At the end of the 2000 elections President Benjamin Mkapa, leader of the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) was elected with 71.7% of the vote. Prof. Ibrahim Lipumba, leader of the main opposition party, the Civic United Front (CUF) got 16.3%. Mkapa cannot stand again as he has completed two terms. Prof. Lipumba is standing again, in his third attempt.
There are likely to be up to 12 other candidates standing for the presidency from smaller opposition parties – see below.

The Union National Assembly or Bunge comprises 307 seats (there were 274 last time) 232 in constituencies elected by popular vote (including 50 from Zanzibar). There are 75 (37 last time) ‘Special seats’ for women which will be allocated to parties in November by the Electoral Commission based on the number of elected seats each party has won.
At the end of the last elections the parties had obtained the following numbers of seats in the Assembly: CCM 203; CUF 2 elected on the mainland and 16 elected in Zanzibar but they refused to take their seats because of alleged rigging; CHADEMA 4; TLP 3; UDP 3; NCCR-Mageuzi 1. Subsequent nominations by the President brought the number up to 274 and two years later the CUF MP’s returned to the Assembly. In Zanzibar President Abeid Karume (CCM) won with 67% of the vote in a poll widely believed to have been rigged. The main opposition contender
Seif Sharriff Hamad (CUF) received 33% of the vote.

In the Zanzibar House of Representatives elections in 2000 CCM took 34 seats (29 in Unguja and 5 in Pemba). CUF won in 16 seats (in Pemba) but refused to accept the results and boycotted the Assembly. In addition to this, ZEC announced the allocation of 7 ‘special seats’ for women – 4 for CCM and 3 for CUF. The President then nominated 8 additional members. Five regional commissioners and the Attorney General also became MP’s. After by-elections, when CUF agreed to come back into the House and resumed its seats, CCM now has 61 seats and CUF 14.

In the October 2005 elections in Zanzibar, in addition to the 50 elected MP’s, there will be 15 special seats for women and 10 persons nominated by the President. The Attorney General and the five Regional Commissioners will also sit in the House as MP’s.

For anyone with the slightest interest in politics or the future governance of Tanzania, the CCM Congress held in Dodoma from May 1 to May 5 to choose the party’s candidate for the Presidency could not fail to be excited by the drama of the occasion. People all over the country were glued to radio or TV to hear/watch the event. The full list of eleven leaders who had applied and been able to obtain the required number of supporters in ten regions of the country was given in TA No 81. After what the Guardian called a series of gruelling meetings and sometimes angry debates that extended late into each night, the 1,678 delegates eventually chose their favourites to run for the Union and Zanzibar presidencies.

On May 1st. CCM Central Committee’s Ethics Committee drew up evaluations of the candidates and recommended five for the short list who would qualify for the second round of nominations. Those interviewed were Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Jakaya Kikwete, former OAU Secretary General Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Minister of Communications and Transport Prof Mark Mwandosya, Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye and Minister of State for Planning Dr Abdalla Kigoda. The early rejection of CCM Vice-Chairman and veteran former Prime Minister John Malecela was said by the Guardian to have sent shockwaves around the vast hall. Then two more candidates were eliminated by the CCM National Executive Committee (Sumaye and Kigoda) and finally the delegates showed clearly who they really wanted. Mr Jakaya Kikwete got 1,072, Dr Salim got 476 and Prof Mark Mwandosya got 122 votes. Massive jubilation in the hall was followed by huge demonstrations in favour of Mr Kikwete in Dodoma and when he returned in triumph to Dar es Salaam and later visited Zanzibar.

Even invited dignitaries and political parties from outside and foreign envoys in the country were said to have been impressed by the democratic and well run selection process. Many in the opposition gave credit, even if reluctantly, to the process and also to the eventual choice. ‘A remarkable history indeed’ wrote the Guardian.

CCM. Jakaya Kikwete (54) started his career in the army and is an economist by training. He has served in several ministerial posts and is currently Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He is a Muslim but has also actively supported Christian charitable efforts. He exudes a great deal of charm and is popular amongst the youth – a significant factor where the median age of the population is 17 – 18 years. As he toured the country seeking support for his candidacy he was greeted by large crowds everywhere.
The London Financial Times (August 3) wrote: ‘It is unclear what direction CCM will take following its selection of Mr Kikwete (54) as the party’s presidential candidate. On the one hand he represents the younger generation of the party and claims to have strong appeal among the youth. On the other hand, he is a lifelong party man. Quoting a western diplomat the article said that initial signs were moderately encouraging. The key would be who he appointed to key ministries. Finance Minister Basil Mramba was quoted as saying: “He won’t bring a revolution but he has said himself that he will act faster, act more precisely, more definitively on the things that have been going on. He has grown from the ruling party. He is very much a professional politician.”

Dr Ali Mohammed Shein, the current Vice- President, who is from Pemba, was chosen again as the candidate for the Vice-Presidency.

For the Zanzibar presidency the voting in Dodoma was 195 out of 207 for the sole candidate – the current President of Zanzibar, Amani Abeid Karume. He is the son of the first president of Zanzibar after the 1946 revolution. He was born in 1948 and came to the fore in politics in 1990 when he was elected a Member of the House of Representatives and eventually became Minister for Communications and Transport Zanzibar. In 2000, when President Salmin Amour wound up his two terms in office, Karume succeeded him and claimed to have obtained 67% of the votes.

CUF’s presidential candidate, Professor Ibrahim Harun Lipumba (53) has two degrees in economics from Stamford University, California and from 1991 to 1993 served as Economic Adviser to President Mwinyi at the time Tanzania’s economy was being liberalised. He was also instrumental in the establishment of better relations between Tanzania and several international financial institutions. From 1993 to 1995 he taught at Williams College, Massachusetts. In the 1995 elections he came third and in 2000 he came second in the race for the presidency.
His running mate is Juma Duni Haji who was a CCM minister in an earlier Zanzibar government but subsequently spent a long period in jail on charges which were eventually withdrawn.
CUF’s candidate for the presidency of Zanzibar, Seif Sharriff Hamad was CCM Chief Minister of Zanzibar from 1984 to 1988 and also worked with former CCM 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.

Some of Tanzania’s 18 disorganised, weak and divided opposition parties (although CUF is not in this category) have been choosing presidential candidates and then changing their minds in favour of coalitions with other parties.

On August 16 four small parties finally decided to join together in supporting the candidates of the NCCR-Mageuzi party for the presidency – Dr Sengondo Mvungi and his running mate Naila Jidawi from Zanzibar. They are:
The Forum for Restoration of Democracy (FORD)
The National Reconstruction Alliance (NRA)
The Union for Multiparty Democracy (UMD)
and the United People’s Democratic Party (UPDP).

Finally, on 20th August, at the start of formal campaining for the elections, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) formally endorsed ten presidential aspirants, the Chairman of NEC, Judge Lewis Makame, naming the candidates as:

Jakaya Kikwete (Chama Cha Mapinduzi – CCM),
Ibrahim Lipumba (Civic United Front – CUF),
Prof. Leonard Shayo (Demokrasia Makini),
Freeman Mbowe (Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo – CHADEMA), who is likely to support CUF’s Seif Sharriff Hamad in Zanzibar.
Sen’gondo Mvungi (NCCR-Mageuzi),
Paul Kyara (Sauti ya Umma – SAU, a splinter group from CHADEMA),
Augustine L. Mrema (Tanzania Labour Party – TLP),
Anna Senkoro Claudia (Progressive Party of Tanzania – PPT Maendeleo),
John Emmanuel Makaidi (National League for Democracy – NLD) and
Rev. Christopher Mtikila (Democratic Party – DP).

Candidates for three political parties were disqualified for failing to fulfill the conditions set by the commission. They are Chama cha Haki na Ustawi (CHAUSTA), the UPDP and Tanzania Democratic Alliance (TADEA). CHAUSTA’s James Mapalala claimed that he failed to submit
the forms because some forms were still in Singida due to transport problems, but he made an impassioned plea to his members not to be upset by his disqualification, but to vote for whoever they deemed appropriate to become president

John Cheyo originally stood for the United Democratic Party (UDP), but withdrew and will stand for parliament instead. It is not yet clear why Jahazi Asilia (translatable variously as ‘The ancestral dhow’ or the ‘Mother Ship’) did not put up a candidate.


Most observers expect Jakaya Kikwete to win the Union presidency. CCM claims that he will win by a landslide. Evidence to support this has been the remarkable way in which he so comfortably defeated 10 other prominent people who competed against him to obtain the candidacy.

The competition to become an MP in Tanzania was more intense than ever this year. As ususal, CCM can be expected to win most of the seats in the National Assembly. All aspirants for parliament first had to receive the approval of their constituency party members and for CCM the ‘preferentials’ or ‘primaries’ were fiercely contested with often as many as ten candidates trying to get the one position available. When these selections reached CCM HQ the NEC agreed that some 50 existing MP’s would not be allowed to stand again under the CCM party banner. Those who fell by the wayside included Minister for Energy and Minerals Daniel Yona, who got 60 votes compared with Mrs Anne Kilango-Malecela, the wife of the CCM Vice-Chairman (286 votes), former CCM Secretary General Lawrence Gama and former Finance Minister Prof Simon Mbilinyi. Deputy Foreign Minister and former High Commissioner in London Dr Abdulkadir Shareeff failed in his attempt to be nominated in Zanzibar.
In the last election, in some fifty seats, CCM candidates were unopposed but this time such seats were rare indeed. Minister of Finance Basil Mramba was unopposed in Rombo. Several candidates were reluctant to accept the selections made and there were a few demonstrations and petitions against the results.

Among prominent politicians retiring from parliament this year are Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye who said he wanted to give room to other people to bring new development ideas to his constituency of Hanang; Co-operatives and Marketing Minister George Kahama; and Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education Pius Ng’wandu also retired.


President Mkapa was much criticised by the opposition parties when he stated some months ago that he was going to use all the power of the state in the elections. He was assumed to be intending to use this power to ensure a CCM victory. But later on he said “I have been misunderstood. What I meant was using state power to make sure that peace, and stability would prevail during the elections. The government, CCM, multiparty democracy, our freedom, development, our country, and political parties all will have respect only if the elections are free and fair.’’
An encouraging sign was the launching in July of the ‘Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD)’ – an institution created by the only five political parties which have representatives in Parliament – CCM, CUF, CHADEMA, TLP and UDP. The aim is to work together in bringing about development, disregarding political or ideological differences. Representatives of some of the other small political parties addressed the meeting. The Centre is being sponsored by the Institute of Multi-party Democracy in the Netherlands (IMD) and John Cheyo, the UDP chairman, is its chairman.
Another even more encouraging event on August 10 was the signing by twelve parties, plus the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the Government, of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a ‘Code of Conduct’ to help ensure free, fair and peaceful elections.
Most observers expect the mainland elections to be free and fair and violence is not anticipated although there have been isolated incidents in the run-up to the elections. On June 12 police were said to have stopped a truck carrying CUF supporters after a CUF public rally in Dar-es-Salaam, to have beaten them and arrested 36 people. The Bagamoyo home of presidential candidate Kikwete was attacked on 5th June. Both parties subsequently agreed that they might have had some responsibility for this.


At election time most attention is directed towards what is happening in Dar es Salaam (and Zanzibar of course!). As an example of the atmosphere in areas where there has been little or no violence in previous elections Henry Kippin has told TA about the situation in Tabora Region as he saw it recently:

Few people in Tabora region are daring to predict anything other than a CCM president, and a National Assembly dominated by CCM members. The recent confirmation of the popular Jakaya Kikwete as the CCM candidate would seem to reinforce this perception. Even so, the contest will be heated, and politicians from all of the opposition parties will be putting their case in the next two months.
Tabora may be a long way from the hothouses of Dar and Zanzibar, but it will not be short of political competition. The region has been suggested (in these pages) as the scene of possible CUF election gains, and indeed their leader, Ibrahim Lipumba, hails from Llolangulo village not far from Tabora town. I visited two villages near to Llolangulo in March and April this year, and asked people what they thought about the political process and how it affected them.
Their responses varied. One village official commented that ‘the wananchi (people) are not used to democracy; “they don’t know how to think democratically”. His allegiances lay with CUF, obviously frustrated with the overwhelming influence of CCM in the region. Others saw opposition parties as ‘troublemakers’, more interested in stirring up unrest on the coast than participating in a peaceful process. For them, CCM still represented the best way of ensuring peace.
Common to everyone was a feeling of distance from the politicians in Dodoma and Dar. Even those villagers carrying party cards felt that their region was on the margins of the political process; one woman told me that politicians “only come to the villages when they want something from us” – namely their vote. Similarly, the willingness of MPs to indulge in takrima (‘hospitality’) was frowned upon, though one man joked that they could use this to get more things done in the village! For these residents, the real election issues will be about how they can improve their meagre resources, and who is best placed to help them do that.
Some Tanzania-watchers have suggested that the election will be fought over personality, rather than actual policy. This is an understandable point of view, especially as the World Bank, bilateral donors and NGOs seem to be working towards a pretty homogenous political agenda.
So was this the case in Tabora? I would say not exclusively, as the people I spoke to were keenly aware that a ‘good’ President is no guarantee of improvement locally. Feeling distant from the political process can mean that local networks and resources become extremely important, and in this sense Tabora is no different to any other region in mainland Tanzania. Asked whether the kind of violence and unrest witnessed in Zanzibar could occur there, people were sceptical. “It is the politicians that make the ugomvi (quarrels)”, I was told, and as these kind of politicians were seen to have little interest in Tabora, they wouldn’t be able to mobilise people in the same way. The prospect of violence certainly seemed unlikely in this particular part of the region, even given the visible presence of major parties within village society. People were certainly not afraid to express their political allegiances, yet all were adamant that the unity of the village, and of the country, should be preserved.
If the 2000 result is anything to go by, CCM will probably be returned in the region, yet not without a contest!

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