MEMBERS and supporters of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), plus well-wishers beyond Tanzania’s borders, have cause to celebrate its fortieth anniversary today.
But after the dust of the celebrations would have settled, they should conduct an audit of how the outfit and by extension themselves as stakeholders fared, over the four decades of CCM’s existence, and chart strategies for the best way forward.
For celebrations per se would be hollow, for in respect of CCM, as it is for the others that joined the league after multipartyism was re-introduced in July 1992, the focus must be on consistently growing stronger, beyond merely growing older.
Else, the approach would be hardly different from someone who joins a ‘mdundiko’ dance that literally sweeps people along its route, and by the time he realizes it’s high time he returned home, he would be exhausted, and may probably not retrace the route easily !
Today’s anniversary is simultaneously exciting and challenging because CCM’s new national chairman, President John Magufuli, has flashed signals of injecting onto the party, a new lease of life, which to some extent has echoes of founding chairman Julius Nyerere’s era.
The mapinduzi (revolution) angle in the CCM brand relates to positively revolutionizing the welfare of the majority poor Tanzanians, which it would engineer as the ruling outfit.
The mission has been gravely undermined by leadership ranks being infiltrated by some individuals posing as staunch revolutionaries, but who, behind the scenes, are power mongers, influence peddlers, selfish, corrupt, and saboteurs.
The fierce battles driven by burning legislative and Cabinet slot ambitions during campaigns, is one of the major pointers, as is the emergence of intra-party factional wrangles by individuals who stage shows of cohesiveness and patriotism but who are in reality political gangsters.
Negative tendencies have eroded some of the party’s noble values, alienated quite many members, cast its popularity into jeopardy, and laid itself prone to opposition camp-driven tremors. It’s why the latest race was pretty fierce.
The selling point was arguably less of Dr Magufuli being a CCM candidate but more of his ministerial credentials as a workaholic, tough, stickler to legislations, plain-speaking, ethical, and discipline-enforcer.
It’s furthermore why, after being installed as CCM national chairman last July, he spoke passionately about weaknesses within a party whose status should make it a role model, which he vowed to confront head-on. For in his dual capacity as State President and ruling party chairman, only thus can his national stewardship be meaningful and productive.
During, after poll campaigns and taking the oath of office, he vowed that he would be the leader of all Tanzanians. He deserves the prayers and support of all compatriots across party lines, for the nation’s collective good.