Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

22 December 2012

Tanzania: Chadema Sacks Rukwa Youth Wing Chair

Mpanda — THE Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo party (CHADEMA) youth wing chairman for Katavi and Rukwa regions, Mr Laurent Mangweshi, has been stripped of party membership and all his positions for gross indiscipline.

The decision was reached recently after the party's advisory board convened at Namanyere town in Nkasi District, Rukwa region to discuss the matter.

The party's regional publicity officer, Mr John Matongo, confirmed to 'Daily News' that Mr Mangweshi has been relieved of his duties and his membership nullified.

He said Mr Mangweshi had been accused of misconduct by sending letters to the party's headquarters without prior consent of his regional leadership, thus breaching the party's constitutional guidelines.

Mr Matongo, who is also the Councillor for Kashaulili Ward in Mpanda, added that Mr Mangweshi is accused of mudslinging the Chadema National Deputy Chairperson, Mr Said Amour Arfi, accusing him of being bribed by the Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda.

In his accusations, he claims that Mr Arfi, also the Member of Parliament for Mpanda urban constituency, had been compromised by Mr Pinda to ensure that the party (CHADEMA) does not field candidates to vie for the Katavi constituency during the 2010 general election in favour of the premier.

Mr Pinda is the Member of Parliament for Katavi constituency after sailing through unopposed in the 2010 elections. Mr Mangweshi is said to have written a letter to the party's headquarters accusing Mr Arfi of taking bribes from the premier to do the latter's bidding and allow him to run unopposed during the 2010 general elections.

"Mangweshi was questioned and confessed to have written the letter and sent it to the party's headquarters. He, however, claimed that he was acting under the directives of the party's Secretary General, Dr Wilbroad Slaa," said Mr Matongo. Mr Mangweshi had also sent a copy of the letter to Mr Arfi.

According to Mr Matongo, the sacked official is free to appeal the decision reached by the regional advisory board to higher party organs. Sources within the party have, however, told this paper that Mr Arfi has vowed to resign from all his posts including as a Member of Parliament shall the accusations levelled against him be proven.

He further said that if Mr Mangweshi fails to prove the allegations, he would pursue legal action against him, the sources said. When reached for comment, Mr Mangweshi told 'Daily News' that he has not received any official communication from the party's regional offices on the decisions reached against him.

"I have only heard about the said decisions from unofficial sources including my relatives and my friends," he said. He downplayed the news, saying that whatever decision reached by the advisory board would lack legal mandate thus he still considers himself the regional youth wing chairperson and a bonafide member of the party.

Mr Mangweshi further said that he is being victimized because he was among seven members of the party who stood up to Mr Arfi and wanted him to come clean on whether he took bribes from the premier or not. "Among the seven, I was the last one to question him, I wanted him to tell us how he knew that the president will reappoint Mr Pinda as the premier and why he was so certain that if we fielded a candidate he or she would not win in Katavi," he said.

He admitted that he had gone to the party's headquarters and worked there for two months but it had nothing to do with the allegations against Mr Arfi. Efforts to reach Mr Arfi for comment proved futile as his mobile phones were not reachable.

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