DIPD has as of March 2012 entered into a partnership with Tanzania Centre for Democracy. The project seeks to support multiparty democracy in Tanzania through a strengthening of the multiparty dialogue processes, the ability of political parties to perform their democratic functions, and finally by an enhanced engagement between the political parties and civil society.
Read about the latest partnership visit here
Following over two decades of agitating for reform of the constitution and legislations to make them more responsive and cater for the needs and demands of multiparty democracy including balance and separation of powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary and providing for a more conducive environment of multiparty democracy including level playing field, protection of human rights and solving the union question, Tanzania is now writing a new constitution, Political parties will play a crucial role in the process that they have championed for long. In 2011 the United Republic of Tanzania embarked on the process of writing a new constitution. The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) was entrusted with powers to collect people’s opinion and prepare the draft Constitution. TCD participated in the constitution making process by presenting its recommendations to the CRC; though there were divergent of opinions especially on the union issue between the ruling party and opposition parties.
The multiparty dialogue platform at the national level has shown positive results since the dialogue among national level party leaders have been reducing tension among them. These efforts have to be taken to the local level because of the rampant problems of adversarial conflicts between parties.
The overarching objective of the project is to contribute to deepening and consolidation of the multiparty democracy in Tanzania. The specific objectives will be the following:
- Strengthening the multiparty dialogue processes
- Strengthening political parties to perform their democratic functions
Founded in 2005 by five parliamentary political parties(CCM, CHADEMA, CUF, TLP & UDP), the Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD) is a non-partisan, non-religious and not-for-profit political parties’ membership organization. It has two categories of members: Full Members are Parliamentary Political Parties. As a result of 2010 elections, the following are Parliamentary Parties: CCM, CHADEMA, CUF, NCCR-Mageuzi, TLP and UDP. It also has nine Associate Members, i.e. political parties without parliamentary representation but have at least it won a seat in a Village, Street or Hamlet seat during the previous Villages, Streets and Hamlets election.
The TCD, being a forum for dialogue, shall do all such things and carry out all such activities as will facilitate the fulfillment of the following aims, goals and objectives:-
(i) To act as a joint multi-party initiative for the achievement of a united, just, democratic and prosperous Tanzania society.
(ii) To strengthen the capabilities of partner political parties in order to promote the development of a strong multi-party Parliamentary democracy in Tanzania.
(iii) To promote a society which is free from all sorts of inequalities, is sensitive to gender issues, and which ensures the protection of human rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania and of Zanzibar.
(iv) To promote a culture of political tolerance among and between the partner political parties; and to work for the elimination of conflicts between them.
(v) To serve as a cross-party political forum for the promotion of peace, stability, democracy and sustainable development.
(vi) To enter into contractual arrangements with any local or international Organizations or Agencies, this will facilitate the achievement of the stated objectives.
Strengthening the national multiparty dialogue system
The project will focus on building and expanding sustainable mechanisms and forums that promote and facilitate dialogue and mutual consultation amongst the political parties and between the parties and other influential stakeholders (the Government, the media, civil society and religious leaders), in order to develop and implement an agenda for the sustainability of democracy in the country. The idea should be to continue with national level dialogues but gradually also develop dialogues at the local level.
To mitigate violence that may escalate during the next election is an issue that TCD will address by setting an Early Warning system in the Districts where incidences of violence where rampant.
In strengthening the multiparty dialogue and processes, TCD will expand its network by seeking cooperation with other NGOs that work on similar activities like Jukwaa la Katiba, Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) and Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA) who are working on programs of constitution and Legal Reform. TCD being the only platform for political parties, decided to work on the constitution in order to make political parties have a consensus decision on the issues that need to be addressed in the Constitution as well as Legal reform. Working with other NGOs with similar agenda work on similar issues is important for sharing experience, contributions and balance positions with other stakeholders.
On getting the political parties performing their democratic functions, the overall approach would be to continue with the capacity development measures that TCD has been undertaking but in a manner that ensures that the measures are well targeted to increase their chances of being effective. This will require basing the capacity development interventions on the needs assessment and intervention design undertaken by TCD and other stakeholders. The needs assessment study conducted identified five programmes to be trained for political Parties. These areas are Internal Party Democracy; Gender Equity in Political Parties; Party Mobilization; Corruption and Party Politics, Policy Development, Strategic planning for election, and Voter Targeting.