Chama Cha Mapinduzi chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, yesterday took a swipe at ruling party members who are using money to acquire leadership positions.
Mr Kikwete said corruption by some leaders members was tarnishing the image of CCM and that if the Ethics Committee doesn’t act decisively the soonest, there was a possibility the ruling party could lose popularity and power to the Opposition in forthcoming elections.
He accused some individuals who, he said, were ready to acquire leadership at any cost, something that was causing CCM to lose credibility in the eyes of an increasing number of Tanzanians.
“We need to maintain our good image by upholding ethics and ensure that we traverse the entire country to popularise our party ahead of this year’s local government elections and next year’s General Election,’’ he said. The CCM national chairman underscored the need to maintain unity and solidarity amongst party members, warning that, if they were not united, there was a likelihood of losing victory in the coming polls.
The call from the ruling party senior-most leader comes at a time when there are various rifts within the party, with some bigwigs pointing accusing fingers at each over behaviour seen as going against CCM code of conduct.
On Thursday last week former CCM vice chairman (Mainland) John Malecela publicly accused former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa of going against the party creed in his burning ambition to be the next President after Mr Kikwete.
“If party leaders will not be firm in action, these wealthy people will continue to use their money to lure the public to support their intention to grab power, not because they have an honest desire to serve Tanzanians, but because they want to fulfil their political dreams and personal interests,” said Mr Malecela.
He further called for collective efforts in the war against corrupt members, a war that should be initiated by the party’s leadership in order to get rid of the minority rich who seem to be more powerful than all ordinary party members put together.
On Saturday, a war of words within the ruling party intensified after the CCM chair in Shinyanga Region, Mr Khamis Mgeja, took on Central Committee member, Mr Paul Makonda and Mr Malecela for accusing Mr Lowassa of seeking the presidency “at all cost”. Mr Mgeja said Mr Malecela’s record was not that clean enough to give him the moral authority to point fingers at others.
“This is not a person I wish to argue with, but we have to set the record straight. Mzee Malecela had his own issues with the party in his heyday and Mwalimu Nyerere wrote a whole book about him,” he argued.
Speaking at the 37th CCM anniversary celebrations held at Sokoine grounds in Mbeya yesterday, Mr Kikwete weighed in on the debate, although he did not divulge any details or reveal the names of corrupt individuals within the party.
He said it was high time all members worked together to ensure CCM gets a landslide victory in the forthcoming coming elections as well as making sure that they meet people countrywide to speak for the party to win their hearts.
Meanwhile, CCM deputy chairman (Mainland) Philip Mangula said yesterday that the party’s Ethics Committee would summon former Premier Lowassa and Mr Mgeja to appear before it for interrogation.