Posted: July 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

Party changes by Tanzanian politician are not a new phenomenon but one that has been with us as a nation since the first republic in the decade leading to independence of Tanzania as a sovereign nation. We have seen it availed some political parties in the past and also it has spelled doom for other. The question now is that does parties change hold prospect for vibrant opposition? It does not because Tanzanian politician’s parties change for a number of reasons:-

  • To have better access to power and the spoils of office.
  • To escape political oppression and persecution.
  • As a result of a breakdown in the aims and objectives amongst the founding fathers of a party.
  • As a tactical and strategic political retreat to re-launch a political agenda on another platform.
  • For ideological reasons, when the initial platform has derailed from the ideals which inspired like minds to join the party and bring to bear these lofty ideals in the service of the people. Defection based on this ideal is few and far between in Tanzania.

The Tanzanian situation is in sharp contrast to the practice in the more established democracies like USA or Britain. In the USA generations of families vote and belong to one party and it is seen as political apostasy for a member of a party to change party to the other party; imagine a member of the Kennedy family becoming a Republican or a member of the Bush family becoming a Democrat or even a Clinton becoming a Republican, that will cause political earth-quake. The same attitude prevail in Britain imagine a Labour Member of Parliament MP defecting to the Conservative (Tory) party or Vice versa.

All these ideological consistency have no relevance to Tanzania, our political leaders change parties at will according to their present needs and fancy, some of our leaders under the present dispensation have changed parties more than 3 times in less than 10 years. The then MP of Kasulu Mosses Machali is a classic illustration of this rolling stone tendency.

A number of reasons have been adduced for this fair weather attitude to politics the most reasonable being the lack of ideological base by most Tanzanian parties, for the most part there is no ideological difference between Tanzanian parties, even parties that make a big show of being radical and progressive when it comes to the nitty-gritty show a lack of understanding of the basic tenets of democracy absence of free and fair primaries; imposition of candidates, lack of internal democracy and transparency. Carpet cross hold no prospect for vibrant opposition it only undermines what they stand for.

By Abdul Noor

Twitter: @abdul_noor

He is a dynamite and dynamic young man, mentally resourceful, intellectually equipped, futuristically visionary and responsibility sensitive citizen. A man who is committed to personal and national development. He is a Creative writer, and an activist.


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