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Political supremacy and quandaries of liberation parties in Africa: The Case of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and Convention People’s Party (CPP)


This article explores the current state of some nationalist political parties in Africa. Most African nationalists formed political parties after the Second World War to liberate their countries from colonial rule. The paper adopts a comparative historical approach to examine trends and new developments that underscores the current state of Julius Nyerere’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in Tanzania and Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention People’s Party (CPP) in Ghana. This article draws on these two cases to argue that the changes that have occurred within some liberation parties in Africa have either accounted for their political fortunes or misfortunes. It illustrates that African nationalist parties that failed to build robust and effective party structures after independence struggled to survive after heir founders exited the political arena. Whiles this holds true for most parties, other dynamics have also contributed to the sustained political dominance or miseries of some.