Today’s Citizen and Mwananchi newspapers report that Zitto Kabwe is wondering which constituency he will contest in the October 2010 elections. Zitto already has a seat – Kigoma North – which he has held since the last election on the opposition Chadema ticket. He reiterated his position in a press statement issued today. Oddly, or not, he has included at least one blog in the distribution list. Not this one, unfortunately: read it on Subi Nukta’s wavuti blog. Read on for a translation.
A young man with ambition and intelligence is no bad thing. Since coming to power he has made a name for himself as being not just outspoken but also able to express an informed opinion. And those opinions are not always calculated to make himself popular, as his advocacy for purchasing the Dowans’ generators indicated.
Kigoma North is his home base. Yet he has for some time been clear that he wants a bigger stage. From 2007:
To be honest, there have been a number of changes. When I became an MP, most of my objectives were for my Kigoma North constituency. But once I got into the house, it seemed obvious that I had an obligation of addressing more national issues than parochial Kigoma North issues alone. I therefore see things in a bigger picture now..
Zitto always stands out. Most aspirant MPs will head back to their home and build a base there. If they keep their nose clean in the party and can deliver the goods in the constituency, re-nomination and re-election should be on the cards.
The press statement is unusual for being so open. His party, Chadema, is hardly mentioned. He hints at gerrymandering of constituencies in Kigoma (I may be wrong, but why mention those 15,000 voters?). And it is close to being a pointed rejection of the cargo cult politics that characterises rural Tanzania. The short list includes his home base but also two mining constituencies – the issue on which he made his name – and one urban DSM, where the cult of the MP is not so strong and where opposition to CCM is stronger.
And who are those UDSM researchers? I guess they don’t include Professor Baregu, who lost his job for his CHADEMA activities.
2010 and its aftermath are shaping up nicely.
Today’s (3 March 10) Mwananchi and The Citizen newspapers report that I’m considering running for Dar es Salaam’s Kinondoni constituency. I thought it best to issue a statement on this issue.
I have formed an Exploratory Committee of three people to deeply research which parliamentary constituency I should context in the October 2010 General Election. The constituencies I have asked them to look at include Kigoma North (if you don’t include Mwandinga Ward, which it has been recommended should come under the Kigoma Urban Constituency, thus removing over 15,000 voters from Kigoma North), Kigoma Urban, Kahama, Kinondoni and Geita.
I have commissioned a survey so that when I come to make the decision I will be adequately informed. We shall use experts from the University of Dar es Salaam for this in those constituencies as well as for political analysis and to make recommendations.
I expect to formally announce which constituency I shall contest on Sunday 28 March 2010.
I want to be clear that I have not yet decided and that my decision will bear in mind the report of the Exploratory Committee, the advice of party leaders and my own personal political ambitions for the future. It is important to stress that as a Tanzanian I have the right to contest any constituency in the country.
Any decision I make will bear in mind the importance of building a strong multi party democracy and especially to have a strong Parliament with a strong opposition.