CCM registered as multiparty system reintroduced in 1992

Thursday May 07 2020
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Dar es Salaam. The reintroduction of a multiparty system that signified a new kind of political competition and even changing the lives of Tanzanians, took effect in Tanzania on July 1, 1992 after 27 years of one political party system.

The reintroduction of the multiparty system is a result of many years of precautions taken by Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and its government to ensure the abolishment of one political party system, which lasted in the country since 1965, did not disturb the country’s peace, serenity and the solidarity of Tanzanians.

According to procedures and rules passed by Parliament, political groups that were running their activities contrary to the country’s laws were now free to start getting registered as official political parties.

Until July 1, 1992 there were more than 20 political groups. In the first step, after each group met two conditions including that of paying a Sh25,000 registration fee to be refunded even if it failed to register, they would be granted a six-month temporary registration as political parties.

With that permission, the groups were now free to start political activities including calling political meetings and registering members. Under the constitutional amendments made by Parliament on April 1992 in the Town of Dodoma, in order for a party to be granted a temporary registration it was required to apply for that with the affixation of two copies of its constitution, which were supposed to be signed by two of its founders.

However, it was put clear that no party would be granted a temporary registration if its target was to develop the interests of a religion or a religious group, constitutional demands or constitutional interests or a group of people targeting to perpetuate segregation or developing the interests of one part of the United Republic of Tanzania.

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It was also put clear that no party would be granted a temporary registration if its target was to dissolve the Union of Tanzania, to exercise force so to fulfil its political ambitions, to conduct its political activities in one part of the Union and if it does not allow regular elections of its leaders through the way of democracy.

The conditions to be met by a party for permanent registration included obtaining a temporary registration, 200 registered members from 10 regions of Tanzania, two out of which in Zanzibar. One out of the two regions in Zanzibar must be in Pemba, where that party must prove that it had its national leaders from both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.

The idea of re-adopting the multiparty system in the country was in earnest two years before 1990 following huge political reforms that swept the world.

For Tanzania, that idea appeared to have been initiated by the first president of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who, in 1965, led Tanzania in having one political party system, being the third country in Africa after Guinea and Ghana.

Mwalimu pioneered an open debate on the reintroduction of a multiparty system in the country a few weeks before he voluntarily retired from the position of chairman of CCM in August 1990.

Although his views seemed to even irk some of his fellow leaders and other politicians, a multiparty system was finally readopted in the country on July 1, 1992.

Nyerere’s stand

In his long speech he delivered on February 19, 1992 on the reintroduction of the multiparty system in the country, Nyerere said: “In order to protect the peace and unity of our nation I would like to propose some conditions on registering a party as follows: First, a political party must not be allowed to operate if it is based on religion or if it seeks support based on religion. Tanzanians have different religions and some of them are completely pagans. It is their right.

“However, our party has no religion and our country has no special religion. This is compulsory for the sake of the unity and security of our country. Tanzanians have accepted this stand. And all political parties have to accept it too. We need to be more careful about a procedure on multiple political parties than that of one political party that we have now. Religious issues must not be completely allowed to happen during elections and during other political activities in a period of elections as it is not allowed in the existing procedure. “Second, a political party must not to be allowed to operate if it is inclined to tribalism or district or region or one part of the United Republic. CCM is the party for the whole of Tanzania. Opponents will differ from CCM in a number of issues, but will not differ from this issue.

“All of our political parties must be national parties; parties for the whole of Tanzania. Those parties that will seek votes of Tanzanians to lead Tanzania, but not to divide Tanzania and lead a tribe. In our country, for whatever procedure to be put in place, all the time it must be ensured that treason is quickly and strongly dealt with.

“Third, a political party must not be allowed to operate if it does not agree with the basis of equal justice and respect for its people. This means that there will not be a party to go against the freedom of worship or against equal justice and or not responsible for citizens in our society.

“Fourth, there must neither be defence nor incitement that could cause disorder against individual people, social, political and economic groups or against the state itself as individual people or social groups are not allowed to do so.

“The political parties that we want are those parties that can convince people through arguments and not otherwise .

“For such kind of conditions the change of a democratic system can be made without jeopardizing the peace and security of Tanzania. And within those conditions, all Tanzanians, without any segregation, will be free to join a political party of their choice or not to join any party.”

CCM registered officially

The Chama Cha Mapinduzi party was the first to get full registration in the country on July 1, 1992. While CCM was being registered on the day, 24 other political parties had already collected application forms for registration. Of the parties, four had already presented their filled-in registration forms to the Registrar of Political Parties in the country, George Liundi.

Liundi presented the CCM registration certificate to the party’s Secretary General, Horace Kolimba, at 2:20pm at the former’s office located in Shaaban Robert Street, Upanga in Dar es Salaam. Liundi, in his short explanation, said that CCM had got direct full registration because it met all the conditions of being registered as a political party in the country in accordance with the Political Parties Act of 1992.

In tomorrow’s edition we are going to focus on how the 1995 General Election was run.