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Is TBC campaign debates a sheer waste of time?

Discussion in 'Uchaguzi Tanzania' started by TIMING, Sep 13, 2010.


    TIMING JF-Expert Member

    Sep 13, 2010
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    Is TBC campaign debates a sheer waste of time?

    By Polycarp Machira
    12th September 2010

    CCM campaign manager Abulrahman Kinana

    Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has described the ongoing political debate aired live by the state owned Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC 1) as baseless and time wasting, saying only idle political contenders for the October election can use the show to gain popularity.

    CCM campaign manager Abulrahman Kinana said this in reference to a move that has been criticised by other political parties who said it hinders democracy in the country.

    It was revealed that the ruling party has banned its parliamentary candidates from participating in such debates that bring together aspirants and their supporters where the former sell party policies as the latter get an opportunity to ask questions.

    The CCM secretary General Yusuf Makamba wrote to all CCM district and regional secretaries directing them to stop the party's parliamentary candidates from participating on the show.
    The debates which are aired twice a week on Tuesday and Saturday bring together various parliamentary candidates in their respective constituents.

    Makamba said he had no problem with the debates but he was concerned over the participation of CCM candidates. Makamba reportedly said he had no confidence with the TBC programme and wondered how the CCM parliamentary candidates had participated without permission from their party.
    The letter said CCM parliamentary candidates will be allowed to participate in such debates if the ruling party deemed them beneficial.

    During the debate, parliamentary candidates from various political parties are given five minutes to explain their party manifestos before they field questions from the participants.

    Kinana, who spoke during a live radio programme aired by BBC, yesterday morning, observed that CCM candidates have a busy schedule and cannot waste time attending such debates.

    "Our candidates are very busy and traverse the country in campaigns that will give us victory next month. Only idle politicians like those in the opposition have time for such things," said Kinana.

    The remarks were prompted by the Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) head of campaigns, Prof Mwesiga Baregu, who blamed the ruling party, accusing it of hindering growth of democracy in the country.

    Prof Baregu said CCM was depriving the electorate a good opportunity to judge which candidate suits them best, describing the debates as a very important platform for candidates and parties to compete.
    "CCM is still operating in a single party monopoly without understanding that the world has changed... but the public is changing according to the global trend," said Prof Baregu, noting that the act will cost CCM in the October polls.

    He said stopping the candidates from the debate is denying the public a chance to evaluate and know better whom they will choose and avoid mob psychology.
    The dialogue was used to get the inside of allegations of smear campaigns between parties as the country gears for general elections next month.

    The two campaign leaders started by selling their party manifestos, but CCM maintained that Chadema objectives were impractical, saying this would give the ruling party a clear win.
    "According to Chadema all government revenue will be used to improve education and health sectors, leaving nothing to pay for salaries and run other government operations. They talk of improved agriculture which equally is covered within Kilimo Kwanza strategy," said Kinana.

    But Prof Baregu said CCM government has failed to improve education in the country and was now forcing the electorate to vote its party leaders back into office.
    He alleged that in some places, the electorate is threatened to vote for the ruling party and anybody who defied would be dealt with at the local level.

    Source: Guardian on Sunday

    My Take: Makamba is wrong and disrespectful