Tanzania: Dodoma Buzzing Ahead of CCM 'Big Week'

DODOMA city is buzzing as the fully-gathering of the powerful Central Committee (CC) of the ruling CCM convenes today.

The meeting is anticipated to okay seating President John Magufuli, as the party flag bearer for this year's presidential election.

Magufuli, who is seeking a second-term in office, is the sole candidate and will stand unchallenged.

The elite of the country's ruling party was set to scrutinise all potential members and recommend at least five names before the National Executive Council (NEC), meeting also planned for tomorrow. Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein will also submit five names that were picked by NEC's Special Committee, out of 31 cadres that collected nomination forms for the Isles' presidency.

CCM Publicity and Ideology Secretary, Humphrey Polepole announced that preparations for the central committee and the general congress have all been completed. A spot survey in Dodoma yesterday witnessed a dozen roads leading to the central business district decorated by the ruling party's green and yellow flags. Vehicles decorated "Vote Magufuli" were moving all over the city.

Party cadres and entrepreneurs were seen at the party's Kikwete Convention Centre making their final assembly. Businesses and dozen Hotel operators said they were fully booked to house members of the ruling CCM general congress

CCM Secretary-General Dr Bashiru Ally told a local television on Wednesday that preparations were going on well and the special meeting was being held as per the ruling party's constitution. He said that decisions in each meeting are bound to remain confidential.

He said during the meeting, NEC members among other issues will be presented with the government report in the implementation of the CCM election manifesto of 2015-2020.

Dr Bashiru said the report will be presented by the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa after the opening speech of CCM national Chairman, President John Magufuli.

"This is the meeting where CCM is going to appoint candidates for the Presidential seat for the United Republic of Tanzania and the Zanzibar, We aren't going to choose Presidents," he said when responding to a question on the necessity of the candidate for Zanzibar's presidential seat being appointed in Dodoma.

Dr Bashiru explained that there were dozens of aspirants in Zanzibar because Dr Shein tenure of the presidency was coming to an end. At least 32 picked nomination forms but only 31 returned the documents, where only five names have so far been picked.

The powerful central committee will also pick three out of the five names submitted by NEC Special Committee.

The three names will be forwarded to the NEC for further scrutiny and only one name will be posted before the general congress for endorsement.

CCM Secretary-General said the party had become more unified and is ready to face any opponent given that it has delivered all of its promises.

"We will have a new face in Zanzibar against our opponents, who have been posting the same faces during elections.

For the Union presidency, we have a candidate who has proved in the last five years against opponents, who have nothing to prove," he added.

CCM won the local government election by over 95 percent last year. The ruling party said there hasn't been a strong opposition party to scare them.

Dr Bashiru went on to acknowledge that the national electoral bodies in both the Mainland and the Isles are independent.

He said the challenges facing the commissions can be rectified and there is no need to worry or doubt its ability.

He promised to maintain clean political campaign, ahead of the general election requesting other political parties and media houses to help ensure the October elections are free and fair.

In another development, Dr Bashiru has affirmed that suggestions from several quarters' that President Magufuli extend his tenure in the office are not implementable in the party and the government at large.

Instead, he urged those who would love to have Dr Magufuli as the President, to continue supporting him in all moves he takes on bringing development in the country.

The ruling party senior official explained that there is no way President Magufuli and the CCM would accept the request because none of the previous presidents had disrespected the constitution.

"We respect those who came up with this idea and there is no way we can stop them from discussing this matter, however, the thoughts are not implementable, even the President himself won't accept it," he said.

Dr Bashiru's response to the matter is the same to the stand of President Magufuli as he has been quoted in several occasions noting that he would respect the constitution and pass the leadership reigns to the next president when the time comes.

"It's impossible. I will respect the constitution, and all I'm doing is to play my part and pass on as per the requirements of our constitution," noted President Magufuli on one of the public rallies in Tanga Region.

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