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Multi-Party Democracy Not Intended To Be Divisive, Said Butiku As Tanzania Commemorated Nyerere'

The executive director of Tanzania's Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, Joseph Butiku, have urged political parties in the country to respect humanity and democracy, as well as ensure people participation in national development process. He made the call on April 13, 2018, during the commemoration of ex-president Dr Julius Nyerere's birthday, at Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial University in Dar es Salaam. Dr Nyerere who died in 1999, was born in April 13, 1922.

Mr Butiku further said, Mwalimu Nyerere advocated for the shift from one party system to multi-party system in Tanzania in 1992, to consolidate peace, equality, national unity, and accountability; and not to bring hostility and divisions among Tanzanians. Accordingly, Mr Butiku called on Tanzanians to ditch political parties that do not respect humanity and democracy.

Previous one party system in Tanzania was a product of the then local societal circumstances in the country (then Tanganyika), rather than individual politicians. The fight for independence was led mainly by one political party, namely Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). As such, when Tanganyika gained its independence in 1961, there was almost no opposition to the new TANU government. High level of illiteracy in the country that was prohibitive for evolution of alternative meaningful political philosophies also contributed to the absence of reasonable opposition on the early years following independence.

However, as local societal circumstances changed overtime, conducive conditions for multi-party system arose. The changes at the country's political arena were quickly acknowledged and accepted by Dr Nyerere. Accordingly, he convinced the sole ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) at the time, to accept a shift to multi-party democracy in 1992, just as Mr Butiku observed during his speech.

All in all, very powerful political message from the highly respected Joseph Butiku, that all political parties in Tanzania ought to take very seriously indeed.

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