More will leave soon, Chadema leaders say as Dr Mashinji exits

19Feb 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
More will leave soon, Chadema leaders say as Dr Mashinji exits

​​​​​​​LEADING officials of the main opposition party Chadema are bracing up for more of the party’s members to leave and join the ruling CCM.

This scenario was depicted yesterday in reaction to the exit of its former Secretary General Dr Vincent Mashinji, describing the move as part of a plot to distract the party.

 Speaking to The Guardian in an interview, the party’s director of Communications, Ideology, Publicity and Foreign Affairs, John Mrema charged that “the plot, hatched by CCM is designed to derail the opposition from pursuing the reform agenda ahead of the general election slated for late October.

“We are not surprised because we knew that he would leave for CCM. There are many of our members who will do the same,” he asserted.

The move by Dr Mashinji to join CCM came two months after losing his powerful chief executive officer post for the party.

Mrema said Dr Mashinji, who was replaced by Kibamba MP John Mnyika, was axed from the post “because he did not believe in the party’s ideology in the first place.”

“He was in Chadema physically but ideologically he was in CCM. You cannot be chief executive officer in an entity whose philosophy you do not believe in. That is why he was dropped,” the party stalwart declared.

The party knows all its members who are on their way out. This is why the party made changes in its key positions late last year which saw Dr Mashinji removed. The party’s former MP for Singida East Tundu Lissu who is still in Belgium where he went for treatment after surviving an assassination attempt in 2017, was named Vice Chairman (Mainland).

Speaking at CCM city offices where he was received by the secretary for Ideology and Publicity, Humphrey Polepole, Dr Mashinji said he left Chadema

Mrema countered that this is a well choreographed plot meant to have party officials concentrate on dealing with why members are ditching the party “which they will not do.”

“We are currently working on a strategy to demand a truly free and independent electoral commission before the polls in October. We will not be distracted by this game,” he emphasized.  

Dr Mashinji’s move to CCM came hotly on the heels of Chadema MP for Ndanda, Cecil Mwambe taking up CCM membership. A week earlier, former Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye who ditched CCM for Chadema mid-2015 rejoined the ruling party.

In March last year, the Chadema presidential candidate in the 2015 general election, Edward Lowassa who defected to Chadema prior to the polls rejoined the ruling party.