Tanzania: What Lipumba’s choice of secretary general means to Hamad’s loyalists

Monday March 18 2019


By Bakari Kiango & Haji Mtumwa @TheCitizenTZ news@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar/Zanzibar. At least 28 Members of Parliament (MPs) from the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) are currently at a crossroads as the Prof Ibrahim Lipumba-led faction elects new secretary general.

The allegiance of the 28 is on Maalim Seif Shariff Hamad, who has today, March 18, joined ACT Wazalendo party after being expelled from CUF.

Mr Hamad has joined ACT a few hours after the High Court confirm Prof Lipumba as the chairman of CUF in a case filed by Mr Hamad’s CUF faction against Prof Lipumba.

The High Court ruling and Mr Hamad’s joining ACT is the culmination of a leadership crisis that embroiled CUF in the past three years.

This question being raised now is whether the 28 MPs, loyal to Mr Hamad, will agree to remain in CUF.

CUF won a total of 32 parliamentary seats in 2015. It also got 10 Special Seats MPs.

Three MPs decamped to the ruling party during last year’s wave of opposition politicians flocking to join the ruling CCM due to their questionable political reasons.

Meanwhile, the newly elected secretary general, Mr Khalifa Suleimani Khalifa, said CUF leadership will call a meeting with CUF’s MPs and discuss the way forward.

“We are willing to work with all those who will be supporting the party’s official leaders,” said Mr Khalifa who is former MP for Gando.

The MP for Tanga Urban, Mr Mussa Mbarouk, asked MPs, loyal to Maalim Seif, to drop their position and start supporting Prof Lipumba.

“I was one of those that were behind Maalim Seif, but after examining the political environment closely, I jumped over to the Prof Lipumba’s faction. They now need to understand that Maalim Seif is no longer a leader in the party and therefore, they must join hands with us so we can build the party,” he said.