Dar es Salaam. The newly elected Civic United Front (CUF) chairman, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba,yesterday launched a scathing attack on embattled party secretary general Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad and hinted that the latter’s survival in the party was now hanging in the balance.
Mr Lipumba told some 500 cheering delegates of the seventh national council that Mr Hamad was the source of instability within the party, following the 2015 general election.
Prof Lipumba, the leader of the party’s faction recognised by the Registrar of Political Parties, made the comments when addressing the party’s three-day meeting in Dar es Salaam that brought together members from Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.
Yesterday, a section of CUF members loyal to Mr Hamad vowed to side with their leader, saying they would not succumb to the rival faction.
“We are unfazed by what is happening in Dar es Salaam. After all, that meeting is fake and we are in full support of Mr Hamad. If they decide to kick him out, we will go with him wherever he wants,” said CUF Chakechake District secretary Saleh NassorJuma.
Among others, Prof Lipumba said things started to go astray in the party since 2015 after he (Lipumba) refused to support a presidential candidate nominated by the opposition coalition Ukawa.
“Maalim (Hamad) never agreed with my decision not to support Lowassa because to me there was no way I could move from region by region, supporting a defector. He (Hamad) was easily deceived by other Ukawa leaders that Lowassa was key to his winning the Zanzibar presidency. This is what ruined his mind and made him ready to sell our party,” he claimed.
He said he had pleaded several times times with Mr Hamad to settle the misunderstanding between them and help build their party in vain.
“I have been writing to Maalim (Hamad), asking for a dialogue to discuss the fate of our party, but he has not been responding. To be frank, he never wanted CUF to exist,” he lamented.
The new chairman said that Maalim had opened several cases which, according to MrLipumba, intended to get rid of Cuf so “he can easily join a certain party.” He did not mention the party.
“Maalim has filed many cases in court against our stance to protect the party. He’s just being used to ruin our party but he has failed as you see we are moving forward,” he said.
Prof Lipumba used the chance to mobilize his party members ahead of local government elections and general election in November this year and 2020 respectively.
“Our new policy that will drive us towards our goal from today will be ‘Happiness and Justice for all’ (FUHASA) because this meeting has healed our wounds and strengthen end our motive to continue with our vision,” he said, adding that, “go and mobilize our people because this is a new beginning.”
Prof Lipumba was re-elected as CUF’s chairman in a controversial ordinary meeting, yet the other side of the Mr Hamad claimed the move was illegal and unconstitutional as it was held while there was a court injunction.