CHAMA Cha Mapinduzi (CCM)'s nomination of its retired Secretary General Phillip Mangula to run for the post of Vice-Chairman (Mainland) has been hailed as a positive move in the ruling party's bid to reform.
Commenting on Mr Mangula's nomination and the speech of the party's national Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, yesterday Dr Benson Bana of the University of Dar es Salaam said that the proposed man was suitable and had a good track record.
He said that people want a new life within CCM and that Mangula was the person likely to shunt in a new lease of life in the party due to his experience and knowledge. "Mr Mangula is objective, stable and a man of integrity. Since members and the Tanzanians generally want a credible new party as it was in the past, the man is indeed an ideal choice," he said.
However, Dr Bana was of the view that Mr Mangula will need maximum cooperation from the rest of the party mainly due to the fact that he was sidelined for a long time. He mentioned one of the reasons for him being isolated as the fact that he was not part of the 'networks' formed during the general election campaigns in the past.
On the current shape of the party and corruption allegations particularly within its wings as reported during their elections, Dr Bana said, Mr Mangula and President Kikwete have to go an extra mile to address the problem. But he was quick to add that President Kikwete used more diplomacy to deliver his message on the problem.
On whether Mr Mangula will manage to contain the divided groups within the party, Dr Bana was optimistic that he would manage the task but that would take time and extra commitment from other leaders in the party. "Let us give him time and support as he needs a strong team to eliminate those elements in the party -- particularly corruption allegations," he said.
A Senior Lecturer at the St Augustine University (SAUT), Prof. Mwesiga Baregu, said there were little hopes that Mr Mangula alone would rescue the party from the current challenges such as tackling corruption. However, he was of the opinion that the nomination of Mr Mangula was a sign that CCM was ready to reform at any cost.
"But because Mr Mangula is known to be a clean and honest man, I am confident that he is ready to carry that cross and I wish him all the best," he said. From Dodoma, ABDULWAKIL SAIBOKO reports that CCM nominated the incumbent Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, to run for the re-election in the ongoing National Congress.
The party has also nominated the President of Zanzibar, Dr Ali Mohammed Shein, for Vice-Chairmanship (Zanzibar). The Party's Secretary for Ideology and Publicity, Mr Nape Nnauye, told a news conference here yesterday that the decisions were made by the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) on Saturday night.
"Members of NEC have yet proved that CCM remains a united entity and that when it comes to making decisions for the betterment of our party we speak the same language and that is how we ended up in approving the names in question," he said. Mr Nape added that by nominating Mr Mangula who is a farmer, the party has vividly reaffirmed that it is a party of farmers and workers.
"We have picked Mr Mangula who was situated in his village in Iringa Region where he works as a farmer cultivating tomatoes and potatoes and this shows that CCM is a property of ordinary citizens, farmers and workers," he said.
Mr Nape further noted that there have been changes of the timetable where the elections of the NEC members (ten posts Mainland and ten others in Zanzibar) was conducted on Sunday instead of Monday as scheduled before. "Elections of members of NEC twenty posts Mainland and Zanzibar combined where some 56 aspirants are contesting was to be conducted on Sunday instead of tomorrow as scheduled earlier," he said.
He added that the name of Chairman and his two vice-chairmen will be presented before Congress delegation on Tuesday for endorsement. In another development, President Kikwete on Sunday laid a foundation stone for construction of the party's ultra-modern structure in Makulu within Dodoma municipality, which will be equipped with conference and hotel rooms.