Sunday, October 22, 2017

Zitto says to expose govt ‘falsehoods’ on economy

Alliance for Change and Transparency

Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo) leader Zitto Kabwe and his party’s acting chairman Jeremiah Maganja at a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday. Mr Kabwe has said he has information on a conspiracy by government officials to misrepresent facts about the state of the country’s economy. PHOTO|SAID KHAMIS 

By The Citizen Reporter @TheCitizenTZ

Dar es Salaam. ACT-Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe will expose what his party claims is a conspiracy of government officials to hide the alarming state of affairs of the national economy.

Mr Kabwe will also reveal how billions of shillings have reportedly been withdrawn illegally from public corporations to fund operations of the government.

Further, the Kigoma Urban MP will table their analysis of the recent agreement between the government and Barrick Gold Mining Company to expound on the deal and take a stand.

These were among several points adopted yesterday during a meeting in Dar es Salaam of the party’s Leadership Committee, which resolved to summon the Central Committee (CC) this coming Saturday to discuss the state of the economy, insecurity and democracy in the country.

Mr Kabwe was mandated by the Leadership Committee to prepare the three-point report for the CC to review and recommend the way forward when it meets on Saturday.

According to ACT-Wazalendo, recent statistics released by the Bank of Tanzania on the economy were doubtful and were likely “cooked’ to portray a positive picture.

The party said the painted picture was against the reality on the ground where the shilling has lost value, inflation had widened while the financial sector and lending by banks to the productive sectors of the economy were in the doldrums.

The Leadership Committee claimed that some five public corporations were in dire financial straits after their funds were used un-procedurally to fund the government’s projects.

Mr Kabwe, who yesterday read the resolutions leading to the summoning of the CC, said the party would use the meeting to expose the goings-on in government. “But we will reveal this and release all the information after our party’s Central Committee,” he said

He said the party intended to table before Parliament the public corporations’ financial status to seek further action from the National Assembly.

Mr Kabwe who was addressing his first press conference following recent resignations from the party of some key lieutenants, also used the meeting to condemn the state of democracy in the country, with shrinking civil rights, planned legislation of a new law for political parties and attack on individuals perceived as government critics singled out.

On the defections rocking his party, Mr Kabwe said ACT-Wazalendo did not harbour any ill feelings against members wishing to decamp to other parties but asked those leaving to desist from covert moves to dissuade others from supporting its agenda.

He said the Leadership Committee had gone through the party’s manifesto and pledge and found that it had not betrayed any of its visions or deviated from its agenda of being the voice of farmers, workers, and to speak for the economic benefits of all Tanzanians.

Among those who have deserted the party are top advisor Prof Kitila Mkumbo who was appointed Water permanent secretary by President John Maguduli and former party secretary-general Samson Mwigamba who re-joined CCM. Chairman Anna Mwingira also quit her position after being appointed Kilimanjaro regional commissioner. She, however, continues to retain her ordinary membership.

“These members have not left the party due to any misunderstanding or clashes with leadership but have had other opportunities, which maybe the party cannot offer,” said Mr Kabwe s.

He said ACT-Wazalendo will not be reduced into a forum to defend the government but will work fearlessly to advance the cause of the majority poor citizens.

Mr Mwigamba cited a leadership vacuum and alleged violation of party ideals as his reasons for quitting and rejoining CCM. But officials yesterday said Mr Mwigamba rejected an invitation to share his concerns with other officials when given the opportunity.

For his part, the acting party’s national chairman Yeremia Maganja said the wave of member crossing over to other parties is a normal thing in politics, assuring members that ACT-Wazalendo remains strong.

“While others leave our party more join in like recently in Momba area where a district CCM defected to join ACT-Wazalendo alongside hundreds of members,” he said.

Additional reporting by Gadiosa Lamtey