31 May 2018

Tanzania: New CCM Secretary-General Lists Priorities

Dar es Salaam — The newly-elected CCM secretary-general, Dr Bashiru Ally, said yesterday that he will work ensure that the party's benefits from its assets.

The University of Dar es Salaam political scientist was appointed by the CCM chairman, President John Magufuli, last December to head a committee charged with accurately determining the ruling party's assets and liabilities.

He was nominated secretary-general a few days after the committee's findings were made public, and his appointment was confirmed by the party's National Executive Council on Tuesday.

Dr Ally told a local radio station yesterday that while undertaking the exercise to trace the ruling party's assets and liabilities, the committee established that CCM had a string of properties from which it did not benefit.

"The verification exercise also came up with recommendations aimed at ensuring that all assets are used for the general good of the ruling party so that it can be economically independent," he said.

Dr Ally added, however, that they were some assets that could not be accounted for.

The committee noted that CCM was unable to identify and lay claim to some of its own assets.

"As a result, CCM continues to depend on handouts and support from individuals, whose assistance comes with strings attached," he said, adding that the situation was to blame for the party's inability to support some of its institutions.

CCM entities that have in recent years been grappling with endless financial difficulties include Radio Uhuru, Uhuru Publications and Tanzania One Theatre.

"The process to empower CCM economically is continuous. Constitutional and regulatory meetings will be used to implement the recommendations," Dr Ally said.

His remarks were echoed by former CCM vice chairman Pius Msekwa, who said CCM's political achievements were overshadowed by its precarious economic situation.

"He has been appointed to oversee implementation of recommendations made by the commission he chaired, which was free from political interference," Mr Msekwa said in a telephone interview.

"He has the requisite powers to act against people implicated in fraud and embezzlement and plug any existing loopholes."

Prof George Shumbusho of Mzumbe University said he was confident the recommendations would be fully implemented under Dr Ally.

"Dr Ally is also an outsider whose image hasn't been tarnished by fraud and embezzlement within the party. He is also not involved in factional politics within the party...he is the right person for the job," he said.

Prof Gaudence Mpangala of Ruaha Catholic University said Dr Ally would have to toe the party line, which was at variance with views he expressed in the past.

"CCM takes very seriously issues that it thinks threaten its grip on power. The proposed constitution calls for broader democracy, which can lead to the party's downfall. Dr Ally will have to respect what this party stands for," he said.


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