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Briefing Note 1503 October 2015 | Nick Branson

What’s in it for me?
Personalities, enticements and party loyalties in Tanzania’s 2015 elections
Tanzania’s fifth multi-party elections on 25 October 2015 could mark a
watershed in national politics. Former prime minister Edward Lowassa is
the flagbearer for Ukawa, an opposition alliance forged during a heated
contest over constitutional reform and the structure of the Union. After
two terms in office the incumbent president, Jakaya Kikwete, is standing
down. While opinion polls indicate that his successor John Magufuli
and CCM, the ruling party since 1977, are clear favourites, uncertainty
about the intentions of the huge number of young voters and the level of
turnout make predictions hazardous. Despite the unresolved battle over
constitutional reform, campaigning has eschewed issues of importance to
all Tanzanians in favour of an emphasis on personalities, and small-scale
promises. This Briefing Note considers the variables in what is likely to be
the most keenly contested poll since the first multi-party elections in 1995.

The katiba controversy the indefinite postponement of a resolution to the
constitutional issue.
Between July and December 2012, Tanzania’s
Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) visited Despite seemingly incompatible ideological
all districts in the United Republic, held 1,773 positions, Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo
meetings and received the opinions of 1.4 million (Chadema), which was established as a pro-
citizens, as well as civil society organisations and business platform and draws its support from
international experts.1 The consultation process northern Tanzania and Dar es Salaam; the Civic
rekindled nationwide discussion about the degree United Front (CUF), a liberal party with strong
of autonomy afforded to Zanzibar, land ownership, support in Zanzibar and pockets of the coast; the
citizenship, and human rights. Issues, rather than National Convention for Construction and Reform
personalities or party politics, were to the fore. (NCCR-Mageuzi), popular on the shores of Lake
Tanganyika; and the National League for Democracy
Two drafts of a new katiba, or constitution, were
(NLD) have agreed a joint manifesto and endorsed a
vigorously debated by a constituent assembly
common list of candidates for the general election.
in the capital Dodoma during 2014. The main
The endurance of Ukawa suggests that the poll will
stumbling block – as in the previous two
be the most keenly contested since the first multi-
constitutional reviews – was the structure of the
party elections in 1995.
Union. Delegates from Chama Cha Mapinduzi
(CCM), the ruling party since 1977, steadfastly
defended the status quo. Opposition party Enter the “big man”
delegates supported the CRC’s recommendation Ukawa’s electoral prospects were transformed
for a three-tier federal arrangement, adding in July 2015. Former prime minister Edward
a new government for the mainland to the Lowassa defected from CCM to Chadema, the
existing ones for the Union and the Zanzibar largest opposition party, after failing to secure
Isles. Despite a boycott by opposition delegates, CCM’s nomination as its presidential candidate.
a draft constitution was narrowly approved by Lowassa’s exclusion by the ruling party’s Security
the constituent assembly in October 2014. But a and Ethics Committee came as a surprise to
popular referendum on the new katiba scheduled many. A political heavyweight from Arusha, he
for April 2015 was postponed until after the is influential, well-connected and able to draw
general election. High politicking supplanted the on substantial backing from Asian and Arab
deliberation of weighty matters that affect the daily businessmen. But his relationship with CCM
lives of all Tanzanians. 2 seldom ran smoothly.

The heavy-handed conduct of CCM in the Older Tanzanians recall that Lowassa failed to secure
constituent assembly divided the nation; the CCM presidential nomination once before. In
the decision to defer the referendum left it in 1995 his candidacy was widely thought to have been
constitutional limbo. Four opposition parties vetoed by Julius Nyerere himself, founding president
found common cause during the katiba review, of the republic. Benjamin Mkapa, the victor on that
uniting under the banner of Umoja wa Katiba ya occasion, did not offer Lowassa a cabinet post
Wananchi (Coalition of Defenders of the People’s during his first term and only conferred a slot at the
Constitution) or Ukawa. The alliance has survived Ministry of Water and Livestock in his second. In 2005

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Lowassa has with Duni. a man who has no need Despite 20 years in government. arrives by helicopter. than national chairman and Ukawa co-chair Prof. derived from the Swahili for “bribe” following a by-election victory in 1997 led to him and “corrupt” respectively. Lowassa’s campaign rallies across the brief. The two men personified CCM orthodoxy over Zanzibar. caused unease in a nation where religion and politics despite mutterings of an “integrity deficit”4. CCM hegemony on Zanzibar. CUF his running mate. It was not the only controversy. as minister of works. Lowassa’s arrival in their midst proved too Magufuli appears to have more in common with much for some of Ukawa’s leading figures.7 Lowassa has proved adaptable. The way that during the battle to introduce a new constitution. His incarceration in-Chief. have largely been kept apart. While Lowassa was never and Duni make an unlikely pairing. “One wonders why he concerned with tensions in the Isles. Samia Hassan Suluhu. For Lipumba. what if there is ‘pay back time’ if he across Tanzania. The recruitment of Lowassa has entailed parliament and 22 regional party chairmen. However. Their departure What’s in it for me? Personalities. The former Catholic priest has campaigned Chadema’s leader and Ukawa co-chair Freeman tirelessly against corruption and named Lowassa on a Mbowe appeared unperturbed by such questions “list of shame” in September 2007. the identity of Lowassa’s running mate also touched a nerve. He chair to join Lowassa on the Chadema ticket. Lowassa has never been unduly widespread speculation. but he has support for radical changes to the structure of never been embroiled in a corruption scandal the Union. compromise. was tainted by his association with the Richmond Development Company energy corruption scandal The departure of Lipumba and Duni leaves CUF very that occurred when he was premier and prompted much in Chadema’s shadow. Magufuli does represent a break with the threatened to fracture the coalition. and as also have reputations as principled individuals with a strong grasp of policy. Dubbed tingatinga (“bulldozer”) by Kikwete. Suluhu is MP for the Ibrahim Lipumba and Chadema secretary-general Zanzibar constituency of Makunduchi and the Dr Wilbrod Slaa resigned. she occupy the Ikulu. In at least one Lowassa’s transfer to Chadema and Ukawa has respect. Because Ukawa is not formally registered as a political party. which might have loosened its grip and. enticements and party loyalties in Tanzania’s 2015 elections . In the end. while Lowassa’s mistaken – understanding that the favour would be ascendancy brought a greater focus on personality. The National Elections “ Act (2010) requires that candidates for the 51% of those surveyed believe presidency and vice-presidency come from the that “corruption cannot be ” same party. in contrast to the green and gold banners all” in Tanzania. the episode reputation as a vociferous campaigner against inspired the nicknames Lo-Rushwa and Fisadi. Ukawa was forged to promote this did not materialise. with one from the mainland and one controlled at all” in Tanzania from the Isles. south of Lake Victoria. Lowassa was presidential elections – resigned as CUF’s deputy seemingly considered unsafe by CCM elders. Slaa emphasised when courting Lowassa. Duni made his prosecuted for any wrongdoing. Born in what is now Geita Region.5 But for all his apparent popularity. Magufuli is of a position in government to enrich himself. broadcast live significantly. with a detailed knowledge of his be reopened. he is the first CCM presidential The fall-out candidate from the interior since Nyerere. when presented as Ukawa’s for being a sound – if occasionally demanding candidate he called for the constitutional debate to – technocrat. that Kikwete used in 2005 and 2010. Meanwhile. partly because he Magufuli was the safe choice for CCM. Both stood for the first female vice-presidential candidate in CCM’s presidency in 2010 and retained ambitions to history. Lowassa his resignation in 2008.”6 The tirade made headlines ambitious principles and progressive values for days. Lowassa asked a Lutheran congregation in Tabora But the coalition is equally determined to win the to pray for him because the country has never had a presidential election and has judged the former president from this protestant denomination has also prime minister to be the man to deliver victory. country have drawn vast crowds. This attempting to position himself as the change may not matter to voters: 51% of those surveyed candidate. Slaa launched an uncompromising wins the elections?” asked one commentator in attack on Lowassa and those thought to be his June. returned in 2015. Juma Duni Haji – Lipumba’s Zanzibari running mate in the 2005 For all his charisma and influence. or State House. and speedily ensured that Lowassa’s failure to honour promises: “I had been told his prize was confirmed as Ukawa’s presidential that he was crossing over with about 50 members of candidate. As Minister of State for Union Affairs. status quo. His campaign billboards display only a small asserted that “corruption cannot be controlled at CCM logo. More At his departing press conference. rather than the executor of Kikwete’s by civil society organisation Twaweza in June 2014 legacy. He toed the CCM CCM’s safe pair of hands party line over the katiba as it sought to stymie Dr John Magufuli may be low profile. is the ‘magnet’ that attracts such money. 3 backers.Lowassa supported Jakaya Kikwete’s successful from the election campaign heralded a shift away bid for the presidency on the tacit – and ultimately from programmatic politics. His close association being listed as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty with certain businessmen prompts frequent and International. He is presented by Chadema as independently wealthy. has earned a reputation on power.

a united opposition offers voters a presidential 100% candidate with a chance of success.africaresearchinstitute. 90% Votes for Opposition 80% Twaweza’s July/August 2015 opinion poll refutes 70% the possibility of an opposition victory. of respondents listed “policy ideas” as the most the voting behaviour of the potentially substantial important criteria they considered when electing number of first-time voters will be of critical a president.org . personalities and Despite declining turnout. two-thirds of those surveyed said they were aware of promises made by their MP 5m during the last election. in contrast. In a Twaweza poll conducted in July/ 10m August 2015. the notable exception of the televised debate series MkikiMkiki – nor campaign rallies carry Who will vote? much meaningful discussion of policy or feasible Turnout almost halved for presidential elections solutions to widespread poverty. including bills relating to of Tanzanians were aged 19 or under. It has always been thus. over 60% are substantial. 1995-2010 party or another. male and more educated 30% respondents. Deus Kibamba. But in 2015. a failure on the part of CCM to attract new voters.000 combined increase recorded by than any of their predecessors in CCM.11 Pecuniary inducements are 15m Turnout commonplace during elections. 25m Turnout compared to number of registered voters for presidential elections. What’s in it for me? Whatever people say to pollsters. hydrocarbon revenues. So. Lowassa’s strongest showing was 40% among urban. the formation of the Union in 1964.10 Magufuli infrastructure initiatives have been announced. In the same period the size of the services. as opposed to almost two-thirds (65%) for Magufuli. New under 35 and nearly 80% are under 45. or a combination of the two.12 Voting an MP out of office remains all but impossible in the majority of mainland constituencies due to the clear ascendancy of one Share of the vote for CCM and all opposition candidates combined at presidential elections. CCM’s past victories. told ARI. power and between 2000 and 2010. But voters do not forget. Lowassa’s score was 0% 1995 2000 2005 2010 comparable to Slaa’s 25% share of the vote in the 2010 presidential election. Lowassa 62. for the first time ever. it has been said. The ruling party is experienced profile was negligible before the campaign started and skilled at mobilising grassroots structures in compared to that of their opponents. Fewer than one in ten Ukawa. Magufuli 1. young. is turnout.2 million between 1995 and 2010 – double and Suluhu face a tougher campaign on that score the 635. It is far short of the 37% polled by all opposition candidates in that contest. CCM increased its party loyalty will inevitably trump policy and issues number of votes in presidential elections by in the elections. deputy chair of the constituent assembly during What young Tanzanians make of the personalities the katiba review. she frequently attracted the on show and how they cast their votes will be of wrath of Ukawa delegates. falling from 84% to 43% of infrastructure deficits. and could therefore underestimate 10% support for the opposition.9 by CCM. “The election campaign has been short electorate doubled from 10 million to 20 million. nearly half of 0 them indicated that none of the promises had 1995 2000 2005 2010 been fulfilled. has no track record and no Tanzanians are. The August CCM has pushed through a flurry of legislation in 2012 census indicates that approximately 55% the run-up to the election. neither the media – with importance. 1995-2010 “ Over 60% of registered voters are under 35 years of age ” Registered On the campaign trail. old enough to remember access to the machinery of government. This suggests that Lowassa may not be all that non- In a June 2015 poll conducted by Twaweza. rural areas untouched by the opposition. CCM and opposition parties 20m Voters have made promises to improve local roads and water supply. Again. like them.8 However. 46% CCM voters were hoping for from Ukawa. Of voters the management of Tanzania’s future. critical importance in determining the outcome of this election – and many more to come. “can be attributed www. is 55 years old. and overloaded social registered voters. of serious debate about how to tackle important The figures speak either of immense – and growing issues”. mostly relating to the provision of local infrastructure. too.13 Although the poll did not include 20% Zanzibar. the chair of Jukwaa La – antipathy to a formal political scene dominated Katiba Tanzania (Constitutional Forum). potentially registered for October’s elections. Their public opposition parties. About a 60% Votes quarter of respondents said they intended to vote 50% for CCM for Lowassa.

Zanzibar. it. falling from 84% ” the values which united its member parties at the to 43% of registered voters constituent assembly. If he and Ukawa can “get set aside pursuing the constitutional legacy of their out the vote” – by mobilising a large number of predecessors and started the process anew in their young. opportunistic tilt at power general. “Wilbroad Challenging the Orthodoxies Slaa throws spanners. future of the coalition that was formed to defend commitments against corruption Sauti za Wananchi Brief No. 26. while NCCR-Mageuzi and African.africaresearchinstitute. As cultivated an image of agrarian activity.africaresearchinstitute. 14. please visit our website. and with it a convincing bid for the presidency. and identify new ideas where needed. Daily News. Zed Books. p. Business. see Nick Branson. and the 12 5 “Have more laws. but he founded his own party hoping that a new Africa Research Institute is an independent. September 2015. him to expend valuable political capital on a Whatever recent polls indicate. the presidency under Tanzania’s 1977 constitution. Dar es Tanzania Constitutional Review Salaam. while making inroads in some coastal 3 Chambi Chachage. might be achievable. an Kikwete was keenly aware of the need to nurture election campaign grounded on points of principle rural voters. Dar 21 September 2015 bigger parties and more prominent political figures. Twaweza. Eastern Africa Centre for 21 September 2015. Dar es Salaam. Three-quarters of Tanzanians derive a been the shrewd long-term strategy as opposed livelihood from agriculture. agencies and views on political leadership”. Sauti za Wananchi constituency map is likely to resemble a crescent Consultative Theme on the Brief No. National Zanzibar. website. its leaders and members may Tanzania”. each of whom voters to the opposition. Ukawa’s campaign presidential elections between would have placed a much greater emphasis on 2000 and 2010. Statistician . Kabwe’s to draw attention to ideas and initiatives that have worked Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT. The opposition share of the presidential vote has Given Magufuli’s desire to distance himself from fluctuated since 1995 but the 37% achieved in Kikwete. We seek established grassroots structures. Being below For further analysis of the party manifestos and parliamentary the age of 40. see 12 observations on the CCM Nick Branson. Africa Research 10 “Basic Demographic and Dar es Salaam. Twaweza. appear to have office. pp. Wazalendo) is unlikely to gain much traction. The party’s secretary. Twaweza. Nairobi. a substantial turnout among youth voters is as difficult to achieve in Tanzania as elsewhere. For further Constitutional Development.Tanzania Lowassa and the politics of and Office of Chief Government constituencies. To many. p. London. in Africa. 2013. the presence of constitutional referendum which might only serve Lowassa as Ukawa’s presidential candidate could to fuel the opposition. 7 Anne Robi. details. Sauti za Wananchi 13 Ibid. The 1 Report of East African knowledge”. is more uncertain. 60 significantly weakened. The departure 6 Jenerali Ulimwengu. It was founded in 2007. one cannot see a plausible reason for 2010 was similar to the first multi-party elections. The encroachment of the opposition on CCM’s 11 Ngoyai Lowassa: Mchapa kazi Tanzanians vote on Sunday agrarian heartland in previous elections continues. [forthcoming] Salaam. Raia Mwema. be split between CCM. CCM will successfully defend its rumour and endorsement”. However. www. August 2014 p. made a difference? People’s 27. Much of the Northern Zone will fall to Consolidating power through Africa Research Institute Chadema. CUF should take half the seats in Institute. “Party rules: and Chadema documents”. 5 June 2015 es Salaam. Dar hegemony in the southern highlands and central African Arguments.”14 alliance will be vociferous and bitter. Had Professor Lipumba and Turnout almost halved for Dr Slaa remained at the helm. 1 October 2015 Briefing Note. “How will zone. pp. 17 September 2014 “Let the people speak: Citizens’ The fate of Tanzania’s draft constitution. 2 moon. es Salaam.”15 Katiba reform appears to be dead and buried. mwenye nakisi ya uadilifu na 25 October?”. and CCM. He will surely follow the lead plausibly provide a 5% boost by attracting new of previous residents of the Ikulu. “Edward Nick Branson. Seats adjacent to Lake Tanganyika will Process. recriminations within the policies or the performance of the government. NCCR-Mageuzi and ACT. Abdulrahman Kinana. to Deus Kibamba told ARI. launching a series of agricultural and common grievance about constitutional development programmes during his time in reform would. 9 September 2015 www. 4 the election intact. 21-22 “Manifestos for Change? around Lake Victoria will be shared by Chadema 2 For further details. 5 September 2015 15 C onversation with the author. Wazalendo. has carefully entailing erosion of Ukawa’s raison d’être. Africa Research falsafa”. Assuming Ukawa survives perceptions of corruption in September 2015. Ukawa of Lipumba and Slaa has left CUF and Chadema wheels untouched”. London. an energetic and plain speaking former chair of the parliamentary accounts committee. April 2014 4 Kitila Mkumbo. to an over-ambitious. the floor to join Ukawa did not augur well with the coalition taking a serious position on the “ constitutional project. Kabwe was ineligible to stand for elections. Politics and the State in Africa: for radical reform of the katiba. March 2015 Socio-Economic Profile”. Dar es not have the inclination or stamina to fight again Salaam. Kituo Cha Katiba: 9 Conversation with the author. with hindsight. 12-14 Brief No. p. “politicians crossing differentiate CCM from opposition “city types”. 2013. “Lowassa spurned on NLD may suffer from their electoral association with divisive view”.org .org Registered charity 1118470 CCM’s partial eclipse? SOURCES 8 “Do they know? Data on voter CCM is the clear favourite in the elections. 9 14 Tim Kelsall. Dar es Institute website. which will also see its vote surge in constitutional reform in Tanzania”. hitherto disaffected voters – a 10% swing own good time.more to the regime’s broad social base and If Lowassa proves costly to Ukawa in terms of organisational power than to the popularity of its credibility and support. those in the densely-populated area Kampala. Lacking think-tank based in London. “Edward Bureau of Statistics . non-partisan constitution might enable him to compete. Ukawa’s appeal to young voters might have been greater had Chadema not expelled Zitto Kabwe. The East on Growth and Transformation.