Tanzania: Why Chadema's Mayrose Majinge Wants to Bid for Presidency

Mwanza — Opposition party Chadema's cadre who is aspiring to vie for president of Tanzania in the coming General Election has outlined reasons for seeking the top post, stressing that her history in the ruling party is NOT an obstacle.

Mayrose Majinge, 48, appeared before the media recently - and declared her aspirations through the country's top opposition party.

Her announcement prompted a debate, with some people questioning what she could do for the country, while others doubt her usefulness in the political opposition as she was in the ruling party for so long.

"Yes, I was in CCM, and contested for leadership in the party's women wing before joining Chadema - and I'm proud of that history. I cannot run away from my history," said Dr Majinge in an interview.

"What I can assure my fellow Chadema members - and Tanzanians in general - is that, while I was in CCM, I have now been with Chadema for some seven years as a loyal and clean cadre," said Dr Majinge, who is a human development specialist.

The mother of four crossed to the main opposition party in 2013 - and now thinks the seven years in Chadema are enough to 'qualify' her for the Presidency.

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However, she'll have to get approval from the party, after notifiying it of her intention to contest in the October 2020 polls. The party would not talk much about her intention but said it had not yet opened the doors for presidential aspirants, insisting that they must comply with the party's constitution and regulatory procedures.

"Our 2019 edition of the 2006 constitution is clear about the steps to follow in contesting for electoral positions through Chadema. I once again request all members to read it and other guidelines so that they avoid violating the rules," said the Chadema spokesperson, Tumaini Makene.

"So far, we have allowed only members seeking to contest for Parliament and councils - and who are under zonal leaders - to express their intentions," he added.

According to him, presidential candidates from the party will be allowed to register their names at the secretary general's office. The names would then be sent to the central committee of the party for scrutiny and analysis before they are forwarded to the party's central council - and, later, to the general assembly.

Why she's seeking the Presidency

Dr Majinge said she wants to contest for the Presidency so as to build a strong democratic nation and a unified people regardless of their diversity in religious beliefs, demographics and cultures.

"Good politics is when individuals and groups respect each other - and, at the end of the day, we become a nation where people live peacefully and happily," she said.

She also aims to end poverty, ignorance and preventible diseases, as well as improve social and political stability.

Dr Majinge said Tanzanians should now change tack and look for positive leadership qualities instead of gender stereotypes, educational levels or tribes.

Dr Majinge - who holds a PhD in Human Development - contested for the East African Legislative Assembly membership in 2001 and for Ukonga seat in 2005 (CCM) but didn't win either.

Last November, she was announced winner of the inaugural 'Transpersonal Leader Award' by the UK-based LeaderShape Global.

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