When Thugs Invade Politics In Igunga From chaos to corruption, from mudslinging to torching of house


JF-Expert Member
Aug 2, 2010
Sun, Sep 25th, 2011

Sun Sept 25th 2011| Tanzania


Things turned around suddenly for peaceful and calm Igunga district following the resignation of former MP Rostam Aziz, saying he was keeping himself off from what he described as "gutter politics" within CCM ranks.

Events unfolding in the by-election campaigns in Igunga are painting gloomy image to the future of multiparty democracy in Tanzania, thanks to the chaotic and cheap politics shown by the top three political parties led by the ruling party(CCM).

From chaos to corruption, from mudslinging to torching of houses and the dramatic twist by some religious leaders about the recent humiliation of the District Commissioner, it's obvious that the people of Igunga are witnessing dirty politics.

In the DC's saga, an accusing finger is being pointed at CCM that stands a chance to benefit from the war being waged by some Muslim leaders across the country against Chadema in the by-election tussle.

However, so far there is no any direct link between the ruling party and the move by some religious leaders who went to Igunga to issue a statement denouncing the alleged humiliation done by Chadema's leaders against the DC.

While majority of voters expected the three top political parties to market their manifestos on how they would bring economic and social prosperity to the area, it has turned out to be another season of mudslinging, chaos and corruption.

So far neither the veteran, CCM, nor the opposition Chadema or CUF has managed to preach sensible and people centred politics.

No one to set the path as both parties borrow the chaotic politics from some troubled African countries where election means death of innocent people as politicians struggle to clinch on power.

Though to some politicians, that is the right path, to many this is worrying trend that indicate that the 2015 election may ruin peace thanks to the thuggish politicians whose mission is to acquire power even at the cost of their fellow human beings.

Things turned around suddenly for peaceful and calm Igunga district following the resignation of former MP Rostam Aziz, saying he was keeping himself off from what he described as "gutter politics" within CCM ranks.

During the few initial days of the campaigns scathing political attacks were traded between CCM and Chadema members, but no one expected the verbal assault would culminate in physical confrontation between the two sides.

On Monday this week Chadema members, including two MPs were arraigned in Tabora accused of roughing up Igunga District Commissioner Fatuma Kimario whom the opposition party blames of aiding her ruling party in the campaigns.

However, subsequent developments are worrying the public as a section of the community seems determined to portray the event as deliberate efforts by Chadema to undermine Islamic culture. The DC claimed that she had been striped of her ‘religious' headscarf.

Unquestionably, the alleged act of holding up the DC is unacceptable to CCM, the ruling party. However, the party could apply its influence to calm down the religious sentiments arising from the so-called roughing up of the district commissioner. To date no statement to that effect has been issued.

One recalls that last year's general election campaigns were engulfed by similar sentiments. It was gratifying that some CCM leaders, and especially President
Jakaya Kikwete, to rally against the trend.

That stand was in total contrast to the current situation, marked by "silence" of the same political party and government leaders regarding such seeds – of hatred being sowed by Muslim leaders against Chadema.

On Thursday Tabora CCM legislator Ismail Aden Rage was seen carrying a pistol while on the political podium in Igunga, something that can easily be misinterpreted to mean that peace in the constituency could not be guaranteed.

The "silence" on the part of government with regard to Rage carrying a pistol at political rally implies that the latter committed no offence. However, going by experience if such an act was done by someone in the opposition they would no doubt be arrested. Now Tundu Lissu, the MP for Singida East (Chadema) and a human rights lawyer says he is taking the matter to the National Electoral Commission ( NEC ).

To make matters worse, a CUF leader in Igunga was allegedly assaulted by CCM members on Friday to the extent of being rushed to the Igunga district hospital for treatment. That all skirmishes have pitted CCM against opposition MPs, one may question the stand of the ruling party.

A near fatal incident occurred on Saturday early morning when CCM and Chadema members were involved in a physical confrontation, causing one CCM member Ramadhani Twaha reportedly to suffer a bullet wound. Two CCM MPs and three persons were being questioned yesterday by police in connection with the incident.

Interrogated persins include Aeshi Hilary (CCM -Sumbawanga Urban), Esther Bulaya ( CCM – Special Seats), Igunga by-election coordinator for Chadema, Mwita Waitara and security guards who were around the scene.

Speaking to press at the CCM's district office, CCM campaign coordinator, Mwigulu Nchemba alleged that CHADEMA leaders attempted to kidnap CCM MPs as they were on their way back to their hotels.

The fracas lasted for a while until police arrived to arrest the situation after being notified on an attempt," said Nchemba, adding that the incident caused their colleague who was in the car to suffer a presumably minor bullet injury from a shot fired through the car windows.

In another move, Singida East constituency MP (CHADEMA), Tundu Lisu said "it is surprising to see rampant uses of firearms where some CCM MPs have been brandishing pistols in public

He added "According to election regulations section 2.2.6, nobody is allowed to publicly posses any weapons which might cause injury to another person"

Source The Guardian

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