Tanzania: The Lowassa Complex ahead of the polls

There are soon polls and the both CHADEMA and ACT-Wazelendo are preparing their parties to challenge the supremacy of Chama Cha Mapundzi (CCM) and its incumbent President Joseph Magufuli.

The CCM is already entrenching all walks of life, the flow of information, allowing to participate politically, educate and hold press conferences are all after getting a nod from the state. No party can function or work without the authority giving them way. That is the reality in Tanzania under Magufuli’s reign.

No journalists, civil servant or anyone else can publish content without securing permission or at least follow strict guidelines. The restrictive nation ahead of the polls is a gift to the ruling party and their associates.

CHADEMA is coming with their big man, the resolute opposition candidate and voice of reason in Tundu Lissu. Last time around in the previous election, they used the deflector from CCM Edward Lowassa, who has now returned there. He was a marionet and a useful figure, but not someone who could defeat the CCM.

Now, ACT Wazelendo is using similar tools in another high ranking official from the CCM, who has fallen out of love there. Bernard Membe. Who is the Presidential candidate for the party ahead of the elections, instead of Zitto Kabwe. Who have big-shots both in Zanzibar and for the whole Republic with Membe.

Lissu and Membe will be in the same waters as Lowassa. There are no returns in sight, the state and CCM is intertwined and so connected, that only a miracle baby can separate them at this point. The walls are covered with heroics of the CCM and practically, the state and CCM is the same. Therefore, to topple Magufuli, you need the state apparatus to turn on itself and that is impossible.

Membe and Lissu knows this. Kabwe knows this too. They are opposites of the regime, who controls everything, but they only have their voice and their platform. They don’t have the army, the agencies, the institutions or the power to finesse this here game.

Just like Lowassa was a promising person, a high ranking and regarded man. He still could sufficiently be viable to the mechanics of CCM. There was no return to get out of this. There was only out-cries and devastations.

We can just imagine the return of Membe at some point too. When he has made up the grievances with the CCM and paid amends to the ones he needs too.

Lissu is popular and is a rising star, but the state might dim those lights by all means possible. While Membe will trade similar waters to Lowassa and hope for a safe journey home after the polls. It is a gamble for Kabwe, but it was the same for Freeman Mbowe in 2015. That didn’t work out and most likely will not do it in 2020.

Magufuli got this, but not because of his merit or his skills. However, because of how incorporated the CCM is and how its tools are there to destroy its competition. Peace.

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