Dr Slaa turns phenomenal

Dr. Slaa addresses a rally in Songea on August 4, 2010

A cross-section of Slaa supporters who turned up at a rally in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, on August 5, 2010
TANZANIA’s most vibrant opposition legislator, Dr Willibrod Slaa, has become a political phenomenon since his party, Chadema, appointed him presidential candidate for the 2010 general election. An eloquent speaker, he is a crowd-puller, a smart orator, an enigmatic politician, a composed personality and, now people call him, the country’s ‘redemptor.’ He will be competing with five other contenders  for the country’s top-most office – four from the opposition, one from the ruling party, CCM.

So far, they include Professor Ibrahim Lipumba of Civic United Front (CUF), Mutamwega Mugaywa of Tanzania Labour Party (TLP), Hashim Rungwe of National Convention for Construction and Reform (NCCR-Mageuzi), Christopher Mtikila of Democratic Party (DP), and incumbent Jakaya Kikwete of CCM.

Already, President Kikwete has expresses his fears, telling his party not to underrate the opposition. He was referring the current political wave caused by Dr. Slaa’s charisma. The just ended preliminaries in the ruling party have left it maimed. Groups of disgruntled losers are considering crossing over to Dr Slaa’s party. In some people’s eyes, CCM is slowly disintegrating and falling apart, as the opposition gains momentum. 

Until his party officially endorses him, he is not yet a candidate. Official campaigns start on August 21, 2010.  But he is the country’s most magnetic politician. Whatever the trend and outcome of the campaigns, there are obvious signs that Dr. Slaa’s popularity and charisma are changing and shaping Tanzania’s politics like never before.

 And, come polling day, October 31, 2010, Tanzania’s political landscape will never be the same again, thanks to this phenomenon; the influence of the former Roman Catholic priest who once worked as secretary general for the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC).


Tanzania’s oppostion party tries e-politics

AT a time when almost everybody and everything is going electronic, a major opposition party in Tanzania has ventured to lead the way for the rest of Africa in e-politics by introducing a new way of recruiting members and raising funds.

From this week, Tanzanians wishing to join Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) will not have to go through the hassles of filling in membership forms anymore. Instead, they will have to send text messages to 15170 with a word ‘CHADEMA’ to gain automatic entry into the party’s membership database after which they will have access to relevant information and services provided by the party.

According to the party chairman, Freeman Mbowe, this system will enable the party to widen the base of its members as well as increasing its financial resources in preparation of next year’s general elections.

The strategy targets Tanzania’s 15 million mobile phone subscribers, of whom CHADEMA aims at recruiting at least 3,000,000 by the end of next year. As of now, the party has the strongest opposition following in the country, but its subscribed membership is only 800000.

For every new electronic member CHADEMA will obtain 300/- (equivalent to 7p), which would give the party 900,000,000/- (equivalent to 21 million pounds) to supplement the party’s financial resources for the 2010 election campaigns.