All eyes on Dodoma as CCM picks presidential candidates

The CCM national chairman, President John Magufuli, chairs a meeting of the party’s Security and Ethics Committee at the Jakaya Kikwete Convention Centre in Dodoma yesterday. CCM’s top decision-making organs yesterday began a series of meetings to pick the party’s candidates for the Union and Zanzibar presidencies in the forthcoming General Election.


Dodoma. The CCM’s decision-making committees started their meetings here yesterday amid sustained secrecy on who will carry the party’s flag for the Zanzibar presidency in this year’s General Election.

The powerful Central Committee (CC), which met at the party’s Jakaya Kikwete Convention Centre yesterday, finally endorsed three names of the party’s members which would be forwarded to the party’s National Executive Council (Nec) for voting today (Friday).

The Nec’s Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Mr Humphrey Polepole, said yesterday that the CC had agreed on three names from the list of five that was presented by Nec’s special committee for Zanzibar presidency - noting, however, that the three names would remain a secret until today.

“In case the names leak between now and tomorrow, the CC will cancel the list and take up three different names before the Nec meeting tomorrow [today],” he said.

Last week, a special committee of the CCM’s National Executive Committee (Nec) – which met at the Kisiwandui offices in the Isles under chairmanship of the party’s Vice Chairman and Zanzibar President, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein - selected five names for the Zanzibar presidency which were submitted to the CC yesterday.

In line with the party’s procedures, the CC picks three names [out of five] and submits same to the Nec which is scheduled to meet today, Friday, July 10.

The Nec will further scrutinise the three names, and come up with only one aspirant whose name will be forwarded to the general congress for endorsement during its two-day meetings on Saturday and Sunday.

The CCM National chairman, President John Magufuli, chaired the CC meeting yesterday.

CCM members

Prior to President Magufuli’s coming to the helm of the ruling party’s leadership, CCM’s CC had a total of 34 members. However, with the chairman’s cost-cutting approach, the number was reduced to 24.

Dr Magufuli also reduced the number of the party’s Nec from 388 to 163.

The CC – which is chaired by Dr Magufuli – comprises members who are picked on the basis of their positions in public positions.

Apart from the national chairman, other members include the Party’s Vice Chairman (Tanzania Mainland); the Zanzibar President; The Union Vice President; the Second Vice President (Zanzibar); the Prime Minister; the Speaker of the Union Parliament and the Zanzibar House of Representatives Speaker.

The list also includes chairpersons of the party’s three key wings (parents’ wing, women’s wing and youths’ wing); the Party’s Secretary General and his two deputies (for Mainland and for the Isles); the Nec Ideology and Publicity Secretary, and the government’s chief whip in the Union Parliament.

Other CC members are the Party’s Secretary for Organisation; the Secretary for Party Affairs and International Relations, and the Secretary for Finance and Economic Affairs.

Three more members are elected from Zanzibar.

The files

When CCM members take nomination forms to vie for the presidency, the Party opens a file for them, according to the party’s vice chairman for Tanzania Mainland, Mr Phillip Mangula.

As part of the process to picking the party’s flag bearer, the CCM’s National Ethics and Security Committee – which is chaired by the party’s national chairman - takes note of everything that the cadres do.

“It is basing on what is recorded by the National Ethics and Security Committee that aspirants are rated - and either endorsed or dropped,” Mr Mangula told The Citizen’s sister paper Mwananchi in an exclusive interview earlier this week (see story on Page 3).

Mr Polepole said yesterday that the party’s CC also congratulated Presidents Magufuli and Ali Mohammed Shein in the way their administrations have handled their economies during the past five years. The duo was also congratulated for the way they handled the Covid-19 pandemic in a manner that left Tanzania’s economy vibrant.

The CC meeting was preceded by a meeting of the party’s National Ethics and Security Committee whereby it reportedly informed those whose names were dropped by Nec’s special committee in Zanzibar on why they were unsuccessful in their bids for the Presidency.

A total of 32 CCM members had picked up nomination forms, seeking the party’s approval to represent it in this year’s election for Zanzibar Presidency.

With only five aspirants picked by Nec’s special committee, it was the onerous duty of the party’s National Ethics and Security Committee to tell the 27 othet aspirants why they were unsuccessful.

Party colours

There were showers in Dodoma in the morning yesterday. But major streets were crowded with party supporters clad in green regalia, suggesting that something big involving the veteran ruling party was going on in the nation’s capital city.

Despite the reduction in the number of Nec members, one would still find it difficult to secure a hotel/guest room, with operators of most accommodation facilities reporting that they had been fully booked between today (July 10) and Monday, July 13.