Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli will assume the leadership of the ruling party as chairman in June, it was finally confirmed yesterday.
President Magufuli’s predecessor Jakaya Kikwete will hand over the mantle of CCM’s leadership, a year into the party’s elections in 2017. This would be in keeping with the tradition set when former President Benjamin Mkapa also quit the position early for Mr Kikwete.
The remainder of the party’s top positions will be contested for in the 2017 elections in which it is expected that a new brand of leaders will be chosen to spearhead extensive reforms which have been hinted to by secretary general Abdulrahman Kinana.
The intra-party changes will be tailored to position CCM with the current political realities and also match the huge accountability and transparency expectations of President Magufuli. The new President has openly castigated the party, accusing some of its memberships of being corrupt. It is expected that Dr Magufuli will want to assume leadership of the party with a clean line-up.
Mr Kinana who revealed the switch yesterday said the reason for Mr Kikwete to hand over the chairmanship early was to conform with the dictates of changing regimes. He was speaking at the party’s headquarters in Dar es Salaam where he introduced Mr Christopher ole Sendeka, the former MP for Simanjiro, as the new CCM spokesperson. He takes over the role from Nape Nnauye, who was named minister in President Magufuli’s government. The minister however retains the ideology role until after the 2017 party elections.
In another development, Mr Kinana said the party will ponder an appeal by some members who have questioned the rationale of accepting back those who had decamped during the 2015 General Election. He was responding to recent criticism levelled against officials who received back into CCM the former EAC secretary general Juma Mwapachu who had abandoned the party to support former premier Edward Lowassa’s presidential bid on an opposition ticket.
“The party’s current regulations and constitution allow that if you leave the party you can rejoin it without being ostracized by any group but due to emerging circumstances we have seen that there is a need for putting in place a regulation to govern such a scenario,” he said.