n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Electoral violence, political stability and the union in Tanzania

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


The paper examines the issues on elections, constitutionalism and problems of political stability in Tanzania. An examination of the state and constitutionalism in Tanzania shows that the state in Tanzania may be characterised as authoritarian. Like in most other African countries the constitution has been frequently amended to ensure that the executive, especially the President and the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), become dominant and remain in power. State authoritarianism has been justified by the need to maintain order and by the ideology of developmentalism. Even after the introduction of the multi-party system the electoral process and election system are still dominated by the ruling party. The difference between the state and CCM is still blurred. &lt;br&gt; The conduct of elections has been a major source of discontent for the opposition. Therefore, new electoral laws and truly independent election commissions are required which ensure that the playing fields are levelled and fair to all political parties. Moreover, in spite of the amendment of the 1977 constitution in 1984 to provide more equality between men and women in all spheres of life, there is still a huge gap between law and practice with regard to the principle of equality. Women still face more problems than men in the electoral process. The latter are still more represented in both parliament and cabinet. <br>Furthermore, political and economic liberalisation has brought new political and social tensions in the country, based on ethnicity, race, religion, and increasing poverty. These tensions pose a great challenge to peace and stability, and to the future of the union. Sustainable solutions need to be found. For instance, people should be educated about their rights and taught to resent corruption. Moral and professional ethics should be inculcated in public servants, and job security should be provided to reduce the temptations for quick money. The state should play an active developmental role besides keeping law and order. Finally, a lasting solution needs to be found to the Union question because in this era of multi-partyism and openness, it is even more important that matters are discussed and solutions found that are based on popular will.

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