Last month 33 members of Tanzania’s opposition were arrested at an allegedly illegal rally in Dar es Salaam. In an email interview, Michael Jennings, senior lecturer in the department of development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, discussed domestic politics in Tanzania.
WPR: What is at stake in April’s constitutional referendum, and what is public opinion of the proposed new constitution?
Michael Jennings: The key political debate has been over the structural form of the Tanzanian government. Opposition parties have been pushing for a more federalized structure, which would reduce the power of the federal government and president, while the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM or Party of Revolution) has used its power to ensure the draft constitution largely preserves the status quo.