Chairman of the leading opposition party on the mainland, the Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema), Freeman Mbowe, when opening his party’s conference on August 13 attended by 600 delegates, lauded the ‘good performance of Chadema in last year’s elections despite polls irregularities.’ The party had increased its local councillors from 46 to 96 and its MP’s from 5 to 11. The conference approved a new party flag which includes the red colour symbolising national martyrs. Mbowe said that President Kikwete’s government was sweeping its incompetence under the carpet. “The same faces are running the same regime with the same policies. It is the same old wine in a new bottle, nothing has changed.” He reminded Kikwete of his promise of December 31 last year to fight corruption which he had yet to fulfil. Mbowe also slammed the new law to be enacted giving the Minister for Local Government power to appoint three councillors for each district council. Saying the move was aimed at weakening the opposition parties, Mbowe called upon Kikwete to stop it – Tanzania Daima.
Meanwhile, the opposition camp in Parliament has been restructured, incorporating other parties instead of being confined to the Civic United Front (CUF) as was the case earlier. Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hamad Mohammed, said the opposition would in future, reflect a united front of all opposition parties in the House. Under the new structure the Deputy Leader of the Opposition will be Dr Wilbroad Slaa (Chadema). CUF’s monopoly of the opposition camp had been subject to complaints since all its elected MPs are from the small island of Pemba and thus not representative of the country. At present the opposition in the National Assembly comprises CUF (32 MPs), Chadema (11) and TLP and UDP one MP each. CCM has 273 MP’s.