UKAWA appoints interim city mayor task force

06Mar 2016
Devota Mwachang'a
Guardian On Sunday
UKAWA appoints interim city mayor task force

Despite delayed Dar mayoral election of which the Coalition of the People’s Constitution (UKAWA) is confident of victory, its members have announced formation of a 25-member team to explore areas of improvement and propose the best administrative approach.

Chadema National Chairman Freeman Mbowe (l) listens to Deputy Secretary General Salum Mwalimu at the party head office in Dar es Salaam, yesterday. Behind Mbowe is Ukoga lawmaker Mwita Waitara. (Photo: Mpoki Bukuku)

During a media briefing at the headquarters of the main opposition party, CHADEMA in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the party’s national chairman, Freeman Mbowe said the formation of the think tank squad was in line with party’s constitution Article 6.1.2, Section 7.5.1.

He said the constitution recognizes the existence of the party’s regions and divisions, which for Dar es Salaam city implied constituencies where the party won parliamentary seats.

“In accordance with the constitution, the party’s regions will be controlled by a team called ‘Greater Dar es Salaam-GD’ with 25 members including MPs, ward councilors, district mayors and special seats MPs.

The team has been formed intentionally to enhance coordination of activities under the supervision of the party,” he stated.

He named Mwita Waitara (Ukonga MP) as the team leader and chairperson to be assisted by Bernard Mwakyembe (Temeke ward councilor) as the vice chairperson.

The secretary to the team is Henry Kileo and the treasurer is Suzan Lyimo.
Mbowe affirmed that the coalition has the mandate and the legitimacy to start performing the duties of the city mayor while awaiting election day.

He reminded the government and outgoing city authorities to yield to the pronounced seven-day ultimatum issued by the coalition to make public the date slated for the city’s mayoral election well in advance.

He threatened to come up with unspecified decisions if the mayoral election will not be held within the stated time frame “as the party fears nobody and only wants justice to prevail.”

On Friday, the city councilors and MPs forming the Ukawa voting group gave the municipal director a seven-day ultimatum to announce the date of the mayoral election or else they take a different option.

The members yesterday camped at the city council offices waiting for the director to give the proper answer.

However, their efforts proved fruitless as they were only to be informed later that the City Council Acting Director, Philip Mwakyusa was sick and the City Council Deputy Director Sara Yohana was at the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) offices for a meeting.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Ukonga MP Mwita Waitara said they are all fed up with the ongoing actions which are contrary to the law.

The MP said the city mayor is supposed to be elected within 90 days after the general elections, something which hasn’t happened until now.

He said there are projects which were supposed to be taken up for the development of the city, but implementation has been delayed due to incompletion of the city’s leadership line up.

“We have also been told that the city council’s budget has been sent to the Treasury. This is against the rules because it was inconsistent with regulations that demand endorsement of the budget as involving all stakeholders, including ward councilors,” he said.

He maintained that if the City Director would fail to announce the election date then they will do everything possible to make sure that the exercise is completed.

On February 27, fracas ensued at the Karimjee Hall after verbal exchanges between members of UKAWA and CCM delegates followed City Council Deputy Director Sara Yohana calling off the Dar es Salaam mayoral election indefinitely.

According to the city council acting director, the postponement announcement came after they received a court injunction said to have been issued earlier before the delegates entered the polling venue. She announced adjournment of the election in compliance with the court order.

“We have met here today for the purpose of electing a city mayor, but this morning I have received a court injunction order which orders suspension of the election. However, it does not specify the expiry date, but it will be valid for six months,” Yohana said.

When the document the city director used was examined it was seen to relate to a past court case and had nothing to do with the mayoral election, in which case UKAWA is not demanding the proper polls date to be set within a reasonably rapid timeframe.