Ukawa presidential candidate, Edward Lowassa, has told police to stay away from politics ahead of the October General Election, saying their unnecessary intervention was inciting violence.
Lowassa said police should avoid taking orders from CCM leaders “who are using them to harass the opposition”.
“I would like to urge police to stop harassing the opposition. If they continue this way, we will take them to the International Criminal Court,” he is quoted by The Citizen as saying.
Police used tear gas to disperse people who had turned up in big numbers to receive the Chadema and Ukawa flag-bearer at Mwanza International Airport on Sunday.
Lowassa said police must be fair to the people and the opposition.
“I am telling you today, if you continue this way, we will file a case at The Hague after the October General Election.”
Mr Lowassa said people want change and that CCM should be prepared for that in October 25.
“I feel sorry for those who despise the power of the people, your presence here sends a clear message to CCM that people are ready for change,” he said.
Supports new constitution
Lowassa also said he supports the proposed new constitution as drafted by the Judge Joseph Warioba-led Constitution Review Commission.
He said if elected president in the October polls, he would move fast to bring to fruition the dream by Tanzanians to have a new constitution as captured by the people-driven commission.
The former Prime Minister who recently defected from CCM to Chadema said support for the Warioba Draft Constitution was one of the agreements in Ukawa—the opposition coalition under which he would contest the presidency.
“We don’t need to continue supporting the proposed new constitution that wasn’t the choice of the people.”
Before his defection, Lowassa went for a CCM ticket but was locked out early at the first stage in a contest that was won by works minister John Pombe Magufuli.
The former PM will now have a chance to square it out with his erstwhile party colleague at the ballot.
While in CCM, Mr Lowassa backed the proposed new constitution as re-drafted by the Constituent Assembly (CA).
Ukawa which has since metamorphosed into a political movement drew support from groups that were against the “dilution” of the Judge Warioba Draft Katiba.
The main sticking points that divided the CA included the type of Union government, with CCM rooting for the current two-government system while the largely opposition members wanted three.
Lowassa declared that Zanzibar would be given full autonomy under a new Union structure under his government.
Seif Shariff Hamad is running for the Zanzibar presidency for the fourth time with the Civic United Front ticket.
Hamad who is the First Vice President under the Government of National Unity (GNU), said the first step towards realising a new and prosperous Tanzania was to vote the Opposition into power.
“If you elect me and Hamad, you will see how fast this country develops. It will not be business as usual because with all our resource endowment we still lag behind small countries and are trailing behind all our EAC partners in the poverty alleviation drive,” Lowassa noted.
He reiterated his warning against attempts to interfere with the elections in October, saying there was little else that could stop the public from voting out CCM that has ruled the country for more than 50 years.
“CCM’s time is over. There is no one who will stop the people desire to bring change now,” said Lowassa.
Haji, on the other hand, said CCM should be ready to accept defeat and learn from the history of other independent parties that have since fallen by the wayside. He cited Russia, Ukraine and Egypt.
Haji, a former CUF member and health minister in Zanzibar’s GNU asked President Jakaya Kikwete and his Zanzibar counterpart to prevail against the use of armed forces and other security personnel in the elections.
“My brother and friend Kikwete; please ensure you leave this country peaceful as you found it because there is no way that CCM can be saved now,” he said, noting that a gang calling itself Janjaweed in the Isle was terrorising perceived opposition supporters.