For Online E-newspaper
The East African : Aug 4th 2014
14 The EastAfrican NEWS AUGUST 2-8,2014 Chadema to field ove≥ 200 candidates in 2015 poll but faces hu≥dles By ERICK KABENDERA The EastAfrican Tanzania’s main opposition party, Chadema, will field parliamentary candidates in all the 239 constituencies in the 2015 general election — an unprecedented move by an opposition party since the reintroduction of multiparty politics. However, the party is likely to face financial constraints. Chadema has 24 elected MPs and 25 Special Seats MPs, with many of the party’s elected MPs traditionally coming from urban constituencies. It was only able to field candidates in less than half of all the constituencies in the 2010 parliamentary election. However, internal wrangling, al- legations by the registrar of political parties that the party’s leadership had amended its constitution and unlawfully removed term limit sections and allegations of embezzlement threaten the party’s unity and could propel a mass exodus ahead of the 2015 polls. “The party’s internal elections are still ongoing but we are now represented everywhere in the country, including at the ten-house cell level. We have now embarked on internal elections at the parlia- mentary level and we are set to have representatives and candidates in constituencies across the country,” said Chadema’s director of information and publicity, John Mnyika. The party’s deputy secretary-general and prominent MP Zitto Kabwe has taken the party to court to save his membership after the leadership attempted to expel him. The matter is still pending in court. There is speculation that Mr Kabwe could join the newly established political party, the Alliance for Change and Transparency. The party, which was established by two former Chadema central committee members, Kitila Mkumbo and Samson Mwigamba, in May this year, has already received its full registration as the country’s 22nd political party. SEARCH FOR CONSENSUS Delegates quit constitution making process They a≥e pulling out of Tanzania’s Constituent Assembly By EMMANUEL MUGA Special Correspondent T wo Constituent Assembly delegates will not return to Dodoma, Tanzania when the assembly resumes its sitting on August 5. Maria Sarungi Tsehai and Zitto Kabwe said they were pulling out of the constitution review process, terming it a waste of time. Ms Tsehai represents civil society organisations, while Mr Kabwe is an opposition MP, who has however been suspended by his Chadema party. “On arriving in Dodoma, we spent days and taxpayers’ money building consensus instead of moving on with serious business,” said Ms Tsehai. She said she has written to Constituent Assembly chairman Samuel Sitta, saying that she will not go back. “The process is polarised; there is no consensus and people are there to promote their own political interests; they have an eye on the 2015 elections,” said Ms Tsehai. She was an active civil so- ciety activist through an organisation known as Change Tanzania and was among 201 people nominated and later appointed by the president to represent various interest groups. Ms Tsehai said some dele- gates had sided with the ruling party for the sake of winning its support in next year’s elections. “Some delegates had bril- liant ideas but changed them in line with the ruling party’s position for political reasons,” she said. “A Constituent Assembly without consensus will waste PLO’S MISSION Kenyan lawyer PLO Lumumba who was appointed by civil society organisations to help reconcile the warring parties has failed to achieve a breakthrough. Prof Lumumba’s work has been limited to giving lectures and attending symposiums discussing the constitution making process. He is in Dar es Salaam for a public dialogue organised by the Tanganyika Law Society. time and taxpayers’ money. I won’t attend the sessions if the rival groups won’t work out consensus,” said Mr Kabwe. The Constituent Assem- bly was thrown into disarray when opposition members — who are united under umbrella association known as Umoja wa Katiba ya Wananchi (Ukawa) — walked out over a stalemate on the structure of the Union. While the Constitution Re- view Commission proposed a departure from the two-tier government to a three-tier government structure, the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) wants the status quo retained.
July 28th 2014
Aug 11th 2014