TZ ruling party members accuse leaders of flouting constitution in nomination process

John Magufuli at his introduction rally in Dar es Salaam, Monday. PHOTO/The Citizen/ANTHONY SIAME

John Magufuli at his introduction rally in Dar es Salaam, Monday. PHOTO/The Citizen/ANTHONY SIAME

Tanzania’s governing Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) violated the party’s constitution in the process to nominate its flag bearer in the October general election, for the presidenti run-up, triggering tension within the party, a senior cadre has said.

Kingunge Ngombale-Mwiru a veteran CCM stalwart has expressed concern Wednesday that “some few” members within the party “hijacked” the nomination process.

“What happened in Dodoma is typical unfairness and injustice,” he told reporters explaining that under the party’s regulations the nomination process was supposed to start at the control and disciplinary committee, then the central committee and National Executive Committee—NEC. Finally NEC proposes three hopeful names to the General Congress for voting.

The CCM official says the control and disciplinary committee is charged with gathering information on all contenders.

The central committee duties include scrutinizing all aspirants. “At this stage all aspirants will be required to appear before the committee for questioning –the CC then decides on few names to be verified by NEC.”

He alleges the “little” control and discipline committee usurped the responsibility of scrutinizing all aspirants and chose the best five candidates to propose to the central committee for approval.

Ngombale—Mwiru, also a close-acquaintance to the former prime minister Edward Lowassa who was eliminated in the first round, argues the control and disciplinary committee had no legal powers whatsoever to eliminate aspirants from the race.

The official goes on to say “it’s a big shame because the international community highly respects and expects CCM to uphold democracy and transparency.”

Over the weekend, CCM executives irked the rank and file members of the dominant party in CCM politics.

During the first elimination round, party members were shocked former premier Lowassa, and Charles Makongoro Nyerere, both serious contenders for the nomination were dropped.

Some members accused the leaders of “choosing” their own people instead of candidates with popular support across the party.

Amidst grumbling, disagreement and disappointment by many, CCM last Sunday selected Dr. John Pombe Magufuli as their nominee for the party in the forthcoming poll.

He has since replaced President Jakaya Kikwete as the Chairman of the ruling party.

Tanzania’s general election is due in October, and the CCM candidate is tipped to be the next president of the East African state.