Tanzania: Pomp Fills CCM National Congress Meeting

THERE was pomp and colour at Dodoma's Jakaya Kikwete Convention Centre yesterday as 1,822 Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) delegates arrived just for one crucial purpose: To endorse presidential candidates for both the Union and the Isles.

Dressed in their usual green and yellow attire, delegates started arriving at the famous conference centre at around 8:00 am in the morning, as roads in the country's capital were visited by perennial traffic gridlocks.

Immediately after 9:00am, all the sits within the conference were filled to capacity with CCM members and other invited guests, many of whom had dressed in two of the colours of the national flag.

The venue started to be cheerful when various retired leaders started entering the conference, among them, former presidents, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete.

Others were former Prime Ministers, Cleopa Msuya, Judge (rtd) Joseph Warioba, John Malecela, Fredrick Sumaye, Edward Lowassa and Mizengo Pinda, among other CCM retired leaders.

Former CCM Secretary General Abdurahman Kinana, who was on Friday forgiven by the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) after being suspended for about four months for misconduct, also spoke during the meeting, calling for unity among CCM members during the general elections campaigns.

President John Magufuli, who is seeking re-election for the second term in office arrived at the venue at around 10:30 dressed in full greenish gear, unlike in the previous occasions when he ought to wear suits.

Delegates applauded continuously as various leaders delivered speeches. There was even more cheerful moment when National Assembly Speaker, who was a member of a committee for election of presidential candidates, announced the votes cast for Dr Magufuli that he had garnered 100 percent of all total votes.

All 1,822 delegates who attended the meeting voted in favour of Dr Magufuli, meaning, he is well accepted within his party.

There was yet another moment of enjoyment when CCM Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Humphrey Polepole invited several artistes to perform, led by the famous artistes, Ali Kiba and Diamond Platinums.

Elsewhere in the country's capital of Dodoma was full of CCM flags in every corner of the country, as businesspeople selling the party's clothes ripped benefits.

There was hotel crisis in the city as delegates arrived in the city from different parts of the country. This was yet another opportunity to businesspersons owning hotels and lodges who minted cash as a result of the meeting.

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