TZ opposition leader steps down

I'M OUT: Prof. Ibrahim Lipumba

I’M OUT: Prof. Ibrahim Lipumba of the Civic United Front (CUF)

Two before October general election, Civic United Front (CUF) party National Chairman, and the Co-founder of the opposition Coalition of Peoples Constitution (UKAWA), Prof Nguyuru Ibrahim Haruna Lipumba has resigned as his party chairman and from the coalition.

His abrupt resignation has sent shock waves in his party and UKAWA coalition but brings to end two-day long speculation and rumors that he was either defecting to another party or quitting politics.

“This uncertainty has to come to an end,” he told the press conference in Dar es Salaam Thursday.

Lipumba (63) tendered in his resignation barely days after UKAWA nominated former ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi heavyweight and the country’s ex-Prime Minister Edward Lowassa as their flag bearer in the October general poll.

Ukawa is made up of four political parties Chadema, CUF, NCCR-Mageuzi and NLD.

Addressing reporters, Prof Lipumba said his decision follows the fact that the co-founders of the coalition had violated terms and reference regarding its establishment.

“The chief reason for forming this alliance was to join forces to defend people’s opinion on the proposed constitution … It’s unfortunate that the very people who were against our mission are now welcomed to join the alliance.” He stated

He said after his resignation he will now turn into working as a professional consultant in economic development issues.

There had been mixed-signal reports indicating Lipumba would resign, but others dispelled rumoured resignation as wishful thinking.

Prof Lipumba has been CUF national chairman for two decades, (1995-2015).

Born 6 June 1952, Lipumba is a Tanzanian economist and a politician. He is well known in the country’s political arena.

He holds a doctorate in Economics from Stanford University and he is prominent scholar. He has been a University Professor both in the United States and at home.

Lipumba has also been a freelance economist; he was an Economic adviser to the Ugandan government in the late 80s to early 90s.

He has contested every presidential election in Tanzania since the country instituted a multiparty system in the early 1990s. In the first election in 1995, he placed third and won 6.43 percent of the vote. He finished second behind incumbent President Benjamin Mkapa in 2000, capturing 16.26percent of the vote.

 

Running again as the CUF presidential candidate in 2005 , Lipumba again finished second to Jakaya Kikwete of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party winning 11.68 percent of the vote.

In 2010, he came in third after CCM’s Kikwete and CHADEMA’s Wilbroad Peter Slaa.

Meanwhile, CUF Secretary General Maalim Seif has called for an emergency meeting between the Executive committee and CUF national council on August 9 to deliberate on the future of the party after Lipumba’s sudden departure.

 

In a statement, CUF says it respects the decision of the chairman to resign and that it will not withdraw its membership from the opposition coalition.

Up until the arrival of Edward Lowassa in UKAWA, Professor Lipumba was one of the favourites to clinch the opposition coalition’s nomination.