Tanzania opposition parties ponder coalition ahead of 2020 polls

Chadema’s secretary general, John

Dar es Salaam. Some opposition political parties in the country are considering
forming a coalition ahead of the October polls, The Citizen can report.

Speaking at different occasions yesterday, the parties’ leaders said they were able, willing and ready to form a united front against the ruling party ahead of the October general election.
Chadema’s secretary general, John Mnyika, said their party had officially opened the doors to negotiations for a possible coalition with other like-minded opposition parties.

He also revealed that the party had opened the doors for its members to declare their interest in vying for the  residency via the party’s ticket.

“The doors are open for cooperation from today (yesterday) with other parties that have real commitment to win in this year’s election at all levels…,” he said.

“After discussions with the other parties, we will let you know the agreement or decision reached.

But, from today (yesterday), we have opened the doors to discussions,” added Mr Mnyika, who is the Kibamba Member of Parliament.

ACT-Wazalendo’s national chairman, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, echoed the move by Chadema, saying his party (ACT-Wazalendo) was ready to cooperate with other opposition parties.

“We, therefore, welcome our counterpart’s invitation for dialogue… The most important thing is the willingness to seek a democratic change in the country,” said Maalim Seif in an interview with The Citizen.


For her part, the Civic United Front (CUF) deputy secretary general for the Mainland, Magdalena Sakaya, said over the ’phone in an interview that it was difficult for her at the moment to give the party’s stand on the proposals.

However, Ms Sakaya commended the move, saying it was a good one despite the challenges witnessed in a similar coalition, ‘Ukawa,’ in the 2015 election.

“As the deputy secretary general, I can say that our procedures demand consultation among partyleaders…and the party sessions from which we would be able to talk about such a possibility,” said Ms Sakaya who is also the Kaliua constituency’s representative in Pariament.

Lissu says ready for presidency Meanwhile, former Singida East MP Tundu Lissu said yesterday that he was willing to lead Chadema as a presidential candidate in the October elections.

Mr Lissu who has been in Belgium following several gun shots he received in Dodoma in September, 2017 expressed his intention after being asked by The Citizen’s sister paper Mwananchi if he would seek the Presidency.

“Your questions will soon be answered. So, be patient a bit more,” he said adding:

“Asking for permission is not asking for approval by relevant party forums ... About the ‘how’ … I will use the process set out in accordance with our party procedures and the laws of the country.”

Mr Mnyika had said that the process would use the party’s criteria, which calls on all those who have an intention to have their information submitted to the office of the secretary general and then discussed by the executive committee for a final decision.

“According to Chadema’s constitution, its rules and procedures, the presidential candidate selection is an internal party process that must be followed.

But, we will not announce details now,” he said.

Stressing that the procedures to be followed would be announced in due course, Mnyika said this would include the taking and returning of sponsorship forms.

According to him, there would be procedures for the presidential election and the entire nomination process that would start with sessions of the executive committee and then onwards to the general council.