by Ben Taylor

Where next for Maalim Seif?
The political scene in Zanzibar continues to be dominated by fallout from the 2015 elections. With the next elections scheduled for less than two years from now, it appears inevitable that the hangover from 2015 will play a major part in the 2020 polls.

Central to this is the future of the Isle’s main opposition party, CUF, and its leadership disputes. The power struggle pits one faction supporting Seif Sharif Hamad, the former Zanzibar Vice President and long-time dominant force within the party in Zanzibar, against another supporting Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, the party’s chairman from 1995 to 2015 and four-time CUF Tanzania presidential candidate.

Lipumba withdrew his resignation as party chair in June 2016, having previously resigned in the run-up to the 2015 elections in protest at the party’s endorsement of Chadema presidential candidate, Edward Lowassa. This threw him into a dispute with other senior party figures, in which he won the backing of the Registrar of Political Parties, but the issue remains unresolved in court.

In September 2018, the main opposition party across Tanzania as a whole, Chadema, offered Seif Hamad a lifeline – inviting him to switch parties and run as the Chadema candidate for the Zanzibar presidency in 2020.

The Chairman of the Chadema Party Elders, Hashim Juma, said Chadema was ready to accommodate Mr Hamad. “If he accepts our offer, he will be our flag bearer during forthcoming presidential election,” he said.

He argued that there were elements currently bent on seeing CUF remaining in an endless crisis, and it was therefore wise for Mr Hamad to shift to Chadema where he would receive cooperation to try and oust the ruling CCM from power in Zanzibar.

“All CUF Members of Parliament and those who believe in change have an opportunity to join Chadema. We speak the same language,” he said.

More recently, in December, rumours emerged that Hamad was planning to join ACT Wazalendo, another opposition party, led by firebrand MP Zitto Kabwe.

Mr Hamad refuted the claims. He told The Citizen that since CUF had pending cases at the court, his faction had alternative plans that would only be implemented after the court judgement.

He said claims that they were planning to join ACT Wazalendo wasn’t among the said alternative plan, noting that being one of the CUF founders, it would not be easy for him to leave the party.

Mr Khalifa Suleiman Khalifa, an ally of Prof-Lipumba, had earlier told the press that Mr Hamad planned to join ACT Wazalendo. “Principally, ACT Wazalendo and Mr Hamad have agreed on a deal where Mr Hamad will control the party on the Zanzibar side and Zitto Kabwe will command the party on Mainland Tanzania,” he said.

Mr Kabwe said ACT Wazalendo had no agenda of lobbying CUF leaders to join them, saying Tanzania required strong and best opposition to strengthen its democracy and that disputes within the second largest opposition party were weakening struggles they were making through democratic paths.

“We won’t turn into a hyena that waits for a fight to end so that it would grab the victim in order to benefit ourselves. Our party believes that by doing so we would be committing a political sin,” he said.

There is little doubt that Seif Hamad commands great personal support among residents of Zanzibar. It is unclear, however, how many of his supporters would follow him to another party, were he to switch. Much apparent party loyalty in Tanzania is, in reality, loyalty to individual politicians. But were Hamad to run for President of Zanzibar on a non-CUF ticket, it seems likely that the main beneficiaries would be the ruling party, CCM, profiting from a divided opposition.

Zanzibar pays its electricity bills
The Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (ZECO) has paid TSh 45 billion (approximately USD $20m) to the Tanzania National Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) over the past 18 months. The money is out of TSh 65 billion debt for power supply to the Isles, and that the corporation has projected to settle the remaining bill of TSh20 billion by June 2019.

President John Magufuli last year directed Tanesco to cut power to customers with long-standing debts, irrespective of who they were. He said Tanesco should not hesitate to disconnect even State House if his office did not pay its electricity bills on time, adding that there should be no sacred cows in the cash-strapped public utility’s endeavour to recover huge sums in unpaid bills.

The Union and Zanzibar governments and institutions are among Tanesco’s biggest debtors, having accumulated debts totalling tens of billions of shillings.

Addressing the media in March 2017, Zanzibar President Ali Mohammed Shein had said Zanzibar’s debt had accumulated over 20 years, adding that he was not sure whether the archipelago would not be disconnected. “We will have no option but to use oil lamps if power is cut,” he was quoted saying.

This led to discussions between leading politicians of both Tanzania and Zanzibar, and leaders of both electricity companies, which put in place a schedule of repayments.


The main opposition party on Zanzibar, the Civic United Front (CUF) has become embroiled in a power struggle, after Prof Ibrahim Lipumba announced he was reversing his resignation as party chair. On at least two separate occasions, the fight has turned physical, with punches thrown outside the High Court in December and earlier in the year at a party meeting.

In August 2016, a year after his resignation as party chair in the wake of the selection of Edward Lowassa as the UKAWA coalition’s presidential candidate, Prof Lipumba announced that he was returning and sought to be recognised again as party chair. He claimed the right to do so as his resignation had never been formally recognised by the party’s governing bodies. The party’s supreme governing council, however, voted unanimously against this move.

Prof Lipumba responded by requesting the Registrar of Political Parties to resolve the issue. The Registrar ruled in the professor’s favour, saying that he was still the official chair of the party.

Seif Sharif Hamad, the CUF Secretary General and the party’s candidate for the Zanzibar presidency on numerous occasions, leads the second faction, which largely consists of the party’s Zanzibari contingent.

In October, the struggle extended to include control of the party’s finances, with Seif warning banks of “imposters” who may try to open accounts in the party’s name, following claims that Lipumba’s supporters had tried to do so.

Meanwhile, the party has continued to appeal for international attention and support for their cause in relation to the 2015 Zanzibar elections. Seif visited the US, Canada and Europe to meet with various parties, democratic institutions and prominent personalities, and visited the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to claim that the party had compiled evidence of government abuse of democracy and human rights.

President Magufuli, on a visit to Pemba and Unguja islands in September 2nd, called on CUF to put an end to their complaints. “The next General Election in Zanzibar will be held in 2020. This is the truth and nothing will change it,” he said. “People need to move forward and not backwards. Thanks God you have a good leader, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, who has proved that he loves his people. It is unfortunate that some people are not happy with the prevailing peace and instead parade uncultured behaviour.”

Universal pension scheme launched
2016 saw the introduction of a universal pension scheme on the islands of Zanzibar. Under the scheme, all citizens aged 70 or above will receive Tsh 20,000 per month (approximately £6 at current exchange rates).

Amleset Tewodros, the HelpAge International Country Director for Tanzania, described this as welcome news. “It will help to reduce poverty and inequality among older people on the island, providing a small but stable income for many who are extremely poor,” she said.

Research has shown that the majority of older people have never been in the formal labour market and therefore do not receive a pension from the Zanzibar Social Security Fund.


by Martin Walsh

CRACKS IN THE DOME: FRACTURED HISTORIES OF EMPIRE IN THE ZANZIBAR MUSEUM, 1897-1964. Sarah Longair. Ashgate, Farnham, 2015. xvi + 322 pp. (hardback). ISBN 9781472437877. £75.

Beit-el-Amani in 2010 - photo Jonathan Stonehouse (wikimedia)

Beit-el-Amani in 2010 – photo Jonathan Stonehouse (wikimedia)

Museums are extraordinary institutions, and it is not surprising that they are sometimes likened to places of worship. The Zanzibar Museum is no exception. It was opened in 1925 as the Peace Memorial Museum, named in commemoration of those who had lost their lives in the First World War. Its faux Arabic name, Beit el-Amani, was clearly intended to echo those of Zanzibar’s royal palaces, most notably the Beit el-Ajaib or House of Wonders. It was built in hybrid Saracenic and Byzantine style with a large dome, leading locals to dub it ‘Msikiti wa Bwana Sinclair’, ‘Mr Sinclair’s Mosque’, after its British architect. In the early days it was also referred to as ‘Nyumba ya Mizimu’, ‘the House of Spirits’, a fair rationalisation of its apparent purposes. It is now generally known as ‘Makumbusho’ (sometimes ‘Makumbusho ya kale’), the contemporary Swahili term for museums as sites of historical memory.

Sarah Longair’s Cracks in the Dome is a compelling account of the Zanzibar Museum’s rise and fall, weaving together critical history and biography to show how its functions were contested and ultimately undermined by officialdom in the colonial period. Following an introduction that provides historical and interpretive context, the first two chapters examine the prehistory and construction of the museum in detail. Three central chapters describe the museum in its heyday, when it was curated by Dr Alfred Henry Spurrier (1925­35) and Ailsa Nicol Smith (1935-42), both of whom were driven, in their different ways, to innovate and make the museum into an educational resource that was of value to the whole community. Smith in particular was frustrated by the lack of funds and colleagues who shared her vision, and eventually resigned her post. A final chapter outlines the resulting decline of interest in the development of the museum, and its replacement by a decolonisation-inspired focus on the selection and collection of the materials that were to be housed in the Zanzibar National Archives – and have made the writing of this history possible.

Although the archives survived, the museum did not fare well after the Zanzibar Revolution. The building and displays fell into disrepair, with the natural history specimens in the museum annexe looking particularly worse for wear. More recently, though, funds have been found to repair and restore the museum, and it was re-inaugurated under its original names on the 18th of May this year, International Museum Day. The Peace Memorial Museum is not quite what it was in its first two decades – some its contents, including the library, are now in the House of Wonders, itself closed for repair – but it is encouraging to see that its educational potential is being recognised once again. Let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat itself, at least not in all of the ways that this fascinating study reveals.

Martin Walsh

Lucian A. Msambichaka, John K. Mduma, Onesmo Selejio and Oswald .J. Mashindano (editors). Dar es Salaam University Press, Dar es Salaam, 2015. xxiv + 436 pp. (hardback). ISBN 978 9976 60 586 0. (no price given).

It is most welcome to find no fewer than 22 Tanzanians, mainly economists from the University of Dar es Salaam, engaging seriously with the challenges Tanzania faces in seeking to move towards middle income status. The broad approach is to frame the problem as a need to achieve structural transformation by moving away from relatively low productivity activities (notably agriculture, which currently occupies some 70% of the labour force) towards higher productivity activities (particularly manufacturing industry, currently about 10%).

Following an Introduction, the book is arranged in four parts: I. ‘Why Industrial Transformation Has Failed in the Past’ (Chapters 2-5); II. ‘Lessons from Other Countries’ (Chapters 6-12); ‘Utilising Natural Resources for Socio-economic Transformation’ (Chapters 13-15); IV. ‘Synthesis’ (Chapters. 16-20), leading to the final Chapter 21 ‘The Way Forward: Lessons and Recommendations’. In this review I will briefly summarise the key points emerging from the various contributions and then consider how far the final chapter offers a coherent blueprint for Tanzania to indeed progress from poverty to prosperity.

In Part I, the editors kick off (in Chapter 2) with a rather critical review of previous industrialisation efforts. There follows a substantial contribution (Chapter 3) by Joseph Simbakalia, an engineer and Director General of the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA). Flora Kessy (Chapter 4) reviews poverty reduction strategies, concluding that there was a set-back during the low growth period during the 1980s and 1990s, while subsequent better economic performance has been accompanied by rising inequalities. David Nyange (Chapter 5) then considers the contribution agriculture might make to economic transformation and job creation. He notes in particular the negative impact of rapid population growth but also potential positives if agriculture can respond to rising demand from urban areas and if more agro-processing can be developed. Overall this part of the book provides a useful overview. However, I missed any reference to John Sutton’s An Enterprise Map of Tanzania (2012), which documents major elements of the industrial development that has been achieved despite the difficulties.

In Part II we find a search for lessons from the experience of other countries: Vietnam (Blandina Kilama, Chapter 6); South Korea (the Editors, Chapter 7); Japan (Faustine Bee, Chapter 8); Brazil, India & South Africa (Jehovaness Aikaeli, Chapter 9); China (Suleiman Serera, Chapter 10); Malaysia, Singapore & Dubai (Abu Mvungi and Riziki Nyello, Chapter 11). The emphasis here is on how these countries have achieved industrialisation starting from a low base. While the disappointing results of some countries’ socialist industrial policies are noted, there is a divergence of opinion as to whether market liberalisation, central planning, strong leadership or other factors are what drives success, possibly because the range of countries considered is perhaps too diverse and not all appear immediately relevant to Tanzania’s own predicament. Also in this section is Chapter 12 by Damian Gabagambi and Andrew Coulson who argue persuasively for a more positive view of small farms in the Tanzanian context.

Part III addresses the potential of natural resources to drive economic transformation, with Tanzania’s recent natural gas discoveries in mind. Joseph Simbakalia (Chapter 13) considers how to avoid the ‘resource curse’, pointing to opportunities to develop upstream and downstream linkages, if Tanzania can address skill shortages and other constraints. Aloyce Hepelwa (Chapter 14) reaches similar conclusions, viewing Tanzania in a world energy market context. However, neither of them comments on the still considerable problems to be overcome in converting discoveries to viable production, not least the current weakening in world energy markets, with the risk of counting chickens not yet hatched. Nor do they give consideration to possible lessons to be learned from Tanzania’s own experience with gold and gemstone mining. Also in this section, Kenneth Mdadila (Chapter 15) reviews world industrialisation from a historical perspective, perhaps better read in conjunction with Part II.

Part IV explores a wider range of factors which may have a bearing on Tanzania’s economic transformation. Raphael Chibunda (Chapter 16) makes the case for a National Science, Technology and Innovation System for Tanzania. Jehovaness Aikaeli and Barney Laseko (Chapter 17) suggest that tackling informality in its various forms is hampered by lack of systems for registering people, land and businesses, although they may underestimate the size of the task. Reinforcing this point, Bashiru Ally (Chapter 18) documents the rise in land conflicts in Tanzania despite government reform efforts. Ally sees this as primarily a rural issue but equally important may be how to manage the acquisition of land to meet the needs of expanding urban areas. In a thoughtful contribution, Joel Silas (Chapter 19) takes up the theme of the impact of population growth on socio-economic development, concluding that policies to reduce fertility are needed if Tanzania is to reap any demographic dividend. Finally, Christian Gama (Chapter 20) argues that economic diplomacy also has a contribution to make.

Which brings us to the final chapter, ‘The Way Forward’. This is difficult to summarise. Nine ‘Key Observations’ lead to 15 ‘Key Messages’ and then 29 ‘Recommendations’, covering ‘Strategic Thinking’ (4), ‘Policy’ (13), ‘Good Governance’ (2) and ‘Human Capital and Infrastructure’ (10). Most of the points have some validity but many of the recommendations are pitched at a rather high general level and so need further fleshing out to become operational. The rather large number of observations, key messages and recommendations also suggest that prioritisation has proved difficult – indeed, in the Introduction, the editors state that “they are all of equal weight and importance”! Given that resources and government capacity are limited, the government may need to focus, as far as industrial policy is concerned, on those things that only government can do – macro-economic stability, good governance (including appropriate decentralisation), law and order and infrastructure provision, thereby creating a framework within which domestic as well as foreign enterprise can prosper. Related to this, it is only intermittently that one glimpses ‘the real Tanzania’ beneath the generalities, and what should be the proper balance between industry and agriculture remains unclear. To make an even greater impact, the authors perhaps need in future work to grapple more directly with the current situation in Tanzania so that their recommendations can be more precisely targeted.

Nevertheless, the volume provides much food for thought and it is to be hoped that Tanzania’s policy makers will take notice of it.
Hugh Wenban-Smith

Hugh Wenban-Smith was born in Chunya and went to Mbeya School. His career was as a government economist (mainly in Britain, but with periods in Zambia and India). He is now an independent research economist, with particular interests in infrastructure, urbanisation and transport.

THE WINDS AND WOUNDS OF CHANGE: THE MEMOIRS OF DICK EBERLIE. PART 3: 1961-65. Dick Eberlie. Privately printed, 2016. viii + 266 pp. (paperback). Available from the author.

This is the third volume of Dick Eberlie’s memoirs and the second dealing with Tanganyika, subsequently mainland Tanzania (Part 2, dealing with the period 1950-60, was reviewed in TA 111). Returning from UK leave in January 1961, Eberlie had hoped to be posted as a District officer to a rural district, instead of which he found himself pen-pushing in Dar es Salaam. This was a time when government and politics were moving rapidly. Sir Richard Turnbull, having been appointed Governor, was negotiating with both Julius Nyerere and the Colonial Office. It emerged in the end that Nyerere was pushing against an open door to achieve independence for the country.

With all the changes in government, many European civil servants were departing. So Eberlie, served in different ministries – Commerce and Industry, and Legal Affairs. During this time, he volunteered to help young District Officers pass their law exams; indeed references to his voluntary work occur throughout these memoirs, as, for example, when helping the Society for the Blind to raise funds, and later on, as editorial member of the Tanzania Society.
At last he got away from the enclosed atmosphere of Dar es Salaam and was posted as Staff Officer in Morogoro, effectively acting as Deputy to the Provincial Commissioner and being closely involved in the organisation of famine relief and local government developments. Pleased to be posted to Kisarawe again, he put much energy into applying government policies to ensure that famine relief was regulated and basic funds or food-in-kind paid out, as well as carrying out court and administrative duties.

Amidst all this vital work Eberlie was quite suddenly called to Dar is Salaam to be Aide de Camp (ADC) to the Governor, who, together with Lady Turnbull, he had already had contact with. Events crowded in as Tanzania became a Republic, Turnbull’s office closed, Eberlie’s parents came on a memorable visit, and Eberlie himself left the country when his job ended. There is some account of the Zanzibar Revolution and then the Tanganyika army mutiny in 1964. Characteristically, Eberlie offered himself as acting ADC to the British Army commander who had just landed to restore order in Dar.

Eberlie, however, had been invited by the Tea Growers Association to be its Assistant Secretary and completed a first contract with them. Despite being hospitalised in London mid-term, he was offered a new contract, which he reluctantly declined. Later he accepted an invitation to be Private Secretary to his old boss, Turnbull, who was then Governor of Aden. In an Appendix there is a detailed and interesting description of the tea growers scattered about the Usambara Mountains, Mufindi, Njombe, Tukuyu and Mount Rungwe. Being the third largest employer of labour in Tanzania, the tea producers were up against many difficulties including the changing political climate and Union pressures.

The book ends with a gloomy epilogue assessing the Tanzanian government at that time. But there is a good selection of maps and illustrations, all attractively wrapped in a panorama of Dar es Salaam harbour and redolent of his sailing and social days there.
Simon Hardwick

Simon Hardwick was an Administrative Officer in Tanzania, 1957-68, and Chairman of the Britain-Tanzania Society, 1995-2000.


by David Brewin

The elections on the mainland of Tanzania in October 2015 went well and the results seem to have been accepted by the people as having been free and fair. A detailed account of what happened and the subsequent inauguration of the new government of Tanzania were fully explained in Tanzanian Affairs No. 113.

In Zanzibar, however, elections are traditionally highly contentious and this one was no exception.

As counting of the votes was still going on, Chairman of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) Jecha Salim Jecha, stopped the counting and declared that the election was annulled because there had been ‘rigging’. He said that there had been irregularities on the northern island of Pemba – a stronghold of the main opposition Civic United Front (CUF) party – which had won all the seats there in the 2010 election. In some constituencies the number of voters had been greater than the number of people on the register, Jecha said, adding that there had also been fighting between members of the ZEC Council which rendered the results invalid.

The CUF opposition party declared that it had won the election by a small majority and therefore that its leader, the then First Vice-President of Zanzibar Seif Sharriff Hamad, was the new President of Zanzibar. The making of such an announcement goes against the Zanzibar Constitution which states that the results can be published only by the ZEC.

Hamad (who was also the First Vice-President of Zanzibar under the unity government), had made three previous attempts to obtain power in elections in Zanzibar, the fairness of which had been questioned at the time by several observers.

The ZEC, which includes personnel from CUF and from the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, then announced that there would be a second election, which was held on March 20th, 2016.

Formal issue of results from the re-run election

Formal issue of results from the re-run election

Translation of image above: “Mgombea” means candidate; “Chama” means party; “Idadi” – number of votes cast; “Asilimia” – percentage of votes. “Kura zilizo harabika” – spoilt votes

CUF and several very small opposition parties declared that they would not take part in this second election because it was illegal and unconstitutional. Three other small parties however took part in the election.

Before and during the second election Hamad was said to have been travelling in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Dar es Salaam for medical treatment.

Needless to say, the turnout in this second election was very different from that of the first, because of the CUF boycott. Its actual vote plummeted, and the CCM Presidential Candidate, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, was re-elected with a huge majority.

The balance of power
For the last three years in Zanzibar, the opposition CUF party shared power, apparently amicably, with the CCM party in a Government of National Unity.

After the 2015 election in Zanzibar, CUF proposed an international mediator to help resolve the deadlock which had arisen in the Isles, but this was not accepted by the CCM. CUF then declared that it would not take part in the second election and later threatened to launch a ‘civil disobedience campaign’ against the government.

As this second election had approached, army and police forces were strengthened by the arrival in Zanzibar of reinforcements from the mainland which ensured that the election passed peacefully.

At the end of the second Zanzibar elections, the position of the CUF Party has been greatly weakened in the Zanzibar House of Assembly.

Paradoxically, however, it has strengthened its position in the National Assembly in Dar es Salaam by winning 42 seats – more than ever before. (Elections to National Assembly seats were not subject to the ZEC annulment, and so were not re-run in March).

The main opposition CHADEMA party on the mainland has also been strengthened by gains it made in new areas where it had not been present before [TA No. 113].

However, CCM now occupies 188 of the 256 contested seats in the National Assembly plus a large group of seats reserved for women, so that the CCM majority has risen to 252 seats out of the total of 364. The combined opposition parties are therefore still a long way from achieving real power in the two branches of parliament.

Furthermore, it is the President who exercises most of the power overall.

The new Zanzibar Government

Dr Shein and the new cabinet

Dr Shein and the new cabinet

Dr Shein announced the names of his new 15-member cabinet on April 9, two and a half weeks after being sworn-in as President of Zanzibar. He instructed them to work hard to respond to the expectations of the electorate or risk losing their jobs. He emphasized the importance of ‘good performance, transparency, accountability, and honesty.’ and went on to say: “We are committed to bringing changes in the islands – increasing revenue collection, minimising expenditure, increasing transparency and fighting corruption and laziness.”

The cabinet, constitutionally known as the ‘Revolutionary Council’ (RC) includes MPs from three small parties not previously involved in government including Mr Hama Rashid, the leader of the Alliance for Democratic Change (ADC), who becomes Minister for Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock, and Fishing. Juma Ali Khatib from the ADA-TADEA party and Said Soud Said from the Alliance for Farmers Party (AFP) have been appointed members of the Revolutionary Council or cabinet ministers without portfolio. Mr Khatib and Mr Said are new faces in the cabinet while Mr Rashid is a veteran politician who served as minister during the First Phase Union Government under Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. He was later expelled from the CCM and joined CUF until 2015 when he was expelled and joined the ADC.

Other appointees include Issa Haji Ussi (Minister of State – State House and Revolutionary Council) who had been Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Communication; veteran Cabinet member Haroun Ali Suleiman has this time been picked as Minister of State responsible for the Constitution, Legal Affairs, the Civil Service, and Good Governance); Haji Omar Kheir, who retains his position as Minister of State (Regional Administration, Local Government and SMZ Units) and, Mohamed Aboud Mohamed who becomes Minister of State in the Second Vice-President’s Office.

Both Mr Haji and Mr Aboud have retained their positions while the former Principal Secretary (PS) in the Second Vice-President’s Office, Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed, becomes the new Minister for Finance and Development Planning.

Also in the list are Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, former Deputy Minister for Health, who has been promoted to full minister in the same ministry, and Ms Riziki Pembe Juma who takes over as Minister for Education and Vocational Training. Ms Amina Salum Ali, former Finance Minister under Dr Salmin Amour’s government in 1996 and recently retired African Union Ambassador to the United Nations, has been appointed Minister for Trade, Industries, and Marketing. Ambassador Ali Abeid Karume, son of the first Isles President of Zanzibar; Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume, becomes the new Minister for Infrastructure, Communications
and Transport.

Other appointees are Mr Rashid Ali Juma, formerly Director of the Zanzibar Municipal Council as Minister for Information, Tourism, Culture, and Sports; and Ms Maudline Castico, CCM cadre and publicist, who becomes Minister for Labour, Economic Empowerment, the Elderly plus Youth, Women, and Children, and Ms Salama Aboud Talib, who takes over as Minister for Land, Water, Energy, and Environment.

There are five Deputy Ministers who are all new faces.

Dr Shein told reporters that he had not violated the constitution by appointing three members from the Opposition to his cabinet. His new government, he said, should not be mistaken for a Government of National Unity (GNU). “It has not been possible for me to form a GNU because all the parties which took part in the re-run elections, failed to qualify.”


by David Brewin

With elections in Tanzania, the ones which take place in Zanzibar are always problematic and the latest election turned out to be even more so than the previous three elections where the results were not accepted by the opposition CUF party.

ZEC Chairman Jecha Salim Jecha (left) making the announcement.

ZEC Chairman Jecha Salim Jecha (left) making the announcement.

Branson’s paper continued by advising on the Zanzibar situation: ‘Zanzibar’s House of Representatives did not return on 12 November, as required by the Isles’ constitution. Six cabinet ministers resigned from the Zanzibar’s government of national unity (GNU). The incumbent president of Zanzibar Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, a stalwart of the ruling CCM, party, still remains in office despite his term having elapsed on November 2, 2015.

‘This limbo follows an unprecedented declaration by ZEC Chairman, Jecha Salim Jecha, in which he unilaterally annulled the vote on the Isles without consulting his fellow commissioners. The Isles’ former Attorney General questioned the legality of Jecha’s decision.

‘The ZEC chairman cited unspecified irregularities on the northern island of Pemba, where CUF won all 18 seats in 2010. Tanzanian and international election observers challenged the announcement, regarding the polls in Pemba and said that they were fairly conducted, while the European Union and the US embassy called for Jecha to reverse his decision.

‘The farcical nature of the announcement did not escape the attention of those familiar with the voting process. Jecha may have prevented ZEC from completing the tally on Zanzibar, but votes cast at the same polling stations were counted by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) for the purposes of determining the Union presidency and parliament.

CCM loyalists insist that a new round of elections must now be organised, regardless of the significant cost at a time of budget shortfalls, and potential disruption to the profitable tourist season. CUF maintains that the people have already spoken. After two decades of extremely close results, they have reason to question what appears to be a politically-motivated decision by the ZEC chairman, who is, after all, a presidential appointee and not a technocrat.

‘CUF also has good grounds to believe their candidate won. The party organised parallel vote tabulation (PVT) for these elections. Seif Sharif Hamad, CUF’s Secretary-General and presidential candidate for Zanzibar, announced the figures on the morning after polls closed. Although Hamad’s claim that he had won the presidency may have violated the electoral code, the results stand up to rigorous statistical analysis according to some experts.’

Prospects of power-sharing
Branson’s paper went on: ‘In the light of seemingly compelling evidence, many will question why CCM remains so reluctant to accept defeat on the Isles. The ruling party should have nothing to fear given that the Zanzibar constitution provides for a permanent Government of National Union (GNU) under which the runner-up becomes First Vice-President. Hamad has occupied that post for the past five years, spurring economic development in historically neglected Pemba. The former teacher and education minister has pledged to form a new GNU, with equal representation for CCM and CUF, once he is declared president.

‘Prior to the election, academics argued that Zanzibar’s GNU had brought to an end to “zero sum” politics. Yet, conversation with the author, ministers and MPs from the Isles revealed a lack of trust between the parties across both the executive and legislative branches. Incomparable loyalties to party and state meant that some cabinet ministers refused to be bound by collective responsibility, delaying the enactment of policies which they opposed.

‘Meanwhile, the Zanzibar House of Representatives has remained under the control of CCM, whose Second Vice-President led government business rather than CUF’s Hamad.’

Legacies of controlled competition
Branson’s paper continued: ‘CCM is the longest-serving ruling party on the continent, and the reluctance of its leadership to share power can be traced back to the single-party era. Tanzania’s founding president, Julius Nyerere, established a culture of political competition within the confines of the ruling party. This helped to “recycle” elites while ensuring debates took place within established parameters.

‘Three of Tanzania’s neighbours – Kenya, Malawi and Zambia – also held comparable elections during the single-party era. Unlike Tanzania, the three nations have subsequently passed the “two turnover test”, whereby a ruling party is voted out of office twice. Accordingly, Polity IV classifies the trio as a “democracy” while it regards Tanzania as a “closed autocracy” comparable with Uganda and Rwanda.

‘CCM supporters would argue that the party has not been voted out of office because it has maintained peace and security, provided good (enough) government, promoted inclusive growth, and pursued incremental reforms.

‘On the mainland at least, this is true. The ruling party has largely avoided confrontation with the opposition – with a few notable exceptions – and catered to its agrarian support base in the centre and south of the country. Politicians have also harnessed the grassroots network which was built during the single-party era, helping CCM to mobilise rural voters.

‘However, it is becoming increasingly clear that elements of the ruling party are unwilling to consider the prospect of ever relinquishing power or conceding long overdue reform in Zanzibar. Debates over a proposed Constitution exposed a stubborn commitment to a unique dual-government structure, a lopsided arrangement that falls short of being a fully-fledged federation. This constitutional fudge was rushed through during the Cold War.’

The campaign
Many Tanzanians found the 2015 campaign very exciting and they turned out in vast numbers wherever the main candidates appeared.
Billboards were put up all over the country. Outside the Kilimanjaro Airport a huge image of Magufuli was displayed with the Swahili words “Sitawaangusha” – Swahili for “I will not fail you”.

The Debates
The EU Observers mission of 140 observers had hoped that the eight leading candidates for the presidency would have taken part in at least one TV debate which would have reached nearly 25 million viewers. Media Council of Tanzania Secretary General Kajubi Mukajanga tried hard to get the parties together but the UKAWA presidential candidate apparently did not wish to take part. In the end, Dr Magufuli did not turn up either, and the debate took place with just three minor parties’ candidates.

The Election Observer mission of the Commonwealth, headed by former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, observed the voting and counting processes across Tanzania. The statement of the mission said: “We note with great concern the statement issued by the Chairman of the ZEC in which he nullified the Zanzibar elections. We issued an interim statement on 27 October, in which we all confirmed the credibility of the voting process in Zanzibar. We were pleased that the voting and counting took place in an atmosphere of peace, and that the people of Tanzania demonstrated a strong commitment to democracy”.

Zanzibar Electoral Commission Chairman Jecha Salim Jecha, insisted that the poll was filled with flaws. He said the election was not fair especially in Pemba. He said that he had faced many obstacles, noting that they were the ones that had earlier influenced his commission to delay releasing the results as stipulated in the law. Enumerating the nine points that had influenced their decision, he noted that the members of the Commission had started fighting within the ZEC office as the process was going on. He also said that there were many polling stations, especially in Pemba, whose numbers of voters had outnumbered the actual number of voters in the register. He added that there were youths who were prepared by some political parties to stop people from accessing polling stations. There were also complaints from various parties who were not content with the entire process. “I therefore nullify this election and a new one will be prepared in the next 90 days”, Jecha said.

Towards the end of the Zanzibar elections and their annulment by the ZEC Chairman, soldiers surrounded the hotel where the votes were being tallied and ejected journalists and election observers.

The secret negotiations
Eventually the Zanzibar government began a series of meetings of the interested parties plus several prominent leaders to try and reach a compromise solution. The meetings were still going on as this edition of TA went to press.

Nick Branson is a Senior Research Officer in the African Research Institute (ARI). During 2015 he published a series of articles on constitutional reform in Tanzania and on the elections. Between January 2009 and March 2013 he managed capacity building projects with the Civic United Front on behalf of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. He is currently studying for a PhD at SOAS.


by David Brewin

Elections approaching
It is now only about four months to the parliamentary elections in Britain which are going to be hotly contested. It is about ten months before the presidential and parliamentary elections in Tanzania which will also be hotly contested. And, surprisingly, in neither country are political experts sure what the results will be. All this contributes to a growing political fever, even though political parties in both countries have increasing difficulty in persuading people to vote.

The ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party
The largest and longest serving party in Tanzania, the CCM, with its great strength, particularly in rural areas, is still fairly confident about remaining in power for another five years. Its popularity rests on its stability and its preservation of peace and order unlike most neighbour­ing countries.
However, the unsatisfactory finalisation of the Constitution-making process (as explained by Enos Bukuku), the apparent government decision to ignore strong feelings in Zanzibar and say no to a third government, plus the increasing political tensions in parliament over demands for more transparency in the awarding of mining contracts (see Roger Nellist below) and the rising discontent about corruption (see Ben Taylor’s article on the ITPL scandal) must be causes of concern to many voters.

The opposition
The second largest party, CHADEMA, had great hopes of increasing its position substantially in the elections, but the attempts to expel their leading radical MP and anti-corruption campaigner, Zitto Kabwe, could have damaged its chances. CHADEMA’s leadership wants to get rid of Kabwe because of his reluctance to accept the party’s policies but Kabwe retains the powerful position of Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly and thus remains of great interest to the media. He also attracts the support of many among the younger generation of potential voters.

Opinion poll

Mwananchi coverage of the opinion poll results (

Mwananchi coverage of the opinion poll results

An opinion poll by Twaweza in November showed no clear front runner. Former CCM Prime Minister Edward Lowassa had the support of just one in eight voters, 13%; current CCM Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, who announced his decision to stand in a BBC interview in London, had 12%; with 11% favouring the leading opposition candidate, Wilbroad Slaa from CHADEMA – a candidate for the presidency in 2010.

But party loyalties remain strong. According to the poll, the ruling CCM party is supported by 47% of voters. Amongst the growing numbers of young voters under 35 years old, 44% claim CCM affiliation with 34% supporting CHADEMA.

There are plenty of other CCM aspirants for the presidency, all except one of whom will be eliminated at CCM selection conferences early in 2015. They include Foreign Affairs minister Bernard Membe (with 5% support), East African Cooperation minister Samuel Sitta (4%) and Works minister John Maghafuli (3%) plus Defence minister Shamsi Nahodha.

A rising star and one of the latest additions to the list of CCM presidential hopefuls is January Makamba, the Deputy Minister of Communications, Science and Technology and a CCM MP in Lushoto District. A close aide to President Kikwete for five years, at 40 years old he is much younger than most of the other aspirants.

He says that it is diffi­cult to see how those who have been in politics for 40 years, ‘who are steeped in the ways of a (for­mer) one-party state, a rigidly planned economy and con­trols on freedom’, can contend with the unique challenges of a rapidly changing country. Asked by the media what precisely he wanted to change, he said “Many things, but the first will be our mindset. It is important that Tanzanians believe that it is within their ability to achieve great things both individually and as a country….. We want to establish very high standards for public servants. There will be zero tolerance of corruption and bad government.”

If the CCM candidate selection process results in a stalemate, a possible compromise might be Chief Justice Augustine Ramadhani, from Zanzibar who is a practising Anglican Christian and might attract a following in both Zanzibar and the mainland of Tanzania.

“I don’t know”
The sagacious political commentator Elsie Eyakuze pointed out in The Citizen that in her view “by far the most interesting finding in the poll was that a full third of the respondents, when asked whom they would vote for, replied that they didn’t know”. She went on to say that “a significant portion of voters is willing to step away from Tanzania’s ‘strong-man formula of politics’ and consider alternatives such as better government!” She went on: “A grimmer interpretation could be that we have got ‘indecision paralysis’ because the options all look a bit unwelcome”. Eyakuze said that she hopes that the numbers of uncommitted voters will grow and grow. Unable to conceal her feminist views, she also pointed out that the most popular contenders in the elections “will all be men of a certain age. No one with a uterus or direct personal experience of the Twitterverse is going to get within sniffing distance of the office of President”.

Memorandum of Understanding
In a sensible move which will help the two smaller opposition parties to survive, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the two big opposition parties – CHADEMA on the mainland and CUF in Zanzibar and two small parties, NCCR-Mageuzi and the NLD, all of which have MPs in the National Assembly. Under the MOU the parties will field and support only one candidate (at all levels including the presidency) in the elections. This move should help in the survival of the two small parties and might even attract a few CCM candidates who are disappointed not to have been selected in the party’s candidate selection process.

The effect of the referendum
The referendum on the new constitution, according to present plans, will take place on 30 April 2015, six months before the presidential and parliamentary elections. It is difficult to forecast how this will affect the outcome of these elections. The Presidential Communication Directorate proposes to spend a large sum of money on the campaign for a “Yes” vote in the referendum and there will be a media blitz to persuade people to vote ‘Yes’. If they vote ‘No’ Tanzania could be in a constitutional crisis.

Zanzibaris (one million people compared with some forty million on the mainland) tend to take elections very seriously and are likely to vote in large numbers in the constitutional referendum as well as in the elec­tions which will follow. But there have been rumblings of discontent about the way in which the constitution favoured by the CCM seems likely to be pushed through. Many Zanzibaris hoped that, if the alterna­tive three-party government had been accepted, Zanzibar would have a much greater influence in the future government of Tanzania.

There is also the future of the Government of National Unity between Zanzibar’s two main parties CCM and CUF to be decided. The coalition government, installed in 2010 following years of political violence, has succeeded in maintaining political peace in the Isles for five years. This could prove to be popular with many voters especially in view of the political turmoil which many of Tanzania’s neighbours have suffered since independence.

Biometric voting registration
Tanzania intends to prepare the way for the use of new electronic voter registration technology, using Biometric voters’ kits. The Treasury has made funds available for pilot schemes in Kawe, Katavi and Kilombero constituencies but there has been some delay because the relevant people have not yet been trained. The National Election Commission intends to train personnel from 169 districts in readiness for the nation­wide registration exercise.


by Ben Taylor

Debates in the media and at the Constituent Assembly on the second draft constitution have included heated arguments on whether the draft has broad popular support. Most particularly, this focussed on whether there is popular support for the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) proposal to establish a three government structure, with separate governments for Zanzibar, Tanganyika/Mainland Tanzania, and the Union.

The chair of the CRC, Justice Warioba, cited data collected by his team, to claim that “on the mainland, 13% supported One Government, 24% sup­ported Two Governments and 61% supported Three Governments. In Zanzibar, 34% supported Two Governments and 60% supported a contract-based Union, and 0.1% (25 people) supported One Government.”

President Kikwete interpreted the same data differently, pointing out that 86.4% of those who gave their opinions to the Commission “didn’t see the form of the Union as a problem, which is why they didn’t raise the issue at all. So people are asking how today 13.6% of all Tanzanians who gave their views has become the majority of Tanzanians!”

Two non-governmental organisations – Twaweza and the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) – have collected data to shed light on this. Together, they conducted a nationally-representative opinion poll survey, collecting people’s views on the current draft constitution (draft 2). Data was collected on the mainland through Twaweza’s Sauti za Wananchi mobile phone survey panel, and on Zanzibar by ILPI’s Wasemavyo Wazanzibari survey.

The charts here are taken from their report, which included the following key findings:

• There is widespread support, particularly on the mainland, for the
draft’s proposed measures to improve transparency and accountability (Figure 1).

Fig (1) Citizen’s views on transparency and accountability

Fig (1) Citizen’s views on transparency and accountability

• Two thirds of respondents on mainland Tanzania support the proposal to allow independent candidates to stand for parliament and for the presidency (Figure 2).

Fig (2) Citizen’s views on electoral competition

Fig (2) Citizen’s views on electoral competition

• There is strong support (80%) on Zanzibar for the “three-governments” proposal. Support on the mainland is substantially lower, at 43%, though still a sizeable group (Figure 3)

Fig (3) Citizen’s views on structure of the Government

Fig (3) Citizen’s views on structure of the Government

• When asked what kind of changes they would like to see in the relationship between the mainland and Zanzibar, there was strong support on Zanzibar for both the “three governments” proposal (46%) and for “more autonomy for Zanzibar” (45%). On the mainland, responses were spread much more widely, with significant numbers expressing support for single government (28%), no change (25%) and the three­governments (22%) (Figure 4).

Fig (4) What changes, if any, would you like to see in the Union between Mainland and Zanzibar?

Fig (4) What changes, if any, would you like to see in the Union between Mainland and Zanzibar?

• When asked whether they would vote for the current draft, just under two-thirds of respondents both on Zanzibar and the mainland said they would support it (Figure 5).

Fig (5) Would you vote for or against the second draft of the constitution?

Fig (5) Would you vote for or against the second draft of the constitution?

• However, when asked whether they would still support the new constitution if the three government proposal was removed, support on Zanzibar dropped dramatically, to the point that a majority (53%) said they would not vote in favour of such a constitution.


At the end of May, as discussions on the proposed new constitution continued around the country, a segment of Zanzibar’s young people turned to violence to press their views. In what the Citizen described as skirmishes, a number of churches were burnt by unruly youths demon­strating under the banner of a religious group that is pressing for a referendum on the Union between Zanzibar and the Tanzanian mainland.

President of Zanzibar, Dr Ali Mohammed Shein had a tough message for those behind the actions. “Nothing will be spared in the drive to ensure they do not create chaos again in the community. Government agencies have also been directed to closely monitor the activities of all religious groups in the Isles in order to ensure that they do not break the law and interfere with the right of worship of other people.”

In his speech, Dr Shein referred to religious groups that have “deviated from their main objectives” and warned that his government would not tolerate violence under the guise of freedom of expression. “Every free­dom has its limitations,” he added. “The destiny of our country is facing a political test right now… the root cause of all of this is, of course, the new constitution. But we all agreed to have a new constitution… in our meeting with religious leaders on April 25th we asked them to avoid violence and participate fully in the process when it starts.” He added: “We shall protect our peace at any cost, but the government will not interfere with genuine religious activities. Those who have issues with the constitution should follow the procedures. The Constitution Review Act has been passed by Parliament and it has nothing to do with what happened here… No demonstrations will be allowed unless they have the blessings of the government..

‘Peace has made a tremendous contribution to our economy – 80% of our foreign exchange comes from the tourism sector and there is no way we will allow some people to play with peace….. Christianity is not new here… the then chief of Zanzibar allowed the first church, which was built in 1844 on land offered by a Muslim chief… The first church in the Isles was the Anglican Church at Mkunazini. It was followed by the Roman Catholic twin towers…. There has been a high level of religious tolerance in Zanzibar”. The president assured all religious groups in the Isles that they could carry on their activities safely.

The president expressed surprise that the groups demanding a referendum on the Union decided to raid and burn churches, which have nothing to do with Union issues. “The Zanzibar and the Union gov­ernments have been dealing with Union matters in accordance with laid- down procedures and there was no need for anyone to take the law in their own hands and try to force the issue. The two governments have been discussing oil and gas with the aim of enabling each side of the Union to own the resources independently.” All people were free to debate anything of importance to them, but they should follow the right procedures.


As the ruling CCM party reeled from the shock by-election result in Mainland Tanzania, its CUF coalition partner in Zanzibar also suffered a shock. For many years there have been only two significant parties in the Isles – the ruling CCM, which has always come first in elections, and the Civic United Front (CUF) which is the accepted leading opposition party and has always come second. No other parties were of any significance.

However, when the results of the Uzini by-election (for a seat in the Zanzibar House of Representatives), following the death in a road accident of the incumbent, were announced, CUF found itself in third position!

The results were as follows:
CCM 5,377 Chadema 281 CUF 222 Two other parties 22
In the previous election CCM had got 2,187, CUF 383 and APT 124. There had been no Chadema candidate.

The ‘inquest’
An inquest (of some sort) by CUF was obviously required and soon took place.
The Citizen quoted Mji Mkongwe MP (in the House of Representatives) and CUF Deputy Secretary General for Zanzibar Ismail Jussa as attributing CUF’s defeat to ‘mainlanders and Christians’ living in the area who had not voted for CUF. He added that people from the mainland should not be employed in Zanzibar’s substantial tourist industry.

He immediately came under heavy attack from a cross-section of politicians. In an interview with The Citizen on Saturday, the leaders condemned remarks which could ‘incite serious sectarian divisions in the country.’ Speaking separately, the politicians demanded that Mr Jussa apologise for his remarks, which they warned could steer the country into a serious tribal or religious crisis. They said that Registrar of Political Parties John Tendwa should take stern action against Mr Jussa.
Among those who attacked the MP was the Deputy Minister for Communications and Transport and CUF MP for Wawi Hamad Rashid Mohammed. The Deputy Minister was quoted as saying “What we witnessed in Rwanda, Burundi or even Kenya started in a similar way. His actions are intolerable as they send the wrong message to the international community as far as Zanzibar’s Government of National Unity is concerned” He added that it was ironical for Mr Jussa to utter such words when his Mji Mkongwe constituency was home to different shades and colours of Zanzibaris.

Other MPs felt that the by-election defeat had had nothing to do with Christianity or Mainlanders in Uzini. It was attributed to what was termed as the party’s ‘diminishing influence and appeal.’ Following a debate in the House of Assembly Mr Jussa’s proposal on restricting employment of mainlanders in Zanzibar was defeated by a vote of 22 to 21 MPs.

Coalition troubles
The junior partner in the coalition government in Britain is beginning to show strains and something similar seems to be happening to the junior partner, CUF, in the Zanzibar government following the Uzini by-election.

Attacks have been made on Zanzibar First Vice President Seif Shariff Hamad, who has asked those eyeing his position as CUF Secretary General to hold their horses because he has not yet made a decision to retire from politics. Highly regarded as the doyen of political opposition in Zanzibar, he has led CUF in Zanzibar for nearly 20 years, and maintains that he does not fear challenges for the party’s top executive post. He has welcomed whoever wishes to challenge him to do so in the next internal elections scheduled for 2014. Speaking at a press conference in Zanzibar, Hamad said he was perplexed why some people were talking about CUF elections now, while the party polls were three years away.

The reason is that Wawi MP Hamad Rashid Mohammed had launched a campaign to market himself as a suitable replacement for Mr Shariff Hamad. The Wawi MP said he wanted to dislodge Mr Hamad because, as Zanzibar’s First VP, he could no longer serve the political interests of the opposition party efficiently. The Wawi MP was then expelled from the party. Later, two other CUF MPs defected.

Meanwhile, Mr Shariff Hamad had catalogued the achievements that the power-sharing government has registered during its first year of existence, including the creation of a peaceful and tranquil country. However, he said, there were still some challenges facing the government including cross-cutting issues such as drug abuse and trafficking, the environment and HIV/Aids.


The United Republic of Tanzania’s decision to seek an extension of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) has sparked a hot debate in the Zanzibar House of Representatives, with Zanzibaris threatening to withdraw from the deal. Debating a private motion tabled by CUF Representative for Mji Mkongwe Ismail Jussa, the lawmakers demanded the resignation of a minister who had allegedly taken part in formulating the application, which had already been tabled before the UN.

According to the Citizen: ‘They bayed for the blood of Mr Ali Juma Shamuhuna, the Zanzibar Minister for Energy, accusing him of betray¬ing Zanzibaris by helping to prepare the application.’ Mr Jussa argued in the House of Representatives that marine and oil issues should be the preserve of Zanzibar and that the Union government had no business making the application. In addition, backbenchers led by Mr Jussa demanded that the Zanzibar government send a delegation to the UN if the Union government ignored their plea.

Tanzania’s Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Prof Anna Tibaijuka, recently led a delegation to the UN to present a request for the extension of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS), which lies 150 miles beyond the current 200 miles of the EEZ – The Citizen.