Chenge spices up the race to replace Ndugai

Thursday January 13 2022
Chenge pic

Mr Chenge refrained from making any comment after picking up the form yesterday. PHOTO | NASRA ABDALLAH

By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam. The race to succeed Job Ndugai as Speaker of the National Assembly took an interesting twist yesterday when former Attorney General and Bariadi West legislator Andrew Chenge joined the fray.

Mr Chenge - who holds a Master’s degree in Law (LLM) from Harvard University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Dar es Salaam - is among several CCM cadres who were rumoured as aspiring to succeed Mr Ndugai. The speaker abruptly resigned last week amid piling pressure from the ruling party loyalists following his remarks on government borrowing.

Mr Chenge, who worked as Attorney General between 1993 and 2005, and as Minister for Infrastructure and East African Cooperation thereafter, is expected to give other key contestants a run for their money.

In the ruling party’s nominations for the post, Mr Chenge is expected to battle it out with Deputy Speaker Tulia Ackson who collected a nomination form Monday.

Dr Ackson formerly worked as Deputy Attorney General, and as an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Cape Town. Prior to her appointment as Deputy Attorney General, Dr Ackson worked as a senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam’s Law School.

The list of notable CCM loyalists who have picked up forms for the race to succeed Mr Ndugai also includes the Ilala MP, Mussa Azzan Zungu.

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Mr Chenge refrained from making any comment after picking up the form yesterday. He said he would only speak after completion of the internal party nomination processes.

“I love you all; but be patient. I will only speak upon completion of my party’s nomination processes,” he said.

Other aspirants for the post of House Speaker who have already picked nomination forms aree Sofia Simba, Goodluck Ole-Medeye, Joseph Msukuma, Merikion Ndofi, Godwin Kunambi, Abwene Kajula and Steven Massele.

The list also includes Simon Ngatunga, Tumsifu Mwasamale, Zahoro Hanuna, George Nangale, Barua Mwakilanga and Patrick Lubano.

A third-year Economics and Development Studies student at the Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial University, Amos Sollo, amazed many yesterday when he went to the CCM offices in Dar es Salaam with a view to finding out the cost of forms for nomination for the Speaker’s post.

“I decided to come here to find out how to get the forms so that I could also seek the party’s nomination for the vacant post of Speaker of Parliament. I have been told that it costs Sh1 million,” he said.

Upon being told that, Mr Sollo left the offices because he did not have that kind of money.

“I only had Sh300,000 out of which, Sh100,000 is in cash and Sh200,000 is in my bank account. I’m going to collect the remaining amount from well-wishers so that I can pay for the form as I have the intention and qualifications to contest for the House Speaker’s post,” a seemingly undaunted Sollo said.