Saturday, 25 February 2017

Should CCM Be Worried About Wema Sepetu’s Move To CHADEMA

Former President Jakaya Kikwete signed condolence message in connection with the death of a seasoned diplomat and politician, Ambassador Isaac Sepetu in 2003.

The Family of late Ambassador Isaac sepetu left CCM after long years in the ruling party. During his life time, Ambassador Sepetu occupied various senior positions in the government, among them was that of Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in the First Phase Government and Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism in the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government in the 1970’s.
He was also appointed as Minister of State, economy and Planning, in the Zanzibar government under Dr Salmin Amour in the 1990’s.
He also represented Tanzania as ambassador in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the former United Soviet Socialist Republics, the current Russia.
Ambassador Sepetu will be laid to rest on Wednesday in Zanzibar at Mbozini area, according to the spokesperson of the family, Aman Isaac Sepetu.

Earlier today, the former beauty queen and actress Wema Sepetu, took over the internet. Social media circles were lit.Hot.She announced that her days as a loyal cadre of the ruling party, CCM, were over. She is joining the main opposition party, CHADEMA.
The move wasn’t entirely surprising. The writings were on the wall. I saw them. It was a matter of time. Through her Instagram account, she had hinted. She was no longer smiling in green and yellow attires. She felt betrayed.

The straw that broke the camel’s back came after she was named among those suspected of dealing drugs. The war on drugs that has now turned to be one of the biggest political witch-hunts had landed her in hot water. While few bought the allegations, the damage was done. She was labeled a drug dealer and user. She spent seven days behind bars.
By the time she saw the daylight, people who surrounded her were members of the opposition either through alliance or inclination. There were lawyers ready to work pro-Bono for her case. Her ruling class elite that she helped getting elected were nowhere to be seen. She was experiencing first hand the out of life experience.  Her A-list “friends” were throwing jabs in the dark but not in public. They are paralyzed.
Naturally, friends in need are friends indeed. Members of the opposition camp were there for her. It is, therefore, logic for her to join the camp. We all know how hard she worked in the last election alongside the current Vice President. She used her star power to pull crowds. She toured the nation selling her soul and the policies of the ruling party. While it’s not easy to know how many of those crowd members turned out to vote, it’s clear that she worked hard for the ruling party. She was loyal.
But what does Wema’s departure from CCM mean? While it’s easy to brush off her departure from CCM as a temporary media frenzy, anyone who follows politics close wouldn’t dwell into that assumption or assurance. Wema knows which side one’s bread is buttered on. She knows the ropes. It’s why she is who she is. She could be the tipping point.
Like it or not, Wema is a popular figure. She is a strong woman too. The number of public meltdowns and attacks that she has confronted so far can make anyone else’s head swim. To put it into perspective, she has over 2.6 million followers on her Instagram account. That is more than President Magufuli, CCM, and all his public cabinet members combined. I know, not all of them are from Tanzania or are involved in politics. But 2.3 million are not aliens. They live somewhere on this earth. They know people who know people.

Politics is all about people. Democratic politics are about people voting for people. Any smart politician can not underestimate the power of numbers. Win or loose, Wema will push some crowd to CHADEMA.
Most important, Wema’s move is courageous. If anything is lacking in our political atmosphere right now is COURAGE. There’s unfounded fear that if you join the opposition, you are technically declared the enemy of the state. Your life will never be the same. You will be bankrupt sooner than later. If you oppose the ruling party, you will suffer. The fear and intimidation tactics are in full swing. Just listen to the speeches and pay attention to the number of times you hear words like jail, suffering, etc.
Her move to CHADEMA could be the symbolic message that the opposition needs right now. It’s the message of COURAGE. She has conquered that “unfounded” fear. I can assure you; she will instill that confidence to a lot of young people who have seen their dreams running towards a different direction day after day. What was crafted as the final nail on her coffin, is actually working to her advantage right now. What doesn’t kill you,can only make you stronger.
In her Press Conference, Wema said a bunch of things. I think some of what she said could determine what it all means. There was a tone that the fundamental human rights are infringed or threatened. There’s significant air of fear of unknown. Of course, the ruling party would refute such claims. But tell that to someone who spent seven days behind bars for alleged “investigations.”
The questions we need to ask ourselves are many. How many out there feels the same way she felt? How many feel that their rights to freedom of speech are under unprecedented threat?  How many believes the promises of the industrial revolution are real and not just mere promises? How many can stand up and claim they are now better off than they were four years ago? How many can confidently say they are optimistic about the future? How many can confidently say the country is heading towards the right direction? If all the above answers can be not be answered quick and firmly towards the positive side, then something is wrong somewhere. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
CCM needs not to worry. CCM needs to think. They have been here before. They have experienced the departure of more popular and stronger cadres than Wema.They could even label and dismiss her grievances to be “personal.” But are they just personal? Out of 10 youth, for example, how many feels like she does? Is CCM still the party of the underdogs? How? That should form the basis of food for thoughts. It’s never too late.
Her supporters, fans, and followers, may not follow Wema Sepetu right away. They may even not even bother to put it into perspective. But they’re listening. They’re paying attention. What goes around, comes around. Today it could happen to Wema Sepetu. Do you know tomorrow? Malcolm Gladwell wrote a great book titled The Tipping Point (How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference). It can happen anywhere and to or through anyone. She could be the tipping point. Maybe not right away, but somewhere down the road.
Sauce Bongocelebrity.

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