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CCM Battles Not Yet Over: NEC Party Insiders adding that next year's elections will 'make or break'

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Nov 30, 2011
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    The Citizen
    (Dar es Salaam)

    Tom Mosoba
    28 November 2011
    Pundits say next year's internal elections would be yet another stern test for CCM, whose endeavour to project itself as a stable and progressive party has not been helped by half-hearted efforts to get rid of influential members accused of corruption.Dodoma - CCM may have tactfully navigated a political minefield in Dodoma, but some members and independent analysts feel the infighting that is threatening to split the ruling party down the middle is far from over.

    With the curtains falling on the Central Committee (CC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings in Dodoma, during which CCM appeared to slam the brakes on its much vaunted 'kujivua gamba' (purge) crusade, the attention of the party faithful and general public is now inevitably focused on the party's forthcoming national elections.

    It's not very difficult to see why. The CCM top brass that will be voted in next year will lead the party to the 2015 General Election, in which Tanzanians will elect their new President to succeed Mr Jakaya Kikwete, who is also CCM's national chairman, when he completes his second and final five-year term. CCM publicly admitted for the first time on Friday that the 2015 presidential race was partly to blame for wrangles that have rocked the party in recent years.

    Party insiders told 'The Citizen on Sunday' on the sidelines of the NEC meeting in Dodoma that next year's elections will "make or break" the political careers of some senior and up-and-coming CCM politicians, adding that feuds within the party were likely to intensify in the run-up to the polls.

    Speaking on condition of strict anonymity, some NEC members commended the decision to refer to the CC the issue of the future in the party of former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa and former Cabinet minister Andrew Chenge, who are the Monduli and Bariadi West MPs, respectively. They added, however, that the move was not enough to end animosity and deep mistrust among various factions, particularly those involved in 2015 succession wars.

    "We are happy that the CC and NEC meetings have calmed the situation, and we can now look forward to working to unite the party. However, the party's direction will become clearer after the 2012 elections," said a NEC member from the Lake Zone.

    However, another delegate said the party should be careful on how it handles powerful individuals involved in wrangling associated with the 2015 succession.
    "These people are very important to CCM. We need to have them in the party if we are really intent on maintaining our domination of Tanzanian politics," said the delegate from Kilimanjaro Region.

    No CCM member has so far openly declared his or her intention to vie for the presidency in the next General Election, but several prominent individuals are being mentioned, among them Mr Lowassa, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Bernard Membe, East African Cooperation minister Samuel Sitta and retired Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye.

    Other NEC members said CCM could opt for a presidential candidate who was not directly linked with any of the warring factions within the party.

    "CCM is a party of surprises. We saw how the Chairman showed impressive political dexterity in handling the 'kujivua gamba' issue. It won't be entirely surprising if the party settles for a candidate who is not associated with any of the perceived front-runners...a neutral and noncontroversial candidate like (Prime Minister Mizengo) Pinda, (Works minister John) Magufuli or (Water and Irrigation minister Mark) Mwandosya," said a delegate from Dodoma Region.

    As for possible candidates who are not MPs, he mentioned former Prime Minister and OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim and UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro.

    "The important thing is to have someone, irrespective of his or her standing within the party, who appeals to the majority of party members and can win trust across the board."

    On Friday, CCM Secretary-General Wilson Mukama said in Dodoma that the party's system of nominating its presidential candidates needed to be reviewed.

    Mr Mukama said it was dangerous for the CCM candidate to be determined through the undue influence of factions, whose sole aim is to have their preferred aspirant at State House.

    He admitted that jockeying for positions ahead of the 2015 presidential election was destabilising the party, adding that individuals who were sowing discord and undermining its government would not be tolerated.

    Some CCM MPs who are also NEC members said the party needed to do more to rid itself of corrupt elements.

    A vocal MP from the Northern Zone, who requested for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said: "CCM should not fear the unknown if it wants to send a clear message on its resolve to end corruption and impunity among its ranks. We will campaign against anyone wishing to sweep such matters under the carpet ahead of the party elections."

    Elsewhere, political commentators said CCM would have to undergo a "painful" rebirth to win back the public trust it has lost.

    University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) political scientist Benson Bana said, however, that personal attacks that have now become synonymous with CCM must stop if the party hopes to successfully reorganise itself.

    He said CCM would have to work hard to reassure sceptical members and restore their trust, but added that this was not impossible given the party's vast machinery and resources.

    He also said forcing out a few people was not the solution to CCM's troubles, adding that the party needed to review its entire structure "from top to bottom".For his part, Dr Bashiru Ally, also of UDSM, said no political party could bring about desired change by depending solely on decisions passed by a "clique" without involving all its members.

    "CCM leaders from ward to national levels must know what party members and Tanzanians in general expect of them...CCM is gradually alienating the people who put it in power," Dr Ally said.

    Another UDSM lecturer, Dr Azaveli Lwaitama, said there was too much conflict of interest within the ruling party to the extent that it was no longer able to convince Tanzanians that it could lead them to prosperity and work in their interest.

    Additional reporting by Polycarp Machira in Dar es Salaam
  2. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Nov 30, 2011
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    Now we will watch and see what Kikwete and his Prince will do...