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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Why and how Zitto cornered CCM

22nd April 2012
Zitto Zuberi Kabwe

Zitto Zuberi Kabwe, the man who led a spirited, though abortive, battle to oust Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, yesterday revealed how and why he planned to table the motion of no confidence.

In a telephone interview with The Guardian on Sunday, Kabwe, who is Kigoma North MP, said, “I acted alone…I asked God to help me after a lot of pressure from Tanzanians and some donors from Norway.”

“It was the most difficult decision I have ever taken in my life…I didn’t consult the leader of the Opposition in the House nor the opposition chief whip.” Kabwe told The Guardian on Sunday.

He also revealed that on the day he was finalizing his report on the just released Controller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report, he got visitors from the government of Norway who, among other things, encouraged him to take stern action against corruption and theft of public funds.

“They said heads must roll following the damning CAG report. This was a serious challenge to me, considering that the public was also pressuring us to take action,” the youthful MP said.

“I finally made up my mind that I would go after the premier, but I asked God to help me if He believed I was on the right path.” Kabwe told The Guardian on Sunday, adding that the CAG report should not be taken as just a normal annual report.

The Kigoma North legislator also revealed that five out of the 71 signatures he garnered to ‘oust’ Premier Pinda were from the ruling party, though three of them requested that their identity shouldn’t be disclosed until tomorrow (Monday).

His remarks come as some political analysts maintained that, whatever the outcome of the fate of the seven cabinet ministers and one deputy minister, politically the opposition party, Chadema, had cornered the ruling party, gaining political mileage and public credibility.

CCM legislators’ reaction during their party caucus meeting wasn’t triggered by the motive to fight corruption, but just a political maneuver to save face before the public, according to some political analysts who declined to be named.

“In every political battle there are winners and losers…in this case it’s Chadema that has won at the expense of the future of CCM,” a senior politician who once served as prime minister told The Guardian on Sundayyesterday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the senior politician said, “I am not speaking as a former prime minister but as a political analyst…CCM acted blindly because Chadema had them in a very tight corner politically.”

According to the senior politician, what transpired proved that the House was growing stronger than the other pillars of state, adding that the situation was, among other things, fuelled by the brilliant performance of Chadema’s legislators as well as the current divisions within the ruling party.

“What we witness today, apart from being pushed highly by Kabwe and his colleagues, has also been contributed to by the sharp divisions within the ruling party,” the senior politician added.

However, he cautioned against the legislative becoming stronger than the judiciary and executive. “The legislative arm can accuse, investigate and judge anybody…this is very dangerous,” he said.

A cabinet minister who declined to be named, though his name is among those reportedly asked to resign, siad yesterday, “This is more than accountability…it’s a political battle within CCM ahead of the 2015 general election.”

“Take the example of Transport minister Omar Nundu, who proved yesterday that the accusations being directed at him were baseless…If some MPs can fabricate evidence to satisfy their wishes, then it’s not accountability but political vendetta,” the minister said.

In his defence yesterday in the National Assembly, Nundu claimed that he was being attacked after he questioned why a Chinese company was awarded a USD 320 million tender to expand the Dar port without following procedures.

According to the minister, the government has never done any feasibility study to confirm whether the cost floated by the Chinese firm was justifiable or not.

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