Thursday, August 20, 2009

CCM-Mafisadi versus CCM-Safi

It looks so surreal, but it’s true. The Speaker of the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania, Samuel Sitta (Sam-Six) has just survived a major political lynching by his own party. His crime? He is doing his job perfectly!

Almost too perfectly, his enemies think. They have been baying for his blood at the CCM politburo meet in Dodoma and think he should be kicked out of the ruling party for speaking against graft!

According to insiders in the party politburo a senior member (who is a known for his communist sympathies and years for a one-party system of the 60s, spoke for about 45 minutes in which he slammed the Speaker for being too eager to run parliament based on the Westminster system, while failing to protect the thieving ways of some of the members of the ruling party.

In what appeared to be a carefully orchestrated move more than 40 of the key CCM committee launched direct attacks on Sitta and other ‘rebel’ MPs for speaking out against high-level corruption in government.

The politburo members accused the Speaker of ‘embarrassing’ the government by allowing the MPs during the recent parliamentary budget to openly criticize senior public rulers, both past and present. They implied that the rulers past and present deeds should be equated to deity – to be worshipped.

MPs who are the real stars of the anti-graft campaign are Anne Kilango Malecela (Same East) Lucas Selelii (Nzega), Christopher ole-Sendeka (Simanjiro) Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe (Kyela), Aloyse Kimaro (Vunjo) and the Speaker himself, Sam Six and millions of informed Tanzanians.

Sources say that the Speaker has effectively been put ‘on probation’, and will be monitored by three wise men in the politburo. They are former president, Mzee Ali Hassan Mwinyi, ex-National Assembly Speaker, Pius Msekwa and Abdulman Kinana, a former Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

Their job will be to breathe down the necks of the Speaker and other ‘rebel’ MPs. If their future behaviors are deemed unsatisfactory the committee will call an emergency meeting to dismiss them from the party. This is not the politburo of Communist North Korea we are talking about. It is the politburo of a party in the democratic and multi-party system of the United Republic of Tanzania!

Analysts feel that in shielding crooks within the party and government the party has given the nod to wanton plunder and the big time corruption to go on.

Karatu MPs, Dr Wilbrod Slaa of the opposition CHADEMA party has said that he was not surprised that the Speaker and other anti-corruption crusaders within the CCM were now being intimidated and threatened with expulsion from the ruling party.

“All this proves that the forces of corruption have a huge influence within both the CCM and the government itself.” He said.

Godfrey Zambi (Mbozi East- CCM) has defended that Speaker in his parliamentary leadership so far, saying it would be a shame to discourage him from continuing to conduct parliamentary proceedings without fear or favour.

It seems the supporters of the alleged crooks in the CCM are desperately trying to turn the Speaker into a CCM whipping boy to support any of their whimsical dreams. Will the Speaker turn the other cheek and comply to those whims?

Poetic justice favours the brave few, but clean crusaders. They are facing heavy flak from the supporters of grand corruption. But right is always right and always wins in the end, analysts say.

Kyela MP, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe said at the meet, that the party friction arises from two opposing groups; one supporting grand-corruption and the other opposing it. “This fight will only end when corruption is swept away. Other than that there will be no negotiations or reconciliation.”

Some of the pro-corruption politburo members were said to boo all those anti-corruption crusading MPs. “Such uncouth behavior can only be from members who have nothing to say. It is easy to boo.” Said an analyst.

Some say that there have been many short-sighed and amateurish responses from the pro-corruption delegates. Gagging the anti-corruption MPs does not mean that the pro-corruption MPs will be listened to.

Reacting to the CCM clampdown on CCM-Safi members, lawyer/activists and political commentator, Tindu Lissu has said last week’s attempt by the ruling party to control parliamentary proceedings were basically illegal.

According to Lissu, CCM would be breaching the law if it were to take action against its MPs for comments made during debates with Parliament with all legislators have a certain entitlements under the Parliamentary Immunities, Powers and Privileges Act Number 3 of 1988.

Fortunately, few other members see the issue of the corruption drive more clearly than the rabble rousers. One politburo member, Abdulrahman Kinana summed it up: “The accusations of grand corruption against the top CCM leaders are the ones which are destroying the party.”

“What the pro-corruption members of the CCM should know is that it is no use talking when no one is listening.” Said an analysts.

No comments: