Magufuli defends election bids by opposition defectors

Saturday July 11 2020

President John Magufuli addresses the CCM

President John Magufuli addresses the CCM National Congress in Dodoma on July 11. PHOTO | The Citizen 

By Noor Shija @TheCitizenTZ news@thecitizen.co.tz

Dodoma. CCM chairman John Magufuli yesterday called for calm among party members over their comrades who defected from opposition parties ahead of the contests for leadership positions via the veteran ruling party.

Dr Magufuli - who is the Union President - made the statement in Dodoma during the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting when responding to concerns raised by a member from Songwe Region, Mr Stanslaus Nsojo.

Representing the views of fellow members, Mr Nsojo said they were unhappy with the way CCM was handling the issue of defectors when it came to contesting for various positions via the party.

He said members in the region were discouraged - especially those who supported the party in the 2010 and 2015 General Elections, and that the party was facing a tough opposition in the Tunduma and Momba constituencies.

In his response, DrMagufuli directed MrNsojo to take the matter to the district and regional political committees, saying the party belonged to the people, hence the matter should be resolved in meetings at those levels.

“We have a large number of people here who were in other political parties. Mr Makongoro (Nyerere) was once a member of NCCR-Mageuzi, but he is a CCM member by blood now. MrWassira (Stephen) was also a member of NCCR in the past, but he is here now. Therefore, we should be patient and put God first,” DrMagufuli said, adding: “It is possible that defected member will defeat veteran members during the forthcoming elections which is the reason they are threatened. Since, you got prepared to contest, you are aware that he/she will be elected if approved by the party.”

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He said the major problem facing politics was the fear that someone would outdo them if they rejoined CCM from the Opposition.

“Therefore, the party receives anybody provided they abide by the terms and conditions of the party. When you take the matter further, questioning why someone has been received back, it is because you blocked the passage before starting to pass through the window,” he said.

“He/she has been welcomed so that the door could be used as the entrance. Yet, you are planning to block him/her from entering, you are supposed to be patient. Personally, I would like the new entrants to continue emerging victorious if possible become a NEC member.”

CCM has received many members from opposition parties including former MPs and councillors in the last five years.