On election day, October 29, 2000, the People of the United Republic of Tanzania living on the mainland vote for the Union President, members of the Union National Assembly and District and Town Councillors. On the same day Zanzibaris vote for the Union President, the President of Zanzibar, members of the Union National Assembly, the Zanzibar House of Representatives and Zanzibar councillors. Nomination of candidates took place in August. Registration of voters was scheduled to take place from August 8 to 21. The election campaign began unofficially in July but the official campaign period was scheduled to be from August 22 to October 28.


At the end ofthe 1995 elections these were the results:

Mkapa (Chama cha Mapinduzi -CCM) 4.0 million votes (61.8%)
Mrema (NCCR-mageuzi) 1.8 million votes (27.8%)
Lipumba (Civic United Front -CUP) 410,000 votes (6.4%)
Cheyo (United Democratic Party -UDP) 250,000 votes (4.0%)
Mr Mkapa became President.

CCM: 186 MP’s were elected, 27 women became nominated MP’s plus the Attorney General plus five Zanzibar House of Representative members = 219 CCM MP’s. The CCM formed the government.

CUF 24 elected MP’s (all came from Zanzibar) plus 4 nominated women = 28 MP’s. These MP’s in alliance (on the mainland) with the UDP MP’s became the official opposition in the Tanzanian National Assembly NCCR-Mageuzi: 16 elected MP’s (mostly from the Kilimnjaro Region and urban areas) plus 3 nominated women = 19 MP’s.

CHADEMA (Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo): 3 elected MP’s plus one nominated woman = 4 MP’s. UDP: 3 elected MP’s plus one nominated woman (all from the Mwanza Region) = 4 MP’s

These elections were considered by observers to have been broadly free and fair but there were many administrative teething troubles (especially in Dar es Salaam) in this first multiparty election following the demise of the one-party state and CCM enjoyed advantages because of the fact that it had been the ruling party for over 30 years.

Amour (CCM) 165,271
Hamad (CUF) 163,706
Dr Amour became President of Zanzibar

CCM: 26 MP’s elected plus 10 nominated by the President plus 5 nominated women plus 5 Regional Commissioners plus the Attorney General = 47 MP’s.

CUF 24 elected MP’s plus 4 nominated = 28 MP’s. CUF took every seat in Pemba and four seats in Unguja (the main island).

These elections proved highly controversial and there was a widespread feeling amongst independent observers that they were not free and fair. The Isles were divided politically almost exactly 50:50 and even if CUF had been declared the winner the result would have been very close. (For further details on this see the Reviews Section below -Ed.). During the following three years there was political tension and CUF boycotted parliament in protest against the results. There were also widespread allegations about infringement of human rights of CUF members by the Zanzibar government.

Since 1995 there have been over 20 BY-ELECTIONS for Union MP’s in which the CCM further illustrated its continuing dominance by winning all but two. One of the two ensured the entry into Parliament of NCCR-Mageuzi presidential candidate Augustine Mrema (a seat he later lost when he was no longer able to work with his colleagues and joined the Tanzania Labour Party -TLP); CCM then regained the seat. The second allowed UDP presidential candidate John Cheyo to enter Parliament where he took a prominent role as Deputy Leader of the opposition and Shadow Finance Minister. In most by-elections CCM won by huge majorities but in two Dar es Salaam by-elections in 1999 CUF illustrated its growing strength in areas with large Muslim populations and would have won if the opposition had been united behind CUF.


The electoral system is ‘first past the post’ -the person with the largest number of votes in a constituency wins. On the mainland there is an Electoral Commission chaired by Judge Lewis Makame. It has issued a tough ‘Election Code’ designed to stop government officials and party leaders using their facilities (planes, vehicles, offices, churches, mosques, the media) in political campaigning.

To be nominated as a candidate for the presidency it is necessary to pay Shs 1 million ($1,250) and have written support from 250 ‘trustees’ from each of eight mainland regions and the two Zanzibar regions. Parliamentary candidates have to pay Shs 100,000 ($125). The government has been subsidising parties with representatives in parliament according to the number of seats they hold. There are 13 registered parties. Independent candidates are not permitted.


Candidates for the Tanzanian Presidency

Augustine L Mrema (TLP)
Ibrahim Lipumba (CUF)
Benjamin W Mkapa (CCM)
John Cheyo (UDP)
Seif Shariff Hamad (CUF)
Amani A Karume (CCM)

UDP: JOHN MOMOSI CHEYO. In his capacity as Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts Cheyo has been relentless in pursuing the government on such issues as corruption, excessive government expenditure and the large number of South African investors. Explaining why he and his party had failed to join the CUF/CHADEMA Alliance (see below) so as to put up a united front against CCM he said that as the presidential candidate and his running mate were both Muslims this showed religious bias. He said that the two candidates should have come from different parties and be of different religions. In order to comply with the law one should have resigned from his party and joined the other party. He added that UDP did not favour ‘tooth for tooth policies. “We are against vengeance” he said.
Running mate: Omar Massoud Omar.

CUF/CHADEMA ALLIANCE: PROFESSOR IBBRAHIM LIPUMBA. Formerly economic adviser to President Mwinyi at the time Tanzania’s economy was being liberalised, Lipumba
was a Professor of Economics at the University of Dar es Salaam. He believes that CCM is tired after 40 years in power, wants to offer an intelligent alternative to government policies, recommends an increase in mining royalties, reduction in taxes handicapping small business and borrowing to help improve
education. Lipumba has been making more and more radical speeches criticising almost every aspect of CCM government policy, lashing out against corruption and has charged the CCM with accepting funds from petroleum smugglers. He wants big
companies to be taxed more.
RUNNING MATE: Nassoro Hamis Mohamed, a lawyer who is defending the accused in the treason trial (see below)

CCM. BENJAMIN WILLIAM MKAPA (62) got 99% of the votes at the Party’s National Executive Committee. A journalist and former editor of several national newspapers, Mkapa was Press Secretary to Mwalimu Nyerere before becoming a
diplomat representing Tanzania in Nigeria and then becoming Foreign Minister. He was elected President in 1995 and since that time has managed to retain his reputation as an honest, hard working man who has steered Tanzania on a route of economic conservatism. He has tried hard to justify his campaign promises to fight corruption and has preserved Tanzania’s good reputation for stability and peace in the outside world. He has resisted pressures from donor countries to intervene in the troubled politics and judicial problems of Zanzibar (See Reviews Section below Ed). If elected he is likely to be in a much stronger position to rule and to deal more forcefully with corruption as he will be less likely to be in the hands of former leaders many of whom are reaching retirement. Running mate: Dr Omar Ali Juma, the present Vice-President.

TLP: AUGUSTINE LYATONGA MREMA, a former teacher and state security officer, reached the position of Deputy Prime Minister before being sacked by former President Mwinyi in 1995 and establishing himself as the leader of NCCR-Mageuzi just before the last elections. He re-invigorated the party and attracted great support for his populist speeches defending the common man and vigorously attacking corruption. Although he represented a real threat to CCM in 1995 he has since lost much of his lustre. He tends to behave erratically and fell out with most of the other NCCR leaders before breaking away to take over a previously virtually unknown party -the Tanzania Labour Party -TLP. Mrema still has a personal following amongst the under privileged and amongst his Kilmanjaro compatriots but his own apparent inability to work with others and his third change of party allegiance has damaged his credibility. His party also has financial problems as many of his wealthy supporters are believed to have fallen away. As the TLP has no MP’s it therefore receives no government subsidy. Running mate: Ali Iddi Ali

The once influential NCCR-MAGEUZI party has collapsed because of internal dissension, with several of its 15 MP’s deserting it for the CCM and TLP. Its attempts to launch candidates for the Tanzanian and Zanzibar presidential elections both failed. For Tanzania -Edith Lucina, a nominated woman MP -was refused permission to stand by the National Electoral Commission when she failed to get the necessary 200 supporters in Rungwe Region before the closing date for nominations. For Zanzibar, Naila Jiddawi, a nominated CUF MP, was rejected by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission as she tried to change parties to the NCCR just before nominations closed. NCCR leader James Mbatia said that he had refused to join the CUF/CHADEMA Alliance because CUF insisted that both the presidential candidates had to be from the one party.


CUF. SEIF SHARRIF HAMAD is the charismatic and strong­willed CUF Vice-Chairman and effective leader of CUF in Zanzibar. As Zanzibar Chief Minister from 1984 to 1988 he worked with former President Mwinyi in liberalising the economy. He was dismissed in 1988, expelled from CCM and detained in prison charged with taking away confidential documents before the case was dropped. After the 1995 elections he refused to recognise President Amour and his party and boycotted the Zanzibar, but not the Union parliament until this year. At nomination he said that, if elected, he would form a coalition government with CCM but CCM refused to reciprocate. He vigorously denied in an interview in August 2000 with BBC Swahili Service Head Tido Mhando that his party was being used by Islamic countries, and favoured Muslims. He was in favour of a three-tier government for the Union, a major point of difference between himself and the CCM candidate who wishes to retain the present two government system.

CCM: AMANI ABEID KARUME (51) is the only ‘new’ presidential candidate -all the others stood in 1995. The tall and soft-spoken Minister of Transport and Communications in the outgoing Zanzibar government is the eldest son of the assassinated former President Sheikh Abeid Aman Karume. When he went to collect his nomination forms he first went to pray before his father’s statue. He said that, whenever one wants to embark on any crucial assignment, one has to seek blessings from one’s parents. When Karume, whose campaign had been led by Tanzanian Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete (who came near to beating Mkapa in the selection for CCM Tanzanian presidential candidate in 1995) returned to Zanzibar in a six-boat fleet, accompanied by former President Mwinyi, after the Dodoma selection process, there was an explosion of joy in the streets. Government offices and shops closed as thousands greeted Karume’s 50 vehicle procession, showing, according to the East African, that CCM still knew how to ‘play politics’. Even CUF leader Seif Sharrif Hamad welcomed the choice reportedly saying that Karume was a man who ‘knows how to listen’. Others interviewed in the press spoke of him as being clean, non-corrupt, not pompous and the only candidate who had shown any commitment to ending the four-year long political conflict in the Isles. In his campaign for election as candidate he promised to revive the programmes of housing development and land reform initiated by his father who is fondly remembered by many Zanzibaris. He is credited with all significant development in the Isles. Many people are nostalgic about the time when Zanzibar had a near monopoly on the world market for cloves and hence a healthy economy. At nomination Karume said he wanted to purify the polluted political atmosphere in the Isles and to restore unity, brotherhood and solidarity by removing the prevailing animosities but he did not favour a coalition government. Karume has been suffering from health problems for three years but said that he had a check up in May 2000 and was now fully fit.

As this issue of ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ went to press the party manifestos were not available. Based on previous experience it seems unlikely that there will be clearly defined differences between the policies of the different parties (except in Zanzibar). Politics in Tanzania (as in many other countries) is dominated by personalities. Starting in August Tanzanians were subjected to a massive dose of rhetoric in which CCM defended its record and the other parties promised all kinds of benefits, often without indicating how they would be paid for. It is impossible in the limited space in ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ to even summarise the flow of rhetoric but the following are examples from the earliest stage of the campaign:

Mkapa pointed to the 91 bills passed by parliament in the last five years which had gone far to improve management of the economy and create an enabling environment for the participation of the growing private sector. Cheyo, who has always had something of a Thatcherite approach to the economy, promised to privatise land and abolish primary school fees. Mrema would raise workers pay, increase the prices of agricultural crops and abolish laws which made loitering and prostitution offences. Karume would deal with people advocating parochialism based on the islands of Unguja and Pemba and would end the delays civil servants were suffering in obtaining their salaries. Lipumba criticised Mkapa for concentrating on his achievements but not touching on the looming famine in 11 regions. Seif Hamad would revive a plan for the establishment of a free port in Zanzibar.

The death of Tanzania’s hero, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, last year was expected to damage the ruling CCM party but in spite of internal tensions it has retained a remarkable degree of well-disciplined unity and hence its vice-like grip on power. The party began as an open advocate of socialism with widespread state ownership in the 1960’s but changed its polices in the eighties and now follows a middle of the road line including privatisation and the encouragement of individual enterprise and foreign investment. The main reason for its continued popularity is that it has kept the country at peace and politically stable while most of Tanzania’s neighbours have experienced periods of turmoil.

The other parties seem to differ little on policy although all are highly critical of what they consider CCM’s economic failures, the widespread corruption and the running down of social services like education and health.
Mrema’s policy has always been to support the undergdog. CUF is alleged by its opponents to be biased in favour of the Muslim part of the population but denies this. UDP suffers from having most of its membership concentrated in the regions near Lake Victoria.

CUF in Zanzibar advocates a three-part government for the Union. CCM staunchly defends the present two-government system.

‘Grow up you multiparty brats’ was the heading in an editorial in the East African (May 15) which went on: ‘Sadly .. . hopes that the passage of time had given political parties …… . and the electorate a chance to grow up and cultivate a disposition suited to democratic politics, appear to have been over ambitious. Witch hunting, character assassination, demonstrations of anger and sensationalism are overshadowing constructive analysis, fair comment and articulation of policies’.

It is difficult for outsiders to understand why the CCM government often takes actions which some would describe as undemocratic, for example, by changing the constitution in its favour (the President was recently granted power to nominate 10 MP’s) and by often banning opposition meetings and taking advantage of its control of radio and government newspapers, when its position in the country is so dominant that it has little to fear. It is equally difficult for outsiders to understand the folly of most opposition parties in not cooperating with each other to try and defeat the CCM. The consequent weakness of the opposition means that many electors are becoming disillusioned about the democratic electoral process which could be harmful in the long term.


There was really no serious opposition to President Mkapa as the CCM candidate for the presidency. A former CCM Executive Committee member, a certain Eugene Sabi Munasa, declared his democratic right to enter the contest but it was soon clear that the die was already cast. When Munasa arrived at the CCM HQ for nomination papers he was told that he could not contest because he didn’t have a degree.

‘Africa Today’ was critical of the process in its March issue: Extracts: ‘Critics aver that Tanzania under Benjamin Mkapa is drifting towards dictatorship at a rate even cynics did not foresee. To be sure, part of the blame for this turn of events is …. the union between the mainland and Zanzibar and the constitution …. President Mkapa has set the tone for his party’s hardliners by accusing the Kisanga Constitutional Commission of overstepping its mandate (it recommended a three government structure for the country) and the media for highlighting the Commission’s findings ….. But of even more concern is the fact that nowadays the Tanzanian press is awash with cases of government excesses against its critics’.

As successful selection as a CCM candidate almost guarantees a place in parliament because of the popularity of the party, the CCM preferential candidate selection process in July/August was, according to the Guardian, ‘characterised by intense competition and drama with repeated allegations of corruption, withdrawals, boycotting of results, personality clashes and alleged bribes (from money to clothes to bicycles). But Dar es Salaam University’s Dr Daudi Mukangara said that CCM should be commended for the way in which it conducted this exercise in democracy at its basic level. “Other parties do not do anything similar” he said.

So strong was the media pressure against allegations of corruption in the CCM selection process that the leadership stepped in on August 13 and announced the names of 40 incumbent MP’s who had been banned from taking part in the election because of what was described as their ‘violation of party ethics and regulations’. President Mkapa had earlier complained in a speech about ‘the rich who used their financial muscle in an attempt to privatise the Party for their personal gains’. Amongst those not allowed to stand, even in some cases where they had been selected by local party members, were the Minister and Deputy Minister for Water, two ministers of state, MP for Kawe Zainurdin Adamjee, Ambassador Paul Rupia MP and former High Commissioner in London Ali Mchumo. The CCM leadership’s move was widely welcomed by the media.

The CCM was fighting for every seat. CUF selected 48 Zanzibar members to fight for seats in the National Assembly and 47 for the Zanzibar House plus 32 mainlanders also for National Assembly seats. NCCR-Mageuzi named some 90 candidates for the Assembly and 22 for the Zanzibar House.

TLP was hoping to nominate a total of 120 but lack of funds was likely to handicap its efforts.

In Zanzibar competition was fierce for the CCM candidacy after the party had decided that the present President Salmin Amour could not stand for a third term (TA No.66). Six candidates picked up forms including Zanzibar Chief Minister Dr Ghalib Bilal who was said to be favoured by President Amour. He obtained 44 votes out of the 77 cast when Zanzibar’s CCM branch met; however, when the issue was moved to CCM HQ in Dodoma and the mainland members had their say, their choice, Kamme, got 111 votes to Billal’ s 61.

The registration of voters also proved contentious especially in Zanzibar. In the early stages of registration in August several houses were burned down, allegations were made that mainland CCM supporters had been shipped in to Zanzibar, other resident mainlanders were told by CUF supporters to leave the isles, and some 150 CUF supporters were arrested.

As this issue went to press the National Electoral Commission said that during the first two weeks of the three­week registration process 5.5 million people had registered. Registration was high in Dar es Salaam, Coast, Dodoma, Mbeya and Singida regions but low in Kilimanjaro, Lindi, Iringa, Mtwara and Tanga. In the 1995 election 8.9 million people registered.

Recently retired Chief Justice Francis Nyalali was quoted in the Guardian on May 3 as saying that Tanzania still had a long way to go before attaining free and fair elections and the dissemination of information through independent media.
Some weeks ago Political Parties Registrar George Liundi told journalists that all 13 political parties in the country had committed serious mistakes in one way or the other over the last seven years which warranted them all being struck off the register. But this would leave a political vacuum. He said that all parties had received assistance from outside the country and none had disclosed the amount; few parties practiced internal democracy; there had been too much internal bickering.

However, most observers believe that the 2000 elections are likely to be basically free and fair on the mainland. Some 75 international observers are expected.

In Zanzibar the election is again likely to be hard fought between CCM and CUF. ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ has covered in earlier issues recent moves in Zanzibar including the Commonwealth-brokered Inter-party Agreement signed but not fully implemented, CUF’s insistence on an independent electoral commission, rejection by CUF of a constitutional amendment Bill which would have allowed such a change but would also allow President Amour to be free of any charges relating to his period in office.

Dr Moses Anafu, the architect of the Zanzibar peace agreement, who was also the Commonwealth Secretariat’s most senior advisor on African Affairs resigned on June 5 following revelations in The Times that he had an interest in a diamond mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -in an area defended by Zimbabwean troops -while he was part of the Commonwealth team monitoring Zimbabwe’s elections. Most of the attention in the press and amongst donors over recent years has concentrated on allegations of the government’s deprivation of human rights of CUF supporters and as the election approached the intermittent violence between the parties increased.

Four Zanzibar ministers published in May a 60-page booklet ‘Zanzibar Politics: A proper perspective’ listing 144 criminal acts and acts of intimidation said to have been committed by CUP since it was formed. Included in the list was intimidation of CCM members, destruction of their crops, expulsion of CCM tenants, barring of CCM members from communal services and from attending weddings and funerals. The ministers blamed some western countries for persistent criticism of Zanzibar and using blackmail associated with their aid programmes.

Whether the 2000 elections will be free and fair in Zanzibar is not clear. Early good signs were peaceful initial party rallies, the broadcast live (for the first time) of a CUP campaign rally and the news that the Zanzibar Electoral Commission had a new chairman (Abdulrahman Jumbe) and had agreed to remove polling stations from army camps. There were some worrying initial indications including an increase in the number of army personnel in the Isles, the apparent refusal of the government to allow international observers from the BU (ostensibly because, unlike the OAU and Commonwealth, neither Tanzania nor Zanzibar were members of the EU) and many serious disputes and some violence during the electoral registration process plus serious threats from CUP leaders of a ‘tooth for a tooth’ attitude and a warning that if the elections were rigged there would be violence.

One political observer thought that the popular Zanzibar CCM candidate might win the presidency while CUP won the majority of the seats in parliament. He considered that this could be the best possible result for the future of Zanzibar as a coalition would then be necessary.

There seems little doubt that Benjamin Mkapa will win the Union presidency comfortably and that CCM will win the vast majority of seats on the mainland. CUP should again become the largest opposition party in the mainland parliament with the help of its strong base in Zanzibar and recent progress made in building up the party in the coastal regions of the mainland where Muslim voters are numerous. Other mainland opposition parties are expected to do badly.
The Swahili paper ‘Wiki Hii’ estimated in August that CCM would increase its overall number of MP’s, CUP might gain a few seats on the mainland for the first time and TLP was likely to gain a few seats at the expense of NCCR-Mageuzi.
In Zanzibar with both parties determined to wm (seemingly at all costs) it is difficult to forecast the result.

The elections will be expensive -some $40 million (Shs 32 billion) -to pay, according to President Mkapa ‘for the excessive transparency demanded by the externally voiced test for a free and fair election’. Donors initially offered $8 million and the President has appealed for more assistance.
Monthly subsidies to the five parties with MP’s in Parliament will continue only until the election. NCCR, being the largest mainland opposition party has been receiving Shs 31 million, CUF Shs 36 million, CHADEMA and UDP Shs 18 million each (TLP gets nothing as it has no MP’s) but CCM gets Shs 330 million per month because of its much larger presence in parliament.

On May 3 the prosecutors amended the charges against the 18 Zanzibar CUF leaders who have been in detention for two years to include the accusation that they had secretly enlisted the party’s private security guards -former government soldiers called ‘blue guards’ -in the alleged plot to bring down the government. The defendants pleaded not guilty to the new charge.

CUF Chairman Ibrahim Lipumba said that they had lost faith in the Zanzibar High Court and would now appeal to the Tanzanian Court of Appeal. In the most recent adjudication the Nigerian judge had erred in his interpretation of the Union Constitution. Zanzibar was not a sovereign state (Tanzania was) and therefore treason could not be committed against it. The defendants also appealed again for bail.

At the hearing on April 18 CUF’s Seif Sharrif had himself been involved in a demonstration outside the Court and was arrested and charged with stealing a sub -machine gun with violence and attacking four police officers. He was released on bail.

At the Appeal Court on August 21 the three judges listened first to three ‘friends of the court’. One of them was constitutional lawyer Prof. Jwani Mwikusa who later gave ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ the gist of the advice he had given. He had pointed out that the Zanzibar Penal Decree under which the applicants were charged had not been repealed since the days of the British Protectorate. He said that what constituted the offence of treason was the intention, imagination or manipulation against the supreme authority (the then Sultan) and not the killing of a president which was murder. He said that law makers were to blame for not observing this problem. He thought that the appellants had been charged with nothing. He also pointed out the differences between the constitution of Tanzania as regards treason and that of Zanzibar. As regards the application for bail he said that no adequate reasons had been given for this to be refused. After hearing the two other ‘friends of the court’ the judges said that the whole matter was complicated and they needed time to do more research on the laws and the arguments which had been presented. They would therefore reserve judgement to a later date.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.