Dar es Salaam. CUF has re-elected Prof Ibrahim Lipumba as its chairman during a controversial ordinary general meeting held in Dar es Salaam in the last two days.
The seventh election meeting was held while the other party faction, led by Secretary General Seif Shariff Hamad, claimed the move was illegal and unconstitutional, as it was held while there was a court injunction.
Announcing the results, the chairperson of the election committee, Mr Thenei Ally Juma, said Prof Lipumba collected 516 votes equivalent of 88.9 per cent of all votes.
Mr Maftaha Nachuma was elected vice chairman for Tanzania Mainland after getting 231 votes (41 per cent), while Abbas Juma Muhunzi was elected as vice chairman for Zanzibar after getting 349 votes, equal to 60.9 per cent.
Speaking after the election, Prof Lipumba said those who won were “his boys” and he had no problems with them.
He said he would meet with his deputies to nominate three names, from which one would be picked for party secretary general.
However, it was not clear whether Mr Hamad’s name would be on the list, given the on-going conflict in the party and which has existed for two years now.
The general meeting, which started on Tuesday, was interrupted by the police on the first day, who claimed that it was unlawful, because of a court injunction filed by Hamad’s faction. However, the meeting continued after Prof Lipumba made a call to someone he described as a “big guy”, making the police to leave.
The centre of the controversy started in October 2015, when Prof Lipumba resigned from the party chairmanship few days before the general election, citing the cause as being Edward Lowassa being picked as the candidate for opposition parties.
Mr Lowassa, who recently defected back to CCM, scooped over six million votes in the presidential election. However, a year later Prof Lipumba made a U-turn claiming to continue being chairman of CUF, a move that has left the party split in two.