Skip to main content

CCM reading from KANU script, we all know what happened!

Having grown up and gone to school in Kenya at the height of their 'second liberation' one thing was clear: people power reigns. When the agitation for reforms started in the late 1980s, KANU government in a chutzpah fashion cracked its whip by harassing and jailing dissidents. Coinciding with the fall of the Berlin Wall that marked the triumph of liberal democracy, the reform agenda gathered momentum in not only Kenya but the world over. An intransigent President Moi and his government agreed to repel section 2A of the constitution and Kenya became a multiparty democracy in 1991. Despite the opposition loosing the 1992 and 1997 elections, they continued pressing the Moi regime calling for reforms. The opposition saw constitutional reforms as the only way out. When calls for minimum reforms were thwarted by the Moi regime in 1996, prior to the elections the following year, the writing was on the wall for Kenya. Moi went on to easily beat his opponents in the elections in 1997. 

Calls for reforms did not end there. The opposition together with other pressure groups coalesced demanding for change and constitution reforms. A Commission for Constitution Reforms of Kenya was set up in 2000 after intense pressure. Moi regime had began to cave. Despite the brouhaha, Moi continued to dillydally on the process. President Moi anointed Uhuru Kenyatta as his heir apparent since his term was coming to an end in 2002. This did not augur well with a section of KANU politicians who jumped ship. Led by Raila Odinga and a host of other political figures such as George Saitoti, Kalonzo Musyoka, Simeon Nyachae, Mwai Kibaki, Moody Awori, Charity Ngilu and many others coalesced and formed a formidable NARC coalition ahead of the 2002 election. Their agenda was to remove KANU from office and  a championed for a new constitution. Law and behold, the indomitable KANU was resoundingly defeated. Legends and tales of the 'Jogoo' party are still told to date. Ironically, CCM, the 'independence' party seems to be reading from KANU script. With the constitution process in Tanzania at a deadlock, CCM has refused to yield to the opposition demands. 

Tanzania is not Kenya when it comes to politics, neither is CCM KANU. But lest we forget, as Aldous Huxley postulates 'that men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach". 


Popular posts from this blog

Speculating Magufuli’s absence at Uhuru Kenyatta’s Inauguration

29 November 2017 As I drove on the Thika Superhighway on the weekend before Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration on Tuesday, the road was decorated with flags of different countries. At the foot-bridge next to National Youth Service (NYS) Headquarters, the Tanzanian flag flew sublimely. Other flags including the Nairobi City Council flag decorated the Thika Superhighway that headed towards Kasarani, the venue of the inaguration. The Office of the Government Spokesman in Tanzania, had on 24 November issued a press statement saying that President John Magufuli would attend Mr. Kenyatta’s swearing in on 28 November. Days before Mr. Kenyatta’s inauguration, NASA leader Raila Odinga, a close friend to Mr. Magufuli flew to Zanzibar, where it is reported that the two met. Mr. Odinga’s trip to Zanzibar which came a few days after he jetted back to Nairobi from an overseas trip sparked debated and controversy. On the inauguration day, Tanzania’s State-House issued a press release saying that Vice Presi…

Comment: The Politics of Party Defection in Tanzania

Political party defection is a sign of unstable party democracy and/or jockeying for political positions. Defections happen from ruling party to the opposition and from the opposition to the ruling party. In African fledgling democracies, party defections are not about ideology or philosophic underpinnings. Party switching in many African states is largely driven by ethno-demographic and religious factors. These factors have also informed political party formation. Party switching is also a strategic political manoeuvring. Despite Tanzania boasting of national parties, political party strength is largely regional. We're now witnessing a surge in party defections from across the parties.
The defection of former PM Edward Lowassa from CCM to Chadema in 2015 was monumental, especially it coming just before a general election. The election season several high-profile defections. Defections from a dominant ruling party like CCM to the opposition is always huge. CCM's single party d…