THE ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi, CCM, yesterday sent shock waves across the country’s political landscape after expelling a senior cadre, Bernard Membe, with some observers saying the decision showed no one was immune if they violate party ethics and principles.
It was a day of mixed fortunes for the party’s prominent members, ex-cabinet minister, Membe and former party secretary generals; Yusuf Makamba and Abdulrahman Kinana, when the CCM Central Committee decided on their fate following gross misconduct.
The two ex-secretary generals were spared the axe during the ordinary Central Committee meeting held in Dar es Salaam yesterday, presided over by national chairman, President John Magufuli.
Among other critical issues, and services, which is above the required standard of 4.0 months.
The government is currently implementing several mega projects, including the standard gauge railway from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma to a tune of 7.04trl/-, and the 2,100-megawatt Julius Nyerere Hydropower project in the Selous Game Reserve worth 2.9bn USD, equivalent to 6.5trl/-. the committee deliberated on the report from the party’s Ethics and Security Committee concerning the conduct of the three members.
The CC decided enough is enough and decided to bring the axe down on one of its beleaguered cadre, Membe, sending a clear message.
No one is bigger than the party.
Reading the CC resolutions at the CCM Lumumba sub-head offices in the city yesterday, the party’s Secretary of Ideology and Publicity, Mr Humphrey Polepole said the decision to strip Mr Membe of his party membership was reached after following the trend of his behaviour since 2014.
According to the CC, Membe has been committing ethical violations since 2014 and received various warnings that intended to give him a chance to change his behaviour, which, according to them, he spurned. “Therefore, the CC has resolved to strip him of his party membership,” he said.
Mr Polepole further said the CC issued severe reprimand to Mr Kinana, saying he will be under close monitoring for the coming 18 months, during which he will not be allowed to vie for any position except retaining his right to vote.
Regarding Mr Makamba, he said the CC of the National Executive Committee members (NEC) unanimously resolved to forgive him after displaying a high level of penitence.
Some political pundits said the decision reached by the party showed no one was immune upon violating its ethics and principles.
Former CCM Vice-Chairman (Mainland) who also served as Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa said: “When the party makes a decision, we receive it with open hands. Receiving party’s decision with open hands is a sign of being ethical. Going against it is impolite.”
University of Dodoma (Udom), lecturer, Dr Paul Loisulie on his part said in a telephone interview that party members might have varied opinions on the decision, but it was evident that CCM members must observe the set rules and regulations.
“No one is above the law, because with their calibre no one would have expected such a decision to be reached, it is a proof that there is no immunity to party ethical issues,” he explained.
The UDOM don further asserted that each organisation has its laid down procedures. “If there is anything a member is not content with, procedures must be followed to file complaints, which also applies to party leaders,” Prof Gaudens Mpangala of Ruaha Catholic University (Rucu) pointed out that the decision was expected, because the issue has been in the public domain for quite some time now.
Mr Membe appeared before the CCM’s Ethics Committee in Dodoma on 7 February 2020, where he was grilled for five hours. Mr Kinana and Makamba were questioned on February10, 2020, at the party’s Lumumba offices in Dar es Salaam before their report was tabled before the CC.
The decision to summon the three was reached by NEC when it sat in Mwanza on December 2019 under the leadership of President Magufuli. The three, together with January Makamba, Nape Nnauye and William Ngeleja, were implicated in an audio clip, in which voices could be heard referring to the Head of State in unflattering terms.