Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tanzania: Four-party opposition coalition invites ex-PM to join them

THE Coalition of Four Opposition Parties, Ukawa, on Monday officially invited former Prime Minister, Mr Edward Lowassa, to join them ahead of the general elections in October.

In what appeared like a green light from the outfit to Mr Lowassa to vie for the presidency on its ticket, national chairpersons of all political parties forming the coalition held a fully-packed press conference where they announced that they officially welcomed the former premier to the camp.

The Ukawa statement made insinuations that largely gave indications that it was Mr Lowassa that they would use as their candidate for the presidency.

Mr Lowassa was among the 38 CCM members who recently sought nomination by the ruling party to run for Union president.

However, his name was dropped in the vetting processes as current Minister for works, Dr John Magufuli, was nominated for the presidential race.

Speaking on behalf of his counterparts in Dar es Salaam on Monday, the National Chairman of NCCR-Mageuzi, Mr James Mbatia, said they would announce their presidential flag bearer ‘’with much pomp and fanfare (kwa mbwembwe) next week.’’

He went on to mention some of Mr Lowassa’s attributes in a clear signal to the media that there already was a deal that had been sealed. Mr Mbatia noted that the forthcoming general elections provided the only chance to remove CCM from power.

He noted that if this year’s elections were strategically planned, it can bring real change, adding that Tanzanians were in need of changes ‘’that can bring in a new government with new thinking and creativity for the public’s best interests.’’

The NCCR-Mageuzi Chairman claimed that the country was facing a leadership vacuum that had caused cracks in society, pointing out that Tanzanians needed a leadership with vision, discipline and integrity that would push the country forward. “This election gives us a very good opportunity to build solidarity in the country.

In that regard, we in Ukawa believe that in the broader interests of the people by building solidarity within and outside our parties as we head towards the general elections and thereafter,” he said.

He noted that in order that Ukawa achieves that, it is important that they win the October general elections. “Tanzanians have witnessed unfairness, favouritism in the road towards getting CCM presidential candidate,” he claimed.

He noted that in reflecting on the broader interests of the country, Ukawa needed leaders with the qualities and ability to guard, respect and manage the country’s natural resources for the interest of Tanzanians.

“We take this special opportunity to invite former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa to join Ukawa and we are ready to work with him to ensure we remove CCM.

We believe that Lowassa has the ability to ask people to reject CCM,”he said, adding, “he works hard and follows up closely on implementation in the responsibilities he is given.”

He reiterated that Ukawa would put one contestant at all levels from civic to parliamentary and Union and Zanzibar presidencies.

NLD National Chairperson, Dr Emmanuel Makaidi, fully committed himself before journalists that he supported Mr Lowassa as Ukawa’s flag-bearer for the presidency.

Throughout the press conference, National Chadema Chairman, Mr Freeman Mbowe, sat quietly even as journalists pressed him to go on record as to whether he had now backtracked on his recent statement that Mr Lowassa is a weak leader.

The National Chairman of the Civic United Front (CUF), Professor Ibrahim Lipumba, also spoke, saying that they had invited Mr Lowassa and that it was now up to him whether to accept or reject the offer.

Reports were circulating as we went to press that Mr Lowassa may today announce his next political move at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the city.

Source: Daily New Online

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