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- Prof Mkumbo, said the multi-party political development has taken the current trajectory because Tanzania adopted pluralism legally but not culturally, thus raising the challenges that are seen now
Unguja. Tanzania’s political landscape continues to face challenges because the nation entered into the multi-party system without a national consensus that should have given a sense of national direction.
As a result, some individuals and groups rushed to form own political parties that did not bear a national identity.
Speaking at the third Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad memorial conference in Unguja, the ACT-Wazalendo party leader, Zitto Kabwe and Prof Kitila Mkumbo, said the transition to multi-party politics was rushed.
The two concurred that there was not enough time for political parties to develop clear ideologies and platforms.
“As a result, we have a lot of small parties that are not really rooted in any particular ideology. This makes it difficult for them to effectively compete in elections and to represent the interests of the people,” Kabwe said.
On the other side, Kabwe said the government has not done enough to promote political tolerance and to create a level playing field for all political parties.
“This has made it difficult for opposition parties to grow and to challenge the ruling party,” Kabwe said.
The Minister for Planning and Investment, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, said that the multi-party political development has taken the current trajectory because Tanzania adopted pluralism legally, constitutionally but not culturally, thus raising the challenges that are seen now.
He was debating on the topic ‘our politics in the eyes of our politicians- is our politics broken?”
According to Prof Mkumbo, the first basis of having a vibrant political space is by creating a society that is capable of tolerating divergent views.
“It is the toleration of these different ideas that gives birth to competing policies, so it is a basic thing to understand each other in that type of culture.
“It becomes a culture to compete for policies, leadership, strategies and experience for the electorate to choose, while there are basic tasks in the leading party and the opposition party,” he said.
He added: Apart from Zanzibar, we still don’t have the culture of tolerating different ideas and that is why when someone brings a new idea that is slightly different there is noise because there is no culture.
He said that every political party’s goal is to form a government, and that CCM has succeeded in setting up strategies of how to implement its agenda.
“It is a logical mistake to blame the CCM for robbing other parties victory because it is a political party that enters the election in search of power, so you don’t expect us to show mercy to you. CCM is not the electoral commission, not the court,” has said.
Both Kabwe and Mkumbo called for reforms to Tanzania’s political system. They said that the government should create a more level playing field for all political parties and that it should promote political tolerance.
“We need to have a system where all political parties have an equal chance of winning elections,. And we need to have a system where all political parties feel that they are respected and that their voices are being heard,” Kabwe said.