By Athuman Mtulya
Dar es Salaam — Former Information minister Nape Nnauye yesterday asked President John Magufuli to form an independent commission of inquiry to probe into the escalating acts of kidnap and torture in the country.
Addressing his Mtama constituents at a rally for the first time since he was sacked late last month from the cabinet position, Mr Nnauye said the situation was getting out of hand. The event was beamed live by online media platforms.
He said to arrest the situation and clear away a cloud of fear that is slowly creeping into the hearts and minds of Tanzanians, the commission should be formed to uncover the truth behind the abductions and report back to the Head of State for appropriate action.
According to Mr Nnauye, the incidents that the commission should probe include the disappearance of Chadema cadre Ben Saanane, the night raid on Clouds Media Group (CMG) studios and the alleged kidnapping of hip-hop star Roma Mkatoliki and his colleagues who were, however, ‘found’ yesterday.
“This is my humble advice to my President, because all these heinous acts are creating public hatred against him. People are starting to believe that the goons who are perpetrating these acts are sent by him,” said Mr Nnauye. “For my President to stay away from this hatred, he should form the commission and let the truth be known and the culprits punished according to the laws of the land.”
“A person can’t just disappear like a fly. Worse enough, those who are doing these things are the ones with the responsibility of protecting the people and their property. Now Tanzanians live in fear, once they step outside their homes they are not sure if they will return safe and alive. When it reaches a point when the people cannot trust their government with their security, then that government is doomed.”
The youthful lawmaker suggested that if the President finds this approach difficult to implement, then Parliament, as an independent pillar of the State, must take the responsibility and act accordingly.
According to him, the attacks also hurt the image of the ruling party, CCM, in the public eyes.
“We are all CCM members here, aren’t we? Aren’t people angry against the party for letting these gangsters act in a manner that is alien to our country? People in the streets are talking and if we don’t arrest these events, then CCM will have a difficult time in the 2020 elections,” he said. “Again, I humbly advise him (Dr Magufuli) as my party chairman to distance CCM from the growing anger directed at him, and the only way to do so is by letting the truth out.” He also said, internationally, the good image of Tanzania as a beacon of peace would suffer if the government is not going to put an end to such acts of abductions.
“The world is like a village nowadays. What is going on in the country is reported throughout the world, and this happens instantly. We should arrest this situation before the international community isolates us for not upholding the rule of law.”
Wearing a brave face, Mr Nnauye told his voters that he was ready to die for speaking the truth.
“Drawing a pistol on me is just like killing me, so I’m ready to face death. It is very possible that these goons are above police. If the minister for Home Affairs says that the guy who drew a pistol on me is not a police officer and nothing has so far been done against him, then that means police do not have a clearance to arrest him. Therefore, if we are to leave the matter in their hands [police], this will get us nowhere.”
Mr Nnauye said he joined CCM not because his father (the late Brigadier Moses Nnauye) was a cadre, but because of the party’s ideology including standing for truth.
“I campaigned day and night for CCM to win in 2015 because I believed the country would be safe in CCM hands.”
“I continue to believe that the country will continue to be safe as long as Tanzanians, especially the youth will choose to be strong and stand for the truth without fear. If one commits an error, no matter how big it is we should tell him that he or she has erred. Failure to do so, we will be committing a sin that will torment us and our next generations.”
The firebrand politician had earlier received a traditional hero’s welcome whereby lined up women sleeping on their bellies let him walk on their backs just like how a home returning triumphant king was treated in the old days.
Mr Nnauye was sacked after receiving a damning report by the committee that he had formed to probe the night raid on Clouds Media studios by the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner who was accompanied by some armed officers. Following the report, the media has slapped the RC with a media blackout.
Mr Nnauye told his voters that his sacking was not a big deal, and that the President had full constitutional powers to appoint whoever he wanted as minister or to drop them.
Additional report by Mwanja Ibadi in Mtama.