Chadema Secretary General, Dr. Wilbrod Slaa

The opposition CHADEMA has been passing hats around, during its campaign rallies, asking people to contribute money apparently to fund the party’s ongoing campaign rallies, claiming that they have to raise funds from the people themselves because unlike their CCM rivals, CHADEMA ‘has no money!’

Eye witnesses say many people have been responding to the appeals, dropping wads of bills into the containers that are usually being passed around at every conclusion of political rallies held by CHADEMA, featuring their candidate, Mr Joshua Nassari.

It is still not known if the money being contributed by people of  Meru will be taken into account when the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) demand the parties’ election expenses reports at the end of the by-election, early next month. The Registrar of political parties, Mr John Tendwa, had previously pointed out that contesting parties and their candidates must not spend over 50 m/- for campaigns leading to the April 1 by-elections in Meru East constituency.

“Imagine these people flying in using helicopters and before leaving, they ask you to give them money, have you ever paused to ask how much does it take to fuel, fly and service a helicopter?” asked Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, the CCM’s campaigns front man, while addressing residents of Nambala Village.

Mr Nchemba derided CHADEMA saying they were taking Meru people for fools. “I mean if they were cash constrained, how on earth can they afford to fly helicopters, use long convoys of vehicles and set themselves up in posh hotels?” asked Mr Nchemba at the campaign rally in Meru.

After making ‘spell-binding’ sky-diving shows during the initial campaign rallies in Meru, CHADEMA’s blue chopper seems to have flown away for good, either fearing verbal attacks from CCM or running out of fuel. Mr Steven Wassira, member of the ruling CCM’s  Central Committee, stated here that he was surprised on how leaders of local opposition parties keep accusing CCM officials of corruption without first looking themselves in the mirror.

Joining his party’s series of campaigns in peddling their candidate, Mr Siyoi Sumari, Mr Wassira said if all skeletons were to come out of the opposition parties’ closets, none of them will be left standing. “Take Dr Wilbroad Slaa, the CHADEMA Secretary General for instance, do you know how much funds he squandered during the former Catholic Sovereign, the late Pope John Paul II official visit to Tanzania in the early nineties,” asked Mr Wassira.

During the time of the Holy Father’s tour of Tanzania (1990), Dr Wilbroad Slaa was still within the Catholic Church’s flock holding the post of Secretary General for the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, a position he served between 1985 and 1991.

By MARK NKWAME, Tanzania Daily News

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