|Political Parties and Democracy in Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam University Press, 1994, 228 p.)|
Background: Origin and Development of CCM
The Social and Ideological Basis of the CCM
The history of Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has extensively been discussed in a variety of literature such that it need not again be treated here in its entirety. But for our purpose we would like to summarize two major features of its history that may assist in explaining its current form and role in the democratization process.
The first important point about CCM's history is that, it was born out of two antecedent political parties, TANU from Mainland Tanzania and ASP from Zanzibar. These two antecedent parties as we noted in chapter 2, had very strong foundational basis in an anticolonial nationalist movement which were organized around a variety of civil associations: professional, occupational, cultural, sport etc. Thus one important advantageous factor is that CCM is heir to that historical legacy of being founded on an idea and a movement. The movement, of course, was able to attain the objective, thereby enforcing the legitimacy of the party. In the case of Mainland Tanzania, TANU realized the independence of the country in 1961 and in the case of Zanzibar, the revolution took place in 1964. Both of these phenomena arouse emotions on the part of the members of both sides and have been therefore a significant resource for CCM's continued position in power.
Almost synonymous with the movement is the fact that the parties antecedent to CCM produced their own heroes of the movement. Whatever may have transpired in between, by and large J.K. Nyerere in Tanzania and Amaan Abeid Karume in Zanzibar remain indelible personalities in the minds, literature and daily lives of the people. If we were to compare CCM and the New Parties, the above are two important aspects to a political party which the new ones are lacking.
A second significant background of CCM is definitely its orientation and method. The Nationalist movement in which the antecedent parties passed found expression in mass based organizations as well as on ideological welfarism premises that promised good life, security and equality between members and between members and leaders. These aspects were further expressed in accompanying programmes. Most notably was the reliance on the masses. For example parties were run on ordinary member volunteer basis; funds for party activities came from membership fees but especially from individual small contributions. Leaders were derived from grassroots members at relevant level of the party organs and they were directly accessible and in their lives they showed honest behaviour and moderate living. This therefore established a high degree of consensus and legitimacy for the party as an organization and for its leaders.
CCM, in February 1977, was born out of this legacy, its overriding hegemony not withstanding. On that basis it assumed control of the state and society. But sequentially, the party transformed itself into a state, with its members reduced to mere subjects. Leaders became bureaucrats surrounded by protocol and prestige. Civil society was trampled upon with each of their organizations being required to operate under the party.
Through those processes, CCM grew into the predominant machinery that has been characterized in our earlier publications. Its weighty organizational structure facilitated its control over labour, youths, farmers as well as the government bureaucracy and powerful instruments such as the Armed forced. Police etc. The following figure gives an indication of the peak in CCM's growth which provided Mwinyi the power and mandate to effect any reforms he may have so desired.
Chairman Mwinyi did not loose time to demonstrate his reform inclinations. In the nomination of candidates for the more executive party position, the Secretary General position, Mwinyi astonished everyone by presenting the name of a candidate hardly well known in the party circles, Horace Kolimba. Kolimba at this time was the Regional Commissioner for Coast Region and Chairman of party's affiliate mass organization the National Labour Union, JUWATA. For reform purposes Kolimba's choice was symbolic not only because Mwinyi had by-passed longtime party stalwarts and expected aspirants to the position but also because as JUWATA's chairman, he had started campaigning for the recreation of an independent and autonomous labour union.
Following Kolimba's appointment, Mwinyi moved further to reform the party's critical organ, the Central Committee, elsewhere in the former Communist countries called the Political Bureau. This went along with the renunciation of the party's ideology of ujamaa and self reliance early in 1988. So later on in 1988, Mwinyi moved to reduce the powers held by key members of the party by withdrawing or watering down their cabinet appointments to remain only with party offices for what was explained as "... give them more opportunity to deal with the affairs of the party..." This involved the then Minister for Labour and Social Welfare who also was the party's Secretary for Finance; the Minister for Local Government, Cooperatives and Marketing who was also the party's Secretary for Ideology and Training; the Minister in the president's Office (Civil Service) who also was the party's secretary for Propaganda and Mass Mobilization and the Minister for Welfare and Community Development whose status was reduced to a mere minister without any portfolio. She was also the party's Secretary for Social Welfare. More than any other members of the party's Central Committee, these four were almost permanent members of this inner organ of the party. They had served in this organ for a long time and were generally deemed as the architects and custodians of the system. In that respect Mwinyi may have judged them as possible opponents of his reform initiatives and instructively, in 1990 all of these party stalwarts, save the Secretary for Ideology and Training were assigned diplomatic positions abroad to Rwanda, Rome and India respectively.
The rest of the task of reforming the party was left to the Secretary General who, when the ground was already securely prepared, went on to reorganize the structure of the party as will be discussed later.
What is significant to draw out from these trends is that as from 1987, there was a systematic move to change the way the party was constituted, the exclusion of the old guards of the party and injection of a new leadership. The new leadership reflected a new ideological orientation and therefore one that would look towards alternative foundational basis and methods of work.
Changes in the Structure of the Party
But perhaps a more interesting aspect of CCM are the changes that seem to be taking place within and around it as a result of the creation of the multiparty system. These changes include those related to the organizational structure and those that relate to the structure of control under which a number of organizations were linked to it.
(i) Changes in the Organizational Structure of CCM
As we hinted earlier, one of the key duties the new Secretary General was assigned to was the trimming of the party from its weighty bureaucratic offices to a relatively lean one. This exercise was carried out in late 1991 when the party's nine or so departments and commissions at its headquarters were reduced to only three. This exercise was extended downwards to the regions and districts. At the lower levels and specialized units, such as the parastatal organizations, army and police units, the party branch was abolished as was the position of the party's political commissar.
Following the trimming of the party's organizational structure, the new structure looked like the figure below
The New Structure of the Party as at 1992
(ii) Changes in the Structure of Control
The party realized that with such massive changes in its own organization, coupled with the changing of society towards plural politics, it could no longer continue to regulate the bodies that it was affiliated to or effectively continue to impose control over the government and agencies. Thus, effective 1992, the party eased its control over labour and the cooperative unions by removing them from the party structure. The party however went on to retain control over the women wing, youths and parents associations.
On the governments side. Presidential Circular No. 1 of August 7th, 1992 defined the role of the public bureaucracy as an independent and non partisan institution. Also, as early as 1987 when Mwinyi assumed the Chairmanship of the party he shifted the decision making powers from the party to the state. As for the other areas, for example the army, they were declared as non partisan and like the public bureaucracy were now required to serve the government of the day irrespective of the party in office. Such therefore were the trends within the incumbent party, CCM and around it. The pertinent questions to all these trends are: were the changes pro democratic reforms or mere processes one usually experiences when there is change of leadership? In other words were the new entrants into the party agents of change towards democracy? Did the inclined organization itself sufficiently assume the structure of an instrument for democratic change?
The CCM Anatomy and the Democratic Process
In the course of the democratization process, CCM has found it necessary to make further adjustments in response to what practically transpired in the field. In any event each of those steps taken had one implication or the other in the broad democratization process. We shall attempt to summarize some of the critical issues in the adjustments that CCM has been making since and conclude them with an analysis of their implication to the democratic course.
The CCM Legacy
While CCM has been making changes and adjustments to accommodate the changing political process, old methods, attitudes and procedures had not disappeared from it. While seemingly committed to the plural democratic process, CCM has insistently wanted to see itself as the only party in the scene.
CCM has thus continued to handle crucial issue alone in complete disregard to the presence of other significant players in the new political system. Such issues have included the Union Question, but especially the management of the transition. On the Union question, CCM has tried to exclude the New Parties from contributing to the debate. In the same way, CCM has completely refused to include other political actors in the decision as to the direction, pace or sequence of the transition to democracy. Instead CCM has maintained that it alone is going to guide the process of change.
On the other hand, CCM is pre-occupied with the bashing of the opposition and uses it as a scapegoat whenever a crisis develops in the political system. In that regard, where principles of accountability ought to have been applied in resolving a crisis CCM, has decided to hide away in caucus meetings at which mending of fences has been attempted and then come out in public to blame the opposition for the wrong doing it has committed.
There is no more interesting example to illustrate this point than the one on what came to be called the Machinga question. The Machinga or the street traders issue exploded in a wave of youth mobs rampage who went about looting property from Asian owned stores, destroying their cars and injuring them. CCM blamed the opposition for the civil riots that developed when in fact it was a product of CCM's own policy crisis that began with Chairman Mwinyi's own early directive that supported disorganized street trading in an effort to attain popularity. The impact of the directive clashed with interests of licensed Asian traders who saw the Machinga as people who obstructed their businesses. In an ambivalent move the state sent out troops to crush the Machinga while still nominally supporting them.
As noted earlier, as early as 1988, CCM had formerly given up its long cherished political platform, the welfarist policy of Ujamaa and Self Reliance, in favour of an individual based liberal philosophy of capitalist competition. Trends in contemporary Tanzania, arising from the implementation of CCM's new formal policy have given rise to the birth of the "Machinga" groups, accelerated differentiation between the rich and the poor-a phenomenon that has taken racial lines. The rich being a tiny group of foreign Asian and European traders and industrialists and the poor being the majority of indigenous Africans.
Under the goal ambivalence, CCM has been grappling to date, with the problem of which exact political doctrine they would like to identify themselves with. They cannot go back to the welfarist Ujamaa policies as much as they find it difficult to relate meaningfully to the poor majority who have been their ardent supporters since the time of the predecesor parties. In this regard, CCM has failed to explain the problem of poverty amid a group of people who live in pleasure and splendour and who arrogantly dismiss the poor as lazy laggards and loafers. When the new opposition parties came out with alternative programmes dubbed as indigenisation, CCM initially glossed over it by engaging in definitional questions, then went on to dismiss the opposition as harbouring racist undertones. But when the concept gained popularity, CCM is now cautiouslly incorporating indigenisation in its government budget programmes as a means to appease their constituency.
The CCM Organization Structure
Changes in the organizational structure made in February 1992 did not end there. CCM had to make more significant changes to accommodate the new and changing environment. An important new landmark was at the party's congress in December 1992. The Chimwaga Congress of December 1992 made several adjustments in the CCM Constitution and hence the Organizational Structure in order to accommodate the changing political scene. Crucial in the changes were:-
(i) The granting of greater autonomy to what can be called the CCM (ASP) faction. This provided for the creation of the office of the CCM Vice-Presidency for Zanzibar with a complete structure and an accompanying secretariat. This provision has given Zanzibar the de facto power to act autonomously on issues related to the opposition in Zanzibar. It has also given Zanzibar a solid basis of acting as a block on matters about the union. Thus, like CUF, CCM has a regionalist organizational structure. This structure is likely to lead into factional conflict and eventual splitting along old lines of CCM (ASP) and CCM (TANU). We are saying this in view of the Zanzibar regimes present moves to make independent decisions on issues like entry into the OIC or the placing of its demands for a separate state within the union.
Such a step has given the CCM government in Zanzibar mandate to act tough on the opposition like in the pre-multiparty era, although in this case, one has to admit that the degree of that action has been generated by actions of the opposition that threatened the very existence of the state itself. In more recent months, following the 1994/95 budgetary sessions, Zanzibar has won greater concessions to enter into trade agreements with foreign institutions and legal powers to strengthen local security organs including the mandate to manage emergence conditions. All these should, without doubt, be linked to the political autonomy won by Zanzibar at the Chimwaga Congress.
(ii) The reliance on extra CCM constitutional structures as agencies for party work. Here we would like to recognize the following:
After the disbanding of the party branch (Tawi) and cell (Shina) in public offices and residential areas and with the reduction of party offices at the National, Regional and District offices, CCM has devised extra constitutional means of running the party in order to squarely address the opposition. Such means have included the creation of extra constitutional organs to fill up the vacuum that arise out of the removal of the previous grassroots organs. These have included the following:-
The "Maskani/Wakereketwa" Institution
At the local level, replacing the branch and cell system is the emergence of the 'Maskani' or local residents, pertaining to Zanzibar and Pemba and the Wakereketwa or Militants pertaining to the Mainland. While the Maskani is a group of people, the Wakereketwa are usually single individuals. The task of both is to promote the CCM course at the local level where they actually interact with individual members of the opposition. The Maskani and Wakereketwa are not in the CCM constitutional structure but CCM has effectively exploited these organs to popularize its programmes and execute important tasks, e.g. campaigns in by-elections.
Sports and Cultural Institutions
For general member mobilization purposes, CCM has officially adopted the previously army cultural group the Tanzania One Theatre (TOT), led by Captain John Komba as its official mobilization organ. TOT goes around the country making performances that promote the CCM policies.
Fund raising programmes are now conducted by two more agencies in addition to the annual solidarity walks. These are done by "Umoja wa Wapanda Pikipiki", Club of motorcycle ridders. This is an elite group, which dons the CCM flag and goes around in the regions to promote the CCM course. In village settings, this is a ceremonial excitement which attracts large crowds. The second is the work done by individual business supporters who donate funds, articles, etc. to finance CCM programmes. These again are extra constitutional arrangements.
At the National level, CCM leaders holding state offices are increasingly used or take it upon themselves to conduct regional tours to promote the CCM course. Apart from the work done by the State President who is also the CCM Chairman and the Minister of State in the president's Office who is also CCM Secretary General, in more recent times we have also witnessed the emergence of the Minister of Home Affairs, Augustine Mrema as the CCM propagandist sometimes overshadowing the long time and ageing holder of this office, Ngombale Mwiru. Minister Mrema has been used in apparent exploitation of his "popularity" to deal with the opposition in critical conflict areas: Shinyanga, Kigoma, Pemba etc. Using both the threats of arrest and rhetoric, Mrema has toured several areas to contain the opposition upsurge through sometimes unprecedented procedures of member recruitment drives popularly known as the "Papo kwa Papo" system. Under the "Papo kwa Papo" system (on the sport system) the audience to his meetings are recruited to the CCM membership en mass and the well to do among them are solicited to pay for the membership fees of those without money. This arrangement has again been a constitutional innovation.
The Shifting Alliances
An important aspect of CCM's changing anatomy in contemporary times is evidenced by change in its social base. Again an important land mark on this is the Chimwaga Congress of December 1992 where the party that was previously founded on the energies and enthusiasm of the general masses showed signs of dissenting its traditional allies and embracing new ones.
Dissention of Traditional Allies
Prior to the December Congress, CCM's declared constituency was a loose coalition of peasants and workers. The Cooperatives as well as the only labour union (OTTU), as the organizations of the peasants and labour respectively formed the CCM linking channels. The CCM flag itself symbolically donned the hoe and hammer to represent the two sectors it was dependent upon. Apart from the pressures that went into the creation of OTTU and autonomous Cooperative societies, at the Chimwaga Conference the dissention was more evident.
The statement by the new OTTU Secretary General at the Conference was explicit... "OTTU is not allied to any political party but would seek cooperation with the political party that represents its interests..." In less clearer terms, the Secretary General of Muungano wa Vyama vya Ushirika (the Union of Cooperatives) made a statement which each one understood that it was also one of dissention from CCM. But what is critical is not the actions of OTTU and the Cooperatives, rather it is the actions of the leadership and officials of the party. While previously the party heavily relied on these categories of people, by all account and as we have indicated earlier, the CCM leadership in terms of policy programmes no longer addresses itself to the masses.
Reaching out for New Alliances
The dissention of the traditional allies has led CCM to reach out for new allies, and rely on primordial institutional basis for support.
An important constituency shift in the CCM is its present reliance on one time CCM enemies, the business elite. Presently CCM attaches only nominal reliance on the poor masses, such that one can justifiably argue, CCM is a party of the business elite.
In this regard it is worth recording that at the Chimwaga Congress, prominent businessmen were invited and were in attendance. Secondly, prominent businessmen now serve in CCM's strategic organizations as board chairman and/or Board members or Commission members. These include those who serve in CCM's Economic Wing, SUKITA.
The business elite, both indigenous but especially of the Asian origin have reciprocated by supporting CCM to retain its previous base by purchasing their loyalty through gifts and financing of petty projects for the common man. In response to these actions of the business elite CCM has in more recent times reciprocated by fielding parliamentary candidates for the by-elections from the business community.
The trend by CCM may not be hard to explain. With the requirements of the new multiparty arrangement, CCM can no longer have the necessary resources, particularly financial resources with which to finance its programmes. Neither the government can easily provide such resources nor can the ordinary person be forced, as used to be the case, to contribute to such projects. Naturally therefore, the party and its government have to appeal to the well-to-do to finance the party projects. The party in return has to appease its new constituency through favourable policies that promote their business and, whenever it can be done, incorporate the new constituency within the party and government ranks. This trend has cost CCM quite a great deal, for the general public judge the leadership as having been bought by a foreign business elite that sustains their office but also their personal lives.
Another significant trend in CCM is a return to primordial channels as the basis of political recruitment and gaining of support. In recent times one area where this has been most exploited is in the appointment and posting of Regional and District Government leadership. More than at any other time during the political history of Tanzania, discernible trends have become obvious even to the non inquiring mind that appointments and placements for Regional Commissioners have had an ethnic, regionalist basis to score political goals. For example as at May 1994, of the 20 mainland regions, 8 or 40% of diem were under Regional Commissioners that hailed from or had close affiliation with those regions. These were Dodoma, Dar es Salaam, Mara, Mbeya, Mtwara, Mwanza, Rukwa and Shinyanga.
Conscious that the method was not enough strategy of affiliating to local groups, CCM, via its Youths Organizations, created the institution of the "Makamanda wa Umoja wa Vijana wa CCM (Commanders of the CCM Youth Organization). Using this office, CCM was able to appoint prominent local personalities as "Commanders" of the Youths in respective regions. As at May 1994 this was the case for Coast Region, Dodoma, Iringa, Mwanza, Ilala and Shinyanga.
Ethnicity, regionalism will certainly continue to be among the channels through which political recruitment and support will be sought. It is however important to record here that in the wake of the multiparty system, CCM has reverted to procedures it had long formerly and practically discarded.
The Leadership Crisis
Another interesting development within CCM is the development of a leadership crisis. The leadership crisis has taken two major forms: Leadership vacuum at the centre and an Institutional Crisis and Conflict.
(i) The Vacuum at the Centre
The competence of the CCM leadership especially at National level has increasingly been under question. Such has been the case that during the period of this study, power seemed to be dispersed from its chairman towards a number of individuals who included the CCM Secretary General, the Minister for Home Affairs, the Prime Minister and First Vice President and in more recent times, the Speaker of the National Assembly as well as the retired chairman of CCM. The previously identifiable leadership of the party chairman as thinker, communicator, one who gives direction on critical issues seem to be lacking.
The development has led to the loss of the previous decisive character and consensus within CCM and its government such that critical national issues such as the Loliondogate, the OIC saga and presently the Union question still remain fluid. In that fluidity the party that seeks to direct the changes often itself appears directionless.
(ii) Institutional Crisis and Conflict
Another leadership crisis area has revolved around institutions. Over the period under study, a visible development is the increased tendency for parliament to assert autonomy over both the party, and the administrative organs of state.
Over the period, the executive organ of the state has increasingly been associated with numerous scandals linking it with dubious contracts with foreign firms against the "national interest" as much as with corrupt practices of officials and senior politicians. Under those circumstances, the parliament has exerted pressure upon the executive branch of state to account for the actions in the case of the IOC, Loliondo, NIC, the OGL funds etc.
In all these cases, both the Executive branch of the State and CCM have appeared bewildered, grappling with one vain face-saving strategy and another without much success. To cap it all, there is the current Union Crisis whereby the leadership has shifted from a unanimous parliamentary motion to form a Tanganyika government, to a CCM position which decided to form a public opinion gathering commission on the issue and finally to a move to withdraw the motion.
Thus apart from the leadership vacuum which has led to the emergence of several power centres, the institutions that should demonstrate capacity to act over crucial issues are themselves locked in conflict and struggle unlike the CCM that previously existed.
In summary, CCM has over the period demonstrated a great leadership crisis. It will not be surprising if a split develops along the CCM/ASP/TANU line of between the new generation of CCM MPs and the CCM old guards or even worse between the different outspoken leaders.
Appraising CCM's Changing Anatomy
What is at stake in view of the changes in the CCM structure is how to explain these changes. What do all those things mean in terms of the transition to democracy?
We would like to suggest that the moves by CCM are not motivated by the declared commitment to democracy nor do they lead to democracy within the party or within the large society. Deriving our explanation from our theoretical framework it is important to characterize the CCM leadership structure and therefore its behavioral tendency to the democracy project.
The CCM Leadership Structure
For a long time, the CMM leadership has comprised of an almost permanent political bureaucracy whose sustenance depended on control of the state as a means of accumulation. Throughout the single party regime, this almost permanent group excluded other entrants into the regime. Being a political bureaucracy it had to seek ways to link up with the popular masses through populist ideologies such as the welfarist ideology of Ujamaa and institute control devices that made opposition criminal. In that regard therefore, during most of the single party system epoch, with opposition outlawed, the threat to its position was not imminent and there was therefore no real need to make significant ideological or/and organization shifts.
The changes in CCM in the present times are attributed to the force of Structural Adjustment Programmes. As we alluded to earlier, the SAP as an economic programme, firstly differentiated the political from the economic spheres leaving each sphere to make its own transformational process. For example, by privatizing the state enterprises and promoting individual enterprises both local and foreign, the economic sphere became separated from the political sphere and their respective institutions. Secondly, the leading role of the political sphere now given a competitor, the economic dimension which in our view promptly exploited the opportunity faster than the aging political sphere to transform society. So this differentiation, split the unity of the authority system of the party which depended upon an intricate integration of the state economic sector and the political spheres. This, as can ^e envisaged, led to the creation of separate locations of power and authority, one based on economic clout and the other on political power.
SAP as a political programme also has its own implications with regard to the question of undermining the authority of the party. An early causality on this, was the ideology. The liberal ideology with its emphasis on individual achievement, acquisitiveness, self interest etc. went head on coalition with the previous welfarist ujamaa (Socialist) ideology with its tenets of cooperative life, modesty and reference to ideals such as the common good, the nation, man centredness development etc. The second causality was the shift in the centre for decision making from the Party to the government. In this regard, with liberalization, previously unchallengeable party policies such as those on the villagization, move to Dodoma, "Siasa ni Kilimo", as from 1987 it was possible for the government to for example give initial verbal support to the 1987-2000c party programme and later bluntly reject it when it came to Its funding because the government had its own sequence of SAP and funds already committed to it. Thus again the unity of Party and State began to fall asunder.
So the CCM leadership resulted into a political bureaucracy now devoid of the direct access to resources. With liberalization, the state has become narrow for each member of the leadership to secure an office or gainfully use it to accumulate property. Secondly, with liberalization, political competitors in terms of leaders of the new parties who seek to control the same state have emerged. Thirdly, with liberalization, other centres of power in the social cultural sphere such as the religious bodies also emerged. Beneath them all are the general masses who are watching the drama.
Tendencies within CCM
The initial step in CCM as an institution was to look for alternative sources of resources now that the state has shrunk with the privatization process. So it looks for means of linking up with the resource centres through the integration of the business elite into its own structure. It is in this regard that business people now form part and parcel-of the CCM leadership structure. But at the same time will attempt to seek methods 0f affiliating to its traditional constituency.
A second move is for CCM as an institution to act as gate keeper lest the emerging new power centres grab the state which is still key to their accumulation. Thus opposition bashing and reproach is adopted as the method of dealing with the "opponents".
Thirdly, CCM as an institution is likely to remain ambivalent on how to link up with the masses. The welfarist ideology is incompatible with liberalization. But here are masses of the people who cannot be absorbed or taken care of by the liberal economic system. Thus the programmes have to take the form of discrete, uncoordinated themes under the rubric of "Mambo yanayowakera Wananchi". (Things that trouble the people).
Fourthly, what is critical is that there will be intense factional struggles within CCM itself along a variety of lines: regionalist such as the G 55/Tanganyika motion against the union structure; the dispersal of the leadership and emergence of individual power brokers, accusations and counter accusations about corruption, mismanagement etc. Underneath all of them are two related attempts by members of the CCM regime. One is an effort to expand the state so that a lot more can be accommodated within its regions and departments. So, the G55 or 60, or Zanzibaris against Tanganyikan's will emerge, fall and reemerge in that intra elite struggle. Secondly will be attempts at ousting an opponent through corruption or mismanagement charges hoping thereby that with their removal, the opponents will find a slot to occupy.
Implications for Democracy
If democracy means the presence of institutions that are for the masses, these changes and trends just entrench the elites who will continue to fit one another for control of the state without making substantial changes in the system. In other words, one may want to suggest that trends of change in the party discussed at the beginning were mere succession battles but the actual war for multiparty democracy is yet to be waged by the organizations of civil society.