Ukawa sign MoU to field one candidate against CCM
By Songa wa Songa,The Citizen Reporter
- Ukawa move for unity is reminiscent of their Kenyan Opposition counterparts whose ‘Rainbow Coalition” endorsed a single presidential candidate who defeated Daniel Arap Moi’s Kanu candidate Uhuru in 2002.
- Four opposition parties—Chadema, CUF, NCCR-Mageuzi and NLD— signed a pact to field one candidate in all levels, in a bid to “unseat CCM” in next year’s polls.
The move, similar to what transpired in Kenya in 2002 during the famous Rainbow Coalition, which brought the “Kibaki Tosha” project, is aimed at defeating the ruling CCM.
In Kenya, alarmed by the draconian and corrupt regime, the Opposition united in July 2002 to support one candidate for the presidency, a move that finally led to the defeat of Daniel arap Moi-supported “project”, Uhuru Kenyatta, ruling Kanu’s flag bearer in the race to Ikulu.
Some analysts say the opposition unity also expect to get a boost next year, should top leaders within the ruling party defect, in a protest of presidential candidate nomination process, scheduled in May, 2015.
There are unconfirmed reports that some top CCM leaders plan to abandon the party, if the nomination process would be seen as rigged in favour of a candidate who is believed to enjoy the backing of current administration.
In Dar es Salaam, yesterday, four opposition parties—Chadema, CUF, NCCR-Mageuzi and NLD— signed a pact to field one candidate in all levels, in a bid to “unseat CCM” in next year’s polls.
The MoU was signed publicly by chairpersons and secretaries-general of the parties that are members of the Coalition of Defenders of People’s Constitution (Ukawa) during a mammoth rally held at the Jangwani grounds.
The pact contains seven key areas of action before civic election slated for December and General Election next year. These are: are harmonisation of parties’ policies with the view to find common ground as Ukawa; field one candidate in all levels; mode of cooperation to be formulated and circulated to leaders of the parties; a joint ‘No Campaign’ against the referendum; create common front with issues of national interest and to defend the union and to work with like-minded groups.
Two messages dominated speeches by leaders of the parties who, one after another, took the podium to address the gathering: The key message was: no vote to the April 2015 referendum on the proposed new constitution and onslaught on CCM for “sabotaging the peoples’ will” expressed in the Warioba Draft.”
CUF secretary-general and first Zanzibar Vice President Mr Seif Sharrif Hamad accused CCM of rigging the vote that passed the proposed new Katiba in the national assembly, asserting that the “Yes” won the two-third majority dubiously.
“Our own audit revealed that there was a dirty game; they didn’t get the two-third fairly.” He said and announced: “We are now waiting for them in the referendum and I urge to vote no.”
He went on to say that for Zanzibaris, the verdict is clear in the coming referendum; no, and urged what he called Tanganyikans to let the country down by passing “Chenge and Sitta’s constitution”.
The party’s chairman Prof Ibrahim Lipumba termed the coming together of the four parties which is reminiscent of the formation of Kenya’s ODM which transformed from no campaign for the proposed Katiba, as the beginning of the end of the road for CCM.
“The phantom of CCM is beginning to crumble,” announced Prof Lipumba to a thunderous applause.
He said the proposed Mother Law would nurture corruption and added that it should be rejected by Tanzanians during the referendum.
Chadema chair Freeman Mbowe called the unity a God’s plan to liberate Tanzanians from CCM. But warned people over likely moves to sabotage Ukawa, claiming that with the huge step that the coalition took yesterday, there would be efforts from political enemies to undermine it.
The coalition was born out of the constitution-making process. The quest for a new Katiba has been an opposition agenda for two decades. Knowing that the ruling CCM was against the main proposals in the Second Draft Constitution—including the establishment of a federation with three governments—the opposition parties formed a coalition to counter CCM’s dominance.
Yesterday’s agreement becomes Ukawa’s second main act the coalition has managed to pull off so far. The first that sent shockwaves on the political scene was the walkout at the Constituent Assembly back in April on the grounds that it didn’t respect the wishes of Tanzanians that were documented in the Second Draft Constitution. The coalition accused CCM of using the second draft to protect its interests.