In his farewell speech at the Parliament, Zitto Kabwe highlighted one important structural issue that we (citizens of Tanzania) need to fix ASAP. The issue is, I paraphrase, “the exceeding powers of political parties vs. people’s power”. The fact that a political party can strip off its sponsored Member Parliament his/her position in the parliament is one example that shows how elevated political parties are in comparison to its members and also people.
Such has created a ground through which dictatorial tendencies grow within political parties. Since 2013, I’ve often thought (and I think blogged or at least entered into my diaries) that there is a need for Political Scientists to move down below the state level and analyze dictatorship within political parties.
What we see has happened to Zitto Kabwe, whose popularity is still high among electorates and people of his constituents yet stripped off his MP by his party, is not only the problem of CHADEMA, but also of other political parties starting with the ruling CCM.
The other day I listened to CCM Secretariat personnel (I think PR & Publicity Secretary), Nape’s speech given in Arusha region and my mouth remained wide open in shock of what he was uttering regarding CCM power vs. government power. Oooh my gosh!! He theoretically explained how powerful CCM is compared to the government. On this he had an audacity to claim that the party has powers over a minister (remember “minister” is a national position not a person). How? It doesn’t make sense to me at all…
It was an exact display of what somebody tweeted “Social-scientific illiteracy in public discourse”.
Well, I won’t say much … but I wish we could fix this problem especially as we are in the process of reviewing our constitution even if we only have a referendum to go, Tanzanians still have chance to dictate what we want.
We should fight tyranny at all levels of governance to ensure people’s powers (majority and minority) are above any institutional set up.