BY and large, many people associate drunkenness with excessive intake of alcohol. That is a horrible state for someone to be in, and the situation is made worse when the culprit is, essentially, a respectable person in a community.
This is because when someone is overwhelmed by alcohol, one’s mental stability is disrupted, as a consequence of which he or she behaves in an abnormal manner. This sets those who bear witness to the nasty things that the person says and does, wondering terribly shocked.
Those who are superstitiously inclined to suspect or assume that the person whom they normally hold in high esteem has been bewitched.
Fancy, for instance, a gentleman who holds a senior executive post in a popular establishment, urinating by the wayside, or a well dressed lady who is respected as a considerably successful entrepreneur, uttering a chain of obscenities in public.
But then, this is the outcome of drunkenness, whose effect is to lower one’s esteem amongst other community members.
But politics, too, hosts tendencies that are truly manifestations of drunkenness. There have been cases in Tanzania, whereby some individuals tend to feel that they literally own the constituencies of which they are legislators.
As such, whenever other individuals express interest in vying for election there in subsequent polls, the incumbents so inclines become jittery, considering them as intruders, trespassers or spoilers. Tension is consequently generated and is heated by members of rival camps.
The rivalry turns even former close friends into deadly enemies.
Well, becoming an MP is essentially alright, but the essentially good show is spoiled when ‘drunkenness’ is chipped into the bargain. That’s the backdrop against which Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has a set of rules and regulations that govern fundamental issues.
Elections constitute one of them. The party leadership realized, fairly early, that minus these, and letting every member behave in whichever manner one wished, would be ruinous.
That’s the perspective from which the recent remarks by the party’s Vice-Chairman, Mr Philip Mangula on the 2020 General Election, should be viewed.
He issued a stern warning to members who had started flashing signals of vying for parliamentary constituency seats.
Mr Mangula chipped in the cynical ‘Files Watchman’ nickname that had been pasted on him, but over which he was apparently not bothered.
He explained that the name stemmed from the fact that, he was a strict enforcer of the party’s rules and regulations.
This means, by extension, that, he cannot remain quiet when the rules and regulations, which, to some extent, represent the spirit of the party, are disobeyed.
Incidentally, the timing of voicing the sentiments coincided with the welcoming, into the CCM fold, of over 400 new members of the ruling party’s youth wing.
The significance lies in the fact that, the wing, hosting, as it does, younger and energetic members, is one of the critical components of the party’s engines.
For, guided by experience, it is the younger cadre who would succeed their elderly compatriots, when the steam of the latter eases as they grow older. Viewed from a different perspective, the system represents a succession plan; that, once the ‘wazee’ retreat into retirement, the ‘vijana’, who had been exposed to the party’s politics beforehand, would be readily available to fill the vacuum.
More crucially, however, it is at the youth wing level that disciplinary codes of conduct are inculcated onto those who would subsequently steer the party forward.
Discipline, let’s face it, is a cardinal principle for success in any endeavour. Once younger CCM cadres are exposed to its maintenance, enforcement and transfer to much younger cadres when today’s ‘vijana’ become tomorrow’s ‘wazee’ guarantees CCM stability and consolidation.
Else, if the party relaxes the disciplinary codes, such as the ones that govern the electoral process, it would risk finding itself into the unpleasant situation in which the opposition camp finds itself in. We have witnessed the defection of members at various levels, of some opposition party members, to the ruling CCM.
Granted, the impressive strides made by the Fifth Phase government led by President Magufuli have acted as an impetus for the defections, lack or clear-cut organizational and administrative systems have also been contributory.
It is crucial, at this juncture, to chip the recent decision by Mr Edward Lowassa to rejoin CCM, which has fittingly been described as a home-returning move.
I don’t wish to engage in idle speculation, but I can safely aver that, the ex-premier, who started off as a young CCM cadre way back then, may have felt somewhat uncomfortable in a situation where even the basics of running an outfit that aspires to become a nation’s governing engine are not enforced.
JUST IN PASSING
Ruge is gone, lessons should be enhanced
After the iconic Ruge Mutahaba being laid to rest, justice to his spirit will emerge from his remarkable lessons being enhanced!