LAZARO Nyalandu, former minister of Natural Resources and Tourism resigned from the ruling Chama cha Mapinuzi (CCM), vacating whatever other positions he may have had in the party.
The daring act of the dashing young man of 47 years has sent tongues wagging countrywide. What those tongues have said have filled me with surprise as it has disappointed others.
I say Nyalandu’s act is daring because he said his reason for quitting CCM was his discontent with the party that started ruling the country over fifty years ago, long before he was born.
Nyalandu has enjoyed fully the freedom with which his CCM party of yester years has always led the country. I was immensely impressed with his bold comment that CCM has often times interfered with the functions of the nations other two pillars of Parliament and Judiciary.
I was impressed by that comment because the President of the nation comes from that party. In other words, Nyalandu might as well just become frank and say Magufuli is a tyrant under whose government the other state’s pillars of power are toothless.
Other disaffected politicians have been more blunt than that and called President John Magufuli a dictator. But in a dictatorship such a political move and comment are hardly tolerable.
Reporter at Large has gathered comments saying that were President Magufuli’s government a dictatorship the exSingida North MP would not anymore be so much at large. However, now that Nyalandu has no partisan assignments, nor ministerial one, he is freer than a molecule.
Things are elephant! Arguments which have raided the privacy of my ears have said that Nyalandu has done no wrong by making public his reasons for quitting the ruling CCM. Some say, as a Tanzanian in a democratic country, Nyalandu has the right join or not join a political party.
The CCM Ideological and Publicity Secretary Humphrey Polepole responded to Nyalandu’s exodus in the same note and with a rare calmness. “Nyalandu has freedom to leave CCM and join any political party of his own choice,” said Polepole.
“That is his right and there is nothing wrong in that.” Polepole’s answer may have cushioned well the political punch Nyalandu might have intended to throw with his departure from CCM. I was not shocked with Po lepole’s self-control.
With experience of 56 years at the nation’s political throne, the sole master in the country’s politics most of that time and then leader in a multiparty state for over 20 years, it is not surprising that CCM knows well how best to handle such political pit holes.
It has in its leadership a team of astute generals, hence Polepole’s unruffled response. Reporter at Large has learned one big thing, however. There is a nagging question. What did Nyalandu want to achieve by his sudden departure from CCM?
Obviously he has always known that CCM is the strongest party in whose governments he went to school and even flew abroad to study at Wartburg College, University of Buckingham in the US.
The fact that the ex-Singida North MP represented that constituency for close to two decades under the CCM flag, raises a smarting question as to why really he decided to jump ship to the opposition, now widely rumoured to be Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA).
Wartburg College he went to is a four-year liberal arts college of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As a Christian at heart, he may have gone for studies abroad with a missionary scholarship.
By his name and education’s history, given the Evangelical Lutheran Church where he studied, Nyalandu must be not only an ardent Christian, but truly a strong believer as well.
So why, sincerely, did he quit CCM after his marriage to the party for more than 20 years? He must have learnt in his religion that you can move a mountain, say Kilimanjaro, if you have faith.
His religion teaches that faith in God provides one with immense powers Replying to his disciples’ request one day, Jesus said: “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘be uprooted and planted in the sea’ and it will obey you.”
Nyalandu’s departure from CCM is today the topical talk, placing him on some valiant throne. As I left the train just the other day after being part of audience to a heated talk about Nyalandu’political adventure, a man remarked: “Let them not belittle Nyalandu’s departure from CCM for I hear he heralds an exodus of the party’s giants.”
There is something some agitated politicians forget. The ruling CCM has developed a callous political skin against threats. It has had a long political journey in this nation. It has gone up hills, down slippery valleys, across swamps and marshlands.
It has stepped on thorns and nails and knows well when and where to wear boots or slippers. Budi Mohamed Budi, a fishmonger in Gongo la Mboto, Dar es Salaam, sums it all in a sentence. “All the silent political maneuvers and partisan cold wars notwithstanding, we want the longstanding peace in our country to remain undisturbed.”