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THINKING CRITICALLY - CCM’s winners and losers in Igunga

Discussion in 'Chaguzi Ndogo' started by nngu007, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Oct 4, 2011
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    [TD="class: createdate"]Tuesday, 04 October 2011 21:23[/TD]
    [TD]Dr Azaveli Feza Lwaitama
    Dr Lwaitama is a senior lecturer, Philosophy Programme, University of Dar es Salaam


    Quite clearly, CCM has had winners and losers in the just concluded Igunga by-election. The whole idea of having a by-election in less than a year after the last general election was itself a phenomenal loss to CCM.It also suffered catastrophic loss in the number of Ingugans who chose CCM in the by-election.

    While about 35,000 chose the CCM candidate in October 2010, only 26,000 chose the CCM candidate in October 2011, in a poll that had a miserable voter turn-up rate of about 31 per cent of the mere 171,019 who had been on an non-updated voters roll.

    To make matters worse, the CCM candidate in 2010 was separated by a comfortable margin of about 24,000 votes from his defeated CUF competitor who had then garnered about 11,000. In the by-election CUF was almost wiped out from the competition, presumably because it was seen to be a CCM partner, while the margin between the CCM winning candidate and the Chadema competitor was a mere 3,224 vote.

    This in a situation whereby Chadema had not even fielded a candidate in 2010 and CCM's campaign trail included a retired President and a minister responsible for constructing roads who threatened Igunga voters without feeling ashamed of himself that if they vote for an opposition candidate the road construction commitments already passed by Parliament may not be fulfilled.

    CCM has won the Igunga seat but, philosophically speaking; it has also lost it for another, more subtle reason. In October 2010, the people of Igunga had elected as their Member of Parliament a senior CCM leader, Honourable Rostam Aziz, who the top CCM brass had then described as the best of the best.

    The same CCM top brass who annoyed the best of the best to the extent of his ending his Parliamentary career and thus occasioning the holding of the by-election, cannot now just see themselves purely as the winner of the Igunga by-election.

    It has every right to relish the victory of winning the Igunga seat again, though by a very small margin in a count that a sizeable number of Igungans and Tanzanians will continue to legitimately dispute. Let CCM celebrate!

    Nevertheless, CCM must also acknowledge for its own good that its Igunga by-election campaign trail must have dented the true loyalty and trust of some of its dependable election lieutenants.

    It is true that some new youthful and energetic lieutenants, some with clear presidential ambitions, were recruited to the cause and put to the test. Some old previously discarded cannons were entreated to share their political electioneering Machiavellian skills with the new blood.

    All the same, the internal bruises arising from having had some senior CCM barred from joining the Igunga by-election campaign mission will continue to be felt in senior party ranks. Those whose loyalty and trust may have been dented by being cold-shouldered in this way would include leaders who would seem to have been specifically directed not to go to Igunga during the by-election campaign.

    Presumably, some will now be allowed to visit Igunga with the by-election being over, but, all the same, the whole idea of banning some CCM leaders from visiting Igunga during the by-election campaign does suggest that Mr Aziz is no ordinary citizen.

    Indeed, the fact that Mr Aziz will no long be around in official corridors of CCM power, including Parliament, to advise on election win strategies, is a loss to CCM. This loss will certainly be most felt in CCM's coffers in upcoming elections, including the party election within CCM in 2012. Mr Aziz was the one who back in early 2005 had been picked by the then CCM Presidential candidate, who has since been the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, as one of the key election strategists of CCM's 2005 presidential race campaign.

    CCM's win is therefore also its loss because Mr Aziz has now lost his Parliamentary seat, and before that his membership of CCM's Central Committee due to an on-going palace coup within CCM's top national leadership echelons.

    The palace coup is a result of a study commissioned by the CCM national party chairman, who had advised that the party's image in the national psyche needed major facial surgery. The Igunga by-election win is also CCM's loss because the campaign to cleanse CCM of so-called dirty linen is now stalled and perhaps arrested in its tracks for good. CCM well-wishers and the CCM chairman should be encouraged by the Igunga win to press on with the implementation of the process of party renewal.