NCCR SPLITS AGAIN
The formerly influential opposition party and now troubled NCCR-Mageuzi has fallen further apart amid recriminations about what happened to subsidy funds amounting to Shsl40 million received from the government last year. The party’s youngest MP, 35-years-old James Mbatia (Vunjo, Kilimanjaro) was elected national chairman in February by 251 votes against 202 for the party’s founder and Secretary General Mabere Marando. The new chairman said that the question of the missing funds had been handed over to the police for action. Marando did not contest the election for Secretary General and Mr Polysia Mwaiseje won this post by 52 votes to 30. Then came more bad news for the party. The fiery Dr Masumbuko Lamwai, prominent NCCR party leader in Dar es Salaam, announced that he was leaving the party and begging forgiveness from President Mkapa for all the disparaging remarks he had made about him during his political life. Earlier, another prominent NCCR leader, Makongoro Nyerere, son of the late Mwalimu, rejoined CCM.
The other small parties -CUF, UDP and CHADEMA -are trying to agree on a single candidate to face CCM in the October elections. Professor Lipumba of CUF and John Cheyo of UDP, who stood in the 1995 elections, are being mentioned as possible candidates in 2000.
A hotly conducted by-election in Kigoma Urban, the results of which were announced on December 6 gave CCM yet another victory:
Azim Premji CCM 16,692
Walid Kabourou CHADEMA 14,674
Hussein Beji NCCR 192
Kashugu Anzaruni TADEA 39
The by-election followed some four years of litigation between Premji and Kabourou which culminated in the Court of Appeal [mally nullifying Kabourou’s election as MP in the general elections of 1995. After the results were declared, Kabourou refused to sign the election result forms claiming that the election had not been free and fair. The Field Force had to be called in to control angry CHADEMA supporters and some 80 people were arrested. The by-election gave the first indication of collaboration between opposition parties -the TLP and UDP left the field free for Kabourou to try and defeat the all powerful CCM.
There were minor disturbances when the results of the Ubungo and Kibaha by-elections were announced which were also won by CCM.
Local elections were held all over Tanzania on November 28 but the results were not published in the English language media and turnout appears to have been very low. CCM claimed to have won 95.6% in villages, 94% in streets and 95% in area elections. Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Yusuf Makamba criticised the educated people for not taking part in the local elections. He said that they were responsible for Tanzania having second rate leaders in local government.
Dar es Salaam has been divided into three municipalities, the leadership of which will be determined in elections later this year. They are Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke. This return to democracy follows the closing down on February 1 of the City Commission which is generally regarded as having done a very good job. It took over responsibility for running the city from elected officials four years ago and increased its collection of revenue from Shillings 1.5 billion in 1996 to Shillings 7.4 billion in 1988. This enabled the commission to build 14 schools and renovate 648 classrooms.