Various local newspaper headlines

The word’ mageuzi’ seems to be on every lip and is also being widely used in English language publications in Tanzania at present. If you look into the ‘Teach Yourself Swahili Dictionary’ the translation of the word is ‘fluctuations’. But ‘mageuzi’ means much more than ‘fluctuations’. The word ‘change’ does not quite fit the bill. ‘Volte-face’ is better, but is it English? It seems that there is, in fact, no precise English translation of the word. But those interested in Tanzania need to understand what it means. Hopefully, the headlines from recent Tanzanian newspapers featured opposite and the explanations given on the following pages will help readers to clarify the matter – Editor.

(From the National Executive Committee of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) – the Ruling Party of Tanzania)

CONSIDERING that at this Ordinary Meeting held in February, 1990, the National Executive Committee (NEC) examined in detail the question of changes taking place in Africa and the world as a whole, and later decided to initiate a national debate on either to continue with a one-party political system or embark on a multi-party system in Tanzania;

AND CONSIDERING that the President of the United Republic of Tanzania had set up a Presidential Commission to co-ordinate the debate and advise on the need, wisdom, and consequences of continuing with the one-party system or changing this system;

AND CONSIDERING that at the end of the debate the Presidential Commission has presented to the President its Preliminary Report recommending that a Multi-Party Political System should now be introduced in Tanzania;

AND CONSIDERING that after deep examination of the recommendation of the Presidential Commission which was presented to us by the President of the United Republic, which we agree to unanimously;

THEREFORE we the Members of the NEC who met in Dodoma on 17 – 21 January, 1992, in accordance with Article 74(3) of the Constitution of Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM):

1. Agree with one voice to present to an Extra-Ordinary National Party Conference the Presidential Commission recommendation that a Multi-Party Political System should be introduced in Tanzania.

2. In order to ensure that the transition from the present system to a multi-party state takes place in a peaceful, politically stable environment and in the spirit of national unity, the NEC recommends that the Extraordinary Party Conference should direct that:
(a) The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, in co-operation with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, should amend the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania so that the question of registration of political parties and other related issues, should be a Union matter.
(b) The new political parties should be guided by the principles that they are national in character, taking into account the two parts of the Union; and should not tend to divide the country or the people on the basis of one part of the Union, or seek to divide the country or its people along tribal, religious, regional or racial lines or on the basis of sex …

The Bulletin has not yet been able to obtain a copy of the full three volumes of what is becoming known as the ‘Nyalali Report’ (after the Chief Justice who headed it).

The Commission heard opinions from 36,000 people and groups. It studied other political systems. It concluded that it was now possible to have a genuine multi-party democracy in Tanzania without endangering its unity, its security and its peace. From the extracts being published at intervals in the press, it is clear that it is filled with revelation and contains innumerable recommendations, which, if approved at a National Assembly meeting planned for April 28th 1992 will change Tanzania in fundamental ways.

The Presidential Commission made the following recommendations:
The country should have THREE PARLIAMENTS for a Federation (50 members), for Tanganyika mainland (160 members) and for Zanzibar (60 members): this recommendation is being much criticised because of the disparity in size of the proposed governments vis a vis the Federation; the recommendation also divided the Commission; 12 members voted in favour of three governments, seven voted for two governments and one decided not to vote at all;

Both sides of the Federation should be led by PRIME MINISTERS:

POWER OF THE PRESIDENT: The Federal Parliament should ensure that the President is made accountable; the Parliament should be able to pass a vote of no confidence or impeach the President; under no circumstances should the President be allowed to dissolve Parliament; Parliament should be declared dissolved, either after its expiry date, or, following the downfall of the ruling party;

For thirty years Tanzania’s DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL SECURITY has been working without legal status; a law should be passed making it legal and defining its work, limit of operations and accountability;

The appointment of the Chief Justice and other judges should be done by the two Prime Ministers in consultation with the two Judiciary Appointments Commissions;

The recently established Organisation of Tanzania Trade Unions (OTTU) is not independent as the President has powers to cancel its registration; it has been established from the top (the Government) and not from the masses; the Trade Unions Ordinance should be looked into;

The Commission has proposed the scrapping or amendment of a large number of LAWS including Acts dealing with the Acquisition of Buildings, National Security, Economic and Organised Crime, Criminal Procedures, Peoples’ Militia, Powers of Arrest, Registration and Identification of Persons, Stock Theft, Collective Punishment, Resettlement of Offenders and Removal of Undesirable Persons.

Father of the Nation Julius Nyerere addressed a Special National Conference of the CCM on February 18th 1992. The following are quotations from his lengthy speech.

‘The one-party has served our country well … it has built up and strengthened national unity while still providing the citizens with an effective means of choosing their leaders … there is no ‘safe seat’ for any M.P! … but times have changed. Tanzanians are better educated … they have greater expectations than we had in the past. We are struggling with severe economic problems. ‘Njoo Kesho’ was always a problem but is now a disease. The poison of corruption remains a problem. In the light of these conditions some changes in our policies are necessary …

I am pleased that the majority of Tanzanians (80% according to the Commission) would like to continue with a single party CCM system. But we cannot wait until the majority of people have lost their faith in CCM before the Party itself seizes and uses its responsibility to usher in change …. True democracy requires that minority views be respected. It also requires that citizens accept that they disagree and then go on arguing with one another in a spirit of respect and toleration.

The change must be made under the leadership of a united and strong CCM. I ask you to believe me in this. I am saying it from deep conviction. But I ask you to believe me also when I say …. that (under multi-partyism) if some people decide to leave the CCM … we would be making a big mistake if we treat them as traitors … to lead is to show the way.

Mr Chairman, I am urging this conference to agree to political change … I hope you will welcome future opposing political parties as a good soccer team welcomes a worthy competitor …. ‘

‘Everybody, even the dimmest political observers, could see that it was no longer possible to rule any country in Africa on the basis of a one party system; but it has taken massive pressure at home and a threat of aid withdrawal from abroad to force Tanzanian authorities to begin to have a glimpse of the obvious … above all, it was the humiliating defeat of our good old friend Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia that has alerted the reluctant power holders to the impending showdown …. this is sad because Tanzania has always been innovative and constantly taking the initiative on major issues concerning Africa… ‘ former Cabinet Minister Abdul Rahman Babu in ‘Africe Events’:

‘We have adopted political pluralism to strengthen democracy in our country – not for the destruction of our nation …. had we refused it we would have given the opposition the opportunity to seek more riches from outside and perpetuate their agitation underground’ – Zanzibar Chief Minister Dr Omar Ali Juma;

‘New political parties will not be harassed or intimidated …. CCM is for a fair contest and peace, love, tranquillity end solidarity are in the blood of Tanzanians’ – President Mwinyi.

‘After 30 years of groping in the dark, of trial and error, of experimentation, Tanzanians will now stand up and say, like Karl Marx said 144 years ago, ‘we have nothing to lose but our chains … but we have the whole world to gain’. Indeed, monumental changes are in the offing’ – Robert Rweyemamu writing in the ‘Business Times’;

‘It is a grave mistake to underestimate your opponents’ – President Mwinyi;

‘We will not invite foreign nations to monitor and supervise the general elections because Tanzania is mature enough for the task’ CCM Secretary General Horace Kolimba;

‘Democracy may mean independent newspapers but it also means radically raised school fees’ – 79-year old Barbro Johansson, former Headmistress and distinguished Member of Parliament interviewed in Bukoba:

‘My region expects to recruit 60,000 new CCM members. If you, my subordinates, let me down so that we get less, I will weep’ – Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Mary Chipungahelo quoted in ‘New African’;

‘The CCM will never forsake its Ujamaa and Self-Reliance Policy even though it has embraced the multi-party system’ – CCM Secretary General Horace Kolimba;

‘Former President Nyerere’s demand that political parties …. must draw members from both the mainland and the Isles is unconstitutional. … political parties are not stipulated in either the Union or the Zanzibar constitutions as being Union affairs …. Zanzibar is for Zanzibaris and it is a nation’ – Shabaan Mloo of KAMAHURU;

‘I do not care what is happening in CCM as long as get my bread peacefully and I can sell my shirts and sunglasses; Achia wazee wafanye vitu vyao’ – a street vendor in Dar es Salaam (Daily News);

‘As CCM celebrates its 15 years of existence it can boast of one thing. It has forced the majority of Tanzanians into a brainwashing ideology of socialism. Look at any corner of the population …. people who have been grilled through CCM colleges …. getting favours after becoming members of the Party …. scholarships for Party cadres …. ‘ Givic Kuandika in the ‘Business Times’.

‘Things are only just beginning. The changes …. have given our cause A higher profile and a greater sense of urgency; there couldn’t have been a better moment for pushing our case’ – recently released from detention former Zanzibar Chief Minister Seif Shariff Hamad, interviewed in ‘Africa Events’.

‘Whether a country has one party or two parties or three parties, the present economic trends will not dramatically change …. (but) …. the democratisation of our societies will harness the energies of our people and so will ensure (their) more meaningful participation in the development process – Organisation of African Unity Secretary General Salim Salim speaking on the BBC.

Outlining the procedures for the introduction of multipartyism at a huge rally in support of Mageuzi in Dodoma on March 10th, President Mwinyi said that persons intending to form political parties would have to submit to the Registrar of Societies the proposed constitution of the party and list of leaders. The registrar would determine whether the party had a tribal or religious inclination. The party would not be recognised if it did and would only be registered if it had 200 trustees in each of 10 regions of Tanzania which must include Pemba and Unguja (Zanzibar main island). Parties would be given six months in which to fulfil this latter condition. “If they fail in six months to get the necessary trustees, then we will know that they are not serious and they will be disqualified.”

A wide variety of groups want to form political parties but until the appropriate legislation is approved such parties remain illegal.

Amongst the aspiring groups are the following:

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVMEMENT (UDM) formed by former Government Minister Chief Abdallah Fundikira.

NATIONAL CONVENTION FOR CONSTRUCTION AND REFORM (NCCR); as this is not easy to translate into Swahili, the party proposes to add to this title the word ‘Mageuzi’ so that the party would become NCCR-Mageuz1.


The Reverend Kamara Kusapa’s DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

Mabira Marando’s NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM (NCCR) which is said to be actively recruiting members at the University of Dar es Salaam.



Sheaban Mloo’s ZANZIBAR SPECIAL COMMITTEE TOWARDS FULL MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY – or KAMA HURU which has the support of former Zanzibar Chief Minister Seif Sheriff Hamad:

Former Foreign Minister Oscar Kambona’s TANZANIA DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE.

Exile (in London) Yassin Member’s YOUTH DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT which took a four-page advertisement in the ‘Family Mirror’ in Dar es Salaam to publicise its manifesto.

The TANZANIA AFRICAN NATIONAL UNION (TANU) following an announcement by Joseph Nyerere, Mwalimu’s younger brother. But, according to ‘Africa Events’ (March 1992) ‘the mind behind the project is the veteran philosopher King Julius himself … ‘.

The Bulletin understands, but this has not been confirmed, that members of the CCM party were far from enthusiastic about supporting multiparty politics until they were addressed by Father of the Nation Julius Nyerere. They did not have long to wait, however, to see how democracy in the Party would affect them and the sacrifices they would have to make to compete in a multiparty system.

On March 19th the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) announced sweeping changes in the Party’s constitution and structure. The changes included:

– the introduction of two Vice-Chairmen – one for Zanzibar and one for the mainland;
– closure of all CCM branches at work places, factories etc; Party branches would be set up only in villages, residential areas in towns and in institutions directly controlled by the Party;
– Branch, rather than district, executive committees would have the power to decide on applications for membership: branch secretaries would be elected by branch executive committees and not nominated by the central committee;
– salaried officials at all levels would be reduced in number to save funds; the number of delegates to the National Conference would be reduced to 5 instead of 10 from each district; elected NEC members would be cut from 90 to 70; nominated members from 15 to 10: the number of sittings would be reduced; the Defence and Security and Disciplinary Commissions would be abolished; ‘CCM to lose thousands’ headlined the ‘Business Times’;

The next day the NEC announced that members of the Defence and Security forces would cease to be members of the Party. Soldiers wishing to continue to serve would have to surrender their party membership.

Property given to the Party at branch level, including buildings would have to be returned to the former owners. District and Regional Commissioners would no longer also have CCM Party functions; they would be appointed by the President of the party in power.

The following day CCM members were told that the Kivukoni CCM Ideological College would be turned into an academy of social sciences and the seven zonal ideological colleges in the regions would be closed to bring about a saving of Shs 200,000 per year.

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