Tanzania a De facto one party state?

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University of Dar es Salaam
A strong, vibrant, and competitive multiparty system pre-supposes the existence of inter alia a strong opposition. However, in Tanzania, the opposition is considered relatively weak. This study asserts that, such considered weakness is largely a function of “State- party" fusion i.e. the ruling party relies intensively on the state instruments and resources for its day-to-day operations and survival. Based on the data from documents, election reports, interpretation of election petition cases, newspapers, interviews, observation and interpretative analysis, it has been observed that despite all the amendments in the legal and institutional framework to suit multiparty system, the actual practice has almost remained intact making it a de-facto one party state. There are still close, systemic and strategic relationships between the ruling party and the state institutions: media, security forces, civil service, the executive (president, ministers, regional and district commissioners), the National Assembly, and the election management bodies (EMBs). Similarly, the business communities and civil societies have been co-opted to support the ruling party. These political forces have worked beyond the incumbency advantage and act as the major stumbling block against opposition forces and democratization as a whole. The ruling party and its government have created a myth to the general public that supporting the opposition parties means a threat towards national based values of peace, tranquility and unity. As a result, the opposition is seen as illegitimate. The study recommends that the state and the ruling party should be de-linked to allow a genuine democratic transition and consolidation in Tanzania. The opposition forces to authoritarianism such as opposition parties, civil societies, the donor community and a few pro-democracy activists within the system should assist to undertake the de-linking process. The de-linking process should define clearly the boundaries between the state and the ruling party at both the institutional and behavioral levels.
Available in print form, East Africana collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula library, class mark (THS EAF JQ3519.T34M35)
Multiparty politics, Political parties, Tanzania, Politics and Government
Makulilo, A. B (2007)Tanzania a De facto one party state? Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.