Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chadema must read the writings on the wall-Stakeholders

The decision by Chadema’s central Committee (CC) to strip its three stalwarts of their duties except their party’s membership has met criticism and objection from various stakeholders in political circles, some warning the party to read the writings of the wall. Those who spoke to the Guardian on Sunday newspaper yesterday said unless the party puts its house in order it will meet the same ordeal that NCCR-Mageuzi and Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) encountered after the first multiparty general elections in 1995. While NCCR-Mageuzi became the major opposition party after the 1995 elections the party did not survive as it collapsed in early 2000 after a leadership conflict emerged between camps led by the then its Chairman Augustine Mrema and Secretary General Mabere Marando. Mrema is now leading TLP as its Chairman while Marando defected to Chadema where he is serving as an advisor in legal affairs to the party. The same problem engulfed TLP later on and currently the party seems not to be existing as its members are no longer united. Renowned political analyst and senior lecturer of the political science has predicted that, Chadema’s move is likely to weaken party’s political movements in the country. Speaking in a telephone interview last week in Dar es Salaam, Dr. Benson Bana of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) said that, Chadema as a party was supposed to conduct an in-depth investigation and find out the truth on the allegations leveled against their leaders. He said the party’s central committee members would not have reached to such a strong decision bearing in mind the fact that among the culprits, the deputy secretary general for Tanzania mainland Zitto Kabwe is a popular politician who in recent years has contributed a lot to the well being of his party. However, he noted that, steps taken by the party’s central committee are mere game of chance which in his predictions would cause a negative perception afterwards to other members who might have not become happy with their party’s decision. However, he said conflicts among the members themselves within the party is a normal thing and which cannot be avoided, but the only thing to think about the matter was democracy of settling issues, added that striping their posts was not a solution. He also noted that, the decision might have been planned either to kill the political philosophy of the three leaders whom he described were the core centre irrespective of their position within the party’s leadership and entire jurisdiction. Another political analyst, Dr. Azaveli Lwaitama said in a telephone interview that, “ the decision by Chadema of striping its leaders should not sound a new phenomenon in the political arena in the country”. He said that although it was too early to rule out the allegations against their leaders, but fear of intimidation might arise among members themselves bearing the fact that, not all members of the party’s central committee had a common decision to uphold with the move as stipulated in their constitution. 

Dr. Benson Bana, senior lecturer political science of the University of Dar es Salaam.

He said as the Chadema party was coming up with strong opposition ideas against their rivals the ruling CCM party, then it had shown strong commitments in dealing with national issues. In view of this, he s aid the arising conflicts within the party should not be a prerequisite of making such a harsh decision. Dr. Lwaitama, former UDSM senior lecturer is on the view of the fact that, the well-known of the young politician Zitto Kabwe might have some grudge with other fellow members whom he said might not be in trust with him and take him as a traitor. However, he gave an example during the time when the father of the nation, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was fighting for the freedom of Tanganyikans in late 1950s, he experienced strong opposition from fellow Africans such as the late Zuberi Mtemvu who formed a strong resistance with his party in a bid to snatch powers of the sovereignty. He also noted the former TANU secretary General the late Oscar Kambona who went against Mwalimu’s wish when he introduced the idea of establishing a socialist state and eventually fled the country and lived in exile for over 30 years in Europe. All these he said are political struggles and politics is about the battle, he said adding that, for Chadema party they should have calmed down themselves and settle their issues silently without exposing out their clues as political disputes are normal thing in any democratic country. “It is not surprising to see what has happened as in any party, there are so many problems emanating and are solved silently”, he said and gave an example of the ruling party which is engulfed with numerous problems but do not expose them openly, but rather are solved amicably. Last week most newspapers bore headlines on the precedence of their front pages the Chadema’s decision to strip its leaders of all their leadership positions after a lengthy meeting on Friday night by the opposition party’s Central Committee meeting. These are the  Kigoma North MP Zitto Kabwe, a member of central committee Dr. Kitila Mkumbo and Arusha Chairman Samson Mwigamba. Their announcement was officially confirmed by the party’s lawyer Mr Tundu Lissu at a hushed press conference which was also attended by national chairman Freeman Mbowe and Secretary General Wilbrod Slaa. The move blamed on an alleged plot by Zitto and close confidants to wreck the party,  which immediately drew widespread debate across the country and on the social media networks,  is likely to test the opposition party’s unity and strength in the days to come, especially in the light of  the next general elections which are  about two years away. It has also left Zitto whose political career has been on the rise since joining the opposition ranks in unfamiliar deep waters of party politics, with some of his confidants and supporters uncertain of his next course of action.  The Kigoma North MP has recently been on cross hairs of some party bigwigs and yesterday declined to say much on the announcement, that for the first time dealt him a major setback in his self-declared interest to lead Chadema and run for the country’s presidency. Efforts to reach the three comments yesterday proved futile although their party has given them  fourteen days to explain in writing why they should not be expelled away from party’s membership.

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