Ruling party sweats over grand corruption scandals, muafaka By The Citizen Team Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) says the recent war against graft is being over-amplified by the media on their own agenda, neglecting some key issues of national interest. Speaking to Political Platform yesterday, CCM's Publicity Secretary, Captain John Chiligati said local media amplifies anti-corruption stories at the expense of other development issues painting a gloomy picture of the nation. ''It seems as if this nation is occupied by thieves only. I get an impression that newspapers sell on corruption stories that's why you so this. But God is the one who will judge you justly,'' he said over the phone yesterday. However this was in contradiction to what the Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda said this week when he was addressing senior editors in Dar es Salaam. Primier Pinda commended the media for prioritizing corruption stories holding public leaders accountable, saying this makes leaders to be keen on whatever they are doing, because the media is on guard. In an exclusive interview yesterday, Capt. Chiligati said anti corruption battle is being pioneered by the government which is dedicated to eradicating poverty and hence he sees no point of linking the ruling party with the looting of public funds, especially the Central Bank's External Payment Account (EPA) which audit report reveled that over Shs133 billion was paid in dubious deals. Chiligati dismissed as baseless claims that part of the funds were used to finance the ruling party's election campaigns, saying a probe team which incorporates the Attorney General Johnson Mwanyika, Inspector General of Police Said Mwema and Director General of Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Dr Edward Hosea, will reveal the long awaited truth about the matter. Speculations has that the probe team has been shocked by memos from politician meant to influence issuance of EPA money for CCM campaigns, which analysts say it will be cause of a major shakeup in Tanzania politics. ''This is nothing but mud sliding and cheap politics,'' says Chiligati. ''Why can't we wait for the results to come out so that we can know who is behind this deal? I think this is not a good culture because I assure you our hands a clean on this.'' But the major question which some analysts pose is: 'CCM's election budget was at least Shs28 billion, and the looted money is more than Shs133 billion. If at all CCM was behind the deal, where did the other money go?' It is also evident that anti-corruption battle hurts CCM as well since big names within the ruling party have been implicated sendin the party on the brink of split. The war against graft, is almost reduced to a witch hunt against some people within the party and government circles. ''The party creed has it very clearly that corruption is an enemy of justice. Anyone who is within the party and regard this as a witch hunt has his own problems,'' said Chiligati. However, the Auxiliary Bishop for Dar es Salaam Catholic Arch Diocese Methodius Kilaini calls for joint efforts in combating graft. The fact that the war on graft has implicated some of Kikwete's acquaintances, he said, should not let him give in as the law will take its course. ''I encourage the Head of State to continue fighting graft, it is vigorous for his governance but it should be meant to taint innocent people,'' he says He urged the entire government, legislators, civil societies, the judiciary and the public to join the war at fight corruption. Should the war on corruption engineered by President Kikwete be serious he said then the judiciary should respond accordingly. ''We want to see all matters pertaining to corruption being brought to justice,'' he said More than never before, the ruling party has received a major blow from within and without. The Zanzibar 'muafaka' is almost a nightmare in Tanzania political circles. Already a respected anti-corruption icon and former Primier, Judge Joseph Warioba has publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the way his party is dealing with muafaka amid demands of secession from opposition dominated Pemba. As Warioba pleads for open door approach in dealing with the muafaka issue, a CCM zealot, Kingunge Ngombale-Mwiru dismisses him for violating procedure and protocols. Ngombale-Mwiru said Judge Warioba was not supposed to speak on �things he does not know well'. Hitting back, Warioba said muafaka is a national issue and should not be limited to a ruling clique. He called upon the government to call a national debate on the matter and not to limit it within party meetings. The issue has amounted to a great security concern as 12 elders who were behind Pemba secession plea to the UN were arrested for treason. But CCM's spokesperson would see no serious security issue on the matter: ''In my case this is not a security concern when just a few people say they need to be detached from the country and are arrested,'' says Chiligati. The CCM official public figure says he has basically no problem with the comment of Judge Warioba and Mr. Ngombale-Mwiru because they both enjoy freedom of opinion.