Tanzania’s ruling CCM launches campaign

Tanzania’s ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party yesterday rallied former Presidents Benjamin Mkapa and Ali Hassan Mwinyi, former and current top government as well as party officials including current President Jakaya Kikwete, Judge (rtd) Joseph Warioba and Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein to root for its presidential candidate, Dr John Pombe Magufuli.
The top party officials expressed their expectations ahead of the October 25 General Election, saying Dr Magufuli was easily the best choice for Tanzanians.
Mr Warioba told thousands of party supporters at the Jangwani grounds in Dar es Salaam that Dr Magufuli was the best pick for CCM and the nation at large since he has demonstrated his ability to deliver in the period of 20 years that he has been in government.
“I was at one time assigned by President Mkapa to conduct a study on why there was corruption in the country our study, among other things, showed that the infrastructure sector was the most graft-ridden, but after Dr Magufuli was appointed to lead the Works ministry, the situation changed for the better,” he said.
For his part, Dr Shein said Tanzanians should not risk electing people who cannot be trusted for the country’s topmost job.
“Dr Magufuli is the answer, I am here to represent the people of Zanzibar we are all in full support of Dr Magufuli,” he said.
Former President Mwinyi told the rally that there was no opposition in the country and instead there was CCM A and CCM B.
“It is obvious that CCM has formed a branch on the other sidethey are picking people from us, this means they don’t have competent candidates within their own parties,” he said.
In the midst of deafening chants, former President Mkapa said the oppositions have no clear vision on how to lead the country.
“They are talking about liberating this country, but Tanzania was liberated by Tanu and the Afro-Shirazi party in the early 1960s these people are talking nonsense,” he said.
He said CCM have chosen the best candidate out of the eight candidates who are eying the office. For his part, President Kikwete, who is the party national chairman, said Dr Magufuli was a clean person who knows the country’s background.
Special corruption court
The Works minister, he noted, had distanced himself from partisan groups and unnecessary publicity after picking up nomination forms in Dodoma.
“We won’t nominate a rich person whose source of wealth cannot be verified before the public we all hate poverty, but we should be able to prove beyond doubt how and where we acquire our wealth,” he said.
He added: “Some candidates flaunted their wealth as they went around the country to collect guarantors’ signatures in some areas, Dr Magufuli was denied support under orders from the rich candidates.”
The party chairman said CCM wasn’t ready to bear the burden of fielding candidates who have to be cleansed when it has competent and clean members who could easily be presented to wananchi.
“I have worked with Dr Magufuli he is a good man, hardworking, competent and serious I can assure you that from his background, he will build this country,” said President Kikwete.
Reacting to the massive defections from his party, Mr Kikwete said: “What I se is that Ukawa (the opposition alliance) have decided to take a person who is going to sell CCM’s policies, so far he is even using CCM slogans in his meetings.”
He added: “I personally perceive him as an independent candidate.”
When it came to his turn to address the rally, Dr Magufuli said he knows and understands the Tanzanians’ problems.
“I know all Tanzanians want change, people want to see transformation within the government and its systems,” he said.
He pledged that his government will form a special court that will deal with corruption-related cases.
Furthermore, he pledged to improve education and tackle unemployment.
“Farmers want to own land, access farm inputs, reliable market for their produce I’ll also end higher learning education institutions’ woes, students will get loans on time and I mean what I say,” said Dr Magufuli.
On the economy, the CCM flag bearer promised to improve industries, infrastructure including roads, fly-overs in Dar es Salaam, construction of standard gauge railway and revive the national carrier, Air Tanzania Company Limited.
Investors who have failed to develop industries should get prepared to hand them back to the government, he vowed.