THE three-day National Congress of the ruling CCM has come to an end. All's well that ends well. At the end of it all, CCM yesterday woke up to an almost new leadership line-up.
The National Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, retained his post. At the party's administrative high table now sits Dr Ali Mohamed Shein as the vice-chairman (Zanzibar), replacing former Isles president, Mr Amani Abeid Karume, who formally retired from the post. On the seat reserved for the vice-chairman (Mainland) now sits a party cadre of many years, who once served as its secretary general, Mr Philip Mangula.
The party also woke up on Wednesday to a new secretary general, Mr Abdulrahman Kinana, a household political name in Tanzania, who will be assisted by an upcoming youthful leader, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, for the Mainland, and Mr Vuai Ali Vuai, who continues as deputy secretary general (Zanzibar).
Another notable appointment is the appointment of a party member and former secretary general of the United Nations, Dr Asha- Rose Migiro, as head of the party's External Affairs Secretariat. Hopefully, these appointments and other major changes and innovations in CCM's administrative machinery and modus operandi will keep the party in the right footing on the countdown to the 2015 general elections.
Formed in 1977 when two independence movements, Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) on the Mainland and Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) from the island merged, CCM has evolved from strength to strength, winning all elections in 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010.
With its headquarters in Dodoma and sub-head offices in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, it is the strongest political establishment of the land, commanding a wide following and a strong membership base. This means that whatever CCM does or whatever happens in the party will likely draw the attention and interest of all Tanzanians.
As the ruling party, it has the massive responsibility of monitoring the activities of its government in the nation building endeavour and uplifting the living standards of the people. Hopefully again, now that the party has undergone a major recast, the country's development scene will be reinvigorated, the standard of living of the people will beimproved more and more while the way to 2015 has been smoothed. That was good CCM. Keep it up. The successful conduct of the congress really set a good precedent for upright political conduct in the country.