Dar es Salaam/Dodoma. Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda will pick up CCM presidential nomination forms on Friday, ending uncertainty on whether he will be in the race or not.
The premier’s personal secretary in his Katavi Constituency, Mr Charles Kanyanda, told The Citizen yesterday that Mr Pinda would not hold a rally to announce his bid.
“Yes, the PM is in the race and will pick up his forms from the party on Friday and head straight to the field to get sponsors as required. He will not address any rallies as others have done,” Mr Kanyanda said from Dodoma last evening.
With almost all the top CCM contenders having collected their forms by yesterday, Mr Pinda’s absence from the unfolding events was beginning to raise eyebrows.
Questions were being asked whether the PM, who was among the first senior politicians to announce their intention to succeed President Jakaya Kikwete, had pulled out of what is likely to shape out as a titanic contest for the prized CCM ticket.
Meanwhile CCM deputy national chairman Philip Mangula yesterday warned the party’s aspirants for the presidency to be on the lookout, saying their every step was being closely monitored and documented.
And that is not all. Mr Mangula cautioned that what was being recorded could be adverse evidence against them should accusations of wrongdoing emerge.
Mr Mangula sounded the warning at a press conference in Dodoma yesterday. He spoke as more aspirants picked up nomination forms. Yesterday was the turn of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Bernard Membe and Kisesa MP Luhaga Mpina to join the long list of aspirants, which now stands at 26. More will join today, according to the party’s timetable.
“We want those who have come forward to know that we have a set of rules, regulations and the party’s constitution which will be used to gauge them during vetting,” he said.
Mr Mangula said the aspirants should also pay attention to requirements of the Election Expenses Act which puts principles and guidelines which individual contestants and political parties are to adhere to during nomination, campaign and election processes.
He said ethics committees in the districts are watching the actions of aspirants and documenting what they say and do and the reports will be presented at the party headquarters.
“This is the period when our party demonstrates its basic principle of building unity when searching for national leadership. It is an opportunity to show how democratic we are,” he said, expressing satisfaction with the high number of aspirants.
Speaking after picking up his forms, Mr Membe promised to review all media laws in order to create enough freedom for media to contribute immensely in fighting graft in the country.
“I will form a government which will detest even a smell of corruption. We will have zero tolerance on corruption,” he said. Mr Membe also refuted reports that he has blood relations with outgoing President Jakaya Kikwete.
He said it was unfortunate that many people, locally and internationally, have taken their similar complexion to arrive at the conclusion that they are half-brothers.
“Some people say that may be President Kikwete’s father fathered me when he lived in Lindi a long time ago. It is true that President Kikwete’s father lived in Lindi but that was in 1958 and 1959 while I was born in 1953,” he explained.
Mr Mpina who was escorted by his wife and constituents said poor financial management, as well as lack of accountability in utilisation of public resources was what pushed him to seek the top post in the country.
Mr Mpina, who chairs Parliament’s Committee on Economy, Industries and Commerce, said it was discouraging that the government uses great chunk of its annual budget for recurrent expenditure.
Explaining he noted that in the budget which will be tabled later this week the government plans to use Sh6.39 trillion to service the national debt and Sh6.6 trillion for salaries.