THE proceedings at Sunday's colourful opening of the national congress of CCM erased any doubt that might have been and amply illustrated that the ruling party of many years maintains its number one slot and remains the strongest political establishment of the land.
If anything, and as CCM National Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, told delegates when opening the three-day top-notch meeting in Dodoma, the party is heading towards the next general elections in 2015 united and stronger. In his opening remarks, the party's national chairman also made it clear that he did not belong to any group neither did he support any individual's quest for elective office in 2015.
Yet in any mass establishment like CCM, the possibility of the existence of detractors is always there like the unexpected 'snake in the pocket'.
But these posed no real threat to the well-being of the party. CCM is the ruling party of many years, having taken over from TANU, which guided Tanganyika to its independence from British colonial rule in 1961 and Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) that had presided over the Zanzibar Revolution of 1964 that freed the isles of centuries of Omani Sultanate oligarchic rule - in 1977.
The CCM congress in Dodoma might just be the tonic the ruling party needs to recast and position itself better with the forthcoming general elections in 2015 in focus. While it is true that the opposition in the country is yet to get its act right and still very much fragmented, CCM should avoid complacency and go on with its recasting and strengthening process.
CCM heads towards 2015 with a good track record in all aspects of national development. It has done its best to improve the economy and hence the living standards of the people despite such setbacks as the ever rising global oil prices and inflation.
The CCM-led governments have all along ensured massive improvement of social services, including improved communications, better roads, improved agriculture, better water and electricity supply, better housing, improved health and education services and people's economic empowerment.
Tanzania is right on track to a development boom with the massive discoveries of gas, uranium and great promise shown in the ongoing search for oil. We wish the CCM congress in Dodoma all the best.