Tanzania – Magufuli Claims CCM Will Rule Forever
President Magufuli has sparked controversy by claiming that his Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party will rule Tanzania “forever”.
CCM has dominated the political scene since independence in 1961. Despite the official adoption of multiparty democracy in 1992 the party has retained its grip on power nonetheless.
Yet in recent years the opposition have been able capitalise on mounting discontent with regards to the poor performance of successive CCM-led governments, notably the failure of leaders to ensure the benefits of growth and investment in the country translate to improvements in the living conditions of the people, as well as the prevalence of corruption.
In the most recent presidential election in 2015 the opposition alliance Ukawa won an unprecedented 40% of the vote. Since then President Magufuli appears to be on a mission to ensure they can not advance further by creating an increasingly difficult operating environment, making various anti-democratic manoeuvres from banning opposition rallies to overseeing numerous media shutdowns and the prosecution of regime critics.
Against this backdrop President Magufuli’s statement that there ‘is no alternative to the CCM’ takes on a more sinister tone and once again raises concerns that Tanzania’s next elections, scheduled for 2020, are unlikely to be free and fair.