Date : 17 December 2015
Dr Ibrahim Lipumba was Chairman of the Civic United Front party from 1995 until August 2015; he resigned when Edward Lowassa was chosen as the candidate for Chadema in the October 25th presidential election, meaning that he would also be the candidate for the Union of Opposition Parties (Umoja wa Katiba ya Wananchi – Ukawa) which had agreed to put up a single candidate. Dr Lipumba has a PhD in economics from Stanford University, and a parallel career as an economist and consultant.
Prof Lipumba was in London to speak at a conference organised by the Africa Research Institute on elections and democracy in Africa. We were pleased that he was able to join us for a wide-ranging discussion the following day.
Not surprisingly, given that CUF has its strongest representation there, Zanzibar was the focus of much of the presentation. Professor Lipumba was also very warm about President Magufuli, and especially his appointment of Augustine Mahiga as Minister of Foreign Affairs. There was a clap in the room when he announced that the head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau had resigned. The position is Zanzibar is untenable – he presented detailed evidence that CUF had won the elections in Zanzibar. He was not clear how the situation would be resolved, but he hoped that it would be along the lines of the Warioba Commission proposals, with the October 2015 results accepted as valid in the meantime.