Tanzania: Why Candidates' Philosophy, Credibility Critical in 2020 General Election

POLITICIANS looking for office term make promises and pledges. This is seemingly done in the confidence that such promises or pledges will lure or alter voters' beliefs about the policies the politician will implement, if elected and about the capabilities of the politician.

The flip side of the coin is that these pledges or promises may later come back to haunt an office holder seeking re-election, so candidates must re-evaluate their promises and pledges in looking forward for future elections.

With sufficiently patient voters and candidates, there is much equilibrium. Replicating on 2015 general election pledges and execution of promises will matter strongly as Tanzania prepare for campaigning session and in the end election voting day scheduled for October 2020.

In an attempt to observe on what is taking place, starting with picking up Parties' nomination forms, internal selection processes and a kick off whistle to start campaigning rally, election fever has well and truly set in voters and potential candidate's mind, both in Isles and mainland, as political parties begins to prepare their manifestos that will be used to entice voters to side with and then decide whom to elect.

In the scramble to desire to read what these shiny, new documents i.e. manifesto booklets are going to look like or promise content; it will be easy to forget about what has gone before. New pledges and promises due to arrive in full in the coming weeks, when parties' internal nomination processes are completed and campaign rally are given clearance, it is a good moment to recall previous manifestos and review what was done and what wasn't done, after the winning party got elected in 2015.

In these reviews and reflections, looking back at the CCM manifesto pledges and promises from the last 2015 general election, some specific commitments from the 2015 CCM manifesto have largely been accomplished.

One great achievement among others is the middle income country status declared by the World Bank (see Daily news 2nd July 2020 front page). At macro level, secrets behind Tanzania's leap is a testimony that 5th phase government, led by CCM did walk the talk of its manifesto in executing promises pledged during 2015 campaigning.

As Tanzanians wait to hear who will be nominated to be party bearers for the higher office, all Tanzanians in their unity, both in the Mainland and in the Isles have their eyes on who will be confirmed as practical candidates for registered political parties to run for the President position. Likewise, their eyes are on who will be nominated to be party bearers for the parliament seat marathon and similar to councillors.

Whereas outside selection process things might look flowering, inside parties' machinery organs and perhaps in the minds of potential contestants and importantly on what is going in the minds of potential candidates can only be described by potential candidates themselves.

For candidates who walked the talk of their promises throughout 2015-2020 have all reasons to smile as voters could have all reasons and justification to re-elect them through the ballot box for good work done. But those who misused their precious time to deliver what they promised their voters, I would advise them to look for best alternative option available before being disallowed at ballot boxes.

Despite the fact that isn't my goal to access the mood on the potential candidates particularly for those eying to become the members of the parliament, my concern is on political parties' bearers and the kind of campaign promises voters are going to be bombarded with.

Precaution to potential candidates is that the upcoming October 2020 general election, voters want not only to hear, but to be given pledges and promises that in my opinion, not only make sense, but outline mechanisms on how they will be fulfilled, principally on robust strategies, resources plan for their execution.

Failure to convince voters on what one has done, why you did what you did, and what are the strategies for the next five years 2020/25, if not well articulated, structured and designed will see new faces in the parliament contrary to what we have been used too.

Unlike previous years' elections, where various facilitation mechanisms were employed to snake into various leadership positions through a saucepan, the 2020 general election is going to be truly a testimony of what has been achieved by the outgoing five years' government under the leadership of CCM party led by President Magufuli.

Becoming a second country in East Africa to climb to that crucial economic growth after Kenya was possible because of boldness and measures undertaken by Dr Magufuli and the CCM government.

The realization of the goal which the government had planned to achieve in 2025 means a lot to Tanzanians, who jointly, under the CCM government worked hard along with the government pushed by a vibrant emerging private sector, boosted its economic status.

As many of us are grappling to come in terms with this dreamland achievement, in my analysis becoming a lower middle income nation will also open-up economic opportunities. Becoming a middle economy opens plenty of opportunities that call Tanzanians to get ready to participate competitively.

I am not predicting that 2020 is going to be a tough year for those looking for various positions in their political parties, but a year that will witness visions and mission on what can be done when there is a will.

Undeniably, during the five years of CCM government much has been accomplished comprising vigorous tax collection measures, control and discipline in the use of government revenue and sustained war against misuse of public resources and fight against corruption and economic sabotages has been well managed.

A government failing to live-up to its party manifestos runs a risk of its members not being elected or re-elected. Under CCM government, advocated by President Magufuli, the country has seen and witnessed proper utilization of natural resources and strong ever growing private sector and also realised mega strategic infrastructure projects being built.

These achievements backed by leadership ethics, bold decision making and investing in self-reliance has facilitated the increase in the national's per capita gross national income, that taken together has landed Tanzania into dreamland ahead of scheduled target 2025.

The commonly regarded thinking with the argument that campaign statements, promises or parties' manifestos plans are a mere act of promising, or pledges to carry out a particular policy is that they are cheap talk has been proven wrong under the leadership of CCM.

In the 2015-2020 term, the world and the region have seen what the government under the leadership of CCM has done. Who knows, come end of 2025 the country could move from lower middle income to upper middle income.

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