On 28th October 2020, the people of the United Republic of Tanzania went to the polls for the 6th time since the restoration of multi-party system in 1992. The high stake election, which saw the incumbent Dr.John Pombe Magufuli declared winner with over 12.5 million votes was described by political observers as a sham and a mere democratic coronation. The Tanzania election watch group termed the vote as, “the most significant backsliding in Tanzania’s democratic credential.”
The Tanzanian political space has been dominated by the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party since independence. In the just concluded election, the CCM party won 253 out of the 261 constituency seats, giving it an absolute majority in Parliament. Whereas the business of a political party is to contest and win elections, the absolute majority of the CCM party should be a cause of concern to all Tanzanians. In April 2019, Mr. Livingstone Lusinde, a member of Parliament of CCM suggested that it was not necessary for Tanzania to hold a general election in 2020 arguing that it would be a waste of public money since “no one can defeat president Magufuli anyway.” Just before Parliament was dissolved, another CCM Member of Parliament, Mr. Ally Keiss openly called for the repeal of Article 40(1) of the Constitution of Tanzania which sets the Presidential term limit at two, each of five years. The big question now is, what exactly will President Magufuli do with an absolute majority in Parliament? Since coming into power in October 2015, JPM as he is fondly called, has been very ruthless against critics. Fatma Karume, a seasoned Lawyer in Tanzania and one of the fiercest critics of the… continue reading from the November 2020 Deluxe Edition.