Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Monday, 20 September 2010

Richard Kiyabo: from CCM to CCM

Richard Kiyabo has most likely set the record for the shortest-lived political crusade against Tanzania's ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

In less than a year, after jumping from one political party to another, Kiyabo was recently reported to have joined CCM, from where he probably began his political tour that has included transit stops in three other political parties.
During a visit to Butiama in March 2010, Renatus Muabhi (L), and Richard Kiyabo (R) lay a wreath at the grave of Tanzania's founding president, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
Late last year news surfaced that a new political party was in the offing and it was rumored that prominent politicians from CCM were behind the launch of this new party. Indeed, in mid-January the Registrar of Political parties, John Tendwa, confirmed having received an application for the registration of Chama cha Jamii (CCJ). Kiyabo presented himself as the chairperson, and Renatus Muabhi the party's secretary general.

CCM's leadership pretended not to worry, but the persistent rumors competing for attention suggested that a large section of CCM's parliamentarians would cross over to CCJ once parliament was dissolved for October's general elections and those feared defections were enough to worry any CCM member.

Kiyabo and Muabhi went around promising policies that, added to the expected CCM defections, would most certainly have attracted serious political support in the elections. But as with most good plans, even good policies do not always reach implementation stage. At a certain stage, the Registrar of political parties ruled that CCJ had failed to fulfill the legal requirements necessary for full registration and ruled out CCJ fielding candidates in the October elections. By the end of July, he struck CCJ off the party list.

Kiyabo, who in the meantime reported receiving death threats from unidentified individuals, then anounced he was joining Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), together with a former CCM member of parliament who had joined CCJ, Fred Mpendazoe. Before anyone could analyse the significance of the event, Kiyabo appeared on a news report saying he was the presidential candidate for yet another party, the National Reconstruction Alliance (NRA), in October's elections.
Then the bombshell a few days ago: he showed up at the office of CCM's secretary general Yusuph Makamba and said he has now joined CCM. Someone should question how CCM can trust this man; he should have been placed in quarantine for 5 years. First, he is no doubt someone who jumps up to action before thoroughly analysing possible consequences. None of the parties that he toured have changed their policies, including CCM. One good reason for jumping ship would be major shift in policies.

The more one reads of his justification for his tour of political parties, the more one concludes that he took many Tanzanians for fools, particularly those who believed CCJ was a new political force that threatened to dislodge CCM and could have forced CCM to put its house in order.

Everyone is free to express his political views by joining any political party whose policies seem to accurately reflect those views. So far, Kiyabo has proved he has no views.

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