6 January 2014

Tanzania: Chadema Fires Two, Bars Zitto

CHADEMA has officially fired its central committee member, Dr Kitila Mkumbo and former Arusha Regional Chairman, Mr Samson Mwigamba and ordered its members to refrain from attending public rallies organised by sacked Deputy Secretary General Zitto Kabwe.

The three members were alleged to have engaged in a "treasonous plan to dismantle the party."

According to a statement, the central committee (CC) met in Dar es Salaam between January 3 and 4 to discuss the fate of the two leaders, among other issues.

Mr Zitto's fate remained untouched as the latter engaged a court battle to stop the leading opposition party from taking further action against him.

However, the committee maintained that Mr Zitto, who is Kigoma North MP, will only remain a party member and an MP "just because the court wants so and not because the party wants so."

With circumstantial evidence showing that the decision on the fate of embattled leaders was difficult to reach, reporters were kept on waiting for over three hours above the scheduled time.

Flanked by other party top leaders, Chadema Secretary General, Dr Wilbroad Slaa, who addressed the well-attended press conference shortly, said "Dr Mkumbo and Mwigamba have been sacked from the party."

"The committee summoned them and beyond reasonable doubt they have been found to be betrayers who wanted to carve up the party. They have thus been officially fired," he declared amid applause from party members who flocked the party's headquarters.

Dr Slaa noted that despite the fact that the embattled leaders denied the allegations, which they termed as "baseless,' the "evidence collected by the party was enough to prove their seditious and treachery plans."

He pointed out that the plans were not only intended to enable Mr Zitto to scoop chairmanship within the party but to ensure that Chadema also splits. "We have come so far in the effort to build the party.

Others have even been remanded, injured and even killed. We thus need to keep it alive and not seeing anyone razing it out of his personal interest," he said.

Dr Slaa noted that embattled leaders had been secretly circulating cooked information about Chadema, suggesting that it was marred by massive embezzlement and poor leadership, information which was, however, unjustifiable.

He emphasised that Chadema highly needed members from CCM and other political parties to accomplish its mission of bringing staid liberation in the country but was not ready to keep betrayers and power mongers in its midst.

"We are not ready to negotiate with a person who does not abide by the laws. Laws are non-negotiable; we prove that you are a betrayer and we simply kick you out," he insisted.

Chadema's Chief Legal Advisor, Mr Tundu Lissu, plainly attacked Mr Zitto, saying he has been receiving gifts from CCM heavyweights, which showed that he was there to split the party.

According to Mr Lissu, in the last general election, Mr Zitto, under his capacity as deputy general secretary, had even wrote to relevant authorities that Chadema had no contestants in some constituencies, 'which was not true.'

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