4 December 2017

Tanzania: Mtulia Defection to CCM Brings Vacant Constituencies to Four

OPPOSITION Civic United Front (CUF) is today expected to explain the defection and resignation of its Kinondoni Member of Parliament (MP) Maulid Mtulia.

Mr Mtulia came out publicly on Saturday, announcing his move to ditch the opposition party and resign from his parliamentary seat, becoming the second to surrender his legislative seat over party crossover in five weeks.

Late in October, Singida North MP Lazaro Nyalandu (CCM) also defected to the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA). Clerk of the National Assembly Stephen Kagaigai said, Mr Mtulia had not by yesterday communicated formally with the Office of the National Assembly over his decision to resign from his parliamentary seat.

The latest move by the MP brings to four the total number of vacant constituencies that wait for by-elections. Apart from Kinondoni and Singida North constituencies, the other unoccupied constituencies are Songea Urban and Longido.

CUF Communication Director Abdul Kambaya told the 'Daily News' yesterday that the party had heard the news but it was too early to react. He said the party would call a press conference today to issue a public statement after assessing some issues surrounding the resignation, which comesamid unsettled wrangles within the two-faction opposition party.

CCM Ideology and Publicity Secretary Humphrey Polepole, speaking to the 'Daily News' over the phone, said it was good that Mr Mtulia has expressed his support to President Magufuli in actions.

"I have not yet been informed by our party leaders in Kinondoni district over whether they have already received him," he said, welcoming Mr Mtulia to the party. He however warned that CCM receives applicants for membership from the opposition parties after assessing their reasons for defection.

"As for now the party has gained great respect, so one should give us reasons before we accept them... it's not merely an issue of deciding to join," he emphasised, explaining that new entrants are always taken through special training on the party's philosophy and politics.

In his letter to the public, Mr Mtulia described his decision which he said was out of his own will as support towards the ruling CCM's good job in implementing its election manifesto.

"Through my two-year experience as lawmaker I have noticed that CCM has done well in most things that we opposition camp pledged to do. Therefore, I am ready to continue cooperating with you in development matters while in CCM," he wrote to his voters.

He further argued that since his aim was to serve the citizens, he found no reason to remain in the opposition camp instead of joining the government under President John Magufuli.

"I urge citizens and other leaders who recognise the contribution of President Magufuli and his government not to hesitate supporting him in serving the nation," he said.


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