Recently, a new political group aiming to be a fully registered political party managed to make headlines. Tanzania doesn’t lead the region in the most number of registered political parties, if anything, it has some of the most rigid laws on political activity compared to some of its neighbours. Yet the political field is cluttered and the majority of political parties barely function or even have name recognition.
From new reports, it’s hard to fathom exactly what this budding new political outfit would add to an already glitzy and polarizing political scene. However, the only consistent thing about it is that it is associated with the name of a former president John Magufuli, claiming that they are defending his policies. In a grand scheme of things, it’s no coincidence that this outfit that’s been rumored for quite some time since late last year, managed to grab headlines this year as the party in power for a long time is in the process of organizing intra-party elections.
Does it indicate political rumblings within the CCM leading to a split and some of its influential members forming a new political party? The split in the CCM is an “ongoing” concern for those interested in political issues in this country.
In the past, rumors of a possible spilled or splinter faction of the CCM were almost always associated with factional battles within the party, especially in the run-up to the country’s general elections with the party’s primaries and the all-important presidential nomination process leaving a trail of political destruction and many bitter losers.
Political concessions go a long way to appease those who feel aggrieved, deals are cut, and plum jobs and appointments are crafted to avoid any huge political fallout.
It will not be the first time that a new political party has formed linked to big names within the CCM.
However, the most preferred path is not to form an entirely new political group, but rather to join an existing one, in order to avoid the political red tape and pragmatic problems associated with creating an institution from zero.
Regardless of the paths that those who decamped from the CCM have taken in the past, none of them have succeeded in dethroning the ruling party for a long time.
Some have become successful opposition politicians, but the majority have returned home after their unfortunate flirtations with the opposition. The harsh realities of opposition politics gave meaning to some of them informing their decisions to return to their “political home”, while others never really left but just walked out of the room. to refresh themselves or vent their political frustrations, returning “home”. ‘ after a while too.
To that end, now is not the time to introduce a new political party, whether or not it intends to take advantage of the lingering political tensions within the CCM occasioned by the ongoing political transition.
While those behind this new political team correctly assessed that there is an undercurrent of disillusion among those calling now, they miscalculated that this was enough to cause political upheaval anytime soon.
There is a real difference of opinion about Dr Magufuli and his tenure to the point that some politicians who have urged caution with their words have ended up failing the same task themselves saying unfortunate things, cannot understand why there are still people who see the former president as the ultimate savior and a man betrayed in death by those close to him politically.
Likewise, those who view his years in power as disastrous for the country cannot understand why his successors still pay lip service to his tenure, even as they appear to stray from many of his political positions and policies.
A new political party will do nothing to resolve these differences of opinion. All of this could happen without anything substantial after some time has passed.
After all, the CCM is a unique political party in all but name. Inside there are several different political parties, a reality that has accompanied us for decades in the era of multipartyism.
Because of this, officials now know with political certainty that there will come a time when they will need the name of the immediate former president to come to their aid.
The longevity of the ruling party has shown that to be true from time to time in a country where often the living trusted the dead more with their mortal affairs.