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How Kikwete saved the day for Chadema

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Nanu, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. N

    Nanu JF-Expert Member

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    How Kikwete saved the day for Chadema Send to a friend Sunday, 20 March 2011 19:36 digg

    [​IMG] President Kikwete shakes hands with Mr Kabwe at past fuction

    By Tom Mosoba and Florence Mugarula
    Dar es Salaam. President Jakaya Kikwete personally intervened to help Chadema secure the chairmanship of at least one of the 17 parliamentary committees and avoid a whitewash, as newfound allies CCM and CUF had teamed up in the National Assembly to lock out the vocal opposition party.

    President Kikwete, sources told The Citizen on Sunday, influenced the re-election of Kigoma North MP Zitto Kabwe, as chairman of the Public Corporations Accounts Committee (POAC), despite the raging hostility between his own Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and Chadema.

    Sources in Chadema and within the National Assembly confirmed that Mr Kabwe, a rabid critic of the government in the last Parliament, telephoned President Kikwete to seek his help in his last-ditch efforts to hold onto the position. He was then facing stiff opposition from hostile CCM lawmakers supported by the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) and NCCR-Mageuzi MPs.

    After speaking to Mr Kabwe, the President, who is also the CCM national chairman, reportedly directed Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda to rally support for the Chadema MP to head the POAC.

    “Mr Pinda told the CCM lawmakers that the President wanted them to vote for Mr Kabwe,” a Chadema MP, who asked not to be named, as he is not the party’s spokesman, told The Citizen on Sunday this week.

    However, the State House in Dar es Salaam, denied that President Kikwete had exerted pressure on the MPs or directed them on how to vote for the heads of the parliamentary committees that monitor and audit the Executive’s performance.

    Assistant Press Secretary to the President Premi Kibanga said he was not involved in choosing or endorsing the heads of the parliamentary committees. She said that was the MPs’ role, in accordance with the parliamentary Standing Orders.

    “The President is not involved in such business. Everything is done by the MPs themselves,” said Ms Kibanga in a telephone interview this week, when asked about Mr Kabwe’s alleged SoS phone call to the Head of State.

    The Kigoma MP would himself not give anything away on his supposed lobbying of President Kikwete to personally intervene to secure him a second term as chairman of the POAC. Formed by the last Parliament, it has oversight over more than 100 public organisations and agencies that spend billions of taxpayers’ funds every year.

    “What I know is that the CCM had agreed to endorse the Wawi MP, Mr Hamad Rashid Mohammed, in their midnight meeting instead of me, but later in the morning, things changed and I was endorsed with 13 out of 15 votes,” he said.

    But reached for comment, Mr Mohammed dismissed the claim, saying he had no intention of challenging Mr Kabwe.
    “I know nothing about that matter. I had wanted to vie for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairmanship, but dropped the idea after Bariadi East MP John Cheyo said he would defend it,” he said.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the recent MPs’ seminar at Ubungo Plaza in Dar es Salaam, Mr Kabwe could not confirm whether he spoke to President Kikwete on the issue. “I was sure of winning the post because I had already secured eight votes, which is the threshold, but I ended up getting 13, which was good,” said Mr Kabwe.

    He defeated CUF Nominated MP Amina Mwidau Mohammed. According to the parliamentary Standing Orders, MPs, who are members of a given parliamentary committee, elect one of them to chair the committee. With 10 seats, CCM has a majority of members of the POAC. Chadema and CUF have three and two, respectively.

    It was not immediately clear if Mr Kabwe called the President in his personal capacity or as his party’s deputy secretary general.
    Chadema national chairman Freeman Mbowe, and the secretary-general, Dr Willibrod Slaa, could not be reached for comment.

    The Kigoma North MP has in the past rubbed his party the wrong way, with critics alleging covert links with some top CCM bigwigs, an accusation he has vehemently denied.

    Before the February Bunge committee elections, Mr Kabwe had been taken to task by his party for staying away, when they resolved to stage a walkout during President Kikwete’s State address to open the 10th Parliament.

    The MP would later be quoted by a section of the media, as saying that he held the President in high esteem and could not show disrespect by boycotting his address to Parliament.

    Emerging details show that CCM had, in reaction to the walkout, planned to use its numerical strength in the House to block Chadema, which succeeded CUF as the official opposition in Parliament after the 2010 General Election, from heading the committees. The ruling party was also ready to support MPs from other opposition parties other than Chadema, to win those positions.

    An MP said the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Anne Makinda, had rooted for Ms Mohammed for the post, after her own efforts to persuade the MPs to back Mr Kabwe had failed.

    “Ms Makinda had also warned that removing the Chadema MP would be unwise because he had shown credible performance in the 9th Parliament,” said the MP, who requested for anonymity.

    The MP, who comes from the Lake Zone, said a meeting in the night preceding the election had settled on the former leader of the Official Opposition, but the situation changed dramatically in the morning after the PM’s word went around. We could not reach Mr Pinda or his aides for comment.
    Source: The Citizen 20th March 2011
  2. Remmy

    Remmy JF-Expert Member

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