MHESHIMIWA Mpendazoe’s move to the opposition last week provided the kind of thought-nourishment that is somewhat rare in our country. In a political landscape where change normally comes in the shape of rhetoric rather than action, it was something of a shocker to see a Mheshimiwa leave behind all the trappings of a dominant ruling party to join an outfit which is still largely considered a grey area. I hope he does not regret jumping ship.
As many of us know too well, it is a cruel world out there with sharks lurking everywhere.
The Kishapu MP’s move to CCJ not only managed to ‘shock’ his party colleagues but also provided insightful updates on the state of the ruling party and how our country is being governed (or mis-governed). Had it not been for Mheshimiwa Mpendazoe’s generosity, I would never have guessed how important Sheikh Yahya (the predictor) is to my life. Kumbe Sheikh Yahya is the real president of my country?
During his press conference, a highly charged Mpendazoe revealed that State House operations rely religiously on Sheikh Yahya’s predictions. If that is true, then it is the harshest indictment yet on the current leadership, considering that it started out as one of the most popular this country has ever had. For millions of Tanzanians who believe Tanzania is losing direction, the pieces are finally falling into place.
If it is true that folks at State House hang on every word the good Sheikh utters and rely on his ‘prophecy’ as if their very lives depend on it, then we are done as a country. If indeed this man is that important to President Kikwete’s leadership, it explains why we’re in a deep sticky mess.
It also implies that the Sheikh’s outrageous ‘predictions’ about the president’s ‘invincibility’ and the ‘doubts clouding’ this year’s general elections are mere tokens of appeasement to his benefactors.
As such, all the imbeciles who believe in his ‘predictions’ like sheep should wake up and smell the coffee. If you are among those who take Mzee Yahya’s word that this year’s elections might never happen, then I suggest you see a shrink.
Besides revealing Sheikh Yahya’s role in government, Mpendazoe gave us a glimpse of the state of affairs in the ruling party. Thanks to him, we know now that the level of mistrust within the party is palpable. We are now aware that, during his days in the ruling party, if Mheshimiwa Mpendazoe walked into a room full of cobras and a single CCM member, his first impulse would be to get rid of the CCM member by hitting him on the head with a big stick before considering what to do with the reptiles.
He also told us that if you happen to be a CCM member who happens to be having a drink with a colleague from the mama party, you should never make the mistake of leaving your drink with him. But if you ever made that mistake, be sure to order a new one immediately you return as you may never know what the fellow slipped into your drink while you were away.
Of course the best option for one who minds the bill is to carry your precious drink to the toilet, or wherever you’re going, to avoid wasting money on new drinks whenever you make a trip to the washrooms.
However, casting CCM's hatred aside, Mpendazoe’s act of ditching a goldmine in preference of a hovel leaves many questions unanswered. The truth is that we are yet to get used to politicians who listen to their conscience; especially those who are fully aware that their acts of nobility could lead to career suicide.
It is obvious that many Tanzanians are still trying to figure out CCJ. They are wondering whether this new outfit is the same splinter party which was supposed to shake the foundations of the ‘mama’ party; whether it is the same one that sent chills down the spines of CCM’s stalwarts when rumours about it broke out several moths ago. So far, CCJ has appeared as a pale shadow of its original imagined version, thereby making it unattractive for any serious big fish.
Going by the assumption that CCJ is still a shell, there is speculation that either the Kishapu MP opted for it after falling out with CCM’s ruling elite or he is being used by CCJ’s ‘real owners’ as a pole for gauging the depth of public belief in the new party.
When giving his opinion on Mpendazoe’s decision to quit CCM, the MP for Maswa, John Shibuda, observed that when a church member clashes with the bishop, it does not necessarily mean that he has clashed with the church. The dissatisfied member of the congregation, therefore, continues to attend mass as usual. He said that only when a Muslim faithful clashes with his Sheikh does he clash with Islam.
Is it possible then that Mheshimiwa Mpendazoe fell out with the party’s bishop and therefore saw his life, as a member of the ruling party, as untenable under such circumstances?
On the other hand, if Mpendazoe is being used as a gauge for public reaction is he a big enough stimulation to get the real big fish moving to the new outfit? Mightn’t it have been more fitting if like-minded politicians had moved to the new party em masse like a troop of migrating wildebeest?
Mheshimiwa Mpendazoe had better hope that others join him soon, otherwise he is dead in the water. If his handlers’ expectations of a positive public reaction are not met soon, then Mheshimiwa might have been given a rope to commit suicide. He could simply have been used as a lab rat.
If the Kishapu MP decided to join CCJ on his own free volition, then he might have jumped the gun. He could as well have emptied a full round of ammunition into his brain.
However, when all is said and done, we have to take our hats off for Mheshimiwa Mpendazoe for his courage. We hope that his move will not be in vain and that it can inspire others to always stand by their principles.
Mheshimiwa’s move has given us a glimpse of the kind of politicians who will (if they ever will) troop to CCJ.