Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Party That Cried Wolf, and Another Poll

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.


  1. I voted for Halima Mdee too, hoping that she would make me proud. Haven't seen her wearing that bullshit khaki outfit that is the uniform of her party but she needs to do more than maintain her sense of fashion to keep me inspired...

  2. First thing first, ya haven't watch a good futbol game yet. Trust me. Hata Simba na Yanga live pale Taifa will knock u off. More like Ngwasuma on steroids (that maybe a stretch).

    The first day (which set the tone for the rest of the bunge) was focused on non-issue. These guys have uncanny ability to make big things out of small things. Its not like we don't have any energy plan, or much needed education reform debate. Its not like our country is stringed with tons of unfair bilateral and multilateral trade treaties that bunge can spend some time on them. Its not like our inequality gap is getting wider and wider.

    Despite all that, hivi vijamaa vinakula oversized posho kupigana vijembe bungeni na kucheza michezo ya kuigiza. This would be acceptable of we had a competent Executive Branch. But we all know the story of The King by now. Ooh Well!

  3. This made me laugh, honestly!

    I personally understand the walkout culture, but really hate the contradictory comments coming out of the camp. Unakumbuka:

    "Tunamtambua Rais, lakini hatutambui mfumo uliomuweka pale!"

    "Hatuna tatizo na Kikwete, kwasababu hata alipoleta pendekezo la Waziri Mkuu, sote tulipiga kura."

    "Ndio, kitendo cha kupigia kura - iwe kukataa au kukubali - inaonesha unakubali mfumo uliomuweka JK pale."

    "Hapana, tuna BIFU na mfumo!!!"

    "Tunataka KATIBA mpya!"

    Issshh! Which Katiba they're talking about? Most normal folks out there have no idea about the final amendments (2005). Have they even read the damn thing (the original one of 1977*)?

    Btw, how can you diss football like that? Note: football; not soccer... :) Ndio tatizo la kuangalia mechi za Mikocheni A vs. B tu.

    Finally, I would like to finish by saying this was a top-notch punchline:

    "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'..."

    No pun intended; some wouldn't mind if she keeps doing it :).

    *Nataka Katiba Mpya sasa hivi, ingawa Jenerali's voice in my head tells me to chill out a bit, and think about it for a while.

  4. @Anonymous:... which is why if candidates could go independent, voters wouldn't be saddled with 'regrettable' political parties for five year stretches at a time. Anyways, aside from party obedience Ms. Mdee is at least using her noggin.
    @Anonymous Too: Ah, yes. The little pleasures of representative democracy... I think things will improve once Bunge settles down but the first session was always going to be a bit nutty. Still recovering from the elections...
    @SN: lol, mechi za Mikocheni A vs. B :) Soccer (ahem) is for playing, not for watching. Rugby, on the other hand... Dude, you hear Jenerali's voice in your head? How do you do that?

  5. I have been watching that speech he gave on Kongamano la Katiba... A LOT! Kinda brainwashed, lol.


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