Dodoma — CCM National Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, has challenged the ruling party to think critically and provide strategies on how the problem of unemployment, which is afflicting the country, can be tackled instead of complaining about it.
Mr Kikwete threw the challenge when he was opening the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, which is taking place here to elect and endorse new Central Committee (CC) members, among other matters. President Kikwete said the executive committee should be in the frontline in guiding the government on how best to tackle the problem of unemployment.
He cautioned some leaders whom he said campaign against efforts to attract foreign investors in the country. He said it was a silly joke to complain about unemployment while frustrating efforts to attract investors. "How do you fight unemployment while at the same time you discourage investors from coming to introduce their investments here?
We must be part of the solution not of the problem," he stressed. Mr Kikwete was also unhappy with the misconduct of some party leaders who trumpet on the unemployment problem. He challenged them to submit their constructive ideas on the problem through official party forums like the ongoing NEC meeting.
On ethics among the party leaders, which is the other topic expected to be tabled at the meeting, President Kikwete said NEC members and entire party leadership must show a high degree of integrity in order to maintain the good image of the party and the country at large.
It was absurd, he observed, seeing party leaders, particularly NEC Members, spending most of their time in bars and pubs boozing excessively and shortly later the same leaders are seen chanting party slogans in public meetings. He also warned them to avoid taking loans they cannot resettle on agreed time adding that it was a shame for any NEC member failing to resettle debts -- sometimes evading repayment and even shunning phone calls.
"A good leader must be an example for others to emulate and that is where a topic on ethics becomes of importance to us," he said. The ongoing meeting is facilitated by senior party leaders including the Party's Vice-Chairman (Mainland), Mr Philip Mangula, Secretary General Mr Abdurrahman Kinana, and retired Mainland Vice- Chairman Pius Msekwa who were expected to present the papers.
President Kikwete also warned NEC members against dirty campaigns among each other as he was expected to name new CC members later today. He said the members must learn to remain patient and tolerant and avoid mudslinging colleagues who have great chances of winning in the various party races since at the end of the day all losers and winners will be there to serve the interest of the party.
The Party Secretary General, Mr Kinana, announced that the meeting attracted 369 members which is 96.7 per cent of the total members while 12 members did not make it. Meanwhile, President Kikwete handed over a brand new three-wheel motorcycle to Ms Sarah Mkumbo, a disabled, whom he promised support when he met her during his official visit in Singida Region last month.