Wadau: Makala hii iliyotoka katika The African siku ya Jumamosi mwandishi anawalaumu viongozi wa CUF, kwamba kutokana na ukweli kwamba chama hicho kinaporomoka sana uungwaji mkono huku Bara, ni vyema wangelipa suala hilo kipa umbele kuliko kufukuzana. Anasema viongozi wakubwa wa chama hicho wanatoka Zanzibar na inaonekana hawajali sana hali ya chama hicho huku Bara kwani kule Visiwani wameshaingia serikali ya pamoja na CCM hivyo Baya watajijiju wnyewe. Kunweza kuwa na ukweli katika hili kwani kwa maoni yangu CUF inataka kuwa kama popo yaani methali ya Kiingereza inayosema ‘it wants to enjoy both worlds' – yaani kuwa mpinzani wa CCM na hapo hapo kushirikiana nayo. Haiwezekani, lazima ichague moja na hivyo ndiyo maana sasa CUF inaitwa CCM B, hali ambayo chama hicho chenyewe kinajidhihirisha bila kusita (na wananchi wote wanakiona) – mfano misimamo yake katika masuala kadha Bungeni na upigaji kura wake. Mwishowe mwandishi anatoa changamoto kwa Maalim Seif kwamba baada ya kumfukuza Hamad Rashid na wenzie, jee ana mbinu yoyote hata angalu kidogo, ya kimkakati wa kukinusuru chama chake kinachoporomoka huku Bara? Kwa upande wangu nasema, ule mkutano wake wa Manzese ulipigilia msumari wa mwisho kwa HR, si bora hapo hapo angeelezea mbinu mikakati ya kuzuia kuporomoka kwa chama hicho Bara? Au hajali kabisa kushughulikia kitu hicho? Nawasilisha kwa mjadala pamoja na kuiweka makala husika hapa chini: CHASING RED HERRING: Does Seif & Co have the foggiest idea to arrest CUF's freefall in the Mainland? BY HILAL K. SUED Considering the agony it underwent in the hands of ruling establishment (read: CCM Government) during its first ten years of its formation, and piles of public sympathy it received, Chadema's recent anguish under the same establishment is mere merry-go-round. The inflicted agony was not without grounds because from the manner it was conceived the party posed a huge threat to the establishment. I'm talking about the Civic United Front (CUF) the party that has monopolised newspaper headlines in the past few days, negatively, but above all, for totally unexpected reasons, if not disquieting. ‘Unexpected' is perhaps a bit indistinctive, as taking into account the party's current plummeting status in the Mainland, the matter of utmost concern for its leaders should have been on how to rectify this situation, rather than engaging in showing one another the exit door. It's a sad state of affairs because compared to other opposition parties, CUF's birth 19 years ago was painful. To start with it was the last one to get full registration from the first batch that had applied. And that was despite its readily having satisfied the toughest registration requirement – the pan-territorial outlook. For it was a merger between two parties, Isles' Kamati ya Uhuru (KAMAHURU) led by (the late) Shaaban Mloo and Mainland's Chama cha Wananchi (CW) of James Mapalala. When he was finally handed the registration certificate, Mapalala, its first national Chairman said the party's painful birth shows that it was going to be a thorn in the establishment's flesh, particularly in the Isles. The blunt message was loud and clear and CCM government received it accordingly and promptly placed the party in its bad books. From then on, the party was forced to run CCM government's gauntlet and bled. Its first taste of blood came only a few months after registration when one of its followers was shot dead by police whilst hoisting party flag at Shumba Mjini Village in Unguja. But many said a big one was to yet come, especially after the Isles 1995 elections showed the electoral body's (ZEC) conduct and the delay of announcement of the results, something was afoot, especially in vote tallying. But the big one came a month or so after the 2000 elections when dozens of CUF supporters were shot dead whilst peacefully demonstrating demanding nothing but justice in elections, including an independent electoral commission. It was an incident that stained Tanzania's history. For the first time in its post independence history, it produced refugees who fled to a neighbouring country, fearing state persecution at home. There was a general concurrence on the conduct of elections that were closely supervised (controlled) by pro-CCM institutions led ZEC – that in all the four Isles elections since 1995, the true winners has always been CUF. Even some CCM leaders in the Mainland admit the existence of cheating, though not so openly. So it was the party that had always been dreaded by the establishment, which it started giving it various labels – Islamic, terrorist, xenophobic (i.e. it is for Pembans only) etc etc. However a noticeable omission then was the "CCM B" label, the label which fell upon other opposition parties. That label ultimately landed on it, partly from its own doing – by agreeing to form a government of national unity in the Isles. Even though the party tried to fight off the label, it only did so from the lips, as its action merely confirmed it, specifically in the union Parliament: The vote of the current Speaker, the brawl over the ‘new' definition of the "'Official Opposition in the House' and the vote of the Constitution Bill. So the label fittingly sticks. In the late 1990s, after the once mighty NCCR-Mageuzi was eclipsed from the political scene, CUF stepped into its shoes in the Mainland and became the only opposition political party that was truly pan-territorial in its outlook and the only one with the largest number of Union MPs after CCM – almost all from the Isles. From this new development, in the 2000 General Elections, CCM turned its big guns on CUF. However, despite coming second to CCM in the total number of votes cast in the Mainland, the party never returned even a single MP to the Union Parliament. This fact, together with the stalled "muafaka" talks that were turning out to be boring to many, and the emergence of the corruption agenda that took the political centre stage, and which Chadema used successfully to engage the ruling establishment and was almost able to drive it to the edge of the cliff, CUF started to lose its position as a number one threat to CCM. 2010 elections confirmed that – it surrendered to Chadema the leadership of opposition in the House, the position it held for 15 years. And for the doubting Thomases, Igunga by-election one year later drove the point home. How does one explain this – that the party, received a paltry 2,000 votes while it bagged over 11,000 just twelve months before? It is a situation that ought to have given the party's leadership sleepless nights instead of resorting to witch-hunting. Granted, it would have been beyond anyone's understanding had everything remained calm in the party after the scandalous performance at the polls. In fact, the party's top leadership cannot parry off accusations that it is now chasing a red herring – i.e. engaging in pursuits that are intended to be misleading, or distracting from the real grave issue at hand. There are other accusations against the CUF's top leadership that seem valid – that since much of that leadership cream hails from the Isles, then most of the party's activities are concentrated in that party of the Union. In other words the Mainland receives little consideration. For example there have been complaints of fund allocations for Mainland – it does not adhere to population/area ratio compared to funds allocated for the Isles. Others also cite that since CUF-Zanzibar has already attained what it believes to be paramount for it – by being part of the Government of Nationalu, then the party in Mainland has been dumped – hence its plummeting following. For many CUF followers in the Mainland, all this is a bitter pill to swallow – that the party, the only opposition party, that rightly boasted for being a truly pan-territorial in its outlook and which, over the years was giving CCM leaders sleepless nights, if not lighting fires under their pants, is now being consigned down the drain – slowly inching to the dustbin of history. Worse still, its leadership appears to care very little, if at all. They convene huge, costly conferences not to find ways and means to address the situation, but merely to throw more spanners in the works. I put this question to the party's main protagonist in the ongoing brawl – Seif Shariff Hamad the party's Secretary General since times immemorial.: I'm not asking him how many Mainland districts he had visited since that time, I am merely asking him whether he has the foggiest idea on how to arrest his party's apparent free fall in the Mainland. What is it exactly that has enabled Chadema to outsmart it? Or doesn't he give a damn about that?