CCM's hat-trick of own goals a unique feat, but surely the team manager needs to go By Jenerali Ulimwengu Monday, November 8 2010 In soccerspeak, when a player scores two goals in a single match, they call it a brace, and when he scores three goals, it's called a hat-trick, a rare feat that allows him to walk away with the match ball after the final whistle. When a player puts the ball, usually unintentionally, into his own team's goal, they call it an own goal, a very sad occurrence that leaves the unfortunate player with egg all over his face. In most cases, the player's mates will surround him and assure him they understand and sympathise, it was not his fault, the defence was under too much pressure, etc. But the stigma is indelible as it is usually printed on all scorecards with the name of the player, the time when the goal was scored and the inscription (o g) in brackets. Now, if a player managed to combine the two concepts in one match, that is to say, to score a hat-trick that consists of own goals - such a player would be considered a paid agent of the rival team. It's impossible to contemplate a team manager who will allow a player to stay on the pitch beyond a brace of own goals. Many managers would substitute the player who scored an own goal, but will surely remove him when he "gets" two such goals. I do not know the player responsible for this, and I don't know if this is some team strategy, but the ruling party in Tanzania, CCM, seems determined to continue scoring as many hat-tricks of own goals in every match they play, until one day some discerning referee steps in and tells this team they are bringing the game into disrepute. Consider the elections that have just concluded, in which CCM once again won a huge majority without necessarily producing a feel-good atmosphere within the ruling party. It's a good result for the party for the time being, but one that is full of indicators that the future could be tricky. To understand this, one has to recall that the ruling party conducted an extremely rich campaign, completely disproportional to what the opposition parties could muster: The billboards, the posters and placards, the three helicopters, the clothing articles such as T-shirts, khangas and caps, the travelling circuses of clowns and crooners, all pointed to a party that has access to some very deep pockets running against itself, for even the Goliath vs David imagery just don't begin, as the Yanks would put it. So how come this mighty and rich party allowed so many crucial seats to go to the Lazarus opposition parties, which have managed to send to parliament some of the most vocal, and potentially most damaging (to CCM) elements in public life? The answer is in the major hat-trick that the ruling party kicked into its own goal, beginning with that fateful decision in 1995 to reject one Willibrod Slaa as a parliamentary candidate in favour of Mkapa's friend. The second own goal was when that party refused, despite persistent advice from its founder Julius Nyerere, to allow independent candidacy, forcing Slaa to join another party and go on to wallop Mkapa's favourite, and eventually to mount the credible challenge that we have witnessed. The third goal came when CCM banned its candidates from participating in radio and television debates, which allowed the opposition parties to say what they liked without risking an embarrassing rejoinder from the ruling party. Source: The East African My Take: Walau Jenerali ameweza kuweka ukweli bayana. Ila inaonekana bado bifu lake na Mkapa bado linaendelea. For sure kuna sababu nyingi sana za CCM kushindwa kuliko alizoziorodhesha.