Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) has announced a plan to organise countrywide demonstrations to push for the release of all inmates serving jail sentences for petty thieving unless President Kikwete takes to court all ministers implicated in the embezzlement of public funds.
Member of the party's National Executive Council and former Arusha Urban legislator Godbless Lema made the remarks on different occasions at Msange and Ngamu villages in Singida East constituency where he was mobilising the people to join the party over the weekend.
Lema assured wananchi and Chadema members that he still recognised himself as a member of parliament and that he would return to Parliament in due course.
He said it did not make sense to fill prison cells with people who stole items of small value, or those who fought against each other, while those who stole billions from public coffers continued to enjoy the ill-gotten wealth.
“Now that we have completed the Vua Gamba, Vaa Gwanda operation (Discard scales, adorn fatigues) in the southern regions, we are heading to Arusha to organise a big public rally to demand for the release of prisoners jailed for petty crimes.
"This will be the case if ministers alleged to have misappropriated public funds are left free," he said amid cheers from the people.
He said his party was not happy to see common wananchi languishing in prisons while grand thieves led luxurious and free lives.
According to Lema, the money stolen through numerous scandals could have constructed over 4,500 dispensaries countrywide.
“Over 9trn/- has been stolen in this country, an amount which would suffice to construct over 900 kilometres of roads. It's obvious from these statistics that the nation is not poor at all and is not lacking in money, but lacks diligent leaders," he emphasized.
Some CCM members renounced their party's membership and requested to join Chadema.