Tanzania: Kinana Unveils Top CCM Position ‘Exit Plan’

Secretary General of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Abdulrahaman Kinana yesterday unveiled his plan to quit the party's top executive job at the general congress to give chance to energetic youth to lead East Africa's oldest political party.

Speaking here shortly after inspecting the party's main conference centre, a place set to accommodate nearly 4,000 party members for the general congress, Mr Kinana said it was the right time for him to go. "I have served this post for three and half years.

I was requested by the party elders to join the top post in the party leadership structure," Mr Kinana told reporters. He revealed that he did not like being CCM top administrator but had conceded to the requests by retired leaders and party officials. "It is not a position I preferred.

I was summoned by leaders and asked to lead the party, I agreed because they are people I highly respected," he noted. Mr Kinana who has previously served the party in various position and member for the central committee for the past 25 years, affirmed that he has learnt a number of challenges some of which quite disappointing.

According to Mr Kinana, a good politician is the one who understands the best time to join and/or quit the part. He said he had agreed with elders to help the outgoing party Chairman, Mr Jakaya Kikwete, to strengthen the party as well as screen candidates for the presidential, legislative and councillorship posts.

"The elections are over. I hope I should now go and rest since I have fulfilled what I was assigned to do," he said in Dodoma, noting that he will talk to the incoming party National Chairman, Mr John Magufuli, regarding the post.

"I have not been asked by Mr Magufuli whether he wants me to stay, but that will mean the two of us should discuss as it happened in 2012." The Secretary General maintains a clear level of argument "as the party will not tolerate and put a smile onto treacherous."

He said the party has been strict against betrayers from the district, regional to the national level. The just recent action was in Shinyanga where 123 members were held accountable.

He pointed out that the party's dwindling communication to its members at the grassroots had seriously damaged the party's image. "But another challenge was to reinforce unity and solidarity within the party," he said, acknowledging in his three years as the party leader, he witnessed disunity and disputes that clearly affected the party.

"I worked with other leaders and we managed to return discipline, unity and solidarity within the party," he said. Mr Kinana visited all districts, provinces and regions--travelling over 192,000km and holding 3,700 political meetings across the country.

He said there areas in which he argued with his leaders and government officials that "They were too dangerous for me to go ... but I said I have and I must get there." The secretary said he had to risk his life, ferrying in dilapidated fishing boats just to reach at areas that the top government and party leaders had never reached.

"I remember the former president, Mr Kikwete and Kyela district commissioner also warned me against the use of fish-boats," he recalled.

Delay by the government to pay farmers, land conflicts, lack of agro inputs and delays to disburse development funds in district councils from the central bank were among the issues he encountered in his nearly four-year tenure.

Source: Tanzania Daily News.