Ali Karume: Why CCM has failed to stamp out factions

Ambassador Ali Karume speaks at a past event

What you need to know:

  • He warns that as CCM prepares for the 2025 elections, it would be very dangerous to head into that election with factions still looming large

Unguja. Veteran politician and diplomat Ali Karume has said factions within the ruling party CCM have failed to dissolve almost three years after the elections because of what happened during the party’s primaries in 2020.

Speaking to The Citizen at his home in Maisara, Mr Karume, a former ambassador, said every party member has the right to be elected and to elect those that they feel are capable of leading them.

"It was very unfortunate that what we once knew as the procedure during the party’s primaries was not followed during the nominations because the decision that was made by the members at the grassroots was overturned in Dodoma and certain decisions were forced on us by the then leadership," he said.

In his assessment of the situation, he said the party will have to break some walls in order to rebuild if they are to maintain the cohesion that they have always had in Zanzibar.

He warns that as the party prepares for the 2025 elections, it would be very dangerous to head into that election with factions still looming large

"If you lose an election after being in power for such a long time, then the party is over. God forbid, but should the opposition take over, it will take us a very long time to get back at the helm," he said.

He said that the Government of National Unity (GNU) has offered the opposition managerial experience in the running of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, and this cannot be downplayed.

"You cannot underrate the opposition any longer because they know what is going on in the government."

According to Mr Karume, though he respects the precedent within the party that the sitting candidate should not be opposed as he or she heads for the second term, there is a need for the entire process to be reviewed.

“Once we elect a leader into a responsible position, there is no way we can recall him; we have to wait until five years when we convene another election. But we have reviewed certain procedures, this too needs to be reviewed. "

He then added: I don’t intend to vie, but should there be anyone interested in the top leadership of CCM Zanzibar in 2025, he or she should be given that right because it exists," he said.

Two weeks ago, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Vice Chairman and President of Zanzibar, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, echoed similar sentiments warning that disunity and division within the party were derailing the party’s implementation of its manifesto, calling upon cadres to unite in order to strengthen.

He was addressing the party’s cadres from different levels at the Piccadilly Kombeni Hall, West B District, West Urban Region, Zanzibar.

According to President Mwinyi, during all elections, various groups with different objectives and interests emerge, saying it is time to dissolve the different factions and unite as a party.

When he was elected CCM vice chairman in December 2022, Dr Hussein Mwinyi said there were four issues that his administration had to deal with during his tenure in the next two years before the general election in 2025.

These include peace and security, breaking the factions within the party’s hierarchy, building a united party, and implementing the CCM manifesto.

"The party’s leadership is now complete, and we can only expect elections in 2027. All we have to do is break up the factions and join hands with the elected leaders. The team that we have elected is the winning team," he said.