Tanzania is an exceptional case when it comes to the pattern of violence and instability that has prevailed in many parts of Sub Saharan Africa since independence. Despite the presence of numerous destabilizing factors in Tanzania, the country has remained intact in terms of political stability and social coherency. It all began with an extensive project of creating a national identity by the late Mwalimu Nyerere in early 1960s, under TANU/CCM. This post colonial project emphasized peace and unity as central national values. Based on this national identity, many Tanzanians have attempted to stay away from politics of divisiveness, violence and conflicts, thereby reject political parties such as CHADEMA and CUF that invest in politics of hatred, violence, ethnic and religious polarization. Despite the fact that the majority of Tanzanians live in less than Two Dollars a day, Tanzania remains to be a nation of people with so much pride. Majority of Tanzanians cite peace and unity as their main sources of national pride. I once had a conversation with a Street Hawker in Dar-es-salaam city by the name of Seif. I asked him one question: How do you see Tanzania? Seif's response was as follows: Most of us are very poor…one can hardly find a decent job or afford healthcare ....basic social services such as clean water and electricity have increasingly become a luxury for the few…food too has become very expensive…. but one thing that I am very proud of is to be a Tanzanian…at least we have peace". This response by Seif does not come as a surprise. Tanzania is ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world. CCM has managed to maintain peace in Tanzania since independence despite the existence of several destabilizing factors in the country. For those who believe in conventional theories of conflict, Tanzania should be plagued by violence and instability. Theories of conflict suggest a number of indicators that are of potentially volatile situation in a country. These indicators include: • High levels of unemployment. • Large youth population. • Highly heterogeneous ethnic and religious groups • Military insecurity in surrounding countries. Practically speaking, all these pre-conditional factors for conflict and violence exist in Tanzania. The African State Instability Project for the 2000 – 2010 period identifies four major factors that explain 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. According to the project, GDP per capita is one of the strongest correlations of state instability. If we look at Tanzania, the country has an extremely low GDP per capita. According to World Bank data, GDP Per Capita stands around $400. The World Bank has come up with a classification of countries according to their National Income. Accordingly, it defines low income countries as all those with a GDP Per Capita less than $905. Given the $400 GDP Per Capita, Tanzania belongs to the lowest category of development thereby putting the country in line with the theories of conflict i.e. at a high risk of falling into political conflicts and violence. However, for the past 49 years, this has hardly been the case. A second correlate of state instability is chronic foreign aid dependency. Since independence, 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, Tanzania had received over $6 billion in foreign aid from both bilateral and multilateral donors. During the 1990s, donors' contributed about 60% the country's budget. According to recent reports from the Ministry of Finance, donors' contribution to the country's budget stands at around 35%. According to the theories of conflict, heavy dependence on Foreign Aid highly correlates with conflict in a country. Even so, it has hardly been the case in Tanzania. A third correlate is the instability in the immediate neighbors. Conflicts have repeatedly engulfed the great lakes 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 mainly from the DRC. 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. Despite the suggestion that such factors highly correlate with conflict in a country, it has not been the case in Tanzania. A fourth correlate is tied to demographic characteristics. If one pays attention to the characteristics of demographics in Tanzania, one may conclude that country is in a fragile state: youth protuberance, rapid urbanization, a decline in arable land per capita and so forth. All these are factors which highly correlate with conflict in a country. According to data by the World Bank, about 48% of the country's population is under the age of 15; about 70% of the population is under the age of 30. Tanzania also has highly heterogeneous ethnic and religious groups; the country is divided almost in half in terms of Christianity and Islam. Withal, Tanzania has remained to be a peaceful nation throughout independence. Despite all these destabilizing factors, how and why has Tanzania managed to remain peaceful? An extensive "National Identity" project under TANU/CCM in the early years of independence, which emphasized on the importance of peace and unity in the context of economic development, is largely responsible for current political stability in Tanzania. Despite high incidence of poverty in the country, it is the National Identify aspect that makes many Tanzanians attempt to stay away from politics of divisiveness, violence and conflicts, thus reject any political parties such as CHADEMA that invest in violence, ethnic and religious polarization. One important lesson for the opposition parties in Tanzania 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 the opposition attention in the short run. Any perceptions that the opposition parties are trying to divide the electorate will undermine their chances of gaining widespread political support in the country. Despite their poor livelihoods, most Tanzanians have little patience for violence and divisiveness in politics such as those preached by CHADEMA and CUF, they are always ready to turn against any political parties that do not seem committed to preserving peace, something which Tanzanians are so proud of. When Nyalali's commission released its report on multi-party system survey in early 1990s, most Tanzanians opposed multiparty system. Their main fear was that political competition in Tanzania would lead to polarization, violence and conflicts. While many Tanzanians have now supported the liberal political reforms, they are still very fearful of any political chaos that might result from open conflict. Those Tanzanians that tend to show high levels of support for competitive politics do so mainly because political competition in the country has not yet divided the nation or brought widespread violence. It can also be argued that, today, much of CCM's support comes not only from supporters for its development policies and confidence in its overall leadership, but also from many Tanzanians who I can refer to them as "Cautious Democrats" who see a vote for CCM as a vote for the peaceful political culture. Opposition parties have not been able to prove that they represent the same peaceful political culture as CCM, and on that end, they will not be able to enlarge their base of support among the Cautious Democrats in Tanzania.