Thousands of fake CCM cards printed AN elaborate internal plot to remove from leadership corruption-free Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) members and replace them with those who embrace the vice is said to have been uncovered as the ruling party braces for next years presidential and parliamentary elections. According to reports reaching THISDAY from reliable sources within CCM and also in various state organs, some leading ruling party cadres are believed to have launched an underground scheme where fake CCM membership cards are being printed in the thousands and strategically distributed in regions like Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya and the Lake Zone. The aim is to facilitate the ouster of all CCM legislators and councilors seen to be riding the anti-corruption bandwagon, and pave the way for the greedier (fisadi) elements to replace them and entrench themselves around the country, the sources say. CCM membership cards are supposed to be sold to aspiring members, even at negligible prices. But sources say the fake cards are being given away for free, and the recipients instructed not to vote for certain candidates for parliamentary and local council seats. State organs are understood to have been informed about this development and an undercover investigation is now underway in Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam regions, where the first fake CCM cards were discovered. According to our sources, preliminary findings strongly suggest that the individuals behind the clandestine printing operation are amongst the richer CCM members. They are believed to be taking advantage of loopholes in the internal CCM opinion polls process of selecting its contestants for parliamentary and councilorship positions. Under the process, initiated by President Jakaya Kikwete in his capacity as party chairman, all CCM members are supposed to be given the chance of equal involvement at the nominations stage. It is however, understood that only genuine CCM members will be allowed to vote in the primaries. Genuine members will be determined through a verification process to be done before June next year. Details of this process are not yet known. Sought out for comment, CCMs ideology and publicity secretary John Chiligati acknowledged that there was some truth in the reports of fake party cards having been printed, but said the only area where this had been concretely confirmed was Moshi Rural District in Kilimanjaro Region. The district has two parliamentary constituencies: Vunjo and Moshi Rural itself. Both incumbent legislators are CCM members; Cyril Chami (Moshi Rural), who is currently Deputy Minister for Industries and Trade, and Aloyce Kimaro (Vunjo), recognized as one of the partys more outspoken anti-corruption campaigners. Chiligati said the fake CCM cards were found at the following locations in Moshi Rural: Kimochi, Okaoni, Uru Kaskazini and Longuo. CCM secretary general Yusuf Makamba said when contacted for comment that he was on leave. But according to his deputy, George Mkuchika, the problem of fake membership cards being distributed around the country has been presented to relevant local government authorities for investigation, and a findings report will be released �at the conclusion of an in depth search for the truth.� It is understood that the Moshi Rural CCM district chairman, Gabriel Masenga, is leading the probe and has vowed to take stern action against culprits who will be found, including stripping them of their own CCM membership, and written warnings sent to all party branches in the district about the presence of the fake membership cards. But according to our sources, the fake cards are believed to have already been used in the recently-held primaries for local government leaders in the district. According to Chiligati, legitimate party cards are henceforth to be dispatched to new members straight from CCM headquarters in Dar es Salaam, via regional party secretaries who will hand out the cards according to lists prepared by district party secretaries. He said special member registers are currently being printed by the Government Printer, which will be used to register genuine party members to vote in next years primaries. Every voter will only vote at the location where his or her name is listed in the special register, and nowhere else, Chiligati further explained. The CCM primaries are scheduled to take place before August next year, to nominate CCM contestants for councilorship and parliamentary seats in the general election a couple of months later.