29 March 2017

Tanzania: Rebel Minister Nnauye Sacked. Will He Join Rebellion in CCM?

Nape Nnauye, 40, the man who was Information Minister until Wednesday, is described by admirers as a fearless man, who speaks his mind. A former publicity secretary for the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), he is credited with helping the party romp to victory in the 2015 elections, after which President John Magufuli rewarded him with a ministerial post.

But, on Wednesday, he was sacked over what is seen as a budding defiance against his party leader, President Magufuli, and his stand on the controversial Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda.

On the day he was sacked, Mr Nnauye called a press conference, but armed police violently scuttled it as soon as he arrived at the venue. A man believed to be a plainclothes policeman ordered him at gunpoint to board his car and leave, but he defied the order and addressed journalists from his car.

He said he had no grudge against President Magufuli for sacking him, but criticised the police for "thinking they have a right to determine the fate of the youth of Tanzania."

"Do these people know how we fought for this country?" he asked. "I fought for 28 months, sleeping in the forests to bring CCM to power." He reiterated his patriotism and his commitment to the principles of truth and justice.

"I will always say the truth and stand by what I believe in," he said. "There is always a price in defending people's rights and I am ready to pay that price," he said.

His move to publicly disagree with how the government has handled the war on drugs has earned him rave reviews from the public. The war is led by Mr Makonda.

In CCM circles, Mr Nnauye is considered very grounded. His father, Brig Moses Nnauye, was a strategist for the founding president Julius Nyerere.

In the 2015, Mr Nnauye and youthful MP January Makamba led the presidential campaign, garnering enormous support of young professionals.But now that he has fallen out with the party leader, what is his political future?

Political analysts say he is headed for the backbench in parliament to join forces with youthful CCM renegades such as Hussein Bashe and Joseph Musukuma, who have been critical of President Magufuli and his economic policies, which they describe as erratic.

There is a rebellion simmering in CCM, with about 160 MPs threatening to impeach Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa to express their displeasure with the way the country is being run. Sources within CCM say that the MPs are unhappy about the President's support for Mr Makonda, who is accused of ridiculing legislators. For over a month, Mr Makonda has captured the national psyche, with some people calling on the President to rein him in and have him investigated over allegations of fraud.

But at the launch of the Ubungo interchange in Dar es Salaam last week, President Magufuli, who was accompanied by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, defended the RC, and dismissed as "social media trash" criticism levelled against the administrator."People are spending a lot of time discussing nonsense in social media. And some of them are trying to instruct me on what to do. They are interfering with my freedom. I am not a person to be instructed on what to do. Mr Makonda, go on working hard, don't worry," said the President.Hours later, Mr Nnauye was sacked after presenting a report on the conduct of the RC to the president.

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