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Co-Chairman and NCCR-Mageuzi National Chairman
Tanzania Centre for Democracy
For his part, the Ukawa co-chairman James Mbatia said that Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) bowed to pressure from the government by suspending the Isles presidential results after learning that the opposition had won.
But even if it were true that there were such massive irregularities that forced ZEC to annul the whole electoral process that was reason enough to question the credibility of the Union presidential polls that were cast in the same stations in Zanzibar. "The Union Presidential election results are meaningless because ZEC which is a governmental body has cancelled the Zanzibar presidential polls which is one part of the same country," he said.
Responding to the accusations before journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Ukawa co-chairman and NCCR-Mageuzi national Chairman James Mbatia said Dr Slaa was the mastermind behind Lowassa's defection to Chadema.
"Chadema did not direct Lowassa to think of joining Chadema only if he was brought along 20 CCM regional chairpersons, 50 CCM Members of Parliament and 88 CCM district chairpersons, as claimed by Dr Slaa," said Mbatia. Responding to the claim, Mbatia said: "We didn't have any written document on the number of CCM followers contemplating joining Ukawa... But we are happy because we have already received many of them as a result of Lowassa's crossing over to Chadema." Mbatia also noted that it was seven years since Lowassa resigned as PM following the Richmond emergency power generation scandal, like Lowassa himself wondering why no legal action had been taken on the matter until now. Turning to Dr Slaa's "baseless claims" that religious leaders received between 60m/- to 300m/- from Lowassa, Mbatia said the plan there was to drive a wedge between Chadema faithful and clerics. Mbatia wondered why Dr Slaa did not alert police if indeed there was an attempt to offer him a 500 million/- bribe "so that he could help defuse the Richmond saga in 2008".
Commenting on the handover ceremony slated for today in the country's capital, Mbatia said his party together with other parties forming Ukawa have not been invited.
As such, he said Ukawa is not aware of the content of today's ceremony and so it cannot comment on it. "Neither Ukawa nor my party (Chadema) has been invited so we don't know what is going on," he said in brief. Speaking to The Guardian yesterday over a telephone interview, Ukawa Co- Chairman James Mbatia said the coalition 'trusts' in the resolution reached between TCD and President Kikwete. Mbatia who is also the National Chairman for NCCR-Mageuzi went on to explain that the agreement reached between President Kikwete and TCD to halt the Constitution review process was due to the fact that Tanzania does not have a permanent voters' register to facilitate the referendum process. Mbatia also revealed that Chadema together with other opposition parties forming Ukawa have not been invited to the handover ceremony today. "Neither Ukawa nor my party (Chadema) has been invited so we don't know what is going on," he said.
Vonjo Parliamentary Seat candidates James Mbatia of NCCR-Mageuzi
Vonjo Parliamentary Seat candidates James Mbatia of NCCR-Mageuzi and Augustino Mrema of the Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) visited the police post where they saw the three suspects.
Meanwhile, NCCR-Mageuzi National Chairman, James Mbatia, said responsible authorities and the Minister for Transport should be held accountable since the accident resulted from poor road infrastructure.