Some opposition leaders criticised the performance of the new government saying it had failed to lived up to its slogan of “New zeal, new vigor and new pace”. Radical TLP leader Augustine Mrema asked “How about the big shots? The crackdown on economic crimes does not make sense if well known and corrupt officials are left untouched ….it was unfair to arrest 30 businessmen suspected to be involved in organised crime without taking action against the key players who had been assisting them” he said.
Dr Sengondo Mvungi, who contested the presidency on the NCCR-Mageuzi ticket in the election, said that the new government had lost direction in the implementation of development programmes. “How can you wake up in the morning and start issuing directives, suspending officials and stopping businesses just like that. Certain procedures must be followed….At the Kunduchi Quarry some of the licensed mining firms and individuals had signed contracts with clients to supply stones. How do you stop the activities and revoke licences just like that? Before making such sensitive decisions which affect the lives of many people, the government had to find an alternative site for the miners and mining firms,” Dr Mvungi said.
But CHADEMA National Chairman Freeman Mbowe lauded President Kikwete for the “positive and commendable” achievements recorded in the few days he had been in office. Mbowe said the new government had demonstrated its readiness to address major problems such as those dogging the Union; the political crisis in Zanzibar; controversy surrounding mining contracts; rampant corruption and gender imbalance in the government. Chairman of CHADEMA Freeman Mbowe denied that he was planning to rejoin CCM though he would continue attending state functions if invited. He was talking to Tanzanians living in Britain at a meeting held at the Holiday Inn in London. Mbowe was in the country to attend a Conservative Party conference in Manchester. “Politics to me is not a profession. I am a businessman and will remain one. I am in politics to serve my people. It is a call.” Explaining the reason why he accepted the election results last year he said that if there was rigging it was due to the opposition’s weakness and should be taken as a lesson for the next elections in 2010. On the likelihood of opposition parties fielding a single presidential candidate, Mbowe said that his party had formed an alliance with NCCR in 1995 and with CUF in 2000, but in both cases it was fruitless.