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Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM)

Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM)

Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) is a merger between Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP), two political parties that steer headed the struggle for independence in Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar respectively. The parties merged on February 5, 1977.

Today, CCM owns UHURU Media Group (UMG), comprising of Uhuru Publications Limited (UPL) that publishes the daily Kisahili-language newspaper, UHURU (Independence) and its Sunday edition MZALENDO (The Patriot), and People’s Communication Media that owns UHURU Radio. CCM expects to have a television media outlet by February 2018.

The history of CCM owning media dates back to July 7,1954 when TANU was formed and soon thereafter launched its own newspaper SAUTI YA TANU (Voice of TANU) which was edited by the party’s president, Mwalimu Nyerere who after independence became the Founding President and Father of the Nation.

TANU tried to launch an English-language newspaper, National Times in 1959 to have its voice heard by the non-Kiswahili speakers in the country. However, not enough capital was raised for the project hence it was aborted. Yet TANU was determined to have both a Kiswahili-language and English language newspapers. Therefore on independence day, December 9, 1961, TANU launched UHURU as a weekly and later a daily. UHURU replaced the legendary SAUTI YA TANU. On April 30, 1972, TANU launched MZALENDO, as a Sunday edition of UHURU. TANU launched the English-language The Nationalist on April 17, 1967 as a weekly and later as a daily. TANU merged The Nationalist with The Standard- Tanzania on February 5, 1970 following the nationalisation of the privately onwed newspaper. The colonial modeled Tanganyika Broadcasting Corporation was nationalised on July 1, 1965 and renamed Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam and became “the voice” of TANU government.

Therefore by 1970, TANU had media that was totally committed to its goal of uniting the people in nation-building. However, there was no official media policy after independence beside TANU and its government using the media to reinfornce national unity and nation-building. It was after the launching of Arusha Declation on February 5, 1967 that the pervasive influence of TANU, later CCM, on the media made its greatest impact.

TANU organised bi-annual seminars which were attended by senior media personnel. The seminars reviewed the performance of the media in the country and charted out further course of action. At the end of the there emerged policy guidelines that influenced journalism practice and content. seminars Between the bi-annual seminars TANU, through the ministry responsible for information organised a series of seminars on media and their place in socialism and nation-building. Media practice was also influenced by TANU’s Mass Media Committee which the minister responsible for broadcasting chaired. The Committee was made up of four members of the party’s central Central Committee, managing editors of party and government newspapers, director and chief news editor of Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam. Secretary of the Committee was the principle secretary of the ministry responsible for information.

The President Charter that President Nyerere, in his capacity as Editor-in-Chief, issued on February 5. 1970 when The Standard – Tanzania was nationalised greatly impacted on media practice and content. Although the Charter focused on one specific newspaper, the principles laid down and the guidelines given became understood as media policy for it referred to mass media in the country as instrument of public service. Suffice to say, media in Tanzania during the one party system was greatly under strict control of TANU later CCM. Since the reintroduction of multi-party system in 1992, CCM influence on the media has been indirect through laws that its government enacted and unwritten directives.

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