“Plurality?” asked the old Tanzanian, looking genuinely perplexed. “Does that mean more than one wife?”
No, that was not what it meant, I explained. It meant that a country should have two or more political parties so that people could have a choice. His eyes lit up. What was the point of that, he asked. Two wives would mean more children, more hands to till the land. Political parties would not do that. So wrote David Martin on the election campaign trail in Masasi (The Independent, November 3, 1990). He went on: ‘In the election campaign here last week the issue of political pluralism was never mentioned … in Dar es Salaam it is a slightly different story. The Law Society voted overwhelmingly in September for a multi-party system and the newspapers published articles and letters debating the issue. In one article, a British academic dismissed advocates of pluralism as “middle level Tanzanians and frustrated professional and business people who feel they have been politically marginalised”.
The elections were held on October 28th 1990; when the results were announced, there were few surprises, except when it was all over and the President chose his Cabinet. But first, the results.
“Your Excellency the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Your Excellency Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, CCM Vice-Chairman, Your Excellency the Prime Minister and the First Vice-President, Ndugu CCM Secretary General, Your Excellencies, the ministers, ambassadors and the government leaders and all guests ….. (Judge Lameck Mfalila, Chairman of the Election Committee speaking at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam on November 3rd 1990)… the number of Yes votes is 5,195,124 which is equivalent to 95.5% of all votes cast” (prolonged tumultuous applause, song). Thus was the popular Ali Hassan Mwinyi, the sole candidate, re-elected as President of Tanzania.”
5,441,286 people voted which represented 74.7% of all Tanzanians registered to vote.
Dr Salmin Amour won his election as President of Zanzibar with the remarkable total of 97.74% but one third of the electorate did not turn up at the polling stations. The Zanzibar elections also returned the son of the First President of Zanzibar Sheikh Abeid Karume. The son, Amani, won the Rabeho seat.
MORE THAN THIRTY M.P’s LOSE THEIR SEATS
The biggest casualties of the elections were the veteran politicians Paul Bomani who lost his Mwanza seat and Lucy Lameck who held a National seat. Other casualties included the Dar es Salaam and Mwanza Regional Commissioners – Major General Kimario and Mr Timothy Shindika. Some thirty Members of Parliament lost their seats.
THE BIG SURPRISE
London’s loss is Tanzania’s gain. In the short time he served as High Commissioner the dynamic and hard working Mr John Malecela put Tanzania on the map in London. He was to be seen everywhere and usually taking an active part in what was going on. It was therefore a complete surprise when he first postponed an address he planned to give at the Africa Centre until January 1991 and then, after a rapid departure for Dar es Salaam, cancelled it altogether. He had become Prime Minister and First Vice-President of Tanzania!
AFRICA EVENTS wrote ‘Malecela’s departure from London has provoked a frisson of mixed feelings amongst his ex-colleagues at the at the High Commission …. they are thrilled about his new appointment but saddened because his promotion has ended an era distinguished by an unrivalled zing of benign and caring leadership. He is remembered as a man, rich in dignified humility and untouched by hubris.’
There are six new faces in the new Cabinet and five new Ministries (Tourism, Natural Resources and Environment, Science, Technology and Higher Education, Regional Administration and Local Government, Community Development, Women and Children, and Works). Six former ministers were dropped including, in addition to Paul Bomani, Pius Ng’wandu, and Stephen Wasira and five deputy ministers.
The President said that certain ministries had had too much work. He cited the former Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism. “Land had given us a big headache” he said and so he had split this Ministry into two. The same applied to the former Ministry of Communications, Transport and Works. “We realised that road construction had not been properly attended to … in future, emphasis will be placed on road construction and we will ensure that funds allocated for roads are not utilised elsewhere.” “We must move with the times” the President went on. Hence the new Ministries for the Environment and Science and Technology.
As far as Deputy ministers were concerned President Mwinyi said that he wanted to cut the numbers. He announced only seven initially. “We shall see if the need arises for more. This will become clear after we start working.”
THE NEW CABINET
Head of State and Minister of Defence – Ali Hassan Mwinyi
Minister of State for Planning – Kighoma Malima
Minister of State for the Civil Service – Fatma Saidi Ali
Minister of State for Defence- Amran Mayagila
Prime Minister and First Vice-President – John Malecela
Minister of State – Edward Lowasa
Second Vice-President – Salmin Amour
Min. of State, Office of Second Vice-President – Temporarily vacant
Ministers Without Portfolio – Rashidi Kawawa, Horace Kolimba
Regional Admin and Local Government – Joseph Warioba
Finance – Stephen Kibona
Works – Nalaila Kiula
Communications and Transport – Jackson Makweta
Agric. Livestock Dev. and Cooperatives – Anna Abdullah
Industries and Trade – Cleopa Msuya
Water, Energy and Minerals – Jakaya Kikwete
Tourism, Nat. Resources and Environment – Abubakar Mdumia
Education and Culture – Charles Kabeho
Lands, Housing and Urban Development – Marcel Komanya
Health – Philemon Sarungi
Information and broadcasting – Benjamin Mkapa
Foreign Affairs and International Relations – Ahmed Hassan Diria
Science, Technol. and Higher Education – William Shija
Home Affairs – Augustine Mrema
Labour and youth Development – Joseph Rwegasira
Community Development, Women and Children – Anna Makinda
REACTIONS AND COMMENTS
NEW AFRICAN: Nothing seems to ruffle the single party monolith in Tanzania. The election results confirm that the CCM Party. though showing its age and conservatism is still in charge.
AFRICA EVENTS: President Mwinyi rides into the second and final lap of office on a wave of frothy public approval. Free from the trusses of doctrine and the ‘camaraderie culture’ of the previous era, he has bared the economy to market charms and has, with limited prospects of success, boldy hacked away at the sinews of corruption …. in 1985 President Mwinyi came to power to find Tanzania brick. Will he, when he goes in 1995, leave it marble?
The Dar es Salaam DAILY NEWS: The CCM National Executive Committee in Zanzibar met on November 16th to assess the economic and political situation in the Isles …. Pemba North was, between July and last month, hit by a wave of political banditry where Party offices were dynamited and people who were known to have registered for the polls had their houses and farms burnt ….
AMNESTY INTENATIONAL (September 1990): ‘Amnesty International is concerned by a wave of arrests in Zanzibar. The arrests, over 60 on Pemba alone, have come as the authorities have sought to counter an opposition boycott of preparations for the elections. Some of those arrested have been charged with public order offences. Others have been held without charge or trial, sometimes for only brief periods …’
The Dar es Salaam BUSINESS NEWS: ‘Salmin Amour inherits a tattered economy with faint signals of a fragile recovery and a political crisis that is far from healing …
AFRICA EVENTS: ‘The opposition in Zanzibar has succeeded in converting this years elections there into a referendum on the Union between the spice islands and the mainland. Despite all the limitations on its operation in a one-party state, with most of its prominent leaders under detention, and with enormous pressure applied by the government, the new President has been elected with the support of only 65% of the eligible voters, not the 98% plurality that the authorities claim …. In Pemba less than 40% of eligible voters registered … in the elections to the Zanzibar House of Representatives and the Union Parliament the Party National Executive Committee bypassed the choice made in district primaries including a number of the most effective incumbents … the polls as a whole failed to convey legitimacy and have merely exposed the deep fissure that exists in society in Zanzibar …‘