Dodoma. Cabinet minister Asha-Rose Migiro finally joined the Kikwete succession race, declaring it was time for a woman to claim the presidency.
The former UN deputy secretary-general picked up the CCM nomination forms yesterday in Dodoma and urged support from the party members to raise the requisite signatures to qualify in a race that has so far attracted over 30 aspirants for the coveted ticket.
The former diplomat has left it late, announcing her bid on the day that some rivals for the same ticket were returning the nomination forms to the CCM headquarters. Among those who returned their forms after securing enough endorsers included Vice President Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal and Transport minister Samuel Sitta.
Dr Migiro, who is the minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, was escorted by her husband, Prof Cleophas Migiro, to pick up the forms. She becomes the fourth woman in the race for the CCM ticket after Ms Amina Salum, Ms Monica Mbega and Dr Mwele Malecela.
Dr Migiro was among individuals mentioned early as possible candidates to succeed President Jakaya Kikwete but was largely missing from the scene as top CCM luminaries scrambled to collect the nomination forms.
She did not explain why she left her decision to bid for the top job this late, saying merely that she was pleased to see more CCM cadres exercising their right to run for the office of the country’s chief executive. Speaking to journalist here shortly after picking the forms, Dr Migiro expressed great optimisms that it was time for women to lead the country.
“I am appealing to all CCM members to assist me secure the 450 sureties to stand a chance to contest for the most important post,” she said.
Asked about her top priorities should her sail through the seat, Dr Migiro said she will labor hard at improving the country’s economy and that the top priority will base at provision of better social services.
“Working with UN and being at different leadership positions in my country have imparted me with experience and exposure pertaining political and managerial matters, therefore, I am looking forward to deliver the best leadership should my partly approve my name,” she said.
Meanwhile excitement over the CCM race intensified as candidates begun returning their forms.
Looking joyful, Dr Bilal who collected the form on June 4, told journalist he was determined to succeed.
Accompanied by his wife, Dr Bilal said he had fulfilled the requirement to raise 450 signatures across 15 regions. “I am returning the forms early because I have other responsibilities in government to attend to,” he said.
Mr Sitta on his part said he visited 21 regions and was pleased with the exercise outcome.
“I even visited Pemba and Unguja. In many regions I found citizens very determined to get the most active and patriotic leader who will bring about the much needed development,” he said, adding that this time round, citizens have enjoyed ample time to discuss on the aspirants strengthen and weaknesses. He was escorted by his wife Margaret.
Mr Sitta said he was optimistic wananchi will vote for the right candidate for president, one who will bring all possible changes in a bid to advance the country’s economic status, as long as solving social problems.
The deadline for submitting the presidential nomination forms to CCM has been set for July 2, this year.