Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

10 May 2012

Tanzania: Arumeru MP Backtracks On His Secession Talk

Arusha — THE Arumeru-East Member of Parliament, Mr Joshua Nassari, has backtracked on his secession talk, saying he was not serious when he said the northern zone regions should form their own autonomous government.

Speaking at the Arusha regional police headquarters shortly after being grilled for nearly five hours, the youthful MP expressed surprise at the level of interest generated by his comments, insisting it was an empty political talk.

The police summoned him for questioning over his remarks, which included utterances to the effect that President Kikwete's son, Ridhwani, was a serial womanizer, who always introduced his concubines to his dad for appointment to public office positions.

"Is it really possible for a small person like me to single-handedly cause secession of the north and lake zones regions from Tanzania? Why did state organs panic?" he wondered.

"It seems that many people in Tanzania, especially the police, do not understand metaphors or figurative language, you can't just take things literary; when I warned that the North and Lake Zones could easily form their own state I meant that the areas were very awakened and had realized their potentials both politically and economically," said the Arumeru-East MP who surrendered himself to the police on Tuesday afternoon.

The MP said he assumed that all the people were educated enough to understand that what he said was just to challenge other regions to wake up and support democratic changes taking place in the country but alas, it seemed, he was addressing illiterate people, who eventually made wrong interpretation.

Mr Nassari was questioned for nearly five hours from 1.30 pm to 6.30 pm on Tuesday and he reported back at the station yesterday afternoon from 12.15 pm to record another statement.

The Arumeru-East MP is among three people who were arrested after addressing the last weekend's political rally organized by his party, the Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), at Unga-Limited area where they allegedly uttered some statements that angered the state security organs.

The CHADEMA chairman Mr Freeman Mbowe, however, tried to clarify his comments by saying that the Arumeru-East MP was simply driven with emotions to make the bizarre comments.

Mr Ally Bananga, who had just defected from Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party to join CHADEMA and was welcomed to address the rally, was also arrested. He is accused of attacking his former party's national chairman President Jakaya Kikwete and his son Ridhiwan Kikwete.

"I am surprised because Ridhiwan neither complained nor filed charges at the police; why are the cops buying a case?" Mr Bananga demanded to know.

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