Since multi-partyism was introduced in Tanzania there have been three parliamentary by-elections. The first, at Kwahani in Zanzibar, on April 19th 1993 (Bulletin No 45) was an easy victory for the CCM. The party took 89% of the vote. The second at Ileje on January 30, 1994, following the death of the late Minister Stephen Kibona, was slightly more difficult although the opposition reduced its chances by entering no less than six candidates; but again it was an overwhelming victory for the CCW which gained 78.5% of the votes cast. But when the Kigoma Urban seat fell vacant things were different.
CCM had chosen a wealthy Asian businessman as its candidate; the leading opposition party CHADEMA had nominated a university lecturer, regarded as a very strong candidate. The CCM knew that it had a fight on its hands.
Gideon Cheyo, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) 14,160
Olufingo Gwalusako, Civic United Front (CUF) 1,000
Mmanyi Malan’gombe, National Convention for Constitution and Reform (NCCR – Mageuzi) 908
Stewart Mmwenisongole, Tanzania Democratic Alliance (TADEA) 510
Chawinga Mulambo, Popular National Alliance (PONA) 508
Anangisye Pilika (NLD) 275
John Tweve, Tanzania People’s Party (TPP) 119
Azim Premji, CCM 9,453
Dr. Aman Kabourou, Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) 5,325
Reactions to the two latest results varied from the euphoria of the CCM to disappointment and frustration on the part of the opposition. CCM MP’s meeting in Dodoma were jubilant on hearing the Ileje result. A few days later when the victor arrived in Dodoma he was garlanded with a scarf and then mobbed and hugged by fellow MP’ S and youth wingers. But the Kigoma Urban by election campaign had by then reached what was described as ‘fever pitch8 and CCM was pulling out all the stops. It threw in most of the top leadership including President Mwinyi himself. The CHADEMA team was lead by Party leader Edwin Mtei.
Opposition supporters were critical of the election procedures especially at Kigoma where CHADEMA decided to petition the High Court, appealing against the result. There has been particularly strong criticism of Radio Tanzania for its alleged biased reporting – criticism shared apparently by the Electoral Commission.
The CCM’s very high profile campaign at Kigoma was alleged to have used government funds, offices and officials. There were complaints about the use of the government jet for President Mwinyi’s visit; the use of substantial funds to resurface Kigoma roads; donations by the CCM candidate to the local people; the temporary arrest of the firebrand government opponent the Rev. Mtikila as he was heading to Dar es Salaam airport on his way to Kigoma.
Professor M Baregu, writing in the ‘Family Mirror ‘ pointed out that the Nyalali Report (Bulletin No 42) had identified 40 pieces of legislation which should have been repealed or revised if an environment conducive to multi-party politics were to be created but that they remained on the statue book. He wondered whether the low voter registration (23,000 registered out of an eligible 80,000 in Ileje) might be linked to this. The Nyalali Commission had recommended the setting up of three bodies – a body to oversee the transition to multipartyism by May 1992, a Constitutional Commission by July 1992, and an electoral Commission. The government had set up only the latter.
CHADEMA and CUF, the strongest opposition parties in the mainland and in Zanzibar respectively seem to have taken to heart the clear lesson that the opposition parties must unite if they are to compete effectively with the well-entrenched CCM. They had a joint meeting on January 25th and the CUF did not put up a candidate at Kigoma. Another fairly strong party – the NCCR – Mageuzi party – withdrew from the Kigoma race.
The weekly Swahili newspaper, ‘Wakati ni Huu’ reported that representatives of UMD, NCCR – Mageuzi, PONA, CUF, CHADEMA, and TADEA had met in late April to try and work out a joint political strategy but many observers regarded the possibility with scepticism.
CCM pointed out that American and Canadian observers had declared both by-elections free and fair. Some CCM officials accused the opposition of racism – the CCM candidate being an Asian – and there were allegations that the opposition had used violence during the campaign and had distributed fake voting cards.
CHADEMA – WHAT IS ITS POLICY?
CHADEMA has clearly made an impression on the voters in Kigoma and has thereby probably established itself as the leading opposition party. Its Chairman, Edwin Mtei, in an interview in the Daily News made the following points: ‘CHADEMA is not afraid of saying that the best way of running our economy is to adopt an approach that follows market forces. CCM tends to be hesitant and ambivalent. Socialism will not work in this country. We have to privatise because it is not possible to run anything efficiently with bureaucracy. Parastatals have collapsed and they are no longer of any use as they are not producing anything. The Arusha Declaration prescribed that only people within certain salary levels could invest in the private sector. Even people who got senior positions as a result of Africanisation were unable to acquire any wealth. Africans have been marginalised. We want to ensure that the indigenous people are involved in the mainstream of the economy so that we cease to be marginalised. CHADEMA’s founders are not out to make money; they are not people who are wanting to advance their careers or search for jobs; they are self-employed people in the professions or in business….’
TWO MORE BY-ELECTIONS
The recent deaths of the former Minister of Education and Culture, Charles Kabeho and the MP for Tabora North, Mr H Makololo, mean that there will soon be two more by-elections. The first, at Igunga is to be held on June 19th and the campaign is underway. The United Democratic Party (UDP) has appealed to other opposition parties to give a chance to their candidate – 70-year old veteran politician Joseph Kasella Bantu – and not to split the opposition vote. CHADEMA Chairman Edwin Mtei has threatened to boycott the by-election.