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Tanzania: JPM sweeps all votes to clinch ruling CCM chair

RESIDENT John Magufuli was yesterday elected Chairman of the ruling party CCM with an overwhelming 100% ‘Aye’ vote, and at once asked leaders within the executive arm of his government to respect the party and continue implementing its manifesto.

Speaking immediately after he was declared party chairman by interim chairman and former president, Benjamin Mkapa, Dr Magufuli asked all leaders to remain loyal to their party, pledging to work with fellow elected leaders to ensure that the party moved forward.

Dr Magufuli who was elected by the party’s general congress garnered all the 1,821 vote cast, without ‘spoiling’ a single cast. “I want to see all leaders regardless of their positions respecting the CCM leaders … they should also remember that it’s this party which employs them,” he stressed.

Dr. Magufuli was equally categorical that he would continue working for all Tanzanians, exuding confidence that CCM will continue garnering victory in future elections. He further called for cooperation from other political parties, thanking the opposition party leaders who attended the CCM meeting.

According to him, their presence at the meeting was a sign of political maturity. Dr Magufuli also encouraged party leaders to play watchdog role on government and have no fear on criticising government leaders.

“The party leaders aren’t here to fear government leaders … especially in protecting interests of the underprivileged,” President Magufuli stated when opening CCM’s general assembly in Dodoma. He wondered that the party has been active in campaigning during the elections, “but after winning elections and coming to power it has been putting itself aside either by wearing governmental status or fearing the government leaders,” he said.

He argued that the CCM was currently the ultimate ruling party under which the government was formed; hence all government leaders ought to respect the party leaders. Just as important, he said the ruling party leaders were duty-bound to provide a link between the people and the government.

During his era, the first party’s national chairman, the late Julius Nyerere also underscored the role of the party in linking the people with their government and clearly told the people what the government was implementing, he recalled.

“I would be surprised to see a citizen who has no clue why the government was constructing the standard gauge railway, or buying bombardier aircraft in front of a CCM leader … who fails to enlighten the people that particular area,” he stated.

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