Tanzania opposition in shock as Waitara defects to CCM

Sunday July 29 2018

Mr Mwita announced his decision to quit the

Mr Mwita announced his decision to quit the main opposition party on Saturday July 28, 2018 at the ruling party’s sub-offices in Dar es Salaam. Right is Mr Humphrey Polepole who serves as the Chama Cha Mapinduzi's Ideology and Publicity Secretary. Photo | Ericky Boniface  

By Khalifa Said and Deogratius Kamagi @TheCitizenTz @dkamagi@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The Ukonga Member of Parliament through Chadema, Mr Mwita Waitara, yesterday decamped to the ruling party.

Mr Mwita announced his decision to quit the main opposition party yesterday at the ruling party’s sub-offices in Dar es Salaam.

Mr Mwita becomes the second MP from Chadema and the third MP from the opposition to defect to the ruling party since the 2015 General Election. Hai MP Dr Godwin Molel defected to the ruling party at the end of last year. Mr Maulid Mtulia, who was Kinondoni MP through CUF ticket, also defected to the ruling party at the end of last year. They were both re-elected on the ruling party tickets in the same constituencies.

Announcing his decision to quit the opposition, Mr Waitara said he decided to return to the ruling party to support President John Magufuli’s efforts of bringing development to the country.

“It was hard for me as the opposition legislator to facilitate development projects in my constituency because of a bad attitude within the opposition. I was not allowed by Chadema leadership, for example, to set appointments with cabinet ministers,” he claimed.

He added; “I have decided to quit for the greater interest of my voters.”

Reactions

The move has apparently shocked the opposition that has lost more than fifty elected politicians to the ruling party in the past two years.

But Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe put up a brave face as he said he wished Mr Waitara well in his political journey with CCM. “I wish him well; he defected to Chadema from the ruling party and we received him…although he didn’t win in the intra-party nominations he carried the party’s flag in the Parliamentary election.”

The leader of Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT)-Wazalendo and Kigoma Urban Member of Parliament, Mr Zitto Kabwe criticized Mr Waitara for ditching the opposition.

He wrote in his twitter account, “Your fellow MP is in hospital after an attempted assassination and nearly all of your party’s leaders are facing cases…how can you join the ruling party.”

In the 2015 General Election Waitara garnered 90,478 votes against those of former Ilala Municipal Mayor Jerry Slaa who got 80,908 votes.

Apart from the three MPs more than 50 ward councillors have defected from the opposition to the ruling party, CCM, since the 2015 General Election all citing various reasons including their support to development agenda being executed by President Magufuli.

Mr Waitara accused Chadema of a number of things including operating like a non-governmental organisation and that the party leaders do not stand any alternative views from other cadres.


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