TANZANIA DECIDES 2020;PRESIDENT MAGUFULI JOSTLES TO SUSTAIN A PROMISING TRACK RECORD MARRED BY HIS HIGH-HANDEDNESS

TANZANIA-COLONIAL HISTORY

  • 1498-1506-The Coast of East Africa that includes Zanzibar Archipelago  is taken over by the Portuguese after the Explorations of Vasco Dagama. Two Centuries later on 1698, Turkish Oman Empire defeats Portuguese Forces in their Third Attempt to Topple them out of Zanzibar.
  • 1886-Germany and Britain sign the Anglo-German Treaty shortly after the infamous Berlin Conference giving Germany Mandate to take over Tanganyika-Today’s Mainland Tanzania marking the beginning of German East Africa Colonial Territory. Later in 1890-Zanzibar became a British Colonial Territory under the Germany-Britain Helgoland Treaty.
  • July 1905-an Africans Rebellion against Oppressive German Colonial Rule broke out led by a Prophet turned Rebel Leader Kinjekitile Ngwale alias Bokero who rallied Africans in Mainland Tanganyika to Revolt against German Colonial Regime. Kinjekitile would be arrested,charged with Treason and hanged a Month later on August 1905. His Maji Maji Rebellion/Revolution however continued until July 1907 when it was ruthlessly crashed by German Forces. Directly through Killings and indirectly through their Scorched-Earth Hunger Tactic, German Forces were responsible for the Deaths of between 180,000-300,000 Africans in Tanganyika during that War. Although the Rebellion did not reach Fruition; the German Regime had to abolish some of their Oppressive Policies on Africans in Tanganyika as a result. The Rebellion also inspired other African Uprisings against Oppressive Colonial Regimes elsewhere.
  • 1916-a Combination of British, Belgian and British South African Troops invaded and occupied a significant Territory of German East Africa driving out German Forces during the Period of what is said to have been “World War 1”. The Defeat of Germany in this War saw the League of Nations give Britain Mandate to take over Tanganyika in 1919 ending Germany’s 33 Years Rule over Tanganyika.
  • Political Pro-Independence Activists led by Kleist Sykes came together and formed “Tanganyika African Association” in 1929 as their Organization to ask for Independence from British Colonialists. Kleists Sons led by Abdulwahid Sykes took over the Cause after the Death of their Father in 1949.
  • Abdulwahid Kleist met a Teacher one Julius Nyerere, Oscar Kambona and together with 11 Other Independence Activists that included 3 Kenyans formed TANU-Tanganyika African National Union as their rallying point towards their Goal of securing Tanganyika’s Independence.
  • In his Pan-African Unity Ideals, Julius Nyerere presented a Proposal at an Independent African Leaders Summit in Ethiopia in 1960 to have Tanzania’s Independence delayed until when Kenya and Uganda are set for their Independence in a bid to have a Federation of the Three States. Other Senior TANU Leaders were not of his Idea and they continued to push for Tanganyika’s Independence.
  • A General Election was held on August 1960 in preparation for Tanganyika’s Self-Rule. TANU won 70 out of 71 Seats, TANU Leader Nyerere began forming an Independence Government of Tanganyika. On May 1,1961 Tanganyika regained Internal Self-rule with Nyerere as the Prime Minister. Later on December 9,1961 Tanganyika regained its full Independence ending 42 Years of British Colonial Rule in Tanganyika.

INDEPENDENT TANGANYIKA, ZANZIBAR TO –UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA

  • A Presidential Election was held on November 1962 and PM Nyerere Won to become Tanganyika’s first President with 99% against One Candidate-Zuberi Mtemvu-a TANU Dissident who formed the ANC Party in Tanganyika.  December 9,1962 Tanganyika became a Republic.
  • December 10,1962-the Zanzibar Archipelago Regained its Independence from British Colonialists. It became a Constitutional Monarchy under the Sultan who would later get Toppled in the January 1964 ‘Zanzibar Revolution’. Abeid Karume was named President of the newly formed People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. Nyerere survived an Army Coup Attempt on the same Month.
  • Mwalimu Julius Nyerere visited Karume in Zanzibar on April 1964 and their Talks led to the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form the “United Republic of Tanzania” on April 26,1964 with Nyerere as President and Karume as the first Vice President. Zanzibar would however regain its Semi-Autonomous State under the Unification Constitution. Nyerere’s Attempt to Unify the East African Region of Kenya,Tnazania and Uganda into One Federal State however failed and ended up with the formation of a weak Organisation-the East African Community-in 1967.
  • February 1977-TANU merged with Zanzibar’s Afro-shirazi Party to form-Party of the Revolution-Chama cha Mapinduzi-CCM– which is still in Power Today. Nyerere ruled Tanzania as a One Party Socialist-Ujamaa State for 23 Years until October 1985 when he Voluntarily Announced his Retirement at the Age of 63. Nyerere backed Ali Hassan Mwinyi, a Zanzibari to Succeed him at the end of October 1985. Mwalimu Nyerere is remembererd as Tanzania’s and One of Africa’s Founding Father, a Statesman and Pan-Africanist who wanted to Unite Africa through Regional Federations, a Freedom Fighter who helped Tanzania and other African Countries Demand for their Independece, a Peace Mediator among other Achievements. Later on October 14,1999-Nyerere Died in a London Hospital where he was ailing with Leukaemia at the Age of 77.
  • February 1992-Mwinyi led Tanzania into Multi-Party Democracy via a Constitutional Amendment that ended Tanzania’s 3 Decades of One-Party Rule. Mzee Mwinyi is Today remembered for introducing Multi-Party Democracy and opening up Tanzania’s Economy to the World by dropping Nyerere’s Socialist Policies. A Free Economy accompanied by his Capitalistic Policies slowly alowed Corruption to start taking root in Tanzania.
  • Tanzania’s first Multi-party Elections were held on October 1995. CCM Candidate Benjamin Mkapa with the backing of retired President Julius Nyerere won with 61% against 3 other Candidates. Mkapa’s Economic Reforms and Anti-Corruption Crusade won him a Second 5-Years Term on October 2000 with 71%. Mkapa who died recently on July 2020 from a Heart Attack is remembered as a Peace maker who Negotiated Peace in several African Countries and a Uniter who helped revive the East African Community.
  • On December 2005-Mkapa was Succeeded by another CCM Candidate Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete who won with 80% against 9 other Candidates. Kikwete won himself a second Term later on October 2010 with 63%.

TANZANIA UNDER PRESIDENT JOHN POMBE MAGUFULI

  • Dr.John Pombe Magufuli; a former Chemistry/Mathematics Teacher, former MP and 4 Times Minister won the CCM Ticket for October 2015 General Elections with the backing of retired President Benjamin Mkapa. Magufuli then referred to as a Workaholic due to his Dedication in past State Appointments won the Presidential Election with 58% against 7 other Candidates.
  • 5 Years on; Magufuli’s has been nicknamed as the “Bulldozer” due to his hard Stance and Action on Corruption, Cutting Unnecessary Government Expenditure like Civil Servants Foreign Trips, National Celebrations, his Nationalist Attitude to Foreign Policy and Foreign Companies especially on Mining, Clampdown on Political Activities and Dissent among other Stringent Directives. President Magufuli has only made 7 Trips-(4 in East Africa and 3 in Southern Africa)-outside Tanzania since his Election in 2015; He hasn’t travelled out of Africa for Anything. This has sometimes strained his and Tanzania’s Relationship with the International Community.
  • Magufuli’s Crackdown on Corruption, Misuse and Wastage, Nationalist Policies, Free Primary and Secondary Education, Flagship Development Projects like the $3 Billion-2,115 MW Julius Nyerere Hydroelectrict Power Project-JNHPP, the ongoing $7.6 Billion 1,457KM Standard Gauge Railway that will link Rwanda,Burundi and DR Congo to the Port of Dar Es Salaam while connecting Inland East Africa from Lake Victoria, Steady Economic-GDP-GNI- growth that has recently seen Tanzania rise from a low income Country to a low middle income Country on July 2020 are among some Key Achievements of President Magufuli.
  • Magufuli’s Unconventional and Controversial Approach to the ongoing Global Corona Virus Pandemic has brought him and Tanzania to Global Limelight with an outpouring of mixed Reactions. (Read this Commentary to get the Whole Story). On April 17,2020 Magufuli Announced the Defeat of Corona Virus in Tanzania; the Country has not given any Corona Virus-COVID-19 Update since April 29,2020 when it had reported 509 Cases and 21 Deaths.
  • Magufuli’s deliberate Clampdown on Dissent, Criticism and Political Opposition, Freedom of Speech/Expression, Freedom of the Press-both Local and International and Freedom of the Civil Society has however marred his first 5 Years in Office.

OCTOBER 28,2020 TANZANIA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

  • There are 29.1 Million Registered Voters who will cast their Votes in 80,155 Polling Stations across Tanzania’s 169 Districts.
  • There are a Total of 15 Presidential Candidates;13 Men and 2 Women in this Election; 60-Years old President Magufuli who is seeking his Second and last Term is the Candidate of CCM-(Africa’s longest ruling Party with smooth Transitions-in Power since Tanzania’s Independence in 1961).
  • Magufuli’s main Challenger is 52-Years old Lawyer and former Singida East MP Tundu Lissu who is the Candidate of Tanzania’s main Opposition Party CHADEMA. Tundu Antiphas Lissu who has been a Critic of President Magufuli since 2015 survived an Assasination Attempt on September 2017 after several Arrests and Detention. Mr.Lissu was fatally shot 16 Times by unknown Gunmen who sprayed his Car with 36 Bullets near his Dodoma Residence. He fled to Kenya and later Belgium where he has undergone at least 20 Surgeries and now walks with a Limp. Lissu who just returned Home from Belgium on July 27,2020 to take on Magufuli in this Election blamed Magufuli for the 2017 Assasination Attempt. Although he has faced Intimidation in his Campaigns; Lissu remains Steadfast and has vowed to Mobilize Millions of Tanzanians to Protest should this Election get rigged. On the eve of this Election Tundu claimed the Polls had already been “heavily rigged” using the “entire Government Systems” in favour of Magufuli and CCM.Early on the Voting Day he decried the Discrimination of his Poll Agents and Stuffed Ballot Boxes in different Places. He called for urgent “Mass Democratic Action to protect the Intergrity of the Election”.
  • Other notable Candidates are former MP and Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Membe, Economist Prof.Ibrahim Lipumba and Two Women One Queen Sendiga and Cecilia Mwanga.
  • With Independent Local and International Media still sppressed, Few Independent International Observers, Significant Internet and Social Media Channels blockage ahead of this Election and the Draconian Article 41 Clause 7 on the ‘Procedure for the Election of President’ in Tanzania’s Constitution which States That: “When a Candidate is Declared by the Electoral Commission to have been Duly Elected in Accordance with this Article then No Court of Law shall have any Jurisdiction to Inquire into the Election of that Candidate”.The Openness,Credibility and Verifiability of this Election is still in Question.
  • A similar Election will also be taking place at the Semi-Autonomous State of Zanzibar.

QUICK FACT-FILE-TANZANIA

  • Tanzania is a Country along the Coast of East Africa sharing a direct Border with 8 African Countries; It’s the largest Country in East Africa and 13th Largest Country in Africa Home to 60 Million People. It’s the 5th most populous Country in Africa.
  • Tanzania is the second largest Economy in East Africa after Kenya with a GDP per capita of $ 1,122.
  • On the latest Human Development Index Tanzania ranked Position 159/189 Globally. On the recent Human Capital Index Tanzania ranked Position 128/157 Globally. About 26 Million or 49% of Tanzanians live below the International Poverty Line of $ 1.90 per Person-per Day according to the World Bank. According to the Country’s National Bureau Of Statistics;14 Million Tanzanians live below the National Poverty Line of Tsh.49,320 a Month.
  • Although it recently graduated from a low income Country to a low middle income Country; Tanzania is still classified on the list of 33 Least Developed Countries-LDCs-.in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Agriculture is among the main Economic Activity in Tanzania accounting for 26% of the National GDP. Tanzania is a significant Producer of Tobacco, Tea, Coffee, Cotton, Cashew Nuts and Oil Seeds. Tanzania is also a Mining Country; It’s among Africa’s top 10 producers of Gold. It also produces other precious Metals like Copper and Tanzanite-(a rare Gemstone that is only found in Tanzania). Tanzania is in the process of developing an LNG Plant for its 57 Trillion Cubic Feet Liquified Natural Gas discovered in Lindi on the Shores of the Indian Ocean.
  • With a huge Coastline of 1,424KM, Tanzania has breathtaking Beaches like Paje, Nungwi and Mnemba in Zanzibar, Iconic Safari Destinations like the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Olduvai Gorge among other Tourist attractions. Tanzania has 7 UNESCO ‘World Heritage Sites’.
  • Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the Highest ‘Free-standing’ Mountain in the World. It’s also the Highest Mountain in Africa.
  • Tanzania’s Official Language is Swahili. English which was inherited from former Colonial Master is a common International Language in Tanzania. With at least 120 Ethnic Communities; Tanzania has one of the richest Diversity of Languages in Africa.
  • Christianity and Islam are the main Religions in Tanzania accounting for 61% and 35% respectively.
  • Tanzanian Shilling-Tsh- is the Country’s Currency.
  • Dar es Salaam and Dodoma are Capital Cities in Tanzania. Dar es Salaam-the first Capital- is however the most prominent and populous City serving both Commercial and Administrative Functions.

(IMAGES COURTESY)

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