AfricaPress-Tanzania: OVER ten opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) have so far defected to the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), with most of them jumping ship for the same reasons.
They cited satisfaction with President John Magufuli’s worthy performance, regular internal conflicts (in their former parties) as well as discrimination.
Ukonga Constituency MP, Mwita Waitara who defected in July 2018, said it was difficult for him to supervise government’s projects in his area since his party’s top officials forbade him from meeting with ministers.
“I have therefore decided to join CCM to support President Magufuli’s efforts towards building the national economy and bringing in development,” he said while shifting his allegiance.
In the same month (July), the then Chadema MP for Monduli Constituency, Mr Julius Kalanga said he decided to shift after observing that his party opposed his efforts of bringing development to his constituents. According to him, he decided to defect so that he can protect his people’s interest as he promised them when they elected him.
Other Chadema MPs who defected to CCM with their constituencies in brackets are Pauline Gekul (Babati), Godwin Mollel (Siha), Chacha Ryoba (Serengeti), James Millya (Simanjiro) and Joseph Mkundi (Ukerewe). CUF MPs are Maulid Mtulia (Kinondoni) na Zuberi Kuchauka (Liwale).
This week, three other Chadema Special Seats MPs, namely Ms Anna Giderya, Latipha Chande and Immaculate Sware declared their allegiance to CCM. It was only Singida North MP, Lazaro Nyalandu who ditched CCM for Chadema, claiming that the reason behind his move was, among other things, fighting for human rights.
Academicians who were reached for comment after this exodus said that although it is a constitutional right to join any political party, such mass defection to CCM indicated the defectors appreciated the ruling party’s leadership.
The Principal for Mzumbe University- Mbeya Campus College, Prof George Shumbusho said that such mass defection might be accelerated by various reasons, including remarkable development to which they also wanted to support, but their (former) parties didn’t give them the chance.
“There were also a few who shifted from CCM. They also have a right to do so, but most seemed to have been fighting for their personal interest and not for the community. For what I know, some of these MPs defected after they failed to be nominated for any position, which is why they tried to seek for position in other parties, which in my opinion should be termed as subsidiary parties and not opposition parties,” said the Principal.