Amb. Juma Mwapachu when he announced that he was returning to CCM

Amb. Juma Mwapachu when he announced that he was returning to CCM

Amb. Juma Mwapachu stunned many when he recently declared that he was re-joining CCM, after he quit last year following the controversial process of nominating the long ruling party’s presidential candidate in Dodoma. His preferred candidate, Edward Lowassa did not even make it into the top 5. Amb. Mwapachu went on to write scathing assessments of the process in Dodoma and unflinchingly declared in the many posts on social networks and op-eds that this country needed Lowassa to move forward.

When he made his u-turn, Amb. Mwapachu, said he made a mistake by abandoning CCM and following an individual that he realized now what “Party first, individual later” truly meant. He blamed his mistake on believing in a promise of being appointed a foreign affairs minister if it came to pass Lowassa won the Union presidency. This alleged promise does not appear anywhere in his writings towards the 2015 general election, instead he wrote as a man with conviction of the change in the air. He promised never to abandon the Party again, even if it makes mistake in picking a presidential candidate in the future. He attributed his change of heart to the work of President John Magufuli, saying he was wrong to think that he was not capable of changing this country.

It is not the first time Lowassa is abandoned in his political defeat.

There are two ways one can choose to interpret Amb. Mwapachu’s decisions and none of the two is a good place to be.

Amb. Mwapachu’s claims confirmed some of the rumors which circulated at that time leading to elections that those who followed Lowassa had been promised something in return for their support, and many leaders planned to abandon CCM for the opposition. When one considers the first case, Amb. Mwapachu is seen as an opportunist, a man whose conviction in the mantra of the elections in 2015, i.e. change, was non-existent. Through this prism, he would not have returned to CCM (or left it in the first place had Lowassa clinched the nomination), had Lowassa won the presidency.

Some in CCM have expressed their displeasure at his return, saying he is a “traitor”, one who should not be accepted back into the fold. One UVCCM leader went as far as to ask CCM national leader to even expel from the party those who welcomed Amb. Mwapachu. These see him as a man who should not be trusted.

In the second case, he vindicates the man he was “betraying”, Lowassa. In his resignation press conference, Dr Wilbrod Slaa said in assessing whether to accept or reject Lowassa they wanted to know whether he will be “an asset or a liability” to Chadema, and he promised that many leaders from CCM will decamp to the opposition.

These nameless individuals never crossed over, barring for a few individuals who had lost in the parliamentary primaries in CCM. Dr Slaa concluded Lowassa was no asset. Amb. Mwapachu argued that many who had promised to bandwagon with Lowassa did not, and that there are those who still hold high positions today. This means Lowassa told the truth when he said many will follow him. Unfortunately he was deserted when the hour came to pass.

I wonder whether he saw the irony in all this.

Somewhere between the two versions is the truth. He might have lied or told the truth when he left CCM last year, and vice versa is true when he returned to his political home.

One of the legacies of the political events of 2015 was bringing to fore the faults in our ideology-less political parties, i.e. politicians choose political parties not for their political ideologies but for the promise of wealth and power.

Emmanuel is an Editor with WeWrite, and a consultant on political affairs with Quick Consultancy E.A Ltd can be reached through and 0763379122


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