Another Chadema MP quits ahead of 2020 polls

Wednesday April 15 2020

Bukoba Urban MP (Chadema) Wilfred Lwakatare

Bukoba Urban MP (Chadema) Wilfred Lwakatare speaks in the Parliament yesterday before announcing his decision not to contest in the 2020 General Election in Dodoma yesterday. PHOTO | ANTHONY SIAME 

Dodoma. The main opposition party, Chadema, faces a challenge to defend its Bukoba Urban constituency after Wilfred Lwakatare announced yesterday that he will not be seeking reelection.
Mr Lwakatare becomes the second lawmaker since the start of the current sitting on March 31 to take a similar decision after Prof Anna Tibaijuka (Muleba South-CCM) also called it quits.
“I am leaving a happy man after having seen some success in my constituency and more important, I helped in building the opposition in Tanzania,” he said yesterday as he contributed to the budget of the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Governments.
“I’m really proud to be in the opposition,” he added.
However, this is going to test Chadema- the main opposition party’s presence in Kagera.
Mr Lwakatare worked with the government since he graduated at the University of Dar es Salaam in 1988 before crossing to politics in 2000.
He obtained a bachelor degree in international relations and public administration and was appointed as a personnel and administrative officer in the then local government commission.
He also worked in the same position in the districts of Iringa, Bukoba and Tabora.
Mr Lwakatare, who started his political career as a local leader, also said was proud to be the first opposition leader in the Parliament between 2001 and 2005 when he was the lawmaker from the opposition party Civic United Front (CUF).
Within CUF, he rose to become the national deputy secretary general in 2000 to 2009 when he crossed to Chadema.
In Chadema, Mr Lwakatare was the director of defence and national security and later the member of the party’s central committee.
He won in the 2015 General Election and replaced the former Tourism minister Khamis Kagasheki, who was contesting reelection.
Mr Lwakatare was charged with terrorism, but the government later withdrew the charges.
Prof Tibaijuka, who also announced to stop contesting, is a prominent person who served  as minister for Lands, Housing and Settlement Development from 2010 to 2014.
She is also the former UN-Habitat executive director and became the first African woman in the senior elective position.