Dar es Salaam. Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has just celebrated its 39th anniversary. It was born on February 5, 1977 after merging the then Tanganyika African National Union (Tanu) with Afro Shiraz Party (ASP), the former being the party that led Tanganyika to its independence on December 9, 1961 and the latter did the same for Zanzibar’s revolution in 1964.
Four decades of CCM in power plus the political experience it gained prior to its formation in 1977, makes it a party that has been ruling this country for more than 50 years - half a century now.
Politically, socially and economically, CCM’s governments of all phases have done something compared to what Germany and Britain did for more than 75 years they ruled Tanganyika from 1885-1961. CCM could do much more than what it has done so far had it consistently maintained one ideology and vision.
At almost 40 years now since its establishment, CCM and the country in general have neither a clear ideology nor a philosophy that guides us as a nation towards a particular achievable goal. The first president, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, had both ideology and philosophy - socialism and self-reliance policy.
Mwalimu’s leadership did whatever was within its reach towards that goal. The second phase government under President Ali Hassan Mwinyi changed the course. It introduced a free market economic system whereby the government took the position of laissez-faire. Ironically, our policies and legal system remained socialist, but social change took us to different direction.
The third president, Benjamin Mkapa, in principle, continued from where Mwinyi had ended, but finished the last stage that was not done by Mwinyi, that is fully liberalised economy and privatisation. He privatised whatever was owned by the state through its first policy of state monopolised economy. It’s estimated that Nyerere’s leadership left behind more than 400 parastatals.
Both Mwinyi and Mkapa’s administrations are blamed by the present generation for lackadaisical leadership and laissez-faire administrations. For almost 40 years of CCM leadership of the country, corruption has been an incurable cancer and its governments have been under-performing and that is what hurts the current leadership under President John Magufuli.
It was during Mwinyi’s era, where corruption - both grand and petty - rocked the country for the first time since independence. This was revealed by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry against corruption formed by President Mkapa in 1996 under the headship of Judge Joseph Warioba. In its executive summary the commission stated: “Our country has witnessed an alarming increase in incidences of corruption involving public servants, on the one hand, and members of the public, who are seeking public services, on the other.”
However, it was Mwalimu Nyerere, who warned Tanzanians about the state of the nation before the general election of 1995 that the country was on the verge of corruption and that the new president’s first task was to fight against corruption and that was why president Mkapa began his presidency with the formation of Warioba Commission of Inquiry.
The main cause of such an increase in corruption, according to the Warioba Commission, was a close relationship between the government and political leaders, on the one hand, and businesspeople, who engaged in corruption, on the other. The Warioba Commission did a commendable job in revealing all corruption loopholes and recommended different measures that the government could take to curb corruption.
Mkapa’s administration in using the Commission’s report of almost 500 pages initiated different mechanisms in fighting against corruption. It formulated policies and the parliament enacted some statutes to combat corruption.
Nevertheless, the situation of corruption in the country has not so much changed since then. Will CCM, which has been embracing corruption for all the time, change now and support President Magufuli in a crackdown on corruption?
The fourth phase government under Jakaya Kikwete for 10 years was busy trying to do almost everything for the people’s development. It raised tax collection and national revenue in general from Sh177 billion during Mkapa’s time in 2005 to almost Sh850 billion last November, according information given by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
From this tax collection increase, it seems as the country was heading somewhere, but the newly installed president, Dr John Magufuli, has proved that for many years since the second phase government to date, the country has been led by lackadaisical leadership - a kind of leadership that cares less and lacks enthusiasm - tantamount to business as usual. The ruling party should be blamed for this lackadaisical leadership.
During CCM’s 39th anniversary in Singida, CCM national chairman Jakaya Kikwete said the ruling party was supportive of what Magufuli was doing and that was what the CCM manifesto wanted him to do. This is a hypocritical statement! Had CCM leadership for the past 40 years committed itself to doing what Magufuli is doing, this country wouldn’t have been at this stage today - witnessing rampant corruption. What Magufuli is doing is quite different from what the CCM leadership anticipated although its manifesto may state so.
Reading CCM manifestos of 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, all are almost identical in wording for everything, including the pledge to curb corruption. This proves to us all that having a written manifesto and implementation of the same are two different things.
All three CCM presidents that preceded Magufuli fall short in their leadership compared to the latter. Why did they fail? Every Tanzanian knows that the controlling factor of CCM’s politics is money from primaries to the general election.
Visiting all districts in Tanzania during CCM primaries and asking the personnel coordinating the primaries within, you will see how contestants are competing to buy voters and doing everything to win nominations treacherously.
CCM’s failure to lead the country with integrity is what made Mwalimu Nyerere call it cancerous leadership and this has never changed much. This is what Magufuli is proving to us by ‘ripping boils’. But all the boils have been there all the time.
These were boils that were kept by preceding governments for personal gains of the ruling elite. For politicians to use corruption to ascend to power is not corruption, but for civil servants, who solicit the same for increasing his/her meagre income is corruption! This is why we fail to curb correction as a nation.
If CCM is determined to lead this country under the principles of good governance what is happening in Zanzibar could not have happened. Any political party that loves to rule contrary to the principles of good governance will in long-run ruin the country instead of developing it.
The author is a lawyer/journalist. He can be reached at email@example.com