KISWAHILI, a beautiful language, of which we Tanzanians are proud, boasts of many sayings.
Besides the beauty, they are rich in the messages they convey, or the light on which they shed on several components of human life.
One of the sayings is focused on the desperation of a person struggling in a river onto which he has plunged, to whom death is literally staring in the face.
Naturally, since life is so precious, he desperately puts up a spirited struggle to save himself, so that he continues to live.
The struggle is captured by the Kiswahili word “kutapatapa’. We wish to invoke that saying in respect of the election season that is currently picking steam, as the clock is literally ticking towards October, when voters will cast their ballots to pick individuals who will constitute the major governance machine.
Naturally, every political party in contention is keen to emerge victorious by producing the president and garner most seats in Parliament.
The polls, in “ shorthand” terms, represent competition for emerging the ruling party, and, for CCM, to retain the status. Naturally, competition is fierce as victory is every competitor’s goal.
But fierceness has to revolve around factors that include policies, programmes, and the calibre of candidates that every party fields in various categories, which it feels will enable it emerge victorious.
The ruling party CCM is striving to toe the line, because, like its competitors, voters’ decisions will be predicated upon whether it is sincere and serious.
The party, which has learnt many lessons, has, over the years, strived to address shortcomings within its ranks and operations.
Beyond that, it is now led by Chairman John Pombe Magufuli, who has been instrumental in polishing its image, alongside fix ing shortcomings in government operations.
In the process, he, plus the government, have won q uite many hearts in Opposition ranks. Those in those ranks who are focused deserve credit for being rational competitors.
But there are elements in there whose credibility has been eroded, but rather than conduct rational soul searching, they are projecting CCM and the government as spoilers.
They truly fit into the Kutapatapa” scenario we alluded to earlier.
They had better change and conduct rational politics, if they wish to save themselves from the slide into irrelevance, courtesy of decisions who can distinguish the wheat from the chaff .