CCM crowd swells as Chokala joins the queue for nomination

Friday June 19 2015

Former diplomat and presidential press

Former diplomat and presidential press secretary Patrick Chokala announces his entry into the CCM nomination race in Dar es Salaam yesterday. PHOTO |CORRESPONDENT 

By The Citizen Correspondent

Dar es Salaam. Former diplomat Patrick Chokala is the latest person to announce he will seek CCM’s nomination to vie for the union presidency in this year’s General Election.

Mr Chokala, a former ambassador to Russia, said yesterday he had what it takes to lead the country.

He told journalists yesterday that he was banking on the party’s election manifesto to elaborate on what he would do for the nation.

Mr Chokala, who also served as press secretary to former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Benjamin Mkapa, said he was willing to lead an economically independent nation, free from poverty and internal conflicts, adding he would work towards ensuring that all Tanzanians benefited from resources found in the country.

He said Tanzania had a geographic advantage that it could use to improve the lives of its people.

“We need a government that will take power to the people so that they can have the motivation required to participate in development activities.”

Mr Chokala said he would establish a system that would enable the elderly to get free health care.

“I have worked in government for a long time and I know the State House more than anybody else in the race because I worked there for over 15 years,” he said.

Mr Chokala joins over 30 hopefuls who are seeking CCM’S nomination to vie for the presidency.

It is the second time Mr Chokala is trying his luck after missing out on nomination in 2005. The ticket went to Mr Jakaya Kikwete, who eventually registered a landslide win. Mr Chokala served as the deputy head of mission in Nigeria in the early 1980s before being appointed by Mr Mwinyi as his press secretary.

He also served as a director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was appointed ambassador to Russia, where he worked for eight years before retiring in 2008.