East Africa

Magufuli takes chair from Kikwete to unify CCM


The Tanzania National Congress of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has elected Dr. John Pombe Magufuli as the new party chairman on Saturday at a meeting held in Dodoma.

The Citizen Tanzania reports that Magufuli will now focus on restoration of party unity.

The ruling party underwent some grueling moments ahead of last year’s General Election, all of which had threatened to tear it apart.

Members of the CCM National Executive Committee (NEC) and the General Congress emphasised party unity and discipline as paramount if Magufuli wants to succeed in his party leadership.

This was also the message from the outgoing chairman, Mr Jakaya Kikwete, who noted when opening NEC meeting yesterday that although CCM survived the elections, it was shaken to the core and needed major repairs.

Second, they noted that Dr Magufuli should focus on disbanding and dissolving camps that had formed within the party over the years, as these were at the centre of disunity.

NEC members noted that it was an open secret the party comprised factions, including some which were loyal to people who had either decamped or those whose influence was going to end with the outgoing leadership.

Third, according to Mr Kikwete, Dr Magufuli should give himself time to learn how he was going to work with the party NEC, if he wanted to succeed in his leadership.

“Dealing with NEC, especially at these times when the party is characterised by factions, is a very delicate undertaking. You should be very careful on how you work with NEC as it is the most important organ in making party decisions,” cautioned Mr Kikwete when opening NEC meeting yesterday morning.

He cited what happened during the last NEC meeting as an example of how NEC could be a headache to the party chair.

Fourth, Mr Kikwete and other members advised Dr Magufuli that he should not expect to always be showered with praise.

Dr Magufuli was told that he should expect criticism and blame as there was no way he was going to please each and everyone within the oldest party in the country.

Fifth, Dr Magufuli was asked to be ready to shoulder blame which could result from mistakes committed directly by himself or his lieutenants.

Failure to accept and own mistakes could lead the new chairman to be labelled as someone who was not ready to work with others.

In his remarks, Mr Kikwete also turned to NEC members, asking them to accord to the new leader cooperation and support.

“I’m sure that after surviving the 2015 storm, there can be no bigger issue to stand in your way. But this does not mean there are no challenges; they are plenty of them,” he warned.


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