CCM Could Have Won But Mkapa Lost!

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Photo Credit: Cuthbert Kajuna

 

Finally the mighty CCM held it’s first campaign rally of the 2015 Presidential (and Members Of Parliament) campaign. As it was anticipated, the grand old party came swinging. It needed to look young, aggressive and pushing. For sometime CCM had felt like someone with no blood relative in the world and had therefore felt like it was starting to disappear.

 

The so-called “flood of people” from UKAWA and their Lowassa’s escapades had bothered the grand old party. Chairman, President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete seemed to be specifically troubled to the point he had himself convinced that UKAWA political machinery had doctored the images he was seeing across the news channels and social media outlets. The first objective was, therefore, to get a massive attendance.

 

To achieve that objective, CCM knew it had to be daring and innovative. They had to turn to artists who have, for years, shown to be more sympathetic or agreeable with them. They assembled a line-up heavier than that of the annual music event called Fiesta. You could mistakenly say, “Everyone was there” and be forgiven. Naturally people like to come and attend “free concerts”. It was, therefore, a good move to cover the gap of attendance to their political rallies that was starting to hurt (psychologically at least). They know that time is the wind that blows down the corridors, slamming all the doors. If you’re going to react, do so quickly.

 

In the presence of the likes of Diamond Platinumz, Ali Kiba, Shilole, Snura, Msechu and walk-on appearances of some local movie stars such as Wema Sepetu, Stevie Nyerere etc, the crowd didn’t disappoint and JK was visibly happy with what he saw even though the presence of lots of chairs meant the count from photos isn’t as accurate as you may think. The aerial photos showed empty spaces. They didn’t “doctor” the photos. Instead they used bigger part of the brain. A win is a win, so they say. Not to forget, it must have cost them an arm and a leg.

 

With green and yellow colors dominating the audience, it was time for real business. It was time to throw jabs with introductions and short speeches from some prominent members and supporters. Everyone who got a chance to speak wanted to impress not only the crowd but also the “candidates”. You know politics. It’s like real estate. Position matters. Those who got a chance, did what they thought was their best rehearsal of the campaign roles ahead of them.

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Photo Credit: Sufiani Mafoto

 

It all went well until former President Benjamin William Mkapa stepped to the microphone. He was well received. The sheer mention of his name brought the audience to their feet. A lot of people still appreciate what he did for the country after taking over from President Mwinyi who is believed to have buried the whole idea of a young nation ready to grow. Mkapa had to “bring back” the country and we all agree, he did a good job.

 

Now Mkapa, who is known to be easily agitated and with a quick temper didn’t take long before he threw a jab that he shouldn’t have. He called all who talk about “country’s liberation “idiots and paupers”. Understandably (if we may) he was throwing a jab to his former Prime Minister, Fredrick Sumaye, who joined the opposition coalition, UKAWA, just the other day. In any case, he shouldn’t have called Sumaye that. You look unwise by throwing such punches to someone you handily selected and worked with for over 10 years. You fill the room with darkness.

 

He had gone off on a tangent, so to speak. The arrogant and bully like behavior was written all over his face. The immediate reaction through social media vents was enough to indicate that President Mkapa had landed himself in the hot water. He had overstepped the mark. Over the years he had acquired skills (probably) but not wisdom. Without a doubt had put a dent into what would probably be a good day of campaign for CCM and her candidate Dr. John Pombe Magufuli.

 

What Mkapa failed to realize is that we live through/ in different times. People have right to think and act differently. That doesn’t make them “idiots and paupers”. It makes them people/citizens who think differently. He should know that the definition of Liberation doesn’t only mean political but could also mean the act or fact of gaining equal rights or full social or economic opportunities for a particular group. Don’t we all know that Tanzania (and therefore Tanzanians) is still hurting economically? Doesn’t Mkapa know this simple fact?

 

He should have known better how to choose his words but also to try to understand what other people are saying before jumping into conclusion that are obviously going to make him go down in history as an old man who lost all his senses. In my opinion, he should apologize. What he said was offensive and shouldn’t have happened. According to Tanzania’s constitution everyone has a right to march to a different drummer. This is 21st century.

 

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Photo Credit: Cuthbert Kajuna

 

When it came time for the playmaker of the day to deliver, Dr. John Pombe Magufuli didn’t disappoint altogether. He is not known to be a great orator. He is more of a doer than a politician known for straight talk and simple answers than political rhetoric. However, given the title of a candidate comes with all sorts of responsibilities. He had to show up.

 

To say his speech was a disappointment wouldn’t be fair. Someone had crafted it and for some of us who depends on hourly labor pays; we tend to appreciate time spent. It was a good speech and he delivered it well with the energy and enthusiasm you’d expect from a man of his caliber and character. He is always clear headed enough to stop and stand still and look around. With Magufuli you can tell he is a man who had fought for everything he’s ever gotten and truth be told, he deserves to be where he is at. He is a Presidential candidate of the grand old party, CCM.

 

But like many speeches I have heard from our politicians, it missed the HOW factor especially when it come to matters of implementation of the so-called policies. And this is the biggest of the all the problems among our politicians (ruling and opposing parties alike). Dr. Magufuli’s promises sounded too good to be true especially given many of years of record that his party is, once again, subjected to defend.

 

For example, he promised his administration would create a special court dealing with corruption crimes. Now that sounds great, right? But where will he get the workforce for such a court? Wouldn’t we end up with the story of Indonesia where after a short lived success they found themselves looking for ways to prosecute the judges and officials of the very same court that was supposed to deal with corruption crimes?

 

He also had an audience’s attention on the issue that every politician has called it “a time bomb”. It’s the critical issue of unemployment especially among youth. His promise, which is well and good, is to motivate industrial growth. However, a simple question I found myself asking was how is he going to create industries or encourage investors to come and open industries while we don’t have reliable energy supply? Why don’t we address the questions on why almost all industries that we once had went AWOL?

 

Don’t we know even with the discovery of Oil & Gas in Southern Tanzania, we are still away (at least for the first 5 years term in office if he gets elected) from actually declaring it as something that will revolutionize the industry sector? What about bureaucratic practices that have kept investors away or unhappy at first place?

 

Overall, as good as the “speech” was, it became like an easy job for the minister to utter platitudes and false comforts. On many occasions he sounded like someone blaming the current administration (with him being part of it) for failing to fix “stuff”. He talked about medical drugs availability; loans for students, the tag war between hawkers and watchdogs just to mention a few. In reality, CCM will have to keep on defending its status quo and why it should be trusted yet again. They can’t keep on going into their own song and dance about how they have always tried to do what was right. Passing the buck isn’t smart this time around.

 

As a conclusion, Jangwani was not a bad start but it’s far away from any indication of the final outcome after October 25. Dr.Magufuli has a daunting task of not only defending the record of his former bosses but to also clearly set his agenda and a well defined and implementable development plan and policy (ies). They have to make up for lost time. I know UKAWA will soon come not only swinging but also charging. Unfortunately for them, even the date for the launch of their campaign isn’t known yet. Regardless, the showdown has just begun. Where are my popcorns? It’s My Opinion And I am entitled to it!

For More Information on CCM and her campaign including schedules,photos,videos etc CLICK HERE.

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