What options does expelled CCM cadre Bernard Membe have?

Sunday March 1 2020



Bernard Membe

Bernard Membe 

By Frank Kimboy @frankkimboy fkimboy@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The political future of the expelled CCM cadre Bernard Membe remains uncertain even as the politician is expected to offer his way forward later in the week.
Membe who is a long serving foreign affairs minister remains a key political figure in the local and internal scene and whose moves would be keenly followed.
The ruling party’s central committee on Friday resolved to expel the former Mtama MP from the party for alleged misconduct.
Membe suffered the most as former CCM secretaries general Yusuf Makamba and Abrahman Kinana were spared and warned respectively over similar accusations.
Membe is currently in South Africa and on Friday welcomed his expulsion from the party, saying his intention of challenging President John Magufuli for the presidency was to blame.
The ex-minister who held sway during the 10 years of President Jakaya Kikwete’s regime, and lost  the 2015 presidential ticket race  on CCM, is expected to shed more light on his claim.  
When asked about his political future after the expulsion Mr Membe replied that, “a dream never dies.”
Some political pundits believe that Mr Membe has only four options to choose from as he looks to his future in public service.
Most of those who spoke to The Citizen said  he could be headed to the opposition or seek to mend fences with CCM for a possible re-union in future. However, they said the latter option would be hard to predict at the moment.
The former minister could also form a new political party or quit politics all together, they pointed out.  Joining an existing party looked likely the best option should he want to be in CCM’s rival camp.
University of Dar es Salaam lecture Dr Muhidin Shangwe said he doesnt see Mr Membe quitting politics as yet. “In my view if he wants to challenge president Magufuli candidature via CCM he will have to go to the court to contest the party’s decision,” said Dr Shangwe.
But Dr Shangwe added that through his utterances and the way he has been behaving, it is clear that Mr Membe wants to vie for the presidency so he won’t be surprised if he decides to join the opposition to fulfill his dream.
A veteran politician Mr Twaha Taslima ruled out the possibility of establishing a new political party due to the bureaucracy in registration process.
“This is an election year so even if he will succeed to register a new party he will have a mountain to climb to attract supporters; so I don’t think he will opt for that.”  Ruaha Catholic University lecturer Prof Gaudence Mpangala said he suspect that Mr Membe might consider to quit politics and concentrate in his personal business due to the current political environment in the country.