The Guardian on Sunday of November 25, 2012 carried an article that cannot pass without my comment. The article titled Mangula`s political rebirth and CCM`s crusade against corruption by Attilio Tegalile is one of many reviews of the proceeding just ended Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) 8th national congress.
My reaction is rooted in my obligation as a member of CCM and a subscriber of the principle of respect, honesty and integrity. Part of the view held by the author of the article in question manifests lack of respect, honesty and integrity for it has misrepresented the contextual fact.
The impression represented by the author indicates one thing that the author did not hear a word of the address by Ndugu Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the National Chairperson of CCM. It can also be concluded that the author of the article did not take the trouble of reading the full text of address.
It is true that Kikwete, the party chairperson, deplored the unbecoming behaviour of members of CCM of relying on the police force. The party chairperson gave few examples to drive his point home where he wondered as to why members of CCM needed the assistance of the police force to respond to the opposition’s allegation that we have done nothing in respect of the socio-economical development since being in power.
He further wondered why party members of CCM have to resort to the police whenever the opposition stages a public rally, demonstrations and so forth. The opposition political allegations, rallies and demonstrations have to be countered by the ruling party physical proofs, rallies and demonstrations.
No one should take law into his or her own hands. Records show that members of CCM have stayed away from the political forum leaving a big room for the opposition to do as they wished with impunity.
The opposition has staged several rallies under the slogan of operation sangara and movement for change (M4C) just to mention a few examples without attracting adequate response from the ruling party. Members of the opposition parties have dominated all forums available including the media, social network and the learning institutions where anti ruling party sentiments are propagated.
The opposition have identified, recruited and empowered individuals in public and non public services to advance their agenda of making the ruling party unpopular. In lecture halls and lesson classes, more often than not nothing good is said of the ruling party. The same is said in religious sermons.
When the ordinary citizens go for public service they are told directly that, the services are not available or are not adequate because of CCM. All these have been happening before the CCM members who dare not to argue back even, when there is enormous evidence to support their argument in defence.
The behaviour of CCM and its members is historical and natural. It is historical because they are not used to the new form of political behaviour and field. The time and field is working against them. CCM and its members need to change course. It is a big challenge. It is easy for a speedboat to change its course than it is for a liner.
While the position of CCM and its members is compromised by history and nature, the opposition gains strength from history and nature. This is normal, as they have not grown to maturity in the real sense of the word. This discussion could use examples from ordinary and day-to-day events that we encounter. Take an example of the bodaboda riders in our roads nowadays.
These colleagues do not follow the rules of the game while driving. What are the other road users doing in response? The American army, the biggest and most modern in the world had trouble in dealing with the insurgency in Iraq, who because of immaturity could shoot at the Americans from the mosque expecting to initiate the American’s response, which could cause more trouble than refraining from reacting.
The author of the article suggests that the party chairperson’s mention of the police was an admission that the police have been used in the past in restraining the opposition, a claim that has repeatedly been made by Chadema. The author of the article is echoing what many contributors in social network have commented.
This is indeed a wrong conclusion. Why? First, after the introduction of multiparty politics, every political party ought to inform the police and other law enforcers of their plan of staging any political rally.
This rule applies to every political party without exception. Secondly, there have been misunderstandings between some political parties and the police that can be attributed to lack of respect and trust towards the police force. It started with NCCR-Mageuzi, when they grew up; they stopped.
Then CUF followed. This took matters to a worse dimension as it involved blood shedding. With maturity, CUF are now behaving responsibly. Their recent rallies in Dar es Salaam and Arusha speak volumes in support.
The advent of Chadema and their behaviour are in deed an act of filling the vacuum left by NCCR-MAGEUZI and CUF and Chadema will just fade away as it matures into a political party. However, revisiting what they have done in the past with regard to violation of the rule of the game in the political field is worth mentioning.
Chadema are very good at fabricating and distorting facts. This political problem needs a political solution. Fabrication and distortion is easily solved by facts. This discussion needs not to remind its readers of the sitting in campaign in Arusha designed and led by the Chadema Secretary General Dr Willbroad Slaa aiming at forcing the court in Arusha to give bail to Godbless Lema even when the court records showed that the latter Lema had refused to accept the court bail. Chadema are good at character assassination. Once one calls you a thief, a liar and so forth; in Africa nothing is going to change that not even a court of law. Chadema are good at violating human rights as they have prosecuted and convicted individuals unheard.
Chadema are good at attributing their own wrongdoing to others, indeed they are not ready to take responsibility for their own actions. During the 2010 general elections, they torched to ashes the Isamilo ward CCM office in Mwanza and walked away with it.
Police as well as members of CCM were there and they could not restrain them contrary to what the author is trying to suggest. It does not make sense for a person who has the power to restrain someone and fail to subdue those people who destroy his or her property in her or his presence.
Not only that on several occasions, members of the political parties have insulted police in a way and manner that no ordinary person could tolerate. And in most cases, they have walked away with it. The behaviours of Chadema towards the police force have eroded the confidence of the police force making them act with uncertainty.
This is not only limited to the police force as now it is covering other aspects of the government. The implication eroding the confidence of law enforcers has negative impacts. The same thing happened in Egypt during the campaign that resulted in the ousting of Hosni Mubarak and his regime.
The Egyptian police force was so low in confidence because of mistreatment of occupiers of the Tahrir squares that when trouble broke out well after Mubarak had fallen between two sets of fans in a football match police sat aside watching. Several fans died and as usual the police were blamed for not taking action.
Not only that, the members of Chadema treat other individuals not belonging to their party and subscribing to their ideas as individuals who are brainless, irrational and unpatriotic.
The worst of all is that the members of Chadema have caused FEAR in our society. According to Sr. Dr. Agnes L. Lando of Daystar University, Kenya, FEAR is an acronym that stands for ‘False Evidence Appearing Real.’
Chadema has always claimed that they are exercising their political right and that demonstration is a good technique of letting the ruler hear and heed their voice. Chadema claim that they are peaceful while in fact the opposite is the case. When they staged the demonstration in Mwanza city, many business concerns closed and stopped serving their customers.
The other day Mwanza city witnessed members of Chadema coming from the political rally convened by Wenje, the Nyamagana constituency member of parliament, chanting ‘Heri Ukimwi kuliko Kikwete’. The sentence in English literally means that for the members of Chadema, if they have to choose between falling sick due to HIV/Aids and having Kikwete as the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, they will prefer HIV/Aids.. None of this had attracted police into action despite the fact that such actions violate law and order.
The world has always experienced immature, informal and least evolved institutions provocating the mature, formal and most evolved institutions to attract response that more often than not attracts external intervention against the latter. The mature, formal and most evolved institutions are always put at the cross roads, to respond or not.
Normally, the decision is taken too late when the immature, informal and least evolved institutions had covered a lot of ground. At last, the CCM national chairperson has intervened and showed us the way to go.
What action should members of CCM take when their offices are torched to ashes? What should they do when their leaders are insulted in public and in media? How far should individuals who are character assassinated go ?
Chadema is now a spoiled child because we have spared the rod against it. Chairman Kikwete caution is timely, as the society seems to have seen much of the spoiled Chadema.
However, action against Chadema should not turn violent. After all, if the members of CCM in Mwanza would have reacted was there any Chadema office to torch to ashes in retaliation? If we have to resort to ‘tit for tat’ and compromise peace, unity, law and order, Chadema will have nothing to lose, as safeguarding these values is not their responsibility. The responsibility belongs to the ruling party.