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Showing posts from 2017

Nyusi’s abrupt visit to Tanzania: Why Security was the main agenda

15 December 2017
Moments after swearing new ministers, Mozambican President Felipe Jacinto Nyusi made an abrupt visit to Tanzania’s capital Dodoma for one-day state visit. President Nyusi sacked four ministers – foreign minister, energy, industry and trade and agriculture in a surprise move a day earlier. He was met and welcomed in Dodoma by his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli and a host of other dignitaries. His visit to Tanzania comes at a time when Mozambique is facing security challenges in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. The Mozambican government, in late November, 2017 ordered the closure of three mosques in the city of Pemba after attacks linked to Islamic extremists. The attacks in October, 2017 saw an attack in police stations in Mocimboa, a town close to the Tanzanian border. The area is close to Tanzania’s natural gas rich towns of Mtwara and Lindi.
Through an official government press release, Tanzania says that Mr. Nyusi’s visit was aimed at strengthening ties b…

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…