CCM faces decisive week amid rising election fever

Monday July 6 2020

 

By Louis Kolumbia @Collouis1999 lkolumbia@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. This is going to be the busiest week for CCM leaders and members as the ruling party commences important meetings that will culminate in the naming of its flag bearers for this year’s presidential elections.

President John Magufuli remains the sole party member who collected nomination forms seeking re-election to a second term as the President of the United Republic.

Five names have been picked by the special committee of the National Executive Council (NEC) out of the 31 cadres who collected the documents for the Zanzibar presidency.

The Zanzibar election seeks to find a successor of the incumbent leader, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, who is completing his 10 years as stipulated by the country’s and party’s constitutions.

Releasing the schedule for the CCM nomination process last month, the party’s secretary of Ideology and Publicity, Humphrey Polepole, said the secretariat would hold its meeting today and tomorrow in Dodoma.

The secretariat’s meeting will be followed by a one-day meeting of the Security and Defence committee slated for Wednesday, July 8 this year.

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“In its meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 9, 2020, the Central Committee (CC) will receive names of party members aspiring for the union presidency as well as five names chosen by the Zanzibar’ special committee,” he told journalists.

According to him, the union presidential hopefuls will be screened by the CC to five and three for the Zanzibar presidency before the names are submitted before NEC.

“NEC will pick three names of the Union presidential aspirants out of five. The meeting will also choose once cadre out of three names of the Zanzibar presidential aspirants during its meeting slated for Friday, July 10, this year,” said Mr Polepole.

He said the general congress during its two day meeting (July 11 and July 12, 2020) will vote for one name out of three to become the Union’s presidential candidate - and that the name picked by NEC for the Zanzibar presidency will be endorsed.

But, yesterday, the CCM’s political affairs and international relations secretary, Colonel (rtd) Ngemela Lubinga, told The Citizen that all were set for the week-long meetings.

“Preparations are going on as planned. The meetings are scheduled to be held from tomorrow until Sunday,” he said over the phone from Dodoma.

Col Lubinga expressed the party’s confidence that its constitution, regulations, procedures, guidelines and traditions have been respected throughout the process and that no unethical incident was reported.

“No wrongdoing has been reported by people trained to supervise the process in various areas as of today (yesterday). We will communicate to the public if something new emerges,” he said.

He said the party will have major relief as President Magufuli has become sole aspirant for the union presidency, saying the move will significantly reduce divisions and increase solidarity within CCM.

According to him, the 2015 experience will be used to get the right candidate for the Zanzibar presidency, leaving the party united after multiple aspirants collected nomination forms.

“Members are given opportunity to contest especially when the incumbent president completes his term in office and that is democracy. Hopefully, aspirants will support the one who will emerge victorious,” he said.

In Zanzibar, ACT-Wazalendo chairman and veteran politician Seif Shariff Hamad yesterday collected nomination forms seeking nomination for the Zanzibar presidency.

Speaking at the party’s Vuga offices in Unguja, Mr Hamad - who seeks nomination to stand for the sixth time - said that, despite the party’s lack of trust in the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC), they have decided not to boycott the elections.

“Boycotting elections would be like leaving a cassava farm to wild pigs. We remain so as to chase them away. Also, our participation will further expose the commission’s rot and make our protests meaningful,” he said.

Last Sunday, he outlined five reasons for seeking the party’s nomination once again, pledging to distance himself from revenge once voted President of Zanzibar.

“When you take revenge, your successor will do the same instead of focusing on people’s development. My position is that we need to focus on the future,” he said.

The party’s secretary general, Ado Shaibu, said the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), and the Zanzibar Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Authority (Zaeca), have been informed of the commencement of the intra-party election processes.

“We don’t condone corruption, although we are encouraged that no incident has been recorded so far. However, we will be rough and tough with anybody, and members confirmed to have roles in corruption will be disqualified,” he said.

In another development, Chadema’s Elder’s Wing chairman, Mr Hashim Issa Juma, yesterday collected nomination forms seeking the party’s approval to stand for the Zanzibar presidency in this year’s general elections.

“After I am voted to become the Zanzibar president, I will push for Zanzibar’s recognition by the United Nations, because our analysis shows that this is the wish of the majority of our citizens,” he said.

He pledged to find lasting solutions to various other grievances which plague citizens of the Isles.