Okay, so last week's post was about the majority party's bid for continued political dominance in Tanzania. It's most likely a done deal that CCM will win the election by hook or by *crook,* but I gotta give the opposition a lil' face time as well, so here goes.
In past years, there were a bunch a little, loosey-goosey opposition parties, none of which were particularly strong except for Cha Dema, which is short for Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (the Party for Democracy and Development).
The big feature of Cha Dema
is its strong anti-corruption platform. It's often been characterized
as a party of younger voters, students, and people who are fed up with
the alleged dishonesty that has been associated with CCM's recent
The HILARIOUS thing about Cha Dema's
current candidate, Edward Lowassa, is that until very recently, he was a
bigwig for CCM! That is, until he was outed as a veritable criminal
and forced to defect from his party!!
his political allegiance (read: ambition) lies with the opposition
party, and people think he has a good chance as Magufuli's main
competition for the presidency.
all those little parties have been so scattered in years past with
various political platforms and a lot of geographical alliances, someone
amongst them had the good sense to knot them all together and form
UKAWA, which surely stands for something or other in Swahili and which
means Coalition for the People's Constitution (huh?) in English.
So, Lowassa appears to be repping Cha Dema under the umbrella of UKAWA.... Or something like that....
Tanzania Opposition Cha Dema to Launch Campaign Saturday
Tanzania's main opposition political party, Cha Dema, will officially
launch its campaign for the October 25 general election Saturday in the
commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
Tumaini Makene, Cha Dema party spokesman, says his group aims to
present a united front with other opposition parties known as UKAWA, to
challenge and break the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party's
Senior officials of the party and other prominent opposition leaders
plan to participate in the campaign launch, according to Makene. He says
the party, which campaigns on the platform of change, represents the
hopes and aspirations of many Tanzanians, who he says are fed up with
the country's poor and ineffective leadership from the ruling CCM.
"People are coming from all parts of the country to witness what is
going to be happening. It will be broadcast live on television and
radio," said Makene.
Former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa who recently defected to the
opposition party from CCM is expected to lead Cha Dema in the
presidential election. A few opposition leaders have since resigned
their positions in Cha Dema, citing Lowassa's defection as the reason.
But Makene says Lowassa defected with a big cross-section of
supporters from CCM, and that the defection serves as a significant
boost to the opposition before the poll.
Professor Xavery Lwaitama of the Josiah Kibira University College
says the defection of the former prime minister has caused a seismic
political shift in both the ruling party and the opposition alliance.
Lwaitama also says Lowassa's influence in the ruling party slices the
chances of the CCM in the general election, which tilts the
balance in favor of the opposition alliance in the vote.
"That is one of the political earthquakes that is expected when a big
shot like the former prime minister leaves a ruling party like the CCM," said Lwaitama.
An estimated 24 million prospective voters have been registered,
after the electoral body compiled a voters list to be used for the
Makene says the ruling party has lost legitimacy, which could
undermine the party's efforts to maintain its dominance. He also
expressed confidence that with support from other opposition parties
known as UKAWA, Cha Dema is likely to defeat CCM in the upcoming
"As time goes on, the opposition is gaining strength, and CCM is
losing its influence and becoming weaker. Meanwhile, Cha Dema has been able to gain political legitimacy from the
Tanzanian people," said Makene.
But supporters of the CCM say the party knows how to win elections,
adding that this time would not be different. They dismissed Lowassa's
defection as good riddance, after accusing the former prime minister of
being tainted with corruption. Lowassa denies the allegation.