Dar es Salaam. The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRGG) has condemned former President Benjamin Mkapa’s remarks in which he labelled those holding different opinion against the government are fools and loafers.
A statement released by CHRGG chairman Bahame Nyanduga said former President’s remarks were against the right of every citizen to express his/her opinions.
Mr Nyanduga also said the statement was against the directives issued by different leaders who want wananchi to concentrate on development activities only because the campaign period was over.
“CHRGG has been saddened by the tendency of former President Mkapa of labelling people with different opinion towards the government as fools and loafers,” reads the statement in part.
The Commission also warned leaders against making divisive statements.
Mr Mkapa made the remarks in Chato on Tuesday, when he was handing over houses, which were constructed by the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation, to President John Magufuli.
When the ruling CCM was launching its campaign rallies in 2015 at Jangwani grounds, President Mkapa is in record of having made the same remarks.
Former President Mkapa was part of the heavyweight array of CCM’s bigwigs mobilised to drum up support for their then candidate, John Magufuli.
Mr Mkapa, attacked those who had deflected from the ruling party into the Opposition, calling them fools and loafers.
Former Prime Ministers Edward Lowassa and Fredrick Sumaye had deflected to the Opposition shortly before the election. The former was nominated to bear the opposition Chadema flag in the presidential election.
In the following days, Ukawa’s -- the coalition of four Opposition -- supporters in the streets of Dar es Salaam and elsewhere were seen wearing T-shirts inscribed ‘Certified Loafer’, and opposition campaigners across the country used the word loafers to address campaign rallies.