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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

The battle for 2015 presidential race starts in earnest

10th February 2013

 As months inch towards Tanzania’s mother-of-all elections in 2015, whispers are increasingly becoming the order of the day as they revolve around politics.

This week, for instance, many self-styled political pundits trained their eyes on the regional tour across the west of the country by former UN Deputy Secretary General, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro.

One of the political pundits said the diplomat was being ‘introduced’ to the masses through the ruling party before the elections so that if her name were to be proposed as a presidential candidate those who matter should not raise contest.

In short, the act is going to be the replay of what has come to be referred to as la Madame Makinda that saw the edging out of the man of speed and standard, Mr Sitta.

Other candidates who would, in the words of many rumour mongers, would join the German trained lawyer are the Monduli MP (CCM), Mr Edward Lowassa and, of course, the smooth talking Tanzanian chief diplomat, Mr Bernard Membe.

As far as scandals are concerned, Mr Membe can be considered to be ‘Mr Clean,’ as far as the public is concerned.

But is such credential adequate to catapult him into the sole candidacy for the Union presidency?

For the political pundit (who is however, considered by The Whisperer nothing more than a rumour monger) that may not be enough given the in-fighting that normally take centre-stage during the fight for such a post.

Indeed, if a clean man like Dr Salim could be dislodged through dirty tricks that included the misuse of his picture through the use of the adobe photo-shop, what would stop such people from soiling Mr Membe’s name.

And what about Mama Migoro, does she stand any chance in the race? Why not, says the political pundit, and adds, “she will only have to work on the local front…but as far as the foreign docket is concerned, she is more than armed for the task…after all, there is no school in the world where people are taught on how they can become presidents.”

The political pundit did not end there, he said if a former primary school headteacher, like former President Daniel Arap Moi managed to transform himself into a professor of Kenyan politics what would stop the likes of Mama Migoro from becoming one?

But when others raised the question of the so called Richmond scandal in relation to Mr Snow-white, the political pundits was quick to say that the man cannot be punished for an offence which he has already served.

Yes, the man stepped down to take political responsibility for a problem that happened in a docket that had been under his watch.

In the words of the political analyst, Mr Snow-white had therefore served the sentence in the same way that Mr Ali Hassan Mwinyi had done in 1976 as Minister for Home Affairs following the deaths of a number of prisoners in a Mwanza prison.

A decade after the tragedy, Mr Mwinyi would become the second President of the United Republic of Tanzania after ‘beating’ the founding father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere at his own game.

According to sources then, Mwalimu’s preference had been Tanzania’s best known diplomat, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, the man who would be remembered for spearheading China’s entry into the United Nations in 1970s.

Mwalimu had apparently reached an accord with Mr Mwinyi to remain in Zanzibar where he had brought numerous socio-economic changes in the isles.

But unknown to Mwalimu, some very strong forces in the isles were against Dr Salim, for reasons best known to themselves, and it was the same forces that egged on Mwinyi to go for it.

And when Mwinyi was later asked, after a political deadlock in the central committee if he was ready for the post, he is quoted to have said, ‘I will try.’ The rest is course history.

Dr Migiro, Mr Membe and Mr Lowassa will however, be strongly challenged for the lucrative post by the former speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Samuel Sitta, in the battle of their lives.

The latter has been very transparent about his intentions to vie for the highest post on the land.

Mr Sitta has repeatedly made it known to the world about his suitability as a presidential material.

And what about the man’s advancing age? That is nothing, says a political pundit who claims to know even the man who will eventually emerge victorious in the race for the presidency as the ruling party’s sole candidate.

He said if Michael Satta could become Zambia’s President at 74 there is nothing to stop Mr Sitta from vying for the post.

As to who would at the end of the day emerge victorious in the race for Ikulu, the political pundit says it would be extremely difficult for anyone to stop Mr Snow-white.

But for your Columnist, The Whisperer, he has nothing to say apart from saying; ‘time will tell.’



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