Dar es Salaam. Yesterday’s retirement of Mr Abdulrahman Kinana as CCM’s Secretary General opens the door to President John Magufuli to complete his lineup for the party’s top secretariat leadership.
The co-option into the ruling party’s powerful Central Committee (CC) of former Prime Minister Peter Mizengo Pinda and ex-East African Legislative Assembly member Makongoro Nyerere is an indication of what type of lineup may be expected.
President Magufuli who is CCM’s national chairman is expected after today’s CC meeting to unveil the line-up of the new team to be tasked with the responsibility of steering the party as it charts a new chapter ahead of the local government elections next year and the General Election in 2020.
All eyes will be on who will be picked to succeed Mr Kinana who has been hailed as one of the most effective and successful Secretaries General. The names of Pinda, Makongoro and the minister for home affairs Mwigulu Nchemba have been bandied around as possible candidates to assume the SG’s influential mandate. But with a knack to throw in a surprise, President Magufuli may unveil his would be secretary general from outside CCM’s rank and file.
It was expected that the lineup of the new leadership would be finalised last night in time for the CC meeting today. Lack of a quorum among members of the CC meant its sitting was preceded by NEC to approve Dr Magufuli’s pick to fill the vacancies.
NEC which convened at State House yesterday finally endorsed Mr Pinda, Makongoro and Bongo flava artiste, Ms Khadija Shabani Taya alias Keisha as new CC members from the mainland.
New CC members from Zanzibar are; Afadhali Taibu Afadhali, Kombo Hassan Juma and Lailah Burhan Ngozi.
President Magufuli said he had accepted Kinana’s decision to step aside after many months of reluctance to let him go.
“I am satisfied with his work and now accepts his request to step aside,” President Magufuli told the NEC members. He said now it was the time for another person to take up the role.
In his remarks, Mr Kinana thanked CCM top leaders for recognising that it was time for him to take a bow. Mr Kinana served as secretary general since 2012, when he replaced, Mr Wilson Mukama who had succeeded, Mr Yusuf Makamba.
He was made popular with countrywide campaigns to cleanse the party at a time when it faced huge challenges over corruption, unsatisfactory public service delivery and an apposition that was growing from strength to strength with each election cycle.
Kinana’s campaign was credited for landing CCM victory in Kikwete’s second and final term as president and also in the campaigns that ushered in Dr Magufuli.
Kinana campaigned for strong party institutions and a strong parliament capable of holding the government accountable.
He was part of the CCM reforms that were endorsed early last year that saw CC members reduced to 24 from 34. The CCM would also now sit three times in a year instead of six times.
The number of NEC members was also slashed by over half, from 388 to 158 and that the organs holds its ordinary meetings twice a year, down from three times.