Tuesday, May 9, 2017

No plan B in CUF dispute, says Seif

CUF Secretary General reacts to a question from

CUF Secretary General reacts to a question from an MCL journalist during this interview at the media house’s headquarters in Tabata Relini, Dar es Salaam yesterday. In the picture are MCL Executive Editor (right) and Senior Reporter Elias Msuya.  PHOTO | MCL 

By Louis Kolumbia @Collouis1999 lkolumbia@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The Civic United Front (CUF) yesterday said it had no plan B for handling its future political activities in the country if there shall be a failure to reach a solution to the ongoing constitutional dispute.

Party Secretary General Seif Shariff Hamad said they were optimistic the dispute would be resolved before local governments polls slated for 2019, dismissing claims that he would influence his supporters to join the Chadema if the wrangling pitting his faction against that of Prof Ibrahim Lipumba will not have come to an end by then.

“I founded this party; I haven’t, and I don’t think if I will have, the intention to leave CUF...I will remain within CUF. Those with the notion that I will defect to either Chadema or NCCR-Mageuzi should discard such thoughts,” he said.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with MCL Digital Team at Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) headquarters owners of MCL digital and Social Media Platforms, Mwananchi, The Citizen and MwanaSpoti newspapers, Mr hamad said CUF was used to disputes, expressing optimism that ongoing wrangles would be resolved before 2019.

“Usually we get into conflicts at critical times. But, you will be surprised, we emerge stronger after the disputes are resolved,” he said.

Ongoing wrangles within CUF were triggered by Prof Lipumba’s decision to revoke his earlier decision to resign has split the party down the middle, with one  faction led by party’s chairman Lipumba and the other, by  Mr Hamad.

According to him, his secret to survive waves of disputes and changes within CUF was attributed by his respect and adherence to party’s constitution and decisions made in accordance with either the Executive Committee, the Sovereign Governing Body (SGB) or the National Congress meetings.

The five-time CUF presidential candidate in Zanzibar said resolution efforts spearheaded by political stakeholders including religious leaders requested him to resolve his differences with Prof Lipumba, adding that he has no personal problems with the internationally renowned economy guru.

“Prof Lipumba has disputes with the party which, through its decision meetings, resolved to strip him of his membership. Being the CUF secretary general, it is my responsibility to ensure decisions made by various party meetings are observed and implemented. In this case, only the court has powers to end the impasse,” he said.

He said office of the Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi was to blame for planting the dispute within CUF. He said the judge has refused to recognise party decisions against Prof Lipumba after revoking his resignation decision last year.

Mr Hamad said it was party’s National Congress in its August meeting that approved Prof Lipumba’s resignation, before the SGB during its Zanzibar meeting decided to strip him of his membership.

“Surprisingly, Registrar recognizes these meetings, but he dismisses decisions made. However, the Registrar has no constitutional powers to accept or reject decisions made by any political party’s national congress,” he said, adding:

“Those affected by party decisions are advised to pursue their rights in court.

“The registrar remains with responsibility to register, de-register and keep record of political parties in the country.”

Mr Hamad hailed party members who have been extending support and trust to CUF that even remote villages that haven’t been reached by national leaders have been making efforts and have emerged victorious during elections.