Butiku dares Mkapa once again DAMAS MWITA Dar es Salaam THIS DAY ONE of the closest aides of the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Joseph Butiku, yesterday reiterated his criticism of former president Benjamin Mkapas private business dealings at State House and once again publicly challenged the retired leader to stand up and be counted. Speaking at a news conference in Dar es Salaam, Butiku declared that Nyerere had literally carried Mkapa on his back and campaigned countrywide for his presidency in 1995 believing that he (Mkapa) was the so-called Mr Clean of Tanzanias politics. According to Butiku, Mwalimu went out of his way to secure Mkapas presidential nomination in the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and thereafter vigorously campaigned for him in the countrys first multi-party elections. Contrary to Mwalimus belief, Mkapa now seems to have betrayed the legacy of the Father of the Nation, by conducting private business activities while at State House, he said. The late Mwalimu was obliged to carry Mkapa on his back and went around with him across the country to ask Tanzanians to vote him in office. This showed the level of trust Mwalimu had in him, said Butiku, who served as Nyereres personal secretary at State House and later as regional commissioner. He told reporters that Mkapas continued silence against the backdrop of mounting allegations of corruption and abuse of office facing him was bewildering. Silence sometimes means acceptance. But if Mkapa is really innocent of these allegations and wants to clear his name, he must break his silence now, said Butiku, who is now executive director of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation. He said the allegations of a sitting president and his spouse and children registering a company then engaging in private business dealings for personal financial gain was a very serious matter. Butiku said since Mkapa stands accused of abusing State House to run his own private business affairs, he should come out in the open and clear his name. Speaking generally about the state of corruption in Tanzania, Butiku noted that there was a growing problem of declining public leadership ethics. He said many leaders had today lost credibility and moral authority to lead the fight against corruption because they were themselves not beyond suspicion. The problem of corruption in Tanzania is now like a chronic terminal illness that is slowly eroding the moral fibre of society, he said. He added: People have no self control anymore ... Even some members of the public are now actually demanding bribes from those who aspire for leadership posts as a condition for voting them in office.