The forthcoming general election in Tanzania is causing a lot of sensation in Kenya and especially within the Maasai community. One of the leading candidates Edward Ngoyai Lowuasa is a Maasai. The Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania were separated as a result of the scramble and partition of Africa which in effect, created spheres of influence and arbitrary boundaries.
Lowuasa is vying on a Chadema party under the umbrella of Umoja Wa Katiba Ya Wananchi (UKAWA).
The most formidable candidate likely to stop Lowuasa from marching to state house is John Pombe Maghufuli of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). The CCM party is accusing Lowuasa of involving himself in graft when he was Prime Minister in government.
A parliamentary select committee which investigated the controversial contract between the government and the Richmond Development Company indicted the then Prime Minister Lowuasa and two other ministers. In effect, they were forced to resign in February 2008.
But Lowuasa is withering the storm and he is emerging as the most visible threat to CCM since the introduction of political pluralism in Tanzania in 1992. He has attracted the youth and other forces of change within the Tanzanian social fabric.
But what is likely to determine the final outcome of the election on 25th October? Tanzania unlike Kenya and its neighbors is free from tribalism and other factional interests. The Kiswahili language has played a significant role in cementing unity among all Tanzanian ethnic communities since the pre-colonial times to date. The highly visionary post-colonial leaders led by Julius Nyerere strengthened the unity of the country by laying a strong foundation for equality and social justice for all.
The legacy of Nyerere is forever alive in the minds of most Tanzanians and will largely determine the outcome of the election. Whichever party exploits this will carry the day.