Dodoma — AN old hand in local politics, Mr Abdulrahman Kinana, was appointed Secretary General of CCM, a position that would see him lead the party towards the next General Election in 2015.
Mr Kinana, who was campaign manager for incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete during the 2005 and 2010 General Elections, has been a member of the CCM's National Executive Council (NEC) for the past 25 years. The retired army colonel and staunch CCM cadre replaces Mr Wilson Mukama, an ardent party member and retired civil servant, who was appointed to that position in April, last year.
CCM National Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete announced the appointment of Mr Kinana and the new secretariat of the party at a news conference held here. The new team features both old and new faces.
The former CCM Secretary for Finance and Economy, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, becomes the Deputy Secretary General for Tanzanian Mainland, replacing Mr John Chiligati, while Vuai Ali Vuai retained his position as Deputy Secretary General in Tanzania Zanzibar.
Likewise, Mr Nape Nnauye retained his position as Secretary for Ideology and Publicity. Uzini MP and an old hand in local politics, Mr Muhammed Seif Khatib, is among the new faces in the secretariat, after being appointed as Secretary for Organization, taking over from Ms Asha Abdallah Juma.
Former Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Dr Asha-Rose Migiro also bounced back into local politics as Secretary for Politics and Foreign Affairs, taking over from Deputy Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, Mr January Makamba.
Mr Kikwete told journalists that NEC has also approved Ms Zakia Meghji Secretary for Finance and Economy, a position that was previously held by Mr Nchemba. It is now a third time that Mr Kikwete has reshuffled the CCM secretariat since he assumed power in 2005.
Reacting to his appointment, Mr Kinana said even as he had recently announced to pull out of active politics, he had accepted the new position after being convinced by President Kikwete.
"I had announced my intention to retire from active politics and not to contest for leadership position in the party and that was my decision, however I had to change my mind to take the new job at the request of the Chairman," Mr Kinana told journalists. He said he was aware of several challenges facing the party, stating that he would cooperate with other party members to bring harmony.
Mr Kinana has held various positions within the party and government, including Minister for Defence. Mr Kikwete said the former Secretary General, Mr Mukama, has been given a new assignment of establishing a leadership college to be built at Ihemi in Iringa region.
However, Mr Kikwete asked for more time for him to appoint members of the Central Committee, noting that since there are a number of new NEC members he would need time to appoint suitable members for one of the top decision making organs of the party.