Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Tanzanian politics: stooping too low?

When Tanzania's ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) gradually abandoned its socialist policies and moved towards capitalism those members who defended the shift said: "we have to change with the times."

Consequently, successive CCM-led administrations presided over an unbridled form of capitalism that opened up the country to economic rape and plunder.

The business community monitors and takes advantage of the changing economic and business environment quickly and with time someone within the community thinks up a new way of earning income.

As the presidential elections were winding up last October I was in Dar es Salaam and got wind of a shop in Kariakoo selling women's underwear with CCM's distinctive colors, green and yellow. I was told the product was particularly popular with CCM's female supporters. I can imagine male politicians also bought the underwear and handed them out to their female supporters.

The competition between the leading candidates, CCM's John Magufuli and CHADEMA's Edward Lowassa was quite intense and it appeared to me then that, with this product, CCM was pulling all the stops to ensure that the outcome of the elections was swayed in its favour.

I have no proof that it was CCM's campaign machinery that ordered the underwear from China (Yes, they were manufactured in China), or whether it was the idea of some enterprising CCM supporter. The biggest insult to CHADEMA would be if the underwear were imported by a CHADEMA supporter who was more interested in making money than the outcome of the elections.

Either way, to older Tanzanians, political campaigning in Tanzania has stooped quite low. Literally.

I wonder what Tanzania's founding president Mwalimu Julius Nyerere would have to say of these new campaign tactics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quite entrepreneurial, I must say!Regardless of the political vulgarity that the enterprise might seem to signify, it just shows a very clever calibration of a business mind between the significance of the moment (the election fever) and a lucrative product choice (ladies' panties.
If you have done a close survey of products with the quickest movement in the Kariakoo area, the ladies' product is one at the top level. The timing is of course very obvious: this is the time people are obsessed with party brands and are held by the election euphoria or demon whichever applies best!
Leaving the business acumen aside, the implicit political "vulgarity" is also excusable!What better can one chose to do to show party allegiance (read obsession!)if one can reach a point to (wishfully)say: ukinichanja, damu yangu ni ..... (chama cha siasa)or Mimi ni .... damu damu!