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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Tanzania: Most popular presidential candidate did not do enough

Is Kikwete the most useless president Tanzania ever had? Was Nyerere justified in denying him the presidency?

All indications are that President Jakaya Kiwkete will be announced the winner of the just concluded presidential elections in Tanzania. This is one result that will dishearten many Tanzanians.
The most popular presidential candidate in Tanzania, but hey, this is Africa.

But for the rest of East Africans there are interesting lessons to be learnt here from one Jakaya Kikwete. There are similarities between Jakaya Kikwete and Mwai Kibaki apart from the fact that both held the Finance ministry portfolio when they made history as the youngest Finance ministers in their respective countries. Kibaki was finance Minister in Kenya in his 30s whilst Kikwete got the coveted docket in Tanzania at 44.

Kibaki and Kikwete are the kind of leaders that are way too eager to lead. Folks in a big hurry to be president before clearly crystallizing their policies and what they want to do with the presidential powers their lust after. You will see these kind of leaders pretty often. The kind that are just too eager to take over office, cocky and very sure that they can do a better job even before they take the time to carefully analyze the job and what the current office bearers are doing and have done. Many times they will frequently rubbish the work of their predecessors in words and actions (Kibaki did it openly, Kikwete less so).

It is said that in 1995 the late Julius Kabarage Nyerere prevailed on CCM to opt for William Mkapa as their presidential candidate rather than Kikwete to take over the presidency from then president Ali Hassan Mwinyi (who is the man who came after Nyerere.) The founding father of Tanzania was always a keen judge of human character and hardly missed anything. Dramatically during the presidential nomination process Kikwete was clearly carrying the day over Mkapa when the wise Nyerere suddenly and unexpectedly called for a break. Obviously it was not for him to enjoy a cup of tea or cold Pepsi (found only in Tanzania in the entire East African region) but clearly it was for him to do some subtle lobbying. He urged his CCM comrades to opt for Mkapa rather than Kikwete and “to give the young man some more years to mature” (Nyerere’s exact words). No doubt these were very hurting words to Kikwete then but in retrospect Tanzanians have one more critical thing to thank Mwalimu for. He saw many years ago what Tanzanians are only realizing now. Indeed although Kikwete has worked hard to position himself to the public as a keen student of Nyerere the truth is that he finally got elected over Nyerere’s long-dead body and chances are that the old wise man of Tanzania would have denied Kikwete the presidency yet again was he still alive to lobby within the CCM high command. And with good reason. Mkapa’s steadier wiser hand apparently had much more attention to detail and gave Tanzania the best 10 years that economy has ever seen. In those 10 years Tanzania changed so dramatically that they suddenly had a problem of too many Kenyans flooding the job market there where opportunities were numerous fueled by the suddenly rapidly growing economy. In retrospect it is obvious that Mkapa understood a lot of things that the arrogant JK did not take time to grasp.

As it is Kikwete will go down in history as the least popular Tanzanian president ever. A close friend based in Tanzania for many years sent me an interesting email this week that perfectly illustrates the feelings of most Tanzanians towards this president;

“Chris, people here are disenchanted with Kikwete. He's a populist and yet doesn't seem to be delivering 'Maisha bora kwa kila Mtanzania'. He talks of fighting corruption but there are many corrupt guys in his party (and government). Some, whose cases are in court, were running to be re-elected this year. Kikwete literally went to their constituencies during the campaigns and told the wananchi that those court cases and accusations were fabrications. Imagine the cheek!”

Amazingly like Kibaki, on taking over office Kikwete wanted to do too many things. In many ways the insinuation here is that your predecessor did nothing and has therefore left you with too much work to do. Basic management demands that you must prioritize and focus on a few key areas. Kikwete and Kibaki ignored this cardinal rule and woke up one morning to realize that their initial 5 year term was already over and they hardly had anything to show for it.

What Mr Kikwete must do now is use his remaining 5 years to repair some of the damage he has done to Mkapa’s good work and then focus on one critical area that he will want to be remembered for. As it is now most Tanzanians only remember him for pain. He might want to borrow a leaf from Kibaki and initiate the process for a new constitution or at the very least major changes to the laws that govern this huge sleeping giant of a nation.


Anonymous said...

Why Tanzania politics in this Kenyan blog?
Don't we have our own politics to talk about?
This obessesion with foreign politics must end here!

Profit Moo-Ham-Mad

Taabu said...

Charity begins at home. Your apt adivise is better internalized loaclly, ama?

And it is all the fault of .... (kumbaff).

Anonymous said...


Thanks for trying to help some raia with broadening their East African horizons.

At times we can be so grossed with ourselves that we end up inflicted with an inwarding looking or worse very limited (zero) perspective regarding issues that take place around us.

BTW, I meant - why is CHADEMA seen or viewed as a party of the north? Yaani, a party dominated by people from the north - and not "south/southern people" in one of my earlier posts.

Ahaa! Do I smell a whiff of lemongrass being aimed at Mwalimu Kabarega Nyerere, Rais Jokaya kikwete and CCM?

Kwani hivi leo ushakuwa mwanachama rasmi wa CHADEMA au vipi?

Tafadhali, naomba usikose kuwakilisha pande zote za shilingi.


I am afraid that charity begins at home and so does negative ethnicity.

That's why one will find 100s or 1000s posts on any thread that has to do with quasi-tribal political issues.

Let's never forget to extend some credit to ... (kumbaff) for the little too late that he done so far.

Muru wa Gacii

Mwarang'ethe said...

Mkapa’s steadier wiser hand apparently had much more attention to detail and gave Tanzania the best 10 years that economy has ever seen. In those 10 years Tanzania changed so dramatically that they suddenly had a problem of too many Kenyans flooding the job market there where opportunities were numerous fueled by the suddenly rapidly growing economy.


Two cars pass each other silently at Uhuru Highway. As they do this, nothing happens and they contribute nothing to the GDP ("economic growth").

However, for strange reasons, one of the drivers loses control and hit a third car.

Terrific! shouts the modern high priests (led by economists, politicians and journalists).

Courtesy of the accident, now we have ambulances, doctors, nurses, break downs services, the police, a new car, legal battles, insurance compensation for loss of earnings, journalists reporting LIVE, clearing the wreckage among other things.

Although no one really gains from all these transactions, and in fact someone has lost his living standard etc, these are all professional services that must be paid for.

Therefore, our "WEALTH" in accordance with the GDP of the modern high priest has increased. Isn't this wonderful?


A proper way of looking at capital accumulation would be this. First, we should get the:

(a) gross revenue which accounts for all gross out put of land and labour.

Thereafter, we should deduct the:

(a) the portion of the national output that would be necessary to maintain the output at constant assuming we produce the same next year (for the whole society),

from this, we would get

(a) the residual/net output which would be used to enlarge/expand the economic output next year.

Once we arrive at the NET REVENUE, we must drive further by analysing the distribution of the net revenue among three classes:

(a) wages (all kinds of labor and industrial capitalists),
(b) rent, and
(c) interest.

This analysis is crucial for two reasons. One, it reveals the structure of an economy which is hidden in "complex" world we live in.

Secondly, and crucially, it determines the ability of an economy to re - invest the net revenue for future economic expansion.

For the above reason, the growth of an economy is not determined by the president, but, by institutional arrangements of a state.

As such, an analysis based on Kibaki, M7, Kikwete and Mkapa is not helpful.

All these guys like Clinton can do is issue more debts which the masses confuse with wealth.

This leaves King Nero Obama to come up with a "new model of wealth creation" as we are learning here.

Although this guy is biased against labour for ideological reasons, he offers a good aalysis of the "new model" by Nero Obama:

Anyway, pass the popcorn please.

Anonymous said...

It's a pretty poor showing for TZ. In Shinyanga the Guardian online had reported a riot on monday after the CCM candidate was declared triumphant over his Chadema rival by a mere 200 vote margin. The municipal building where the ballots were stored was allegedly razed to the ground as disturbances spread to a residential area. There goes the recount option. Police used teargas & live bullets (in the air) to disperse mobs. The story has since been pulled off the ippmedia website. Now CUF has joined Chadema in rejecting the results on the mainland. Let's pray for Tanzania. They're treading through treacherous waters.


Maishinski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maishinski said...

Phrases like "this is africa", when uttered in a negative context (as will typically be the case), are self deprecating when uttered by Africans and racist when uttered by foreigners.

Lets reclaim our dignity on the global platform. Lets start using "This is Africa" to denote or celebrate WINNING scenarios.

Reject the pink brainwash and set yourself free.

Anonymous said...

Mtoto akililia wembe ... ? MPE!!!!!!!!

Let those who want to mess their beautiful country of Tanzania think twice about what - the hellish existence of the citizenry - has taken place in Cote d'voire (Ivory Coast) for the last ten years.

How come CUF has already accepted the presidential results on the island of Zanzibar?

So, why was CUF celebrating together with CCM during the inauguration of Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein?

Let Lipumba follow Maalim Seif Shariff Hamad's recent example, and who knows, he may end up being elected as Tanzania's next president. Asiye kubali kushindwa si mshindani.

Good things come to those who wait for all the right reasons. Rais Kikwete not only accepted defeat with grace, but he collaborated with the previous adminstrations and waited for Rais Mkapa's tenure to expire in due time.
Watanzania sijui mnataka nini??? Mkishindwa ooho tumeibiwa ... hamuishi kulalamika eehe ndio Chaedema hao ... wao wanafikiri ni waotu wanapiga kura ...

Kama hamna imani na NEC basi muame TZ, nendeni Kenya.

CHADEMA bado changa, wengi wenu mnatoka mikoa ya kaskazini ... chaga na Arusha.

Sasa mlifikiri sasa hivi mtafanya biashara ikulu? Eisee Mbowe ni wa waziri baba angu!!

Mnajifanya mna uchungu na nchi wakati nyie ndio mliotaka wakoloni wabaki kwa maslahi yenu ...

Sasa nendeni mkashtaki Vatican!!!

Mnaboa ... matokeo yanatangazwa na NEC, niye mmeshaanza kutangaza matokeo mnayotaka nyie.

My sentiments exactly - with all due respect to Lipumba and CUF's followers, including Slaa and CHADEMA's followers.

Muru wa Gacii


Anonymous said...

Ruto in Hague

sasa mambo moto-real panick nyumbani ya mumbi

all now directed at the C-I-C of the armed forces and those who held power over the security forces in Kenya

Let justice prevail

Anonymous said...

Please get out of gear 1 (land/wealth), will you? Thanks God you are not a teacher. You would bore your students to death. And don't delude yourself ati because you are abstract but LACK of creativity and depth. You are so poor at plagiarizing you sound so dour on the same stale theme, you bore to high heavens.

Please spare me your Sumarian folklore and abbreviated web links for a response, will you?

Anonymous said...

@ Muru wa Gacii, although Chadema stood down & did not contest any Zanzibar seats, CUF did not return the favour on the mainland. Were they content to split the opposition vote? Stranger things have happened. Below as seen on Guardian (with a feed to Reuters) before the ceremony & pomp on the isles.

"The Civic United Front (CUF) said there had been widespread failings in the electoral process, a day after Willibrod Slaa, the presidential candidate for the Chadema party, demanded a recount of the ballots cast over the weekend. Opposition parties and election observers accused the intelligence services of fiddling the results and complained at the release of
the vote count at a snail's pace."


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