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close this bookPolitical Parties and Democracy in Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam University Press, 1994, 228 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 1: Political Parties and Transition to Democracy (An Explanatory Framework)
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 2: Political Parties in Tanzania
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 3: Issues in the Development and Limitations of the New Political Parties
View the documentChapter 4: The Changing Anatomy of Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM)
View the documentChapter 5: Political Parties and Civil Society
View the documentChapter 6: Political Parties and the Central Organs of State
View the documentChapter 7: The Impact of Political-Parties on Public Policy
View the documentChapter 8: Political Parties and Democracy: Concluding Remarks
View the documentBack Cover

Chapter 7: The Impact of Political-Parties on Public Policy

The galvanization of opposition political parties can also be discerned through their ability to influence policy formulation and policy changes in the country. In any society, policy change is geared towards improving the well being of all members of society. Policy is about the management of politics and the economy. It is also a strategy of formulating and implementing development programmes. In this instance, policy is viewed as an aggregation of societal values. Gilian Peele argues that for policy to have meaning, societal values have to be taken into consideration by politicians and administrators. He suggests that "values are important in the context of any political system because they help to shape the institutions and policy outputs of that system"1

It is impossible to talk about concretizing societal values into polices in any viable democracy without evaluating the interplay of these societal values with political institutions and its prominent political actors in a country. Prominent political actors in this instance are politicians, both from the party in power and the opposition. The ability of opposition political parties to raise and define issues for public debate and adoption by the government is often a sign Of opposition virility.

Moreover, it is also important to point out that under stable democratic conditions "all important policies require political and moral choices to be made in a context that is characterized by norms, beliefs, goals and pressures." (Fiandomenico Majone, 1989:146). Political parties which draw their ideas from their societal bases are better suited to influence policy formulation than those parties with a shaky base in society. It is one of the pre-conditions of democratic praxis that public policy must be a result of thorough debates on issues of public concern. For who is better placed to initiate policy issues for debate than the political parties themselves which purport to represent the views of their members and society at large?

This section attempts to assess how much room for manoeuvre the new political parties have in initiating issues that mould public attitudes and policies in Tanzania. In short, what is the impact of the new political parties on public policy formulation? The contention here is that the political parties will be able to offer programmes that citizens can pick from. Here we agree with eminent political scientists like Seymour Martin Lipset, that: the basic problem of democracy is the need to institutionalize peaceful struggle among competing elites that offer the masses the opportunity to choose between alternative programmes even as they expose one another's weaknesses and failings".2 We shall therefore attempt to see whether inter/intraparty competitions, in their bid to explore each others weaknesses, have enabled the new political parties in Tanzania to have any impact on public policy in this country.

The transition to multiparty democracy in Tanzania is still debatable, with some commentators contending that it is underway, but not yet fully realized. The transition is considered underway, but not for the ban on opposition political activities has been lifted. About 13 political parties have received full registration by June 1994. Therefore, as Grimah-Boadi assets, "the opposition parties are operating albeit with questionable effectiveness, outside parliament. They are holding rallies and press conferences and commenting freely on government policies".3 This does not preclude the fact that it is still questionable whether the new parties are really "political parties per se i.e. political institutions with competing ideologies and competing programmes. Most of the new parties may fail this test since they have similar programmes and most, if not all, have a very narrow social base as argued elsewhere in this book. Yet, the fact that these institutions are legally recognized as political parties and deal in political activities: holding political rallies, freely commenting on public policy, participating in by-elections, the futility of this endeavour not withstanding, forces us to asses their influence on government policy.

If commenting freely on government policies in political rallies and press releases is taken to be an indicator of legitimate political effort to shape public policy, then the new political parties may have had an influence, limited as it may be. CHADEMA, NCCR-Mageuzi, UMD, CUF, PONA, NLD etc. have particularly been very active in this respect. In their political rallies and in election campaigns from Ileje, Kigoma and Igunga, these new political parties have managed to raise issues which have somehow influenced policy formation in Tanzania. The question is whether the policy issues they have raised may translate to concrete economic and political agenda for transforming the poor economic and undemocratic conditions into improved living conditions and stable democracy.

The government elite has created a political and economic crisis in Tanzania which offers the new political parties an opportunity to influence change for the better by issuing policy solutions to the crisis. It has to be appreciated that the economic and political crisis as manifested in declining per capital incomes, declining public expenditure on social services like education, health, water etc., the state of the Union and its future, (etc) is exacerbated by the existence of a confidence gap between civil society and professional politicians on the one hand, and between senior bureaucrats and politicians and between senior civil servants and the rest of the workers on the other hand. Furthermore, this situation is made worse by a crisis of confidence between civil servants and civil society.

The African Association for Public Administration (AAPAM) has observed that this confidence gap is a result of a general mistrust that continues to dog public policy formulation and implementation in Africa. In a review of African Public Services, AAPAM construes that this apparent mistrust in the body politique is in essence caused by a "lack of purposeful dialogue between the various groups and inadequate leadership both at the political and civil service level in the public services".4

Politicians and government bureaucrats, policy makers and policy implementors do not appear to take cognizance of this crippling practice. They do not appear to appreciate the affront made to democracy and development due to the three decades of monopoly politics. Politicians of the new political parties as well as government functionaries seem to have lost memories of "the repression and social injustice that flourished under single party authoritarism and the mismanagement of the economy. It would be prudent to take Torre's advise, that "support for democratic rule rests on the belief that its institutions, in spite of their shortcomings, are better than any others that might be established". Furthermore, that if politicians are wise they will use memories of repression and injustice that flourished under authoritarianism to "improve democratic governance by linking policy formation and implementation to a process of regular consultation with political forces and interest groups".5

Regular consultations are essential for expanded democracy. Yet, consultations are not possible where the contending parties mistrust each other. Citizens and politicians as well as public bureaucrats, have to trust and consult each other on issues affecting the destiny of the whole society. The ruling political party and its government has to feel safe enough to involve all political parties in policy formulation.

However, it may also be pertinent at this stage to also caution that the ability of opposition parties to influence policy change to some extend also depends on the strength of the regime in power. Moreover, it has to be remembered that in making public policy, "the state does not float freely above society but incorporates basic values, traditions, collective norms, conflicts and divisions.."6 The new political parties have therefore to realize that they have to persist in their struggle to influence policy changes. The incumbent administration together with all those who benefit from it will continue to resist change for fear of loosing their advantageous positions. Since politics is about struggles, the new political parties have to show the civil society that they can persevere to sustain democracy.

The ability of the new political parties to impress upon the state on the need for changing public policy also depends on the social base of these political parties. If the social base of these new political parties is elitist, limited and narrow, as our data on the political parties member trustee records indicate, their ability to influence policy change becomes constrained. Indeed, as mentioned earlier in this book, data incidates that opposition support in Tanzania is mainly from the elite i.e. urban based intellectuals and traders. Most of the parties are managed by educationist, i.e. people with teaching background or chaired by businessmen (CHADEMA, PONA, NLD, UMD, UPDP) or by intellectuals and professionals (NCCR-Mageuzi, TPP, etc.).

The new political parties in Tanzania have been unable to attract a large following from peasants and from the urban lumpen proletariat. However, the unregistered Democratic Party appears to have captured the imagination of the urban lumpen proletariat, poor workers and itinerant (petty) traders.

Apart from the narrow social base of the new political parties, the recalcitrant CCM regime is still keen to protect its interests accumulated over three decades of single party rule. CCM and its government has, therefore, conceded only a few democratic rights i.e. the right to form political parties, limited freedom of the press etc. Such concession are meant to cover up the more open weaknesses of the regime. This regime has also co-opted opposition policies as if the are its own. Yet this party and its bureaucracy is not yet fully accountable to its citizens. For example, the 1991 audit report indicates that the Tanzanian government lost millions of shillings through dubious deals? The government's own papers have also reported that the government has failed to collect import duties revenues to the tune of 37.1bn/- due to inefficiency and corruption.8 This has happened when the government has failed to pay its workers living wages, and when it has declared redundant over 50,000 of its workforce due to budgetary constrains. Furthermore, the government has been forced to abandon its welfare programme and cost sharing in education, health and water has been introduced. Meanwhile, the government is also accused of spending over 22 million shillings for zero work at a government parastatal in Morogoro.9 The government has also lost millions of shillings in "ghost workers". Indeed, the situation has been worsened by government support of often inept parastatal managers, rejected by workers because of their dubious qualifications, nepotism and corruption.10

The new political parties have not won much political leverage from the CCM government. Political parties still need permits from district authorities to organize their political rallies save during elections. Furthermore, the CCM regime still harasses the free press by taking legal and punitive actions against critical editors i.e. the editor of The Express has been arrested and sued for criticizing the rot in government. Stringent penalties have been introduced to discourage critical papers. Security agents often invade printing presses in efforts to rub off critical editorials before they are published. In a way such actions tend to limit the ability of the new political parties to influence public opinion and public policy. This is especially the case because the opposition parties have only token access to the public mass media (Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam, the Daily News) which is still monopolized by the CCM and its government.

Yet, it is also common knowledge in Tanzania that the opposition is in place and is legally recognized. This gives the new political parties an opportunity to pressure the ruling party and its government to liberalize further the processes of political and economic policy formulation. Since these political parties can still organize political rallies (with permission) and contest in elections, they can nevertheless influence public policy as we will demonstrate shortly. What the new political parties have to remember is that the current regime is weak and vulnerable. Its legitimacy is questionable particularly since the introduction of multipartism and the abandonment of the ideology of Ujamaa in January 1991. Indeed, the new political parties are however cautioned that

The policy deliberations and reform decisions of public officials must constantly take into account the vulnerability of the regime and the effect of any change in policy on its political fortunes. Moreover, what may be most important is that economic vulnerability and the shallow foundation of legitimacy on which many governments rest means that a disaster of any significance leaves them open to server challenge by their opponents.11

It is a known fact that the CCM regime is both economically and politically vulnerable. The lack of a national ethic, the corruption in high offices of the sate, the inefficiency of the bureaucracy and the total neglect of all civil society all point out to a regime in crisis. It is no secret that the Tanzania state has a shallow foundation of legitimacy precisely because it is drawn from an era of single party politics. Most of the cabinet is not picked from among the popularly elected representatives of the people. Most if not all senior servants, especially executives of public organisations were hand picked by the executive because of political and personal reasons rather that on merit. The single party in Tanzania had monopolized all political power, confirming Andrew Gamble's contention that,

One party, one group, in civil society seeks an absolute political monopoly: it secures control over the communication of ideas through books, newspapers, and modern media, and suppresses all other political parties,. It seeks to destroy all independent and therefore rival bases of power in civil society, whether private capital, trade unions, the churches, or the family. Civil society is atomised, its organisations and voluntary associations are destroyed or incorporated by the state, and it is reduced to the aggregate of individuals who compose it.12

Obviously, under conditions described earlier, the legitimacy of the state becomes questionable. Such a state is based on the support of few beneficiaries of the regime and not on the will of the people. CCM has a membership of about 3 million people meaning that a majority of over 23 million people are excluded in one way or the other. The legitimization of new political parties, and the liberalization of the civil society allowing the formation of independent trade unions, independent cooperative societies, freedom of the press etc makes the old regime even more vulnerable. People are now freer to question the legality of policy formulation by a regime that is not firmly established in the will of all members of society. The main contention here is that the new political parties have every right and opportunity to demand to be involved and to struggle to be heard and to influence policy formulation in Tanzania.

Although citizens have every right to demand popular participation in government decisions, this does not preclude the fact that popular democracy is itself inadequate to guarantee democratic governance. Infact, it has been argued rather convincingly that "the democratic principle of popular sovereignty is heavily qualified because the formulation and implementation of government policy actually depend on a state apparatus that is everywhere hierarchical, bureaucratic, and secretive ..."13 This state apparatus is what the new political parties need to discern and seek to influence. Since as mention earlier, the state apparatus is still monopolized by CCM, the new political parties have to struggle to chip away this monopoly. The attempt of the new political parties to penetrate the state apparatus that determines policy, the parliament, has proven futile. All the members of Parliament are still CCM members and most were elected during the era of single partism except the Kwahani, Ileje and Kigoma Urban MPs who although CCM members were recently elected under multiparty competitive elections. The elections may have been free but the grounds of competition were not fair, as they were biased in favour of CCM. Both local and central government functionaries are CCM sympathizers and can influence constituency elections. The mass media, especially the radio, and the two major dailies, Uhuru and Daily News are CCM mouth-pieces during elections despite their being owned by the government and the ruling party.

In an election petition for the Kigoma urban constituency, the Judge ruled in favour of the defeated Chadema candidate, citing the propaganda campaigns of Radio Tanzania against CHADEMA and in favour of CCM as one of the irregularities in this election. The new political parties are therefore faced by many challenges including struggling for the creation of fair election conditions.

The erosion of the Arusha Declaration and its Ujamaa and self reliance policies has also robed the CCM of its ideological direction. Many political analysts and practitioners agree that the current CCM leadership has no compass for guiding the political economy of the country. They are only nostalgic about socialism while they in practice embrace capitalist tendencies. They insist that they have not abandanoned the Arusha declaration while the Zanzibar Resolution of January 1991 has removed the leadership code, the main pillar of the Arusha Declaration. The CCM government has decided to auction many state enterprises in a policy called privatization, thus practising capitalism while they have not changed me CCM constitution which supports socialism. It is such ideological confusions which render the CCM regime vulnerable to opposition pressure.

Furthermore, the failure of the structural adjustment programmes to improve the national economy and the welfare of the majority of Tanzanians has further weakened the legitimacy of the CCM regime. Tanzanians continue to suffer from economic deterioration. Absolute poverty persists. The condition of labour is bleak. "Today, an average household, where only the husband works as minimum wage labourer, the household labour has to toil for 6 days for a single meal of beef and rice, and has to work for at least 2 days for another meal of cornmeal and beans. Under these circumstances many average households make do with only one meal a day."14

Structural Adjustment programmes tend to hurt the poor much more than the rich. The welfare of the poor, "the bottom 30 - 40 percent of the per capita income and consumption ladder in a population" suffers the most, due to "devaluations and wage restraints which have pushed down real wages for organized labour".15 To avoid blame, the current leadership" has argued that liberalization pre-dated the IMF, and that it was not inconsistent with its policy changes, unfortunately, the lot of direct producers are not likely to improve their lot significantly".16 Since these policies are not benefitting producers they create a legitimacy crisis which can enable the new political parties to influence policy formulation. This is especially the case because, as argued by Andrew Kiondo, the policies adopted to mitigate the economic crisis are faulty because the beneficiaries are not consulted. They are not consulted because,

the nature of economic reforms in Tanzania is determined by the struggles between international capital and private capital, on the one hand; and the representatives of the state sector on the other. Internally, the struggles are between the private bourgeoisie and the state bourgeoisie. In these struggles the masses of Tanzanians - the actual producers - are almost completely excluded. The economic programmes represented the interests of those who shape the reforms .. and the impact of economic reforms in Tanzania is greatly shouldered by those who do not participate in shaping them .. i.e. the Underprivileged classes..17

The underprivileged classes constitute the majority of the population in Tanzania. Hence, their exclusion in policy formulation and the suffering afflicted them by such policies exacerbates the legitimacy crisis of the CCM regime. This legitimacy crisis is to some extent manifested by the withdrawal of civil society from active participation in politics and the economy prompting the state to resort to the use of force. The use of force and the neglect of the common person in land, has "accelerated the decline in effectiveness and efficiency and an increase in corruption and embezzlement of public funds.18 While the civil servants have resorted to laxity and corruption, Goran Hyden comes t the conclusion that, peasants have withdrawn from the official economy as a result of their disillusion. According to Hyden, there is also a "growing evidence that peasants in Africa use this "exit" option, particularly where policies are viewed as a threat or as devoid of any apparent benefits".19

Political, economic and social stability is undermined when workers and peasants lack confidence on a regime with little or no direct benefit to their survival. It is under such conditions that the new political parties should be able to offer alternative policies that can guarantee the most basic needs of the Tanzanians i.e. better living conditions in the form of adequate calorie intake in nutritious food, reasonable shelter, basic education, health and clean water. Included in the basket of basic needs is the guarantee of human justice and equality in the form of freedom of speech, freedom of association, free press, freedom of conscience as well as protection of the environment that sustains life. This means that democratic rights have to be promoted if political and economic stability is to be attained. However, stability can only be ensured when society perceives the regime in power as supportive of policies which ensure better living conditions. This can only happen when both civil and political rights are equally availed to all citizens irrespective of their ethnic origins, their political or religious beliefs, and their status in society. Economic and political justice has to be promoted. It has been argued that:

The first step in such an effort is the development of a new cultural consensus that the basic economic conditions of human welfare are essential to human dignity and are due to persons by right... political democracy and a commitment to secure economic rights are mutually reinforcing.20

The poverty exacerbated by structural adjustment programmes does not augur well with the above contention. Poverty is an affront to social and economic justice as it undermines human dignity. Ujamaa policies gained support among Tanzanians of all political shades because they aimed at eradicating poverty and their concern for human equality and justice. Ujamaa policies therefore gave the CCM regime some legitimacy. Since the abandonment of Ujamaa the credibility of the regime is now suspect. The new political parties can exploit this weakness and influence policy formulation through alternative policies.

The fact that the majority of the poor can hardly afford to go to hospital nor send their children to school because of cost sharing policies forced on the CCM government by IMF, World Bank and donor conditionalities on Tanzania is another testimony of a regime not in full control. The over-dependence of the CCM government on foreign finance capital has compelled it to surrender its sovereignty over policy making. When economic policies and political reforms are dictated by foreign powers, the credibility of the regime suffers by making it more vulnerable politically and economically. New political parties can also capitalise on such vulnerability of the regime to influence policy changes.

IMF and World Bank pressure has forced the CCM government to reduce the civil service. Over 50,000 public sector employees have been targeted for redundancy. No plans have been made to offer these poor workers retraining opportunities as a preparation for the open job market nor are alternative sources of livelihood availed to them. Moreover, the falling living standards are exacerbated by double digit inflation coupled with the rampant corruption and an inefficient public sector. These are manifestations of a collapsing regime.

In such a situation, the new political parties were expected to take up the challenge and fight for a new social compact in Tanzania. The inability of the new political parties to capitalize on this political void has perplexed the public to the extent that civic institutions are now mushrooming with the sole purpose of filling the vacuum. About 4,769 independent primary cooperative societies have been registered since the passage of the new cooperative law in 1991.21 Cooperatives have struggled and won not only higher cash crop prices for their members, but also won the right to organize an autonomous cooperative apex organization to replace the government sponsored cooperative union of Tanzania. Cooperatives are no longer affiliated to the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

Workers have also attempted, with limited success, to have their own labour movement. OTTU still has CCM affiliation with its Secretary General still attending CCM National Executive Committee Meetings. Nevertheless, OTTU realizes its weakness as workers are still suspicious of its independence and ability to fight for better working conditions. Recently OTTU attempted to create its own legitimacy by calling an ill fated and poorly organized three day national strike in March 1994. Teachers have boycotted since November 1993, and have struggled and won the right to form their own independent teachers union (CHAKIWATA). Railway workers as well as government workers have registered independent trade unions, with a sole purpose of fighting for better terms of service including better pay.

Religious organizations in the country have found it expedient to write scathing pastoral letters castigating the corruption in government and have also called for a more people-oriented economic programmes. On the political front, the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) has called for a constitutional conference to draft a new constitution under democratic pluralism. This has prompted the President and CCM Chairman to warn the Bishops to desist forthwith from mixing religion and politics. The animosity between the government and religious leaders is threatening the very harmony preached by the CCM leadership. Religious organizations have every right to scold the vices they discern in government.

Despite all that, the new political parties have scored only limited success in influencing policy changes in Tanzania. One leader of the new political parties who has managed to raise issue which have gained political currency in Tanzania is Reverend Christopher Mtikila of the unregistered Democratic Party. Mtikila has managed to put the issue of economic nationalism back into the political agenda. This he has done by suggesting that a few Indian tycoons have captured the national economy to the detriment of nationals. He also accuses these tycoons of meddling in politics by corruptly putting CCM leadership in their payroll. Mtikila has called these Asian tycoons "gabacholis" an acronym for "thieves" of national treasures. He has popularized his Gabacholi politics to the extent that everybody knows about "gabacholism" and this has particularly fascinated street hawkers and vendors as well as urban employees who sympathize with the DP cause.

Mtikila's politics has in a way also gained support from the other registered political parties. NCCR-Mageuzi, PONA and TADEA preach "Uzawa" politics which has gained wide support under the auspices of indigenization. CUF also talks about "Utajirisho", or enrichment of the individual citizen. All these are issues which have gained popular support in Tanzania. However, it may also be pertinent to point out that there has not been mass rallies or street processions, or protests nor even strikes in support of these policies articulated by the new political parties. This is a stark reminder that these political parties are still lacking grassroots support, since they were introduced from above rather than through popular mass agitation.

The CCM government has not been able to ignore the indigenization issues to the extent that CCM itself now preaches indigenization openly, having failed to discredit the new political parties on this score. Initially the CCM and its government had dubbed indigenization and gabacholism as racist policies.

However, the new political parties persevered and gained popularity which has worried CCM political strategists. Academics supported indigenization in various workshops and seminars. Now the CCM government has adopted it as its political ploy to undermine opposition support. Even the Parastatal Reform Commission, an Executive organ for privatizing public enterprises, now talks about the need for indigenous people to assume control of the national economy, the very things that DP, NCCR-Mageuzi, and PONA were campaigning for.

The Chairman of the Parastatal Reform Commission has in various workshops emphasized that in privatizing public companies priority will be given to indigenous people. Thanks to multipartism, CCM members of Parliament freely call for the indigenization of commerce and industry in their parliamentary debates. The Dar es Salaam Camber of Commerce and Industry, the various independent newspapers all have in one way or the other campaigned for the indigenization of commerce and industry in Tanzania. This is a clear testimony that the new political parties have managed to somehow influence policy debates in Tanzania.

Another area where the new political parties have been able to spur debate on issues of national interest is the issue of the state of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Most of the opposition political parties particularly UMD, PONA, NLD, TADEA and NCCR-Mageuzi as well as the unregistered DP have called for a re-evaluation of the nature of the Union. The DP, PONA, NLD and TADEA have called for an outright break-up of the union, and the reestablishment of a Government of Tanganyika. In all political rallies the DP has used as its symbolism, the old black, yellow and green Tanganyika flag to reiterate its point. DP sympathizers don t-shirts decorated with the map of Tanganyika and nostalgically sing the old Tanganyika anthem. In the recent by-elections, some campaign rallies were dominated by the issue of Tanganyika. NLD, PONA and TADEA campaigned on the need for establishing an autonomous government of Tanganyika. The CUF, particularly the CUF-leadership in Zanzibar have also made statements regarding the Union, demanding a Tanganyika government.

CUF, CHADEMA and NCCR-Mageuzi leadership have emphasized in various public rallies and press releases on the need to restructure the union. These three parties have called upon the CCM government to establish the government of Tanganyika within the union. Thus, whereas the CCM government acquiesced to the demands of Zanzibar's to retain the current two government union structure, CUF, CHADEMA and NCCR-Mageuzi supported the idea of three governments i.e the Government of Tanganyika, the Government of Zanzibar and Federal Government as suggested by the Nyalali Commission.

It may be important to point out also that some CCM politicians have failed to resist the temptation to join the Tanganyika political band wagon. As pointed earlier, Hon. Njelu Kasaka, CCM Member of parliament for Chunya constituency, introduced a private motion last August, 1993 in support of the formation of Tanganyika Government. Mr. Kasaka gained instant fame as the Champion of Tanganyikan Nationalism. He was seconded by 55 fellow CCM members of Parliament in what has been popularized by the press as the G55. The CCM parliament passed the resolution requesting the CCM union government to devise mechanisms for establishing a Tanganyika Government.

The issue of Tanganyika dominated the parliament in its 1993 budget session, the October 1993 parliamentary session, and in the 1994 June-August budget session. Tanganyikan nationalism reached its highest levels when in August 1994, CHADEMA, NCCR-Mageuzi and TADEA held a joint public rally at Mnazi Mmoja ground where Mr. Edwin Mtei, CHADEMA Chairperson, Mr. Mabere Marando, NCCR-Mageuzi Chairperson, and Mama Flora Kambona, TADEA interim chairperson called upon their members to match to the Bunge grounds in support of Tanganyika. The crowds complied and matched, only to be stopped by police truncheons and tear gas canisters.

Apart from issues of national character raised by the new political parties, policy issues of a local nature have also been raised. Intact, one may even be tempted to suggest that the new political parties have had a limited success in this score. For example, both CHADEMA and CUF have attempted to influence the price of cash crops in rural Tanzania. CUF developed a maverick strategy to buy coffee in Kilimanjaro, Kagera and Rungwe, cotton in Shinyanga, Mwanza and Musoma, Cashewnuts in Mtwara, Lindi and Coast Regions and tobacco in Ruvuma and Tabora. CUF had decided to establish and register a cash crop buying company under the name of Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) in similar lines to CCM's business wing, Sukita. CUF also asked the CCM Government permission to compete with government owned crop authorities and cooperatives in buying cash crops. CUF promised to offer higher prices than those offered by the government. The permission has been granted.

In Kilimanjaro Region, CHADEMA also challenged the Kilimanjaro Native cooperative Union (KNCU), and the Tanzania Coffee Authority by offering to buy coffee at higher prices than those offered by the cooperatives. Individual cut-throat competition for the attention of Moshi Vijijini peasants, ensued between Ndesamburo, the Kilimanjaro business tycoon who is also the Kilimanjaro CHADEMA Chairman and Mr. Augustine Lyatonga Mrema, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, a popular CCM member of Parliament for the Moshi Vijijini constituency. To undercut both the CUF strategy and CHADEMA's efforts to win the Moshi Vijijini constituently, Mr. Mrema has been compelled to travel abroad on many occasions seeking a better coffee market for Moshi Vijijini peasants. Mr. Mrema has also intervened in KNCU meetings and urged the KNCU to cut down administrative costs in order to be able to pay higher prices to coffee growers in Kilimanjaro.

It may safely be intimated that as a result of CHADEMA and CUF's efforts to challenge CCM in Kilimanjaro and in other cash crop growing regions and their efforts to establish companies to purchase cash crops and promises to offer higher prices and prompt payments, the CCM government has been forced to deconfine cash crop buying in Tanzania. Any legal business person can now buy and sell cash crops whenever they want. Cash crop growers are no longer obliged to sell coffee, cotton, cashewnuts etc. through either cash crops authorities or through cooperative societies. Growers are now free to sell their cash crops to the open market to whom ever offers better terms.

During the Ileje by-elections campaigns, most of the new political parties vigorously campaigned against development level on women and the high tax burden on peasants. In particular, CUF and NCCR-Mageuzi demanded immediate withdrawal of all unnecessary taxes. NCCR-Mageuzi cited taxes on cats, dogs etc. as an example of unnecessary taxes. NCCR argued that it was unfair to levy taxes on peasant women because they owned little or no property. CUF promised to write off all taxes to improve the well being of peasants.

CCM was quick to realize their vulnerability on tax issue given the fact that women constituted a majority of voters in Ileje district. The Mbeya Region CCM leadership and the Ileje CCM District Chairman convened a CCM leadership meeting early January 1994 where it was agreed to exempt all Ileje women from development levy. The Ileje District Council was advised accordingly and convened their own meeting to ratify the CCM decision. Development levy on women was accordingly withdrawn, but Ileje men were forced to carry a higher tax burden to compensate on the revenue loss caused by the tax exemption of women. However, the decision was communicated to the people of Ileje during the campaigns, starting with the CCM election rally at Kapelekesi Village on 19th January 1994. Again this demonstrates that the new political parties are able to influence policy changes despite the fact that CCM took credit for the changes in policy.

The few examples enumerated in this chapter help to illuminate how the new political parties have been able to influence policy formulation in Tanzania. Their success has been limited to few national and local issues. Their major demands for a constitutional conference has fallen on deaf ears. Opposition demands for involvement on matters related to policy reform and the political transition have been rebuffed by the CCM government. When NCCR-Mageuzi, CHADEMA and NLD demanded involvement, while questioning the legitimacy of the CCM government to oversee the transition, the Minister for Legal and Constitutional Affairs replied through correspondence to the opposition, that, "the existing government and all its institutions draw their legitimacy for carrying on its business for managing the affairs of the state from the constitution (consequential Temporary Provision) Act No. 9 of 1992".22 The new political parties continue to denounce such a position as unconstitutional and an affront to the spirit of democratic governance.

The new political parties have mainly failed to achieve greater influence on public policy formulation because they lack cohesive policies. Some of them have even refused to discuss their policy agendas for fear that CCM will steal them. Most important however, is the fact that one can hardly distinguish one party programme from the other. Most are similar. Also the open feuds among the various leaders of these political parties undermines their credibility and support in Tanzania. Inter and intra-party strife stifles the efforts of the new political parties to influence policy formulation in Tanzania.


1. Gilian Peele, Christopher J. Bailey and Bruce Cain (Eds.) Developments in American Politics, The Macmillan Press Ltd. London, 1992 p. 14

2. Symour Martin Lipset, "Reflections on Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy." Journal of Democracy Vol. 4 No. 2 April 1993, P. 47.

3. E. Gyiman-Boadi, "Ghana's Uncertain Political Opening." Journal of Democracy Vol. 5 No. 2 April 1994, pp. 80 - 81.

4. AAPAM, African Public Services: Challenges and a Profile for the Future. VIKAS Publishing House, PUT Ltd., New Delhi, 1984 pp 8 - 10.

5. Juan Carlos Torre. "The Politics of Economic Crisis in Latin America," Journal of Democracy, Vol. 4, No. 1 January 1993, p.114.

6. Merilee S. Grindle and John W. Thomas, Public Choices and Policy Change: The Political Economy of Reform in Developing Countries, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1991, p.41.

7. Daily news, Friday, 8th November, 1991.

8. Daily News, Saturday, 9th November, 1991.

9. Uhuru, Saturday, November, 9, 1991.

10. Mfanyakazi, Saturday, November 9, 1991.

11. Merilee S. Grindle and John W. Thomas, op. cit., pp. 58 - 59.

12. Andrew Gamble, An Introduction to Modern Social and Political Thought, Macmillan Education Ltd., London, (9th Reprint) 1991, 9. 162.

13. Ibid, p. 163.

14. Rwekaza Mkandala and Amoni Chaligha, "A Research Agenda for University Based Public Administration and Management Institutions with Particular Reference to Contemporary Development Problems." (Mimeo) 1993. p.8.

15. Yuko Huang and Peter Nicholas, "The social Costs of Adjustment: How adjustment programmes affect the poor, and how the World Bank is helping ameliorate their effects in Adjustment with Growth Finance and Development, June, 1987, p.6.

16. Howard Stein, "The Economics of the State and the IMF in Tanzania," Taamuli Vol. 1 No. 1 & 2 combined, 1990, pp. 20 - 21.

17. Andrew Kiondo, "The Nature cf Economic Reforms in Tanzania," in Taamuli Vol. No. 1 & 2 Combined, 1990, pp 41-42.

18. R.S. Mukandala, "Bureaucracy and Socialism in Tanzania; the case of The Civil Service." The African Review, Vol. 10 No. 2, 1983, p. 19.

19. Goran Hyden, "African Social Structure and Economic Development" in Robert J. Berg and Jennifer Seymour Whitaker (eds.), Strategies for African Development, University of California Press, Berkely, 1986, p. 56.

20. United States Catholic Conference, Inc., "Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic social Teaching and the U.S. Economy." National Conference of Catholic bishops, Washington, D.C. Second Printing, 1986, p.43.

21. Daily News, Friday, August 19, 1994.

22. See Government Correspondence to the opposition JC/U.20/34/132 of 9th June 1993.