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Political party flags in Tanzania

Last modified: 2008-08-23 by bruce berry
Keywords: tanzania | tanu | afro-shirazi | hoe | masai |
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  • Afro-Shirazi party
  • Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA)
  • Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Revolutionary Party of Tanzania)
  • Chama Cha Mapinduzi - variant flag
  • Chama Cha Wananchi (Civic United Front flag)
  • Masai national movement
  • Another Masai flag
  • Tanganyika African National Union
  • See also:

    Afro-Shirazi party

    [Afro-Shirazi party] image by Ivan Sache, 06 Aug 1999

    The Afro-Shirazi party has a flag of blue over black over green with a yellow hoe in the centre. It influenced the 1964 flag of Zanzibar.
    Stuart Notholt, 1996 Jun 29

    Smith [smi75b] says that these are real flags and not only party emblems, which may differ in colours when used as emblem or in a flag.
    Ivan Sache, 06 Aug 1999

    Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA)

    image by Ivan Sache, 03 July 2008

    The Party for Democracy and Development (Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo or CHADEMA) is a political party founded in 1993.  It is a member of the Democrat Union of Africa (DUA) which is the regional organization of the International Democratic Union (IDU), an association of some 80 Conservative and Christian Democratic parties worldwide.  In the December 2005 Tanzanian general election  CHADEMA won 8.8% of the votes cast and 11 seats (out of 324) in Parliament.

    The party's website ( shows a graphic representation of the party's flag as being divided horizontally into light blue and red with a white rectangle along the fly which is charged with the party emblem. The three fields are separated by a thick black fimbriation.  The party emblem comprises a stylised hand forming the V-sign, surrounded by the party's name in black capital letters; the party's acronym is placed below the hand in an oval cartouche.

    The image gallery of the party website shows photographs taken during the 2005 election campaign. Flags shown here do not follow the aforementioned pattern but are light blue with the
    party's emblem in dark blue letters.
    Ivan Sache, 03 July 2008

    Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Revolutionary Party of Tanzania)

    [Chama Cha Mapinduzi] image by Martin Grieve, 05 Apr 2004

    I recently visited Tanzania and saw many flags of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party in evidence.  These were mostly home-made flags flying on small poles on street corners, in market stalls and near pavement kiosks. The flag of CCM has a plain green field with the emblem of the party, a crossed hammer and hoe, in yellow in the canton.

    Chama Cha Mapinduzi (The Revolutionary Party of Tanzania) was formed in 1977 following the merger of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and the Afro-Shirzai Party of Zanzibar. TANU was formed in 1954 with Julius Nyerere as its leader. The party won the country's first general election, following which Nyerere was asked to form the first government when Tanganyika obtained independence from Britain in 1961. Zanzibar achieved independence in 1963 as a separate and sovereign country, under the al-Busaidy Sultan.

    Tanganyika became a republic in December 1962, one year after achieving independence, and the direct presidential election brought TANU's leader, Julius Nyerere, to the presidency. In 1965 the Constitution was changed to establish a one-party system. Meanwhile, in Zanzibar, a revolution had overthrown the Arab Sultan in 12 January 1964, one month after independence and the Constitution was abrogated. Abedi Amani Karume was declared the first African President of the Peoples' Republic of Zanzibar and the country became a one-party state under the Afro-Shirazi Party. On 26 April 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar united as the United Republic of Tanzania with Julius Nyerere as President and the head of state with Karume as his Vice President, who also retained at the same time the Presidency of Zanzibar.

    In 1977, the two ruling parties, TANU and the Afro Shirazi Party, merged to form the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). In 1985 Nyerere stepped down voluntarily as Head of State and Ali Hassan Mwinyi succeeded him as Head of State. Constitutional changes allowing the return of a multi-party system were introduced in 1992. The CCM won the presidential and parliamentary elections held in 1995. Mwinyi stepped down in 1995, having completed the constitutionally-mandated maximum of two terms in office and Benjamin William Mkapa of CCM was elected as Head of State of Tanzania.
    Bruce Berry, 05 Apr 2004

    Chama Cha Mapinduzi - variant flag

    [Chama Cha Mapinduzi variant] image by Jaume Ollé, 03 Apr 2004

    CCM won the elections in 2000, but opposition reported irregularities. The independent feelings are growing in Zanzibar and Pemba.
    Jaume Ollé, 03 Apr 2004

    Chama Cha Wananchi (Civic United Front)

    [Civic United Front] image by Jaume Ollé, 3 Apr 2004

    The opposition is CUF, Civic United Front or Chama Cha Wananchi, has its main base in Pemba. It stands the independence of  Zanzibar and Pemba and is predominantly Muslim.
    The exact status of Pemba is unknown to me. Perhaps has some kind of autonomy within Zanzibar. A Pemba Peoples Republic was proclaimed 18 January 1964 with a red flag with green  map of the island in the centre.  
    Jaume Ollé, 03 Apr 2004

    Masai national movement

    [Masai flag] image by Dirk Schönberger, 31 Mar 2001

    "Nations Without States" (James Minahan, 1996) describes a flag purportedly of the Masai national movement. It is red with a black and white Masai shield in the center, and white, crossed spears behind the shield.
    I have a scan of the line drawing showing this flag.
    Ned Smith, 19 Mar 2001

    Another Masai flag

    [Masai flag] from this website.

    I don't know whether you have ever discussed the existence of a "Maasai nation's flag" such as the one hardly described here.
    It says little about it, but enough to know that this cannot be the Masai movement flag described above.
    Thanh-Tâm Leh, 24 Aug 2004

    Tanganyika African National Union (TANU)

    [Flag of Tanganyika African National Union] image by Ivan Sache, 03 Oct 2001

    The political flag of the ruling political party of the then Tanganyika (Tanganyika African National Union) consisted of three horizontal stripes of Green-Black-Green. Since 1964, There have been no plans to alter the National Flag
    Mohamed Juma, 2 Oct 2001

    This is in full agreement with Smith (1975) [smi75a] and DK Pocket Book (1997) [udk97].
    Ivan Sache, 03 Oct 2001