Elections 2010 Tanzania's election Promises, promises


JF-Expert Member
Oct 25, 2009
Tanzania is still a backwater compared with its Kenyan neighbour to the north

Oct 28th 2010 | BUMBULI
Makamba (right) networks on the mount

THE parliamentary campaign in Bumbuli, a constituency of 167,000 souls in the mountainous Lushoto district of Tanzania, is a mixture of ancient and modern. January Makamba, the candidate of the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), stands for the modernists. In designer shirt and shoes, he hikes half way up a mountain to a remote village to solicit votes. The villagers are demoralised, with no electricity or road and a poor crop. Down below, a volunteer updates Mr Makamba’s Facebook page on a wireless internet connection.

Within the CCM, Mr Makamba is in a minority. Educated in the United States, the son of a CCM power broker, he recently quit his job as a speechwriter for Tanzania’s president, Jakaya Kikwete, to run in Bumbuli. He wants Tanzania to enter the world market. He hobnobs with Western philanthropists. A copy of “The Rational Optimist”, a booster of global capitalism, lies on the back seat of his campaign truck.

But now he must prove himself on the ground. He showed his steel by ousting a long-serving CCM parliamentarian. It helps that he comes from the main town, Lushoto, and lived there as a boy. Up in the village he promises fertilisers, medicine, more teachers. Electricity? No, too costly.

Bumbuli is among Tanzania’s most densely populated constituencies. Most of its people farm tiny plots too small to be subdivided further. But Mr Makamba has a plan. He wants to borrow $10m from Wall Street philanthropists, to be repaid in ten years. The sum, he says, will be invested in east African treasury bonds and stocks, in the hope of dividends producing $700,000 a year to invest in Bumbuli.


Some of the cash would help farmers package their fruits and vegetables. Mr Makamba dreams of refrigerated lorries owned by the community leaving daily at dawn for Dar es Salaam and Nairobi with “Fresh from Lushoto” produce. Another project aims to parcel a scenic bit of the constituency and sell it to a university to set up a campus for 5,000-odd students. Turkish investors, he claims, are interested.

It is early days, but a youthful tilt at the presidency in 2015 by Mr Makamba, or someone like-minded, is conceivable. If he took Tanzania’s helm, the country might sail ahead. As it is, its economy has been breezing along at 6% this year, faster than Kenya’s to the north, yet it still feels slothful by comparison. It has been sliding downwards in the rankings as a spot for investors. Corruption is rife. Crime is up. Dubious businessmen enjoy positions of influence in the ruling party.

Though he has failed to fulfil his early promise, President Kikwete will almost certainly get another five years in the job. Fond of technology and foreign travel, he is known among his ministers as “Mr Beep” for his habit of texting them to show he cares. But he has seemed wary of radical reform. He is sentimental about Tanzania’s socialist past. Most foreign aid-givers, on whom the country still depends for half its budget, are still prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

In his expected second term, Mr Kikwete is likely to promote gas exploration in the south, expand mining, and try, as ever, to improve services. “Despite a tripling in the education budget, large majorities of children remain illiterate and innumerate,” says Rakesh Rajani, a Tanzanian who has researched the performance of primary schools. The country still has far fewer skilled workers than neighbouring Kenya.

The opposition may do a bit better than before but is fragmented. Moreover, the army, which thinks it is must protect the ruling CCM, has tried to bully it—and independent journalists. Two opposition parties stand out. Chadema is strong among richer smallholders, most of whom belong to the Chagga people around Mount Kilimanjaro. The Civic United Front is backed by quite a few Muslims on the coast and in the autonomous island of Zanzibar.

But they are too weak to topple the all-powerful CCM. Mr Kikwete and Tanzania will gently potter along. If the likes of Mr Makamba managed to take over the CCM, things might pick up a lot faster. But not, it seems, just yet.
We are so sick and tired of this comparison to Kenya we got bigger fish to fry.
Tanzania is Tanzania, it is not Kenya, it does not want to be like Kenya, so please stop the comparison, let Tanzania be.

As we say in Tanzania, Nawakilisha.
Lunanilo... Thank you very much...

Actually Kenyans are sooo envious that they cant even start thanking God or praying with Tanzania in their Mind

I was in a very interesting international meeting since last monday, and all i could hear from Kenya is you guys dont want us, you guys just open up at least teh border areas for us to farm, you guys are maskini jeuri, you guys are lucky, you guys are so poor, can we open joint ventures, why are you killing EAC, why are you very high on Taxes, you guys will get very good jobs in Kenya

You guys my foot, i got it to the chin, and i am sure whatever you read from Kenya, will always appear envious

We dont want to be like Kenyans, they want to be like us, unfortunately, wea reletting down ourselves for allowing lots of bullsh!t to happen right before our very own eyes

I pray that the journey to 2015 has just started today
Tanzania is a very bless country
we should be very happy with what we have
Tatizo moja tu ambalo tanzania tunalo ni pale ambapo hatufaidi na utajiri wa nchi yetu.
utajiri na mali halisa ya tanzania inaishia nchi za nje..
na profit zinazoingia nchini haziwafiki watanzani wengi ni wachache sana wanao faidika..

just to add on

we should stop listening to what Kenya think or say about us...
we know Tanzania is BIG & BEST:israel:
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