AT CCM CONVENTION, TBC1 IMPARTIALITY IN TATTERS! (By Rutashubanyuma Nestory - a public policy analyst based in Arusha.) Even before the whistle for a general election is blown the political terrain is already tilted in favour of CCM. And one of the scofflaw is no other but our own TBC1 toddler. Despite being a public funded television entity, TBC1 still seeks protection from the rulers of the day. The coverage of CCM convention to ratify their presidential torch bearers is a case in point. Where almost all opposition parties had convened their quinquennial conventions to select their national flag bearers only CCM was beamed by TBC1 leaving other political parties scrambling for crumbs of media attention. Even the World Cup final had to be compromised in order to beam the on-goings of CCM convention! As far as TBC1 is concerned we are still in one party era where the ruling party enjoys utmost services from parastatals and there are almost zero political competitions from elsewhere. Since 1992 when we re-embarked in rediscovering our commitment to competitive politics it is saddening that we are still grappling with a state owned media house doing overt errands to her appointer regardless of tenets of sustaining multiparty democracy. As far as CCM is concerned multiparty culture is only tolerable to placate donor nations of whom her stay in power overly depends. Hence, everything is done to enfeeble the oppositions quest for power under guises they are not ready to govern as if CCM was born to! How I wish that was the only mishap from TBC1 but the most serious remissness was her uncritical coverage of CCM convention. The convention was replete with contentious and ambiguous points of public policy but TBC1 offered no analytical input to appraise what was being dished out there. The problem was the viewers were being unfairly brainwashed and TBC1 stood unconcerned as if the viewers right to a fair reportage was not part of their tutelage! Salient issues of public concern were being carefully given wrong meanings and TBC1 was too happy to broadcast them as if they were powerless to seek alternative viewpoint from her own hired opinion shapers. At CCM convention we witnessed wrongful economic data being morphed to flaunt a nonexistent economic wherewithal. Per capita income statistics were speciously doubled to justify our economic lot had sumptuously improved but the truth remains the opposite happens to be the truth. A 2005 manifesto devoid of measurable benchmarks for meaningful evaluation was parlayed to tout unqualified achievements while lack of such quantifiable parameters had rendered any sort of evaluation openly mischievous. Palpable parameters of attenuated exchange rate, free-fall of our shilling and external leakages of our puny GDP to sate a few shenanigans were not part of consideration in order to appreciate further whether CCMs take on our economy deserves any credibility. Issues of governance were quietly shelved as if the nation is enjoying the best years of good governance while we all know such is not the case. Opinion experts hired by TBC1 would have assisted viewers to grasp why CCM was keen to circumvent governance concerns and such opportunity was squandered before our very own eyes. Civic education has always been paramount for the electorate to make informed voting decisions but it seems TBC1 is determined to deny such vital empowerment tool in the hands of voters. It is perplexing to note a number of World Cup local expertise available at TBC1 covered the World Cup in order to shed some light on the soccer undercurrents shaping the outcomes on the pitch but such a valuable contribution was seen unfit for human consumption at CCM convention! Is TBC1 privy to outright distortions carefully choreographed at CCM convention that it feared her unsolicited interference would be perceived by CCM stalwarts as betrayal? This is a question begging for an answer but I am imploring TBC1 to sit down with all contesting political parties and agree to a way forward lest this election be decided on media biasness. We shall all applaud a winner if the election is free and fair but not an outcome of intentionally tilted electoral template to favour one side for whatever scapegoats.