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The East African : Aug 9th 2015
18 KIKWETE SUCCESSION Rifts appear in Opposition over Lowassa ticket The Ukawa coalition split afte≥ ex-PM was picked as its flagbea≥e≥ following his bitte≥ defection f≥om ≥uling CCM pa≥ty By ELIAS MHEGERA Special Correspondent A falling-out looms in Tanzania’s Opposition following the nomi- nation of former prime minister Edward Lowassa to contest the presidency on the opposition Chadema’s ticket after his defection from the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi. Prof Ibrahim Lipumba has re- signed as chairman of the Civic United Front (CUF) citing his unease with the manner in which Mr Lowassa was nominated while Chadema secretary-general Dr Wilbroad Slaa was sent on indefinite leave after he snubbed activities to celebrate Mr Lowassa’s defection. The developments may dampen the opposition’s hopes of mounting a formidable battle for State House in the October 25 elections. Mr Lowassa had been seen as the shot in the arm the opposition needed to take on CCM owing to his immense wealth and political muscle. Having jumped ship after his bid to contest the presidency on a CCM ticket was blocked, he was welcomed by Chadema, a party that had hitherto accused him of corruption, and handed its ticket. He was expected to be the joint Ukawa coalition candidate. Last week, Prof Lipumba, who had been at the helm of the party since 1995, said the nomination of Mr Lowassa would kill Ukawa’s dream, while Dr Slaa paid the price of snubbing major events since Mr Lowassa’s arrival and the party has indicated that it would go into the election campaigns without him. Prof Lipumba, the founding chairman of CUF, has played a critical role in strengthening the party’s popularity on the mainland while Dr Slaa, who vied for the presidency in 2010 on a Chadema ticket, helped it to edge out CUF as the country’s main opposition party. However, Prof Lipumba and Dr Slaa have differed in their approaches to handling the situation. While Dr Slaa has preferred silence, Prof Lipumba made it clear that his resignation was prompted by dissatisfaction with Mr Lowassa’s case. “I was involved in welcoming Lowassa but I have a guilty conscience,” said Prof Lipumba while announcing his resignation. “CCM killed the people’s draft constitution; I am not sure if we will manage to fulfill the vision of Ukawa.” The scholar said that it would be in the best interest of the opposition if he stepped down as CUF chairman but promised to play a role as WHAT’S NEXT Following the recent developments, CCM has convened a meeting on August 9 to deal more soberly with the new political trends facing it. Dr Alexander Makulilo, a senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam’s (UDSM) department of political science, says this is astonishing. “This will cause a dilemma and mistrust, particularly to Prof Lipumba, who recently welcomed Mr Lowassa and even said all allegations of corruption levelled against him were baseless and unfounded.” The EastAfrican NEWS AUGUST 8-14,2015 Va≥sities ≥oll out maste≥’s on public policy BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT The EastAfrican A NEW master’s programme focusing on public policy has been rolled out in eight universities across Africa. The two-year Master of Re- search and Public Policy, which will be officially launched in Nairobi on August 12, targets practising and aspiring public policy specialists and researchers. Kenyan Chief Justice Dr Willy Ukawa co-chair Prof Ibrahim Lipumba at a rally. He resigned as CUF chairman to protest ex-premier Edward Lowassa’s nomination by Chadema. Picture: File an economist. Dr Haji Semboja, a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Dar es Salaam, and political commentator, told The EastAfrican the coalition stood a historic chance of beating CCM but the recent developments have raised doubts on whether that was possible. Reflection of immaturity The infighting in the opposition is a reflection of its immaturity as an alliance, said Dr Semboja. He added that, even in CCM, there were claims of procedures not being followed in nominating the current flagbearer, Dr John Magufuli, but the party has remained, to a large extent, stable. He associated the debacles within the opposition with the politics of self-interest. “The coalition of the Opposition could have worked well if it were nurtured well in advance but this one was just a product of a temporary demand, a united voice for a new Constitution,” said Dr Sembo- ja. “The Ukawa alliance could have worked well in the constitution bid but constituency politics is different from national politics.” Prof Lipumba had said allega- tions of corruption against Mr Lowassa were baseless and unfounded. Dr Semboja said Prof Lipumba and Dr Slaa had become victims of power mongers within their own parties although there was a posibility of sabotage from outside. “It is strange to see that, with all the recent corruption scandals, people could still give CCM an easy ride,” he added, but warned CCM not to expect an easy victory. Reacting to Prof Lipumba’s res- ignation, Ismail Jussa, CUF’s acting director of information and publicity, said: “We as a party have received information of his resignation and we respect his conscience. “It is his democratic right, as long as he sees it better for his interest. “In its existence, the CUF has faced a gruelling and tumultuous journey and all the time it has came out even more energised.” Mutunga is scheduled to preside over the launch, which will be attended by some 140 stakeholders — including senior government officials, academics and students, researchers and policy practitioners from non-governmental organisations, research organisations, international organisations, the media and development partners. The programme has been developed over the past three years by a cohort of academics from African and Western universities. It has been initiated under a collaboration between an NGO, Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR), and 12 universities in seven countries. “Indeed, we are developing the next generation of public policy leaders in Africa,” said Prof Tade Aina, the PASGR executive director. According to Prof Aina, the new graduate degree programme is designed to give learners a deeper understanding of the common challenges African countries face — from providing quality universal education and healthcare to tackling abject poverty and addressing the socio-economic impact of HIV/Aids — while equipping them with knowledge of global theories and concepts in social policy. BVR nightma≥e fo≥ electo≥al body as ≥egist≥ation extended BY APOLINARI TAIRO Special Correspondent TANZANIA’S ELECTORAL officials have registered 24.2 million voters for the October general election, which is expected to be the country’s most competitive ever. The registration has however been marred by confusion and frustration over the slow pace and frequent breakdowns of the biometric voter registration (BVR) equipment. In Dar es Salaam, the country’s Biometric Voter Registration for the 2013 election in Kenya. Picture: File political hotbed, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) had to extend the registration period from 10 days to 14 after it failed to meet its target. NEC records indicate an increase in voters registered between the past elections and attributed the trend to growing public awareness about voting. In the 2010 poll, NEC registered 20,137,303 voters, up from 16,407,318 in 2005. NEC officials said they expected youth and women voters to increase and estimated that citizens aged between 18 and 45 will make up 70 per cent of registered voters. They attributed the big turnout of voters to modernisation of voting cards, which holders could use for identification purposes. John Mnyika, the deputy secre- tary-general of the main opposition party Chadema, complained about alleged defects in the BVR kits, saying they was denying voters their right to elect leaders. He also raised his concern over scarcity of BVR machines in many stations and challenged the prime minister to help citizens to get the necessary information on the technology. Hours in the queue Voters said they had spent many hours — some from as early as 6am to dusk — in the queue waiting to be served due to poor performance of BVR machines, he said. NEC officials admitted to slow pace, even as the August 4 deadline lapsed. The BVR process, which is being supervised by the NEC, has been widely criticised as not being an actual voter registration but mere data entry because the electoral body skips some crucial stages. Deus Kibamba, the chairman of the Constitutional Forum lobby, said BVR has three stages — data entry; verification, of which the two stages together form the last stage; and registration. Mr Kibamba, who has been an election observer in various countries that use BVR, said the NEC’s system was no different from that used by the National Identification Authority (Nida) and it should therefore follow all the stages.
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