Mr. President, Wanachama wa CCM, Wananchi,
We have a double celebration today. 20 years of the Arusha Declaration. And 10 years since Chama cha Mapinduzi came into existence.
It is a celebration. And on both counts it deserves to be. Despite all our problems, or perhaps because of our problems, we have a right to rejoice because we have reached this anniversary and enjoy peace and quiet.
Chama Cha Mapinduzi
For twelve years we had a One Party State with two parties. On February 5th 1977 we put that right. Chama Cha Mapinduzi was born. That event marked a very important step forward for Tanzania. It reduced the opportunity for dangerous intrigue against the independence and unity of our nation. Few people in the world have noticed the great success of that move. For it is only when you fail that the rest of the world comments. Yet CCM has already proved its worth. When enemies of our unity tried to divide us, Chama Cha Mapinduzi was able quickly and in unity to clean up the political atmosphere where it had got soiled. But we still have a lot of work to do.
When CCM was formed, we all said that we hoped it would take the good points of both TANU and ASP and forget the bad. In some things that has happened. But it has not always happened.
At some time since then CCM has got lax. We allowed our record of unity to make us big headed and lazy. Many of our Branches and Cells do not hold meetings in accordance with the constitution. That means that democracy within the Party was weakened. How can members control their Party and help decide its policy when they don’t meet. And when meetings are held, they are not meetings for discussion, but just to listen to speeches and take orders from leaders. In these conditions it is hard for our leaders to learn what the people think. This too means that our democracy has been weakened.
But at District, Regional and National level, meetings have always been held regularly. And at all Party Committee meetings we have the very good practice of discussing everything openly and frankly. Also four other things have ensured that the peoples problems have always been brought to the attention of the national Party and the Government.
First, our people are politically conscious – resulting from long term political education. Secondly, we have a Parliament and Revolutionary Council where the troubles of the people are discussed openly and without fear. Thirdly, we have a good number of Party members and leaders who have remained very active, And, fourthly, we have a Government and Party press which has drawn attention to faults and problems as well as successes.
As a result, our democracy has been maintained. And to strengthen that democracy further, the Party has begun to correct its faults. District, Branch and Cell elected leaders are now more concerned to call meetings; for if meetings are not held they have to explain why. The improvement is not universal yet; and the system of checking up does not operate everywhere yet. But it will.
I am less confident of progress in the second area. I do not know whether real discussion does now take place when Party meetings are held. Nor am I sure that, if any discussion does take place at Branch meetings, it includes a consideration of what they can do to solve a local problem. And if this does happen I am doubtful about how often the meeting makes plans, and then acts to overcome the difficulty – by local effort.
Our Party is very good at mobilising people for a rally, a mass meeting like this one or the reception of an honoured guest. We are not so good at organising the people for voluntary work to solve their own problems.
And when a big celebration is to take place, it is very easy for the Party to decide to put a cess on something which is produced or sold locally. This is a mistake. First it is not the job of the Party to put a cess on goods; this is the responsibility of the Government. And, secondly, the ease of acting in that way encourages laziness in the Party.
Party elections take place this year. The possibility of losing their jobs always wakes people up! An election also gives Party members a chance to get rid of leaders who have failed them or to re-elect those who have tried to carry out their responsibilities. Just now there is a great deal of activity in the country! In pointing that out I am not campaigning – for anyone!. I am just saying that CCM is here to stay.
When the Party celebrates its 20th anniversary I believe it will be stronger, more socialist, and still more firmly rooted among the people.
The Arusha Declaration
Today we are also celebrating 20 years of the Arusha Declaration. It was one of the good things taken over by the CCM from one of its constituent parties!
The Arusha Declaration defines the ideology of the Party. It is our basic statement of purposes and principles; it is the foundation of all Party and Government decisions.
In the course of time every basic document deserves review to see whether it still applies to changed conditions. The American Constitution is over 200 years old and still valid; but it has been amended 26 times. So it is not surprising that some people whisper that the Arusha Declaration needs revision.
Even I agree that it does. One obvious example is the need for a new edition with the word CCM instead of the word TANU – throughout! Apart from things like that, let us look at it again.
Part One sets out the Creed ~ the ideology of the Party:
– That all human beings are equal;
– That every individual has a right to dignity and respect;
– That every citizen is an integral part of the nation and has
the right to take an equal part in Government ……. and so on. All the nine principles are of this kind. So who wants to change them? There may be a few individuals who do, but they are certainly not the Peasants and Workers of Tanzania. There is nothing to amend – unless we want to improve,the style and the punctuation!
Policy of Socialism
Part 2 of the Arusha Declaration defines what socialism is. It is important to understand this Part very thoroughly, for all sorts of things get called socialism these days!
This Part 2 has four sections. The first explains exploitation, and says that exploitation of man by man is incompatible with socialism. And it concludes: “Tanzania is a nation of peasants and workers, but it is not yet 11 socialist society. It still contains elements of feudalism and capitalism with their temptations. These feudalistic and capitalistic features of our society could spread and entrench themselves”
That was said 20 years ago, but it is still true. It is not easy to root out the foundations of capitalism and feudalism from any society. And when a country is in serious economic difficulties – as we are – the capitalists use the problem as a means of trying to get it to abandon its socialist ambition. They try to persuade the people as a whole, and the chicken-hearted socialists, to abandon the path which has brought them to where they are now. They tell them that if they would use a different and non-socialist path they would be more prosperous, and they would not experience any difficulties. Converting our people away from socialism is the objective of the capitalists and exploiters all over the world, as well as of their followers in Tanzania. Yet I do not believe the capitalists will succeed.
Secondly, the Arusha Declaration says that to root out exploitation the major means of production and exchange must be “controlled and owned by the peasants through the machinery of their Government and their cooperatives”.
But the Declaration does not go into detail about what should be owned by the nation, what by local authorities, what by cooperatives. Nor does the Declaration say what sections can be controlled by means other than public ownership. It says land must be publicly owned; but it does not say “the 100 acre shamba owned by one person must be nationalised; the 99 acre shamba owned by a different person must not be nationalised”. It leaves the Government, under the general guidance of the Party. and in the light of circumstances at any one time, to do what is necessary to implement the principle of public ownership and control.
So when a new problem comes up, we again discuss and decide what should be publicly owned, and what economic activities of the nation can be controlled by other means – whether by licencing, by taxation or something else.
Tanzania has already completed the task of taking the major means of production and exchange into public ownership. This is a vitally important achievement in any country, especially in a Third World country, which is trying to build socialism.
We criticise the efficiency of some of the Parastatals which run these enterprises on our behalf. And we reorganise them from time to time – sometimes even allowing some minor units to go back to private ownership. But we do not revise the principles of public ownership and control. There are those who would like us to do so but they are not socialists. Public ownership and control is an essential element in socialism.
The third section of this part of the Arusha Declaration emphasises that “true socialism cannot exist without democracy also existing in the society”. How can that be denied? Socialism is based on the principle of human equality and dignity. Every person must be able to take part in their government.
It is true that real progress towards socialism is difficult if the capitalists succeed in using democracy to confuse the mass of the people about the meanings and implications of socialism. They then vote for non-socialists. But you certainly cannot build socialism, or maintain it, unless it is understood, and rests on the will of the people and the support of the people. You cannot force people to be free or to be socialists!
The final section of this part of the Arusha Declaration says that socialism is more than organisations or slogans. It is an ideology and a belief – an attitude of mind. “A socialist society can only be built by those who believe in, and who themselves practice, the principles of socialism”.
Our experience shows the need for socialist commitment by leaders which includes all Party members. Our socialist progress has been hindered by some dishonest, selfish, Party leaders and members who support socialism with their mouths but not with their actions. Such people bring discredit on the CCM and on the doctrine of socialism.
Part 3 of the Arusha Declaration deals with Self-Reliance. It starts by saying “TANU is involved in a war against poverty and oppression in our country; this struggle is aimed at moving the people of Tanzania from a state of poverty to a state of prosperity.” You don’t need me to tell you we have not won that war! After a very good start we have experienced many setbacks.
The next section is headed “A poor man does not use money as a weapon.” We said that in 1967 because very many people were constantly demanding that the Government give them money in order to bring development. But today we still talk in the same way. We still seem to think that the money is there and the trouble is the Minister of Finance.
We still talk as if without money there can be no development of any kind. Ask why the office is dirty – “no money.” Why the streets are full of rubbish “no money”. Usually these days there is the additional excuse – “there is no foreign exchange”. Or “Hali ya hewa ni mbaya” (conditions are bad).
Yet we know that the amount of money a country has is a sign of how developed it is. America is a developed country; its national income is equivalent to 15,390 U.S. Dollars for every citizen. Tanzania is not developed. Our national income is equivalent to 210 U.S. Dollars for every citizen. Thus it is obvious that it would be very stupid indeed for us in Tanzania to try to imitate these wealthy people either in our everyday lives or in our plans for economic development.
But we can still develop ourselves on the basis of self-reliance. Our development strategy has to be based on what we can do for ourselves.
That is what the Arusha Declaration said 20 years ago. And now we know it to be true – from experience.
Of course there are some things you cannot do without money. So we are grateful for the aid we have received from friendly countries and people … But the aid is given to help our own efforts, not to put us to sleep …. Now however, some people don’t think of doing anything for themselves. A village school is needed – we ask for aid; a maize mill – we ask for aid. And if we ask why these things have not been built they say we have not yet got a donor!
That approach was always contrary to the Arusha Declaration. Now it is absurd also.
Often now Government is told “we will lend you money if you abandon your socialist policies”. That is what the Arusha Declaration said would happen. It is obvious that if we depend on money for our development when we don’t have any money, we shall become slaves of those who do have it, The proverb says: the rich govern the poor, and he who borrows is the slave of he who lends, The Arusha Declaration says~ to govern yourself is to be self-reliant. All the governments of Tanzania have refused to agree to pal i Hcal conditions for aid or loans. That is true of President Mwinyi’s Government as it was for mine.
But it is obvious that we have to remain vigilant. The IMF is not a friend of Tanzania. It is an institution used by the imperialist countries which govern it to control the economy of a poor country and destabilise the governments of countries they do not like. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. So let us be vigilant! If you agree to give them a goat they will demand a camel.
(Mwalimu Nyerere went on to emphasise the vital importance of agriculture in Tanzania’s economy and the need to concentrate effort on the peasant farmer rather than on large scale farming. He spoke briefly about Party membership – again the Arusha Declaration did not need changing – and then spoke at some length on the Leadership Code. He had no objection to leaders making a little extra money in their spare time but said that the Code must be maintained in its essentials. “If some leaders break the Code what should we do? Abandon the Code? Religious leaders try to reform those of their followers who sin. If reform does not take place, the sinners are expelled from the Mosque or Church. CCM is not a religious Party but we have the ideology and rules of socialists. When we enter the Party all of us promise to adopt this ideology and follow these practices. And if we break that promise the Party has the right to try to get us to reform. If it does not succeed it has the right to expel us”.
We hope to publish further extracts in our next issue – Editor