Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Heard through the grapevine: Anna Tibaijuka to run for parliament

During my recent visit to Muleba district in Kagera region I was informed that Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General at UN Habitat, will be contesting the Muleba South parliamentary seat in this year's general elections in October.

She will join former Dar es Salaam special zone police commander Alfred Tibaigana to challenge incumbent Wilson Masilingi, who was the minister responsible for good governance in former President Benjamin Mkapa's administration.

My source reveals that the incumbent has a strong following, and believes he will retain his seat. I was reminded of President Mkapa's successful bid and eventual win of the ruling party's presidential ticket during the general elections in 1995.

Most analysts gave Mkapa a slim chance against the leading candidates: Jakaya Kikwete, and Cleopa Msuya. Former president Julius Nyerere, who many believe supported Mkapa during the primary elections, said:
If one of the leading candidates does not get the majority of the votes cast after the first round, forcing a second ballot, and if Mkapa comes third in that first round then Mkapa will win the nomination after the second vote. If Mkapa comes first or second after the first ballot, his winning chances are slim.
That is what happened, and I thought Mwalimu Nyerere was a genius. But the logic was simple: After the first ballot, the second runner-up would normally throw his support (and votes) behind the third-placed candidate to deny the leading candidate victory. That is what appears to have happened; on the second round Msuya's delegates at the electoral conference voted for Mkapa.

The parliamentary electoral system for the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), has been reviewed and instead of delegates voting at an electoral conference this year it will be party members who will cast their votes to nominate the candidate. The success of any candidate will rest sorely on what the party membership decides for each constituency, and I don't believe there will be opportunities for second ballots.

That said, I am yet to know who of the three candidates for Muleba South should be considered the weakest.

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