Tanzania: CCM Will Never Die, Affirms Jakaya Kikwete

National CCM Chairman Jakaya Kikwete yesterday insisted that the ruling party will never die as it was now stronger than ever before.

Mr Kikwete, who is also former Union President, made the remarks while opening the party's Central Commitee (CCM-CC) meeting that convened to deliberate on several issues ahead of the party's national congress scheduled for tomorrow.

There have been incessant statements, particularly from members of the opposition, that CCM has lost direction and that it was due to collapse. But in his speech, Mr Kikwete assured Tanzanians that the party was still strong and that those who were mocking it are wasting their time.

"There are people who have even gone too far by saying that they were preparing mock funerals in the event of the party's death. However, we are on the contrary becoming stronger than ever before," he insisted.

Mr Kikwete, who is expected to hand over the party's chairmanship to President John Magufuli tomorrow, noted that there were people "who had thought that they would emerge and become strong in the party only to hit the brick wall".

The outgoing party chairman briefed the meeting on the election procedures for the new chairman, saying the main issue, which would be the only agenda, was to propose the name of President Magufuli for the party's chairmanship.

"After the name has been endorsed, it will be fowarded to the National Executive Commitee (NEC), which has the mandate to vote and comfirm our new chairman," Mr Kikwete told the delegates. The party's NEC is expected to meet here tomorrow to endorse the name of the new chairman. According to Mr Kikwete, the party's top leaders had accorded him the necessary cooperation in all the years that he had led CCM.

"I managed to succeed in my leadership because all of you gave me strong support and cooperation. I have the honour to thank you for what you did," he said in his final meeting as top party boss. Meanwhile, there is a hotel accommodation crisis in Dodoma as delegates are getting ready to elect the new chairman tomorrow.

A survey by the 'Daily News' has established that all the hotels and lodges in Dodoma were booked by the end of business on Wednesday.

At the Dodoma's main bus stand, travellers were complaining that they had nowhere to stay as every hotel and lodge had been booked. Security has been beefed up to ensure that no group could disrupt the meeting. Police were yesterday making patrols at every corner of this municipality.

Source: Tanzania Daily News.