Dar es Salaam. CHADEMA national chairperson Freeman Mbowe on Sunday rallied supporters of the centre-right political party to register with it and become members, saying the party’s strength lies in how many members it has across Tanzania.
Mr Mbowe was speaking during a rally in Mkendo grounds in Musoma, Mara, the next stop in CHADEMA’s series of public rallies that the party launched on Saturday in Mwanza. The party will organise another rally in Tarime, Mara region on Monday.
“As a party, CHADEMA is expecting to have card-carrying members of not less than 10 million before the general election of 2025,” Mr Mbowe said during the rally. “We cannot reach that target if we are not registering. It is important that we massively register and become members of the party.”
In April 2021, CHADEMA launched an electronic system for raising funds and recruiting members.
Apart from letting the party knows exactly how many its members are across the country, the system, called e-membership, is aimed at supporting the party financially through mobile payments and paying for membership cards online.
“We have come here in thousands to attend this rally but how many of you have registered to become members of the party?” Mr Mbowe asked the rally-goers.
“Telling from the hands raised, it’s just a quarter of people gathered here are actual members of the party. It has to change,” he said.
“I want everyone who has not joined the party to do so today so that we can build a strong army of liberation because politics is all about numbers and you’re the numbers,” Mr Mbowe told his listeners.
While thankful for the lifting of a ban against opposition rallies by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Mr Mbowe said that it is important to have a country that is governed by the rule of law and not by the whims of the rulers.
“Our country must be governed by the rule of the law and not by the whims of the rulers,” Mr Mbowe said during the rally. “This leader comes and bans political rallies and that leader comes and lifts the ban.”
It is for this reason that Mr Mbowe said CHADEMA is demanding the New Constitution that will not only cement the rule of law in Tanzania but will also build a culture of respecting the contract existing between the governors and the governed.
Mr Mbowe lauded its ongoing engagements with the government and the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) to seek reconciliation but warned against being complacent, emphasizing the need to “keep up the fight.”
“There is no reason for being complacent,” he said. “Because what we demand is our right and we have to do so with all our forces.”
Mr Mbowe said he cannot stress enough the importance of building the institution of the party, singling out party membership as a key component of that process.