Arusha Urban parliamentary seat race begins

10Jul 2020
Marc Nkwame
The Guardian
Arusha Urban parliamentary seat race begins

​​​​​​​THE political scramble towards representing the Arusha-Urban constituency in the National Assembly during the forthcoming October election seems to have taken the initial cue after the outgoing MP Godbless Lema threw in his card on Thursday.

The incumbent Lema took contesting forms from his Chadema offices at the National Housing (NHC) estates of Ngarenaro.

At least, his wife, Neema took the forms on Lema’s behalf, saying Lema was in Tanga attending other party duties.

Lema however vowed to retain his clutch on the Arusha-Urban Parliamentary seat, for the third time in a row.

Still, Lema is likely to face stiff competition from the ruling CCM.

On the CCM side, so far it is only rumors regarding the bigwigs likely to wade into the waves of parliamentary candidacy for Arusha City and the names being mentioned in social media circles are that of the former Regional Commissioner Mrisho Gambo, current City Mayor, Kalist Lazaro and the former Mayor, Gaudence Lyimo.

Others likely to run for the parliamentary seat include a well-known lawyer, Advocate Alberto Msando and also the prominent businessman, Philemon Mollel, who lost the race to Lema during the 2015 elections and now returns for another trial.

There is also Dr Batilda Buriani, who at one time served as Environment Minister and also Ambassador to Kenya. She is the only lady being mentioned among the potential candidates’ listing and had contested for the Arusha City’s seat in 2010 when she lost to Chadema’s Godbless Lema.

For the last decade, the Arusha-Urban constituency has been under the opposition Chadema’s hold and now the residents’ trust in the party stands to be tested again next October.

However, before Lema got the windfall, the MP who has been representing Arusha City was Felix Christopher Mrema (1997-2010) of the CCM who won the By-Election polls of 1997 after defeating Engineer Jeremiah Mpinga then running for NCCR-Mageuzi.

During the first Multi-Party Elections of 1995, Arusha-Urban Constituency was won by Makongoro Nyerere, the son of the former President of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. Makongoro was the first opposition candidate to win the City before the court nullified the results in 1997.

Comrade Abdulrahman Kinana, the former Defense Minister served as the Member of Parliament for Arusha-Urban (CCM) up to 1995 when multiparty polls were held here.

In what is being termed as strange coincident, Godbless Lema takes the parliamentary forms a day after his closest party ally, Joshua Nassari defected from his former party of Chadema, joining CCM.

Nassari had once served as Member of Parliament for Arumeru-East under the Chadema ticket

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