Row erupts as TZ ruling party drops two heavyweights from presidential race

END OF THE ROAD? Charles Makongoro Nyerere has been dropped from the nomination race

END OF THE ROAD? Charles Makongoro Nyerere has been dropped from the nomination race

There’s brewing squabble and division within Tanzania’s ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) after the party leaders’ decision to drop two popular presidential aspirants from the nomination contest.

Ever since they announced their candidacies for president, former prime minister Edward Lowassa, and Charles Makongoro Nyerere, son to the country’s founding president Mwalimu Julius Nyerere have been among the favourites to clinch CCM’s nomination but to the dismay and shock of party faithful they didn’t not make the final cut Saturday.

Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has instead chosen five members amongst which the party’s National Executive Committee will select the final three names to for the nomination.

CCM’s Ideology and Publicity Secretary Nape Nnauye announced Saturday morning Bernard Membe, January Makamba, Dr John Magufuri, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro and Ambassador Amina Salumu Ally are the party’s final five.

Speaking to the press after arriving at the party’s headquarters in Dodoma, Edward Lowassa said “i have no information on the top five picked during the central committee on Friday” adding “I will speak out when i have the information… For now i have not heard anything.”

Afrika Reporter has learnt the party final five are not popular within the party ranks.

Veteran politician Kingunge Ngombale-Mwiru, told this website the leaders have picked already picked ‘their person’ but that person has no support of the majority of party members.

Kingunge says the National Executive Committee is likely to either accept the proposal from the central committee or rather order the central committee to review their submission, before heading to the general assembly later in the evening.

Some senior members in the party have cautioned the leaders to ensure the person nominated is well accepted within and outside the party.

“They need to go back to the drawing board, I don’t what they were thinking to come up with such unknown and unpopular figures,” a regional chairman of the party told Afrika Reporter

The party is due to nominate its flag bearer Saturday evening.

Tanzania’s presidential election is due October 25, CCM’s choice is the favourite to succeed President Jakaya Kikwete as the country’s next leader.