Friday, October 29, 2010

Election Results: Will there be trouble in Tanzania after Sunday?

As opinion polls (including the Kumekucha one) show that opposition candidate will win presidency from Kikwete

On Sunday Kenya’s next door neighbours, Tanzania go to the polls. The reality on the ground is that the Tanzanians have been watching with great interest and then envy as Kenya has gone through a very eventful two years or so. Tanzanians are now asking why ordinary folks in their country cannot be like Kenyans who to them appear to be very much aware of their rights and willing to fight for them.

I was shocked beyond words recently when I overheard ordinary Tanzanians in a Dar-es-salaam surburb discussing Sunday’s polls and saying that it would be a good idea to stock up in food and stay indoors, expecting the worst. The reason for my surprise is that despite the reports of election violence that always emerge from Zanzibar during almost every general election, election violence is hardly the style of Tanzanians, more so on the mainland.
Is this man capable of doing a Kibaki this Sunday?

To most Kenyans (like the guys who never miss an opportunity to spew tribal hatred in this blog) it would be mighty difficult to understand Tanzanian politics. Tribalism hardly exists in this country that is almost the size of both Kenya and Uganda put together and boasts of over 140 tribes (to Kenya’s 40 something). Neither is there a history of certain tribes reigning supreme over others. The one man who must take the most credit for this unity that is rare to find in any African country is the founding father the late Mwalimu Julius Kabarage Nyerere. While Kenya’s Tom Mboya and Jomo Kenyatta prided themselves in national symbols based on strong animals like the lion, Nyerere quietly chose the unassuming Giraffe. And there is plenty of proof in the man’s life that he was able to see extremely far into the horizon so much so that he still holds great sway even from the grave. Nyerere unified the country by aggressively adopting the Swahili language into the fabric and way of life of Tanzanians. Whilst it is true that Tanzanians are now busy going to extreme lengths to undo this by ensuring that their children grow up learning English from an early age and ignoring Kiswahili altogether, they have Nyerere to thank for the fact that despite the unprecedented high tensions that are being witnessed in the country’s politics, what happened in Kenya in early 2008 can never happen in Tanzania. Whatever Kikwete or CCM decide to do on Sunday.

Incidentally what I admire most about Nyerere is that fact that while Jomo Kenyatta was busy grabbing every available fertile piece of land he could lay his hands on and enriching himself, Nyerere was focused on serving his people. So much so that by the time his retirement came round, his people were so embarrassed about his rural shack that they opted to hurriedly build him a house. Even today the Nyerere family are ordinary folks feeling the current strain of the economy in the country. Wow!! Can you imagine Uhuru Kenyatta broke? Or Mama Ngina Kenyatta applying for a bank loan to pay school fees for some of her grand children? Or Kenyans being ashamed of any politician’s rural home so much so that they opt to build them a house?

Nyerere is long dead but he still looms large in many aspects of Tanzanian life and to understand the country’s politics one cannot avoid studying the man in great detail. For instance crime levels are still spectacularly low in Tanzania, more so violent crime. One of the reasons is the system of Majumba kumi (ten households) established by Nyerere. Covering the vast country of 40 million people it ensures that hardly anything happens without the knowledge of authorities. There is a leader appointed over every ten households who reports to authorities any developments in their area of jurisdiction including the arrival of strangers and would-be criminals. This makes it extremely difficult to plan for any serious violent crime without attracting attention. Buying arms and amassing arrows like happened in the Rift Valley prior to the ill-fated 2007 elections would be impossible.

But now despite this kind of past, the general elections on Sunday looms large for the Giraffe nation. The ruling CCM (Chama cha mapinduzi) is faced with the fight of its’ life. More so its’ presidential candidate Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. Traditionally the main opposition party in Tanzania has been CUF, a party that has huge following in Zanzibar and amongst Muslims in Tanzania. However seemingly out of nowhere a man called Dr Willibrod Slaa a charismatic orator who bases answers to almost all questions asked on the ordinary Tanzanian reeling under considerable financial strain currently. Political analysts predict a close race. I have been on a tour of Tanzania recently and I can authoritatively report that Chadema’s Slaa has enough legs to win the presidential race by a respectable margin. As to who will be announced winner (which is what matters here) all I can say is that this is Africa.

But despite whatever credentials Slaa my have, the truth is that he is just a man who found himself at the right place at the right time. Tanzanians are aching for the change that they have seen coming to their next door neighbours Kenya and it is only natural that not many see that change coming from the ruling party CCM’s presidential candidate Jakaya Kikwete. More so after the devastating effect on their daily lives that his rule has had. Not to mention the broken promises to a much more aware and restless electorate.

I am taking steps to caution all my Kenyan friends residing in Tanzania to be careful and alert on Sunday because anything can happen. Mercifully whatever it is that may happen can never come close to the bloodbath we saw in Kenya in 2008.

New opinion poll shows that opposition candidate will win Tanzanian presidency

Main opposition party claims that rigging is being planned through ghost voters

Where some of Kiwkete’s popularity problems started
Kikwete love triangle that earned sexy Congolese musician life sentence (read the second comment on the page that opens from the link)

Views of the Tanzanian business community on the impact of the looming general elections

How the first few months of Kikwete caused jitters amongst foreigners living in Tanzania

Election results in Tanzania since independence


Anonymous said...

Is this the CCM that Anyang Nyongo has ceaselessly told us that ODM is being modeled after? The DOMO DOMO people want to replicate Tanzania CCM's kleptocracy?

Let them try, we will chase them into lake Victoria!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

At least Chadema's Slaa is trying to win cleanly without copying ODM's "kabila adui" tribal diarrhea.

Anonymous said...

If the Tanzanians fight will Kibaki go and talk them into a coalition govt, the way Kikwete did to us?

Anonymous said...

The blog posters here can't be helped neither can they be reformed. Do we always have to go the tribal way ?, KENYANS HALLO!

Case of "grave diggers" accompanying "tribal high priests". When will all this end.

Anonymous said...

Is this artcle written by Chris?
Well, at least the style appears to be Chris. If so I am just so relieved Chris is back.
We hope he is back and back to his best.

Anonymous said...

People are now aware of their rights Medias, Civil Societies and other actors have done good advocacy work for quite sometimes. Right now some of the villagers are aware of the role of opposition parties and what CCM has done for them.

My opinion is JK has a tough match of his life so is CCM. You know Slaa was a very outspoken MP, he did a good job to awaken CCM as he used to challenge them most of the time during Bunge. I see Chadema (The party that Slaa is representing) will take many seats in the Parliament but Presidential position is likely to go to JK again. The big mistake that oppositions have done is to separate their powers since in other places you find a very prominent candidate who could bring changes but three opposition parties are fighting for the same position as a results votes are divided hence CCM is increasing chances of winning. This is also the same case in presidential position since CUF will vote for their candidate and so are the other parties. Also still most of rural people are still having CCM in their heads and to them CCM is connected to Nyerere. In urban areas and particularly youth and the 40's are for Chadema. I see Slaa going to State House in 2015 or if they play well their cards they might win this time.

Anonymous said...

Tanzanians are not interested in your little opinions. If the country can get good leadwers it can take off since there is no tribalism.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you back Chris. You were gone for such a long time, It has been AGES! That is bad manners - just kidding. Usipotee tena.

Once again, welcome back.

Anonymous said...

This article is written with the same speculative upuzi that was used by Chris and pro-ODM NGO mercenaries in 2007 where they claimed that Raila would win with a landslide. Well, we all now know that he lost genuinely, and even tried to rig.
Same thing here; the fact is that Kikwete will win notwithstanding NGO/Chris propaganda and lies.

kumekucha said...

Yes I am back. Sorry that I stayed away too long, couldn't be helped.

Thanx for the warm welcome back folkss, and the hostile ones too, just confirms that I am back in Kumekucha wild west.


Taabu said...

Can you please deny or confirm that KK is being investigated by KACC for ...........

Anonymous said...

A British leading paper endorse Rao-Amazing!

“Kenya’s future could be bright if the next election, expected in August 2012, can pass off peacefully, perhaps with a clear-cut transition to a President Raila Odinga, who was almost certainly cheated out of the top job by last-minute electoral fiddles last time round.”

The political and constitutional reforms instigated by Kenya since the disputed 2007 elections have received the stamp of approval from one of the world’s top international news magazines.

In a lead article in Friday’s edition of the Economist, the London-based magazine said that Kenya had now “recovered its breath” (from the disputed elections), “endorsed a new political system, and is now poised to forge ahead as the region’s undisputed economic motor and diplomatic nerve-centre.”

While acknowledging that political progress remains a work in progress and “politics remains fragile under a government of national unity,” the report added that Kenya “has begun to find a balance, if not true stability, on the domestic political front.

Such words are warm praise indeed from the normally hyper-critical Economist, but the magazine said that the recovery could yet be derailed by continuing corruption.

“Corruption is still built into a system of patronage and ethnic share-outs that invariably leaves the mass of poor Kenyans feeling let down,” the Economist says.

Friday's Financial Times newspaper went one stage further, saying that the departure of four senior political figures in the space of 10 days because of alleged corruption, including two cabinet ministers, was “an exceptional event.”

The Economist adds that the latest purge “is directly linked to the new constitution, introduced in August, which demands that public officials charged with corruption must vacate their positions.”

Philip said...


Tuelezee mambo huko Tanzania. Uchumi yao iko aje? Biashara gani nzuri kuanzisha huko?

Nilielezwa ya kwamba Watanzania hawapendi Wakenya, ilhali upande ingine wanawakaribisha watu kutoka Kusini ya Africa, ni ukweli ama ni porojo ya maadui ya Watanzania?

Unadhani uchumi yao itafikia ya Kenya, ama wamefikia kilele ya kuzorota kwa uchumi yao.

Nijibu tafadhali.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris, am happy u r back to kk-i really missed ur topical articles as i think you have a better machinery to research on info-
Just had a wild thot-u disappeared after doing saome kao articles and their ability to use remote control-I hope ur unavoidable absence did not result the use of these remote controls-otherwise karibu ndugu tojienjoy

Anonymous said...

If I can try to answer Philip,s query, I think generally Tanzanias do not trust Kenyans; for a good reason of course. There is a whole world of difference in lifestyle and mannerism. Whereas Tznians are generally humble & slow-paced, Kenyans are aggressive and impatience (should I also say they have a very high affinity for money?) Just an opinion.

Anonymous said...


“Kenya’s future could be bright if the next election, expected in August 2012, can pass off peacefully, perhaps with a clear-cut transition to a President Raila Odinga, who was almost certainly cheated out of the top job by last-minute electoral fiddles last time round.”

Anonymous said...

Wacheni proroja na uhalifu. Kwani The Economist and FT only read KK? They better ask bloggers here if they want the truth instead of living the fantacy that is Rao endorsement. Only KK believes in cheating during the 2007 polls.

Anonymous said...

"Tanzania nchi uhuru hamna matatu, mizozo wala ghasia za kisiasa."

I hate to rain on your post, but do you by any chance have access to:

i) ATN, Channel 10, East African TV, TBC, TV Milimani, Clouds TV, Star TV, ITV et al.

ii) Various Tanzanian radio stations.

iii) Tanzanian newspapers, magazines, blogs etc?

Majority of Kenyans get very little information - or none at all - about what goes on among their East African neighbours.

And the Kenyan media is to blame for the lack of information as well as the old age Kenyan mentality of "we are the only centre of gravity in all things East African."

It's an era that no longer exists in 2010, however many of us - Kenyans - still have our heads buried in the sand.

In the meantime, Kenya still awaits for its own version of Jakaya Kikwete? If not in 2012, when? 2017?

The Tanzanian political scene of today is remarkable different from that of previous years. Tanzania has really changed from the shadow it once was at one point and time.

So trying to project the post election violence (Kenya style) onto the general elections in Tanzania is really far fetched.

I will reiterate that the current political climate, leadership and ethnic cohesion in Tanzania is worlds apart from that of their East African neighbours.

So far, there has been no pre-election violence in Tanzania during the last seven months, and there is no expectations of any post election violence - Kenyan style - on the mainland as well as on all of the islands of Tanzania.

As a matter of fact, unlike in previous election seasons, majority of residents of Zanzibar, Mafia, Pembe and Pate have decided to stay put and go on with their usual lives because of the prevaling political tranquility on the islands. They have no cause for alarm this time around.

Mhe. Jakaya Kikwete - unlike many of his predecessors - has made the effort and spent a lot of his time listening to the grievances and at the same time working toward resolutions that seek to address various political, social and economic issues that have bedevilled the islands for decades.

All things considered, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) will win majority of the seats during the general election, while CHADEMA still has a long way to go due to obvious reasons.

Dr. Willibrod Slaa and other CHADEMA stalwarts need to give a chance to the next generation of CHADEMA leadership if they want to make any political impact and inroads on the national scene.

Tanzania nchi uhuru hamna mizozo wala ghasia za kisiasa.

Mungu Ibariki Tanzania
Mungu Ibariki Afrika

Muru wa Gacii

Anonymous said...

@10/30/10 3:38 AM

Well, if the economist was voting then we would most certainly be assured of a raila presidency but alas, it is kenyans who are voting a vast majority who neither read nor subcribe to the economist school of thought.
Some of whom were condemned as "kabila adui" and subjected to the most brutal ethnic cleansing exercise in the western swathe of the country.
Come 2012, the raped women , widows and orphans will have a vote on this issue and this time around the "kabila adui" slogan will not work , the new constitution made sure of this......... Thank God!

Anonymous said...

And that scaremongering of Kabila adui will not wash come 2012. Thank God the kabila adui lernt their lesson to respect other Kenyans. BTW don't cheat yourself, katiba or Ocampo cannot bring peace in your neighbourhood, ONLY U.

Anonymous said...

@10/30/10 4:24 PM

Respect is earned not acquired by brute force, So what lesson did the so called "kabila adui" learn? to vote the right way just in case violence is unleashed?

Do you honestly believe that you can force an entire community to behave in a particular way? History has great lessons to teach if only one chooses to learn, the mbeberu with all their military might failed to elicit compliance from the africans ODM ndio itaweza?

kumekucha said...

Hello Philip,

Sorry I took such a long time to reply was not online for an extended period.

You raise some interesting questions which have given me an idea for an entire post (probably after the election results). But let me answer you briefly here;

Philip said...

Tuelezee mambo huko Tanzania. Uchumi yao iko aje? Biashara gani nzuri kuanzisha huko?

Unadhani uchumi yao itafikia ya Kenya, ama wamefikia kilele ya kuzorota kwa uchumi yao.

My answer:
The Tanzanian economy has been growing at break-neck speed for some time now. The truth is that this has gradually been slowing down during the Kikwete presidency. There is no doubt that in the years to come Mkapa (the president before Kikwete) will emerge as the real hero of the Tanzanian economy.

I think the coming years will see increased pressure on this economy and slower growth. There was a time when some felt that the Tz economy would one day reach the level of the Kenyan one. What is clear now is that this is highly unlikely. Tz is too far behind to ever catch up in my opinion.

My visit to the country recently after a long time really shocked me. Life has changed considerably for the ordinary Tanzanian and is much tougher now. In my view this dramatically increases the avalable business opportunities in the country, all an investor has to do is provide cheaper alternatives in the market and it is sure to do extremely well.

Tourism as always is at the top of the list of businesses to invest in in Tz.

Nilielezwa ya kwamba Watanzania hawapendi Wakenya, ilhali upande ingine wanawakaribisha watu kutoka Kusini ya Africa, ni ukweli ama ni porojo ya maadui ya Watanzania?

How can you like people who make fun of you and your country. Kenyans have become extremely arrogant over the years towards their neighbours. We should accept that Tananians are different and respect that. WE should learn to appreciate their strengths while accepting thier shortfalls. They are our brothers.

Despite all this Tanzanians grudgingly admire Kenyans while distrusting them. Still on a personal level I have made tons of Tanzanian friends very easily over the years.

I think the love affair with South Africans has been there for a long time and will always be there. Don't forget that Tanzanians were hosting ANC and doing everything to help them during ap[artheid years when Kenya was doing roaring business (secretly) with the Kaburus of SA.

Hope my answers have been useful.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back Chris. Dislodging any party that "won" a country's independence is no walk in the park. The task is not made any easier in Tanzania when you consider there are 17 parties vying in these elections with 7 individuals pursuing the presidency. Chadema will most likely give a good showing but if Tanzanians really want a change at the helm then they need to consider trying their version of a rainbow alliance. If Chadema & CUF had fielded a joint candidate for the top spot then an upset could have been a possibility.

Chris your South Africa comment is spot on though. Kenyans could travel to ZA inspite of passports claiming a travel ban when kaburus were still in power. Tanzania aided the ANC while we silently traded with the apartheid regime. The pursuit of mighty $ at any expense is both our strong point & achilles heel. We're still playing the same games with Bashir & South Sudan.


Anonymous said...


Karibu tena. Ozanaki? Wahanga ozaka?

Well put: "We should accept Tanzanians are different and respect that. We should learn to appereciate their strengths while accepting their shortfalls they are our neighbours." And will always be.

Re: South Africans in Tanzania.

The Tanzanians' brotherly love and sisterly affection for their Southern African counterparts extends way back to the days of nchi za mstari wa mbele (Frontline States).

Let's not forget the fact that their national athems have a similar tune and the wordings God Bless Africa-Mungu Ibariki Afrika-Ngosi Sikelele iAfrika.

The former guests of Tanzania during tough times (exile), are just doing what normal human beings should do be doing, which is repaying back their hosts who took very good care of them during the dark years of South Africa.

BTW, Chris, did you manage to visit the main campus in Tanzania? Around the area where the Chinese are busy building the new law school? Am told it will be a marvel to behold.

Good to see you back. Karibu tena. Zakamuka.

Muru wa Gacii

Anonymous said...

While we are still at it - "Election Results: Will there be trouble in Tanzania after Sunday?" - let me get this off my chest.

Ati "I come [for in your] country is to help the needy, not to invest or anything else ..."

My family has given more than $5million to the 'needy' in Tanzania in the past 4 years, so you can reserve that statement [yo] yourself".
[name withheld for obvious reasons].

Well, well, well. Missy, you know what? Ignorance is bliss to say the least.

Have you and your generous kind ever heard of the old adage, a truism as it were, that for every dollar donated to African countries in the name of [the so called] charity or for a better phrase -'helping the needy', it's only 25 cents on a dollar that ends up reaching the targeted area or itented charitable objective in Africa.

The rest of the 75 cents on a dollar, always remains (ends up) some where in a private bank account based in the country of origin acculating interest, taxi free, and paying for the bloated adminstration costs of various donor agencies based in the donor countries and overseas

This is not a personal attack or slide on you or on any other person or persons that have done a lot of greater good and continue to do so for some African countries.

But it's just a reminder that the proof is (always) in the pudding. In other words, actions on the ground (zero) speak louder than the dollar figures that are usually announced (proclaimed) in exclusive gatherings and through the western media with pomp and circumstance.

So, instead of pouring your precious charitable contributions into a rat role or whatever wasteland, you or your family can borrow a precious leaf from pragmatic examples of wealthy donors like Oprah Winfrey (Leadership Academy in South Africa).

Or emulate His Royal Highness Prince Aga Khan, and do for Tanzania what his foundation has done, namely, Aga Khan Hospital, Aga Khan University, Aga Khan Medical College, Aga Khan Secondary Schools, Aga Khan Primary Schools, Aga Khan Nursery (Kindergarten) Schools, et al.

For the record and FYI, by 1954 there were over 50 Aga khan Schools in Tanzania.

And if you can, try not to get in the usual habit of lashing out at someone, people or in this particular case, at the President of Tanzania, Mhe. Jakaya Kikwete on the eve of the country's general elections, for whatever reasons known to you.

However, demand for an audit of the books of your family's foundation and always ask probing questions, do your home work, visit ground zero, never for get to put everything in context, and above all, INVEST in the future of Tanzania: the education and health of its FUTURE GENERATION.

More is expected of those who have (been blessed with) more (resources).

Muru wa Gacii

Mwarang'ethe said...

Another OPIUM taking session by the masses.


Chris wrote:

My visit to the country recently after a long time really shocked me. Life has changed considerably for the ordinary Tanzanian and is much tougher now. In my view this dramatically increases the avalable business opportunities in the country, all an investor has to do is provide cheaper alternatives in the market and it is sure to do extremely well.


With due respect, it is not just a matter of setting a business.


The whole world is facing a very serious crisis for the masses have no, or their PP is falling.

Untill the CAUSE/S of this mess are dealt with, it is all a waste of time with these elections.

For instance, in this link, you will hear a business lady saying very clearly that, people have no purchasing power in our economies and as a result, small businesses are failing.


If you wanna see in full details the disaster we are facing, sample these statistics from our "friend."

"17,000,000 College-Educated Americans Are Wasting Their Degree On Menial Jobs."

17,000,000 college educated Americans have jobs that they are overqualified for, according to the BLS.

Over 482,000 college-educated Americans are customer service representatives and over 100,000 are maids and janitors; 5,057 of whom have a Ph.D."

Read more:"



Simply, what we face cannot and shall not be solved by taking OPIUM (elections) every 4/5 years.

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