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CCM Members Reflection: ‘At 47 the Party Needs a Rebirth’

Majority of the members mentioned social services and infrastructure development as the main successes of CCM. The second most mentioned success was the party's continuous tenure in power over the last 47 years.

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On February 05, 2024, Tanzania’s ruling party, CCM, commemorated its 47th anniversary since its founding in 1977. The Chanzo has spoken to 27 members of the party to gather reflections on this milestone. The majority of the individuals interviewed hold positions ranging from the lower hamlet level to the national level.

We asked them three questions: what they perceive as the major successes of CCM in the last 47 years, the challenges the party currently faces, and where they envision CCM in the next fifty years.

Success

In terms of ranking, the majority of the members mentioned social services and infrastructure development as the main successes of CCM. The second most mentioned success was the party’s continuous tenure in power over the last 47 years. Following closely in third place was the party’s role in maintaining national unity, peace, tranquility, and social cohesion.

“What we are proud of as CCM members is the development we see in health, education, infrastructures, and agriculture, Tanzanians have greatly benefitted,” said Thecla Mung’ong’o, CCM’s women wing secretary in Mbeya rural.

“The greatest success of all is to maintain peace, love, and national solidarity. We Tanzanians are all brothers and sisters; Tanzanians are one,” underscored Hamisi Kigwangalla, Nzega rural member of parliament.

Other issues that ranked high as the party’s successes include the strengthening of party wings, the increase in new members, especially youth, the bolstering of the party’s economic prowess, and the promotion of internal democracy, particularly through the periodic change of party leadership.

Our analysis of the members’ feedback, with a majority highlighting development as a major success, signifies an understanding among many CCM members of the correlation between legitimacy and the party’s enduring tenure in power.

Party Challenges

In challenges, one of the challenges that ranked high is the factions within the party and members who follow their interests instead of the party’s interests.

“We choose each other based on interests. A person may simply be elected because they are good, but once they get in there because they come from a certain faction, they are expected to support that faction,” argued Mwajuma Salum Mbwana, a Chairperson of Elders Wing in Kilimani Dodoma.

“These troubles us a lot, and I believe even Mama Samia is trying to break that faction mentality. But down here, the problem is very big and it is troubling us,” added Mbwana.

“As a youth of the party, I think one of the problems that we face is having members who are not committed to the cause but are in the party to serve their interest,” argued Antony Mwangoma, Youth Wing Chairperson Rungwe.

Our analysis of this challenge is that this is something that was also communicated by the national leadership including the party chairperson, whose assessment of the problem believes it emanates from people who were not raised by the party but came in due to certain interests.

Changes in world politics

Another challenge that party members highlighted is the push from global politics and the influence of global politics on the demographic, especially youth. Some members have underscored there is a push against them from Western establishments who are against former liberation movement political parties.

“Right now, the majority of Tanzanians are young people, so there is a slight challenge as we try to make sure that the youth can love and adapt to the party,” argued Richard Kasesela who serves as NEC member

“There are also global changes underway. These global changes have been fighting liberation movements for a long time. Especially the Western world has been strongly opposing our political parties,” added Kasesela.

Kasesela’s point was echoed by Dr. Hamis Kigwangala who believes that to guarantee several decades of the party in power, the party needs a rebirth.

“Another issue is the challenge of the current times. You cannot lead today’s Tanzania in the same way it was led when CCM was born. Therefore, CCM must be born again, allowing more freedom, allowing more liberty, which will continue to make it more accepted among the people,” argued Kigwangalla who serves as a Nzega rural member of parliament.

“Freedoms and rights that CCM founders fought for need to be expanded, the party needs widening of freedom and liberty so that it can reflect the current realities, and with every re-birth, the party will emanate as new,” emphasized Kigwangala.

Other challenges that party members mentioned include registration of its members, employment and economic challenges, competition from opposition parties, and pressure to keep election promises. When we asked about the future of the party, the majority of CCM members saw the party remaining in power and growing to become an exemplary party in Africa.

One Response

  1. How may of us remember that report commissioned by Magufuli and written by Bashiru who discovered massive theft and embezzlement of CCM assets by party leadership?

    Even Magufuli admitted in public that CCM leaders are thieves

    Does anybody think this doesn’t happened today under DOCTOR Samia? Really?

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