The 2010 general election campaign turned nasty on Thursday after Chadema’s presidential candidate Dr. Willibroad Slaa made the unusual decision of attacking one of his opponent’s wife. At a campaign rally in Babati, a small city in Manyara, Dr. Slaa accused President Kikwete’s wife, Salma, of corruption and the misusing of public funds:
The President’s wife is not the President. Mama Salma is going around the country [campaigning for her husband] using government vehicles; she is being received by regional [sic] and district commissioners, and this is against protocol. She is using State House money out of procedures and this is another form of grand corruption…In my trips in this region I have been told that she is moving with a 20-car entourage and each car is worth Sh200 million, fuelled by government money. This is grand corruption.’
Union versus Zanzibar sovereignty: The Guardian is leading with a story today about an apparent deadlock over operating charters for new private universities in Zanzibar due to some ‘legal contradictions’ involving the mainland and the Isles. Zanzibar’ Education and Vocational Training Minister Ali Suleiman explained to the paper his government’s reasoning behind the hold of:,
‘We know that President Kikwete handed over university charters to several universities last month but Zanzibar’s universities were not there to receive theirs because, as far as we are concerned, the President of Zanzibar is the one supposed to present certificates of university charters to Zanzibar universities…It is true the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania states that higher education in the country is a Union matter. However, operating charters for universities based in Zanzibar are supposed to be handed over by the President of Zanzibar,” he said.
Is democracy still alive? The Daily News is reporting that CUF has decided against fielding a parliamentary candidate for the Muleba seat in Kagera and thrown its support to the CCM candidate Prof. Anna Tibaijuka, the former UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN-Habitat. Responding to some critics who have attacked the move as undemocratic, CUF Director of Political Affairs Mr. Mbarala Maharagande said that his party respects people of [such] high profile like Prof. Tibaijuka, regardless of their political affiliation. He went on to say that,
‘Our chairman, Prof. Ibrahim Lipumba, who is vying for the union presidency has refused to field a candidate in this constituency as a sign of respect to Prof. Prof. Tibaijuka. [He] knows her as a serious academic and diplomat…If you will elect Prof. Lipumba as a president, he will make sure that prof. Tibaijuka is in his cabinet. Our chairman has already pledged to form a government of national unity.’