Now, we're talking. Bunge has kicked of apace this morning, seems that the formal opposition camp is having a little trouble composing itself. In the previous session (the 9th Bunge) Hamad Rashid Mohamed (CUF- Wawi) was the head of the opposition and the shadow cabinet was composed of a good mix of CUF and CCM and Others- reflecting the collaborative atmosphere of the time.
Today, Freeman Mbowe (Chadema- Hai) is the head honcho and as such may form a Shadow Cabinet in Parliament as a formal institution so long as the opposition hold no less that 12.5% (Kanuni ya tano, sehemu ya pili)* of the seats in parliament. Result: Chadema have not only stated that they have a difference of opinion with their old cronies CUF**, they do not want to share any of their toys now that they are the majority opposition party in Parliament. In fact, they had quite the slapfest with the Speaker and other CCM parliamentarians and it took me over an hour to realize that they were pulling each other's hair out over...definitions.
... I was kind of hoping something like this would happen :) I think it's a fascinating time in our democratic development, when opposition has realized that being united against a common foe isn't quite enough glue to stick them together. And now we'll separate the girls from the women...
Much more satisfying, of course, is watching the various strategies in play. As a guest of Parliament apparently inquired after the morning session (anecdotal) "Is it normal for opposition parties to commit political suicide in public in Tanzania?" Nah. Only one particular party has made that it's modus operandi. More importantly- is it actually political suicide? For every person who finds Chadema's antics fatiguing to the extreme, there is someone ready to defend what they see as a vigorous assault on The Establishment's repressive ways.
I like a little blood on the floor in Bunge*** but I have to admit that I am in the former camp. There's only so many times you can walk out of parliament (Miz Mdee...)**** before I start to wonder if I voted you in so that I can watch your backside heading towards the exit door. And such feelings lead to voter regret, which leads to flirting with other parties and then who knows what can happen then? But that's just me- what y'all think? Poll on the right, you know the drill.
* Parliamentary Canon Number five, section two.
** Things got complicated when CUF formed a GNU with CCM in Zanzibar, thereby becoming part of the dreaded Establishment... according to some folks.
*** Soccer? Pah. Give me politics any day.
**** I understand the whole loyalty/discipline thing but... As a Kawe resident, I got other issues. I would so much rather my MP used that sharp mind for something entirely more productive than supporting the crazed elements in her party.