Prof. Lipumba: Advocating for Issue-based Politics and Progressive Policies

Chairman of the Tanzania Center for Democracy (TCD), Professor Ibrahim Lipumba, emphasized the necessity for politics driven by issues and policies that address the countrys challenges. He stressed that the focus should be on economic growth, poverty eradication, and laying strong foundations for all citizens, underpinned by a robust democratic framework.

Speaking on 11, March 2024, at the Confucious Hall, University of Dar es Salaam, during the opening of a dialogue forum between Political Party Leaders and Youth, Prof. Lipumba expressed optimism that meaningful and sustained peace could be achieved through such discussions. He highlighted the importance of exchanging ideas to shape the nations future by addressing problems and fostering democracy.

"We have experience from the past, and todays dialogue gives me hope because we are all participating. This can lead to ideas on how to effect real changes that positively impact our democracy. Its about ensuring that voters participate in the electoral process, their votes are counted, and the results reflect the beliefs of everyone," Prof. Lipumba stated.

Expressing concerns about the upcoming local government elections scheduled for October 2024, Prof. Lipumba urged political party youth wings to prioritize national development.

"Youth participation is crucial considering that those under 18 years constitute over 59% of Tanzanias population, and those under 35 years make up nearly three-quarters. This is a youthful nation, and politics should focus on addressing their challenges," he emphasized.

Prof. Lipumba criticized Tanzanias politics for being too focused on personalities and finances rather than issues and policies. He underscored the need for a shift towards issue-based politics to address the countrys challenges effectively.

"Tanzania faces two major challenges: inclusive economic growth to eradicate the prevailing poverty and building a democratic foundation. True democracy requires citizen participation, where they elect representatives to tackle economic issues," Prof. Lipumba explained.

Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to Tanzania, Michael Battle, emphasized the equality of all Tanzanians regardless of their political affiliations.

"Tanzanian youth, whether from the mainland or the islands, the country belongs to you," he affirmed.

Offering his perspective, John Cheyo, the National Chairman of UDP, highlighted the need for honesty in politics, asserting that theres no place for corruption. He advised youth to view politics as a part-time engagement and prioritize legitimate income-generating activities.

Joseph Selasini advised youth to have genuine leadership aspirations and not to join politics for opportunistic reasons.

"Dont enter politics merely to ride on popular trends," he cautioned.

Doroth Them, Chairperson of ACT Wazalendo, advised youth against rushing into leadership positions and urged them to be patient in their pursuit of progress.

John Mnyika, Secretary-General of the Democratic Party, emphasized the importance of patience in politics, particularly as citizens increasingly demand young leaders. He urged youth to develop policies beneficial to their communities, irrespective of their financial backgrounds.

In conclusion, the consensus among the speakers was on the necessity for issue-driven politics, youth engagement, and the formulation of policies geared towards addressing societal challenges.