societal needs into actual public policy. Whereas campaign messages look so sincere during the heated campaign battles, in the times between elections, parties and politicians generally fail to cultivate durable connections with those that lack the financial backing to offer something in return.

    This of course, is not just a problem in Africa. But, the sheer level of poverty throughout the continent, coupled with the disproportionate influence that powerful international actors have on domestic policy affairs, makes this disconnect between new or long-time incumbent parties on one hand, and the continent's largely poor majorities on the other hand, more pronounced and more challenging for deepening democracy’s reach.

    Kwa ambao hiyo lugha inasumbua tufahamishane.
     
  3. K

    KERENG'ENDE JF-Expert Member

    #3
    Nov 21, 2010
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    Uchambuzi ni mzuri sana kwaajiri ya kujua mambo na hasahasa wle watoto wa UDOM wanaosoma GS,tatizo letu lamsingi ni tume ya uchaguzi na katiba ya nchi hii.Sio hizo notice za darasani kwa ajiri ya mtihani wa DS
     
  4. b

    bojuka Senior Member

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    Nov 21, 2010
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    elimu iendelee kutolewa kwa wannchi wenye dhana ya kuwa wakichagua chadema kutatokea vita
     
  5. Negotiator

    Negotiator JF-Expert Member

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    it is now an opportunity for Chadema to expand its investment in the youth. Though not pleasing but i once heard this from the street i live in that "UPINZANI WATAPATA KURA NYINGI ZAIDI UCHAGUZI UJAO MAANA WALE WAZEE WANAOKUMBATIA CCM ETI KISA NI CHAMA CHA MWALIMU WATAKUA WAMEKUFA NA PIA KIZAZI KINACHOCHIPUKIA KITAKUA KIMEFIKISHA UMRI WA KUPIGA KURA" My take: Chadema should really invest in this
     
  6. Gurudumu

    Gurudumu JF-Expert Member

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    Nakubaliana na wewe kuhusu uchambuzi mzuri, ila siamini kama kiwango hiki cha uchambuzi kitaeleweka kwa watoto wa UDOM
     
  7. B

    Byendangwero JF-Expert Member

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    While I appreciate the views expressed by the learned analyst in his presentation, I would like to invite him to join hands with us in rallying the support of the donor community to force ccm to provide a level field to all the players in Tanzania's political arena. It should be noted that currently, all the election process favours ccm; the electrol commission at the national level is comprised of the ccm chairman's appointees, who seem to work under his instructions. At polling stations level, the returning officers are local administration employees, working directly under the Prime minister. In their position, you cannot expect them to be free brokers. Then there is the constitution which bars the aggrieved presidential candidate to seek alegal redress. Again there is the misuse of public funds and property in favour of ccm during election, not to mention the deployment all the state machinery in its favour.
     
  8. Kaa la Moto

    Kaa la Moto JF-Expert Member

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    Bandiko murua na limekwenda shule. Hivi hawa waandishi wetu wanashindwa nini kuandika vitu design hii?
     
  9. Anyisile Obheli

    Anyisile Obheli JF-Expert Member

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    wengi ni education & life failure
     
  10. Mpasuajipu

    Mpasuajipu JF-Expert Member

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    Thank you The Informer, habari imetulia na inatoa funzo kwa waliolewa madaraka wajiandae kwa mabadiliko ya kweli.
     
  11. s

    stunetii New Member

    #11
    Nov 22, 2010
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    Since I'm the author of this piece, I thought I'd say a few additional words in light of the responses here. I'll do this in English since my Kiswahili might be comprehendible to no one other than myself.

    First, I completely defer to the expertise of everyone living and voting in Tanzania. The article was merely some observations about how the current elections connects with what I already know (or think I know) about Tanzania politics.

    Secondly, the overall point is that, in my view, real change is more than an election outcome. At the very minimum, I think there needs to be concerted and broad-based political activity in between elections. I also think forums like these are excellent tools for such things. But these forums have some obvious limitations in reaching most.

    Finally, the overwhelming biases in the elections that go to favor the CCM highlights a problem with most election monitoring, which tend to be short-term focused, with little appreciation for the facts that stack up prior to election day. Every smart regime knows how to get a "free and fair" verdict from international watchers. Every smart regime knows how to play an election to make it look good, where so much of that foul play goes down far before the ballots are cast: rigging rosters, intimidating journalists and media outlets, using state resources for campaigning, granting tax favors to sympathetic companies, maintaining an atmosphere where tacit treats inspire local businesses to display CCM campaign posters, etc, etc. My piece was in no way intended to downplay these.


    Cheers,
    Stunetii
     
  12. Bongolander

    Bongolander JF-Expert Member

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    UDOM nacho ni chuo au majengo, intelectual ability ya wanafunzi wake bado ni ndogo, haijafikia level ya kuwa chuo chenye wanafunzi wenye uwezo wa kuwa na critical mind na wenye uwezo wa ku analyze mambo. Na hii ni hali halisi kwa sehemu kubwa ya watu wetu.
    Mkuu kwa kweli inasikitisha sana, uelewa wa watanzania wengi uko chini sana. Lakini gains walizopata opposition hasa huku bara zinatokana na kuelimisha watu, kuwaambia ukweli nini kinafanyika Tanzania, wenye akili wanaelewa na wanyonge bado wanaendelea kudanganyika, lakaini dalili zimeonekana kuwa siasa za kuongopeana zinakaribia ukomo.
     
  13. N

    Newvision JF-Expert Member

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    This is an intellectual discourse that most of us in the Jf need to take for the benefit of our country. In fact, we need a BIG change in Tanzania not a simple one but comprehensive. Hebu anglaia rais mzima anasimama sisi wananchi na dunia tunamsikia anaongea porojo tu katika hotuba. Hana data, hana yard sticks na hana jinsi/namna atakavyofanya haya anayosema. yaani ataomba omba mpaka lini wakati wenzetu Kenya 80% ya budget ni yaooooo?? Ndiyo porojo ambazo CCM wamezoea kuleta mjengoni. We are tired????
     
  14. L

    LAT JF-Expert Member

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    stunetii... i commend your best practice in both the first and recent topic contributions... please analyse and advice to me and my fellow tanzanians on how best we can address and disseminate information to 8,000,000 out of more than 21,000,000 Tanzanians who did register for election but did not vote... that there are pertaining rather too many problems in our territory and hence the best action would therefore overwhelmingly go to the polls and vote.....
     
  15. birungi

    birungi JF-Expert Member

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    aisee
     
  16. m

    mbarbaig Senior Member

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    Nice article
     
  17. s

    stunetii New Member

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    LAT: I'm not sure that I should be giving advice here. I don't live there and I certainly do not want to give "bad" advice or to be so arrogant to think I know something that most here don't know already. But, I'll go ahead and take make a few general comments. First, I think the NGO laws have to change. It's totally insane when an NGO (e.g. HakiElimu) is threatened with deregistration just because criticizing gov policy is political (e.g. education policies). Everything's political! Moreover, parties are often not by themselves engines of change. What incentives do parties, once in power, have to change the prevailing laws? None really. In my own country (USA), it's a constant day-to-day challenge to try to keep politicians in check. It's social pressure that counts and that means organizing in between elections and sometimes outside political parties. That's hard when incomes are low and state laws work against you. But, if it were me in my own country, laws that prevent NGOs from saying anything political would be the first thing I'd want to change.

    Secondly, I see so many references in this forum - both in English and Kiswahili - to the role of education in getting people out to vote. That's got to be part of any solution. But, it's more than that too. In my own country, people are educated but often fall for the some of the most baseless political arguments I've ever seen. Civic education - duty to vote, duty to pay attention to public life, etc. - is the key and is something that Nyerere talked highly of. So, if there's any single thing that someone can do, it's going out and helping with civic education efforts. As far as I see it, that's important in any country.

    Finally, for all political activists anywhere in the world, be pragmatic and try to appreciate small wins (because oftentimes that's the only apples that fall from the tree). Choose fights that you can envision winning and save the others for another day. Be aware of the risks of acting!
     
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